BSC Office of Communications

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April 14, 2005

Five to receive Birmingham-Southern College's top alumni awards

BIRMINGHAM , Ala.— Five Birmingham-Southern College alumni will receive the college's Distinguished Alumni Award or Outstanding Young Alumni Award at the annual Alumni Reunion Weekend festivities Saturday, April 30.

Recognized this year by the BSC National Alumni Association with the Distinguished Alumni Award will be Theresa Bruno-Sprain of Birmingham, a 1957 graduate and founder and director of the Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy; Charles Gaines of Trussville, a 1964 graduate and award-winning print and television writer; and Carol Newsom of Decatur, Ga., a 1971 graduate, professor of Old Testament in the Candler School of Theology at Emory University.

Receiving the Outstanding Young Alumni Award will be Karen McElroy Carroll of Birmingham, a 1987 graduate and the editor of Southern Accents magazine, and Rebecca Gilman of Chicago, Ill., a 1987 graduate, 2001 Guggenheim Fellow, and acclaimed playwright.

Sprain has more than 20 years in the educational field, including work with learning disabled children and those with emotional conflict. In 1982, she founded the Joseph Bruno Montessori Academy, developing the school from a student body of four preschool students into a Southern Association of Colleges and Schools-accredited academy of 250 students and 35 staff members. During that time, she designed and planned the school's campus of 25 acres and nine current buildings. She received her master's of education in learning disabilities degree from UAB.

Gaines earned a master's in fine arts degree from the University of Iowa and has had a successful career as a freelance print, film, and television writer. His articles have appeared in Harper's, Sports Illustrated, Esquire and Men's Journal, and he has written scripts for ABC's American Sportsman. He has served as a contributing editor for Sports Afield, Field and Stream, and Men's Journal magazines. He has been a screenwriter for projects including the 1974 film Stay Hungry, starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and is the author of 23 books including the international bestseller Pumping Iron and A Family Place: A Man Returns tothe Center of His Life. He has received a National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences Emmy Award for television writing. He currently is on the graduate faculty of Spalding University's Brief Residency Creative Writing Program.

Newsom, the first female translator of the Dead Sea Scrolls, is author, editor, or co-editor of nine books including The Book of Job: A Contest ofMoral Imaginations, The Women's Bible Commentary: Expanded Edition, and the New Oxford AnnotatedBible. She also is author or editor of more than 50 scholarly articles. She has served as a member of editorial boards for the Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, Journal of Biblical Literature, the Old Testament Library Series of Westminster John Knox Press, and the Abingdon Old Testament Commentary Series. She is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship for independent study and a Danforth Fellowship.

Carroll's career in publishing has been at Southern Progress Corp. in Birmingham, a division of AOL/Time-Warner. She currently is editor of Southern Accents magazine, a publication devoted to the interiors, art, antiques, and gardens of the South. She previously served the magazine as editorial assistant, assistant editor, entertaining and travel editor, senior editor, and executive editor. She also is the author of three books on decorating and entertaining: Accents on Accessories, Southern Style, and Entertaining with Southern Style.

Gilman earned a master's degree in English from the University of Virginia and a master's in fine arts degree in playwriting from the University of Iowa. She has been lauded by The New York Times and Time and New York magazines, and named by Entertainment Weekly as one of 100 people who “represent the future of entertainment.” She is a 2001 Guggenheim Fellow and a recipient of the Robert L. Stevens Award from the Kennedy Center Fund for New American Plays, the Osborne Award from the American Critics Association, London's George Devine Award, The Evening Standard Award, and four Joseph Jefferson Awards for Best New Play. Currently, her adaptation for the stage of Carson McCuller's novel The Heart is a Lonely Hunter is being performed by The Acting Company, a TONY honor-winning touring repertory group.

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