So much success. So many different fields. Fishburne Alumni are accomplished in so many amazing ways. Here are just of few of our alumni who have gone on to great things.
Gerald Lee Baliles was a Virginia lawyer and Democratic politician whose career spanned great social and technological changes in his native state. The 65th Governor of Virginia (from 1986 to 1990), the native of Patrick County previously served as the Commonwealth's attorney general (1982–85). Baliles directed the nonpartisan Miller Center of Public Affairs associated with his alma mater, the University of Virginia (2006-2014). Known for his civility and bipartisanship, Baliles also oversaw the publication of more than a dozen transcript volumes of White House tapes from the John F. Kennedy, Lyndon B. Johnson and Richard M. Nixon presidencies and fostered its oral history program.
Reno Collier is a stand-up comedian who gained celebrity as the opening act for Larry the Cable Guy and with his own Comedy Central Presents special. Collier was featured on the Blue Collar Comedy Tour: The Next Generation. A great guy with a big heart, while at Fishburne, Reno provided hours of comic relief on his many hours of ‘tours’ in the front parapet of the school. He received his undergraduate degree from Elon College (now Elon University) in North Carolina. In July 2009, Collier hosted The Great American Road Trip on NBC. He was the host of the new Animal Planet reality competition show Top Hooker.
In the summer of 2021, Judge Alvin Wong was elected President of the Council of State Court Judges of Georgia, becoming the first Asian-American to serve as president of any judicial council in the state of Georgia. A former partner at Gambrell and Stolz (now Baker Donelson), Judge Wong had 21 years of experience as a corporate and trial attorney before running for office. He chaired the State Bar of Georgia’s Investigative Panel for disciplinary action against unethical practices by Georgia attorneys. His heart is in the community, he has been recognized multiple times for citizenship, leadership, and trailblazing.
Sergeant First Class Tarek Bathiche recently retired from the United States Army. Bathiche is an accomplished NCO and Leader with a laundry list of exemplary achievements over the course of his 20-year military career. Not one for taking breaks, Bathiche has already started a new job with a technology company in Florida. He says he will definitely be making an appearance at Alumni Weekend ’22 to celebrate his 20th class reunion. Tarek now lives in Florida with his wife, Evi, and their three children: Anthony, 16; Sophia, 13; and Nicolas, 12.
On December 21, R. Keith Shackleford, Esq. was sworn in as Town Commissioner for Wake Forest, NC. A member of Warren, Shackleford & Thomas PLLC, his legal career has been in the practice of civil litigation, personal injury and criminal law. He currently focuses on estate planning, probate administration and civil litigation. A Fishburne Trustee since 2007, Keith has also served as a trustee for Wake Technical & Community College, a director for the Wake Forest Chamber of Commerce and a director of the Wake County Bar Association.
Commencement Address \ Keith Shackleford
Vincent Kennedy McMahon is an American professional wrestling promoter, executive and media proprietor, currently serving as the chairman and CEO of WWE, the largest professional wrestling promotion in the world. A familiar face to wrestling fans since the 1970s—his public-facing career is divided into two distinct periods. Prior 1997, he was a jovial announcer. After, he adapted his real-life persona to create the gimmick of Mr. McMahon; a wildly swagger walking, suit-wearing, irascible tyrant obsessed with maintaining tight, agenda-driven control of his company at any cost, with the catch phrase “You’rrre firrred!!!”
Eugene Payne was an American political cartoonist and writer. Working for The Charlotte Observer, he won the 1967 Sigma Delta Chi Award for a cartoon of President Lyndon B Johnson on a bus holding a crying baby labeled “Vietnam War” while the bus driver said “Dr. King says, would you please move to the back of the bus.” The cartoon implied that the Vietnam War was secondary to civil rights issues in America. In 1968 Payne won the Pulitzer Prize for cartoons focusing on the Vietnam War and Civil Rights Issues.
Editorial Profile \ Fishburne Quadrangle
John Steven Campbell is the bassist and one of the founding members of the heavy metal band Lamb of God. He is the only constant member of the band since its inception. Campbell is a vegetarian and graduate of Fishburne Military School in Waynesboro, Virginia. Unlike many bassists who use four and five string bass guitars, Campbell, at one time, played a self-modified three-stringed Guild Pilot bass, excluding the higher G-string.
Interview with John Campbell by Metalship
William Richard (Rich) Stevens was a Northern Rhodesia-born American author of computer science books, in particular books on UNIX and TCP/IP. After attending Fishburne, he received a bachelor's degree in Aerospace Engineering and later acquired a master's degree and PhD in Systems Engineering. He was Vice President of Computing Services at Health Systems International. Then in 1990 he pursued his career as an author and consultant. An avid pilot and a part-time flight instructor, Stevens died in 1999 (age 48). In 2000, he was posthumously awarded the Usenix Lifetime Achievement Award.
Kurt Cook '87 is a retired major in the U.S. Army Special Forces. As a stand-out ROTC student at Towson (MD), Kurt build himself into a muscular 220lbs by swimming 2000 meters every morning and working out every day. Sworn into the US Army in 1995, Cook perservered and after 10 years of service, training and study, earned his tab and green beret. After his army career, Kurt drove race cars for Hendrick Motorsports in Charlotte, NC. He recently founded Adaptive Recovery Wear (2017) and serves as the CEO.
Editorial Profile \ Fishburne Quadrangle
Glen McClung, M.D. is a board-certified and fellowship-trained orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine doctor whose passion is supporting high school athletes. He enjoys teaching preventative methods to avoid injuries, as well as initiating the recovery process as soon as an injury takes place. He specializes in the treatment of elbow, hip, knee, and shoulder injuries, including fractures and has been voted to the Cincinnati Magazine Top Doctors list every year since 2015.
Editorial Profile \ Fishburne Quadrangle
Otto Felix was a motion picture and television actor, an acting teacher and a still photographer. After having served in the U.S. Army, he worked as a disc jockey in Florida, before beginning an acting career. Felix was cast in over 350 TV commercials after arriving in Hollywood in the early 1970s. Felix authored several books of poems, still photographs and drawings. His photographs appeared in Time, People, Life, BAM, L.A. Weekly, Billboard, Drama Logue, Variety, and Photographer. He won the Golden Boot Award for Best Country Album and The American Photographers Association Award for best Black & White in 1989 & 99.
John Noonan is an American conservative national security commentator and analyst. He was the national security policy advisor to Jeb Bush during his presidential campaign, and foreign policy advisor and speechwriter for Mitt Romney in 2012. He was a principal defense writer for The Weekly Standard and a policy director of the Foreign Policy Initiative. Before moving to the FPI, the then Captain Noonan served in the United States Air Force’s Global Strike Command as a Minuteman III launch officer.
Commencement Speech 2018 \ John Noonan
Friend. Teacher. Inspiration. Russell A. Hitt was the former Chairman Emeritus of Hitt Contracting of Falls Church, VA, one of the nation’s leading commercial contracting firms. Mr. Hitt took over the family business from his parents, and grew it into the company it is today. The Hitt-Millar Field House was mostly funded and dedicated to Mr. Hitt and his son-in-law, Jim Millar (also a Fishburne alumnus). Co-Chairman Brett Hitt says, “My dad’s focus has always been an incredible work ethic and taking care of the people around you. These principles are the core ideology of HITT today.”