Burkley Mann Allen '80
In her Davidson admission application, Burkley Mann said that her most treasured honor was for Most Improved in Softball-because for her, any athletic achievement came from "pure hard work and determination," rather than natural ability.
Modesty aside, this native Arkansan was a natural at physics-and German, playing guitar and flute, leaping tall buildings (or the high jump), shooting a rifle, diving, and waking her hallmates with a cheerful morning tune. She was a leader with Davidson Christian Fellowship, a member of the Homecoming Court, and belonged to both German and physics honor societies.
After graduating with a physics major, Burkley earned her master's degree in engineering at the University of Virginia. She moved to Nashville with her husband, Newton Allen '82, and began a career in converting solid waste to energy, a project that had long intrigued her. As a senior mechanical engineer with I.C. Thomasson, Inc., she has pursued her profession while maintaining the flexibility to raise three Allen children, one of whom-Sarah, Class of 2008- was president of Davidson's Honor Council. The Allens were responsible for sending yet another family member to Davidson-Christoph Pross '10, who lived in their home as a German exchange student in high school.
Burkley has been an active member of her Nashville community, notably leading an effort to build a playground and plant thousands of trees in her neighborhood.
Burkley also wrote this on her Davidson application: "Reading Davidson's Statement of Purpose made me wonder if the college was designed especially for me." But maybe it's the other way around. Throughout the years, Burkley's continued relationship with alma mater has never missed a beat. She has been a loyal and dedicated alumna, serving and supporting the Annual Fund, the Davidson Alumni Admission Program, and of course, Alumni Relations. She was co-chair of her 25th Reunion and has helped to glue the Class of 1980 together through five years as a class secretary.
For your personal and professional accomplishments these past 30 years, for your heart that never left Davidson or your classmates, and for a generous spirit and contagious enthusiasm that has distinguished you as a true servant leader, the Davidson College Alumni Association honors you, Burkley Mann Allen, with the Alumni Service Award.