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St. Joe family, prayers are needed. Sam Iupe, Class of 1977, died this morning. Sam is one of eight children, six of whom went to St. Joe. Our hearts go out to all of them. I will post arrangements as soon as I hear them.
1991  Kimberly Williams Crowder

Crowder shapes vision for ophthalmology

Media Contact: Ruth Cummins at 601-984-1104 or

When she agreed to take the reins of the University of Mississippi Medical Center's busy Department of Ophthalmology, Dr. Kimberly Crowder said she didn't have a lot of immediate questions - but her patients did.

"They all asked, 'Are you still going to be my doctor?' I've told them all yes," said Crowder, 42, who succeeds one of her mentors, Dr. C.J. Chen, who stepped down as chairman in June but remains a full-time faculty member.

A 1999 University of Mississippi School of Medicine graduate, Crowder is leading a department that has grown from a small handful of physicians to 16, and that since moving into the Lakeland Medical Building in 2005 has all but run out of space for its swelling patient volume.

The comprehensive ophthalmologist who provides primary eye care is well poised for her new role after completing her ophthalmology residency at UMMC in 2003, joining the department's faculty immediately afterward, and serving as the program director for the Medical Center's ophthalmology residents.

"I'm approaching this as a very steep learning curve," she said of her time so far as chairman. "Dr. Chen has made it very easy. He recognizes that it's my turn to figure it out on my own.

"The quote I hear in this role most often is, 'Didn't Dr. Chen tell you?' " she joked. "The answer is often 'No!'"

Crowder is settling into days spent in administrative duties, teaching and seeing patients - and juggling a family that includes children Sandra, 11; Will, 7; and Sarah Kate, 4; and husband Dr. William Crowder, an interventional cardiologist at St. Dominic Hospital.

She's had to give up being residency program director, handing over that role to Dr. Kyle Lewis, assistant professor of ophthalmology. "He trained under me, and he's bringing his own leadership style to the table," Crowder said. "I'm very proud of him."

Likewise, Chen is proud of Crowder.

"She's doing beautifully. She has the kind of personality to be a leader," said Chen, a native of Taiwan and one of the world's premier experts in surgical management of vitreoretinal disease, especially those related to diabetes, ocular trauma and complicated retinal detachment.

"She is meticulous and pays attention to detail. She plans ahead. Most importantly, she loves the department and the Medical Center," Chen said. "She makes the department better."

Crowder graduated from St. Joseph High School, then located in Jackson, and received her bachelor of science in biology from Millsaps College in 1995. At UMMC, she's served as associate professor in ophthalmology from 2012 until her appointment as department chair.

Since 2003, she has been an attending physician in ophthalmology and filled multiple roles including course director for medical student electives in ophthalmology, course director of Family and Emergency Medicine resident rotations in ophthalmology, and director for the McBryde Resident Eye clinic when it was still a hospital-based clinic.

Crowder is board certified by the American Board of Ophthalmology and practices comprehensive ophthalmology.

She's a member of a number of professional societies, among them the Mississippi Academy of Eye Physicians and Surgeons, serving as alternate councilor to the American Academy of Ophthalmology from 2015-17; and the American Academy of Ophthalmology, the American Medical Association and the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology.

"While serving as program director for the ophthalmology training program, Dr. Crowder honed her skills as an effective educator," said Dr. Charles O'Mara, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs. "She is also a talented clinician with a reputation for providing outstanding patient-centric care for her patients. 

"UMMC is proud and pleased to have her now assume the position of department chair in ophthalmology.  She enjoys the respect of her colleagues, and she brings energy, new ideas, and strong leadership traits to the department."

Crowder said she and her husband made the decision to anchor their careers in Jackson after graduating together from both Millsaps and the School of Medicine. They married two weeks after graduating from medical school, then began their residencies at the Medical Center two weeks after that.

"We were interviewing at the same time for residencies - probably 20 different places - to figure out where we could go together," Crowder said, "We felt it was best to just stay at home."

Chen offered her the position of residency program director as his department chair duties increased, she said. "My incentive for wanting to stay here is because I thought I could help him make our residency program even stronger," she said.

That's certainly happened. The program now is accepting four residents annually. "When I started this job, we only had three residents a year and four full-time faculty," Crowder said.

Crowder is busy on and off the UMMC campus. She is a Sunday school teacher at St. Richard Catholic Church in Jackson, a sustaining member of the Junior League of Jackson, and frequently volunteers as the faculty representative for glaucoma and diabetic screenings at the Jackson Free Clinic and UMMC's Grants Ferry multispecialty clinic in Flowood.

Family and kids consume her time away from the office, Crowder said. "We do a lot of school-oriented things, but we like to travel when we can," she said.

She found out quickly that she'll have one more activity, this one at work, to juggle into her schedule. "Two weeks into this job, I was told that I need to do our five-year department review. That includes strategic planning," Crowder said.

"I definitely have the historical perspective of things that have worked for the department and that have not," Crowder said.

"The changes at UMMC since 1995 have been very positive. I hope to do the same in my department."

1999     Conan Mustain began as professor of colorectal surgery at the University of Arkansas this fall.

2011     Brianna Burse received her white coat, marking her entry to Pharmacy School at Ole Miss August 13, 2015.  Best of luck and congratulations!

1974  Terri Hitchins Nicolosi came to town to visit and had dinner with some St. Joe friends. From left, Meg Outlaw, Pam, Terri and Jenny Katool. Classmate Johnny Maloney stopped by for a visit, but missed the picture.

2011     Sean Patterson was presented the Phi Kappa Phi Silver Bowl Award on Founder's Day at the University of Southern Mississippi.  It is the highest award presented by the university. It is awarded to the graduating senior with the most academic hours while maintaining a 4.0 average.  Sean will attend medical school at the University of Mississippi this fall.

1984      Bill Williams has a new book out:

LEST WE FORGET: My Dad, the 379th, and the Story of the 102nd Infantry

Bill has been in the educational field since 1992 as a classroom teacher, education specialist, curriculum editor, training manager, and substitute teacher. He began his writing career working on high school and college newspapers, followed by freelance poetry and script treatments. He has submitted a number of poems for the poetry compilation Loveliness Unfurled. Since 2001 he has written for numerous web sites including and as a media editor and feature columnist. After St. Joe, he attended Mississippi College, where he obtained his bachelor’s degree in mass communications and his master’s degree in English education. He has previously authored the novel THE MIRACLE YEAR, published in 2015. He currently lives in Arab, Alabama.

2012     France Beard will be in the Miss Mississippi pageant this summer representing the University of Mississippi.  She is shown with her parents, Clay and Ann, and her sister Thierry, class of 2010.


France Beard and Angela Winters, principal at James C. Rosser Elementary School, look over some of the books Beard delivered to the school.

1966     Jim McCraw will serve as State Deputy for the Knights of Columbus in Mississippi.  He attributes this to Catholic school values and his obligation as a St. Joe graduate to make a difference.  He has found the opportunity to do that as well as develop leadership skills in the Knights of Columbus.  Jim says the examples set by his St. Joe classmates' fathers who did so much for his parish and Catholic schools for no other reason than it needed to be done.  Congratulations, Jim!

2012     John Vincent Holden reported in to Mr. Barnes that college life was treating him right.  Always good to see a big smiling alumnus return to campus.

2012    Alex Bohannon


Civil student receives regional scholarship

STARKVILLE, Miss. – Unlike most people, Alex Bohannon grew into his career interests at a young age through an unlikely route: Legos.

The Jackson, Mississippi native said he would construct small buildings, roads and other structures with the small, colorful building blocks.

“My mom would buy me Legos and just watch me go at it,” Bohannon said. “I always saw myself getting into the construction industry, and later I realized civil engineering would be perfect for that.”

Now a senior in civil engineering, Bohannon’s interest in construction is being rewarded with the Bruce Tucker Memorial Scholarship funded by the Mississippi Valley Branch of Associated General Contractors. This is his second time to receive the regional scholarship that is awarded to students interested in construction industry careers.

Dennis Truax, head of civil and environmental engineering department, said this scholarship holds a certain level of prestige considering the number of applicants versus the number of awards.

“This is only the second year that we’ve had a student get the award,” Truax said. “It is a competitive award, and students throughout the region from many universities compete for it each year.”

Truax said having a Mississippi State student receive this award for two consecutive years displays a strong program that produces individuals who are prepared to support the construction industry.

“It shines a light on the university, the Bagley College and the department to show that we are producing strong students with a focus on construction,” Truax said. “By seeing our students recognized in this fashion, it helps identify our students as potential employees in both the public and private sectors of the industry.”

Bohannon is a member of Increasing Minority Access to Graduate Education, the American Society of Civil Engineers and the National Society of Black Engineers. Through NSBE, Bohannon mentors and tutors incoming freshmen in physics, calculus and engineering mechanics, among other subjects.

He said he hopes to attend graduate school and that receiving this scholarship is a small step to getting him there.

“I’m just thankful that I received it, because any money is a blessing,” Bohannon said. “It will at least help me be able to pay my tuition and obviously push myself to obtain my bachelor’s degree.”

2002     Matthew Manning has started his own business,  and what a SWEET job it is.  He is selling ice cream!  He will deliver it to you upon request.  Below is a a message from Matthew about his new endeavor.


The Zimmerman family came together to show their support of St. Joe at a luncheon to support teachers' salaries and continuing education. Shown are Bo, Class of 1997; their father, Mr. Hilary Zimmerman; Margaret, Class of 2003; and Pat, class of 2000.

2002 - The death of Jenna Jordan brought many of her classmates and friends home for the funeral.  The closeness of this small class attests to the family feeling at St. Joe.  We are so glad you have each other for strength in these sad times.  Katrice, James and Clint toured the St. Joe Madison campus after the service for Jenna.

2000 - Katrice Powell-Thompson visited the campus and was glad to be back at St. Joe.  She has just started her own consulting business in Jackson.

2013     MariMac Collins earned All American status in swimming at Division III Nationals March 20.  She swam on the Washington University's 800 relay which placed third in the nation and the 400 free relay which placed 6th.


2012     Joanne Martin will finish her junior year at St. Louis University in May and spend the summer in Jackson interning with Neel-Schaffer engineering firm.

2007 Alums Andrew Harris and Anna Robinson Harris welcomed their first child, our newest Bruin, Patrick David, April 16. Congrats!

1991     Michelle Shaw Burkhalter recently purchased The Trophy Shoppe in Jackson. Fittingly, this is where Michelle had her first job as a teenager.  Check out her new endeavor  The Trophy Shoppe.

1998     Former teacher and 1998 grad Rachael Gray-Lewis Kenyon stopped by the school today so we could hug on her precious baby Olivia, who turned one this week. Made our Monday!

1984     Bill Williams just published his first novel, MIRACLE YEAR.  It's on Amazon, so get it for your Spring Break read.  Follow this link:…/…/ref=sr_1_3…:     



1972     Jorge Rodriguez lives right outside Washington DC.  He is a neuropsychologist and  enjoys restoring houses on the side.  He has 2  daughters, one in college and one graduating from high school this year.


2000     Bobby Owens  recently moved back to MS from Chicago to practice in his father's firm (Owen's Law Firm). I forget the type of law he is practicing but it is new to the firm. 


Danny Curvin

Class of 1965
Message from Marinella Gonzales Davis:


Danny passed away March 28, 2015, from all over cancer believed to be from Agent Orange in the Vietnam War.He was in the VA hospital and was cremated and is resting by his parents in Norman, Oklahoma where he lived.


There is no guest registry that I am aware of. However, if you chose to do so, you can send a brief message to and I will forward it to his family.


Danny was fearless and known to be a bit reckless at times. He always took the bull by the horns: I never knew him to fear anything. We were in school together for several years, our families were very close: his sister and mine being best friends, his mother and my mother being best friends as well. He fought in Vietnam and was a medic. He received the Bronze Medal for bravery under fire when he rescued 9 wounded fellow soldiers. He received other honors regarding bravery as well, among those, unless mistaken, one or two purple hearts. He will be missed and his service greatly appreciated.

His life had meaning, especially to those soldiers whose lives he saved and for his acts of heroism for our country.

Our class has many such heroes.

Take care each and every one.

See you soon.

Love you,



Mike Castaldi
Class of 1968
Danny Ruhl
Class of 1991
Jenna Jordan
Class of 2002
John Gorman 
Class of 1987
Claudia Morgan Meisler
Class of 1962
Phil Irby
Attended, early 1940s
St. Joe parent
St. Joe grandparent
John M. Puddister
Class of 1971
Tony Weisenberger
Class of 1952