Julieanne Cheney McPherson '82 and Douglas C. McPherson '81
In her application to Davidson, Julie Cheney McPherson '82 wrote, "At the same time that I am reaping the benefits of college, I hope that I am able to plant some useful seeds-to make some contribution to the Davidson College community."
That she did, pursuing drama and cheerleading along with mathematics and a Phi Beta Kappa key. A member of ETC eating house, the Union Board, and the Riding Club, young Julieanne Christine Cheney would go on to graduate cum laude as salutatorian with a degree in mathematics. Contributions, indeed!
Meanwhile, Doug McPherson '81 sailed for the Davidson Sailing Team and joined the cheerleading squad where he met Julie, all while pursuing a biology degree and earning placements in both the German and Pre-Medical Honor Societies.
When Doug and Julie married after college, the young couple's combined commitment to Davidson stayed steady, as they planted seeds of enthusiastic service to the broader Davidson College community. They were early members of the Davidson Alumni Admission Program and later hosted an alumni event in their Alexandria, VA home. Doug, who earned his M.D. from the Medical College of Virginia, left medicine to pursue a career in real estate development. Julie completed her master's in mathematics at the College of William and Mary. All the while, they stayed in touch with their Davidson friends, including Julie's group of 16 roommates who had lived together at Park Place as students. And soon, the McPhersons were busy with their most important contribution to Davidson to date: their daughter Anne, Class of 2011.
Even before Anne enrolled, Julie and Doug's love of the performing arts was finding a home at Davidson. In 2002, the McPhersons were driving forces, in both word and deed, in establishing the multi-year Davidson residencies of the Royal Shakespeare Company, on whose American Council Doug held a seat at the same time that he was serving on Davidson's Board of Visitors. As a result, over the course of these residencies, thousands of students, educators, and other visitors came to Davidson to attend performances, lectures, panels, and workshops relating to the Royal Shakespeare Company's educational and artistic mission.
When Doug and Julie learned of the pending arrival of Anne's little sister Elise, now 8, they moved back to Julie's hometown of Thomasville, Ga. We hope when the time comes that Elise will follow in her parents' and sister's footsteps to plant seeds and grow roots at Davidson.
For not only planting seeds of service and contribution to our community, but for nurturing them and watering them and helping them grow; for making ‘Much Ado' about the Royal Shakespeare Company; and for helping Davidson reap the benefits of your care for this community that we share and love, the Alumni Association is pleased to honor you, Douglas Caldwell McPherson and Julieanne Cheney McPherson, and to present you both with the Alumni Association Service Award on the occasion of Julie's 30th Reunion.