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Updates: 1970s' Grads

We post updates from alumni and friends as we receive them. Use our handy online form to send us your news!

J. Reid Williamson (A.B., '70) On May 22, the Laurel (Del.) Historical Society will present an exhibit of photographs I took in the Laurel area from 1966-1975, including fire, ice, snow, historic buildings, and wildlife. The venue will be one of LHS's historic buildings, The Studley House, on 6th Street. (4/10)

J. Reid Williamson (A.B., '70)  Although I never formally used my history major in my employment - 34 years as a management analyst with the US Army - I always used it in my life.  I retired from civil service in 2008, but am now working on a guidebook to the Colonial Houses of Worship in the eastern US, as well as continuing to edit "The Extra-Miler" (the club's website is; I've been the editor for 10 yrs.).  My love of history and geography continues unabated, joined in the past 18 years with my love of birding, a most portable hobby.  Volunteering at my local library has been rewarding - and is now nearly vital, as even Fairfax is hit hard by financial reverses. (3/10)

Elizabeth Ilene Gibbons (M.A., '71) I have retired after 39 years in law offices, and am moving to Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, from California. I plan on planting lilacs, learning fly fishing, and auditing classes at North Idaho College, just for fun. My historical interests range from the Titanic (the late Walter Lord was kind enough to consider me a friend) to the famous western battles, such as the Little Bighorn (I belong to two Custer battlefield preservation groups). (3/10)    

Paul Fuchs Renard (B.A., '72) I currently serve as the Virginia Tech Capital Region region visiting professor. My article "With the XXV Corps along the Rio Grande in 1865" was recently published in the University of North Texas journal Military History on the West. After 36 years of information systems consulting, I finally returned to my W&M history roots. (11/09)

Barbara Hamaker Doyal (B.A., '75) I married Charels Doyal in 1977. We have two children, one a mother and one an intern in anethesiolgy at UVA (he graduated from W&M in 2002). Currently living in Fredericksburg, Va. Changed careers 28 years ago and completed a second degree in computer science. Now working as Lead Computer scientist at Naval Surface Warfare Center in Dahlgren. Hoping retirement will come soon. (11/09)
Robert Bruce McClure (A.B., '75) I received a Ph.D. at Yale (1983), studying with Sydney Ahlstrom. I have been teaching since then and am currently SPRL Professor of History at The General Theological Seminary (NYC). I have published seven books over the years; the most recent, A Short World History of Christianity (WJK Press), has received a number of awards. (11/09)
Will Vehrs (A.B., '75) I am presently the Communications Manager for the Virginia Department of Business Assistance in Richmond.  In my spare time, I give the "Haunts of Richmond" ghost tour and volunteer with the Henley Street Theatre Company. I have four daughters; the youngest just turned 15. (3/10)

Donald Ratcliffe (B.A., '77) I've never had the opportunity to use my major, or master's studies from ODU, except for Trivial Pursuit and light conversation! Have worked in Military Aviation for 31 years. Presently, Program Manager for UH-60 Black Hawk helicopters for Security Assistance Programs – fancy title for Merchant of Death, but still a passionate Liberal Democrat! (11/09)

Martha Williams Jenkins (B.A., '78) I am currently serving as 3rd Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Women. My husband, Ed, and I live in Chapel Hill, N.C., and we have two daughters, Kim age 16 and Mary age 11.  Ed and I run our business, "Flags Over America."  I do bookkeeping and shipping, and Ed is the chief salesman!  (3/10)

Charles Franzen (A.B., '79) I have very fond memories of all my professors, especially Drs. Walker, Selby, Esler, Ewell, and McArthur. They were wonderful. After obtaining an M.A. at the University of Mississippi, I spent a quarter-century doing international development work in Africa. I am very happy to be a resource-person for those thinking of working abroad or others who are seeking information on the continent. I worked and traveled to almost 40 countries during my tenure, and so have a fairly broad understanding. I lived for more than a decade in both Tanzania and Zambia, as well as a long stretch in Sudan, and have special interest in those special places. Among other things, I am managing a large World Bank-funded program strengthening the health system in Southern Sudan. Anyone with an interest in Sudan is welcome to contact me at any time: (11/09)