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2023 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Mary Cothonneau Eldridge ‘08, John Patton Ford ‘00 and John Patrick Sears ‘14 are the recipients of the 29th Wilson Hall Distinguished Alumni Awards.  

Mary Cothonneau Eldridge '08

Mary Cothonneau, an attorney, lives in Columbia where she works as a law clerk for a federal judge. She graduated cum laude from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in English and history, and from the University of South Carolina School of Law with a Juris Doctor. In law school Mary Cothoneau served as the associate editor in chief of the South Carolina Law Review and as historian of Phi Delta Phi legal honor society. She was a recipient of the Bockman Scholarship and a member of the Order of the Wig and Robe and Christian Legal Society. A member of the South Carolina Bar Young Lawyers Division, she serves as the Membership Committee Co-Chair and is a former Special Olympics Committee Co-Chair. Very involved in her community, Mary Cothonneau is an active member of the Junior League of Columbia. She is the co-vice chair of the 2023 Holiday Market, served as the Staging Committee Chair, and she was the Holiday Ball co-chair and Preview Party co-vice chair. A member of Junior Achievement of Greater South Carolina, she served as the Young Professional Auxiliary Committee Co-Chair. Mary Cothonneau is a former member of the Columbia Museum of Art Contemporaries Board of Directors, serving as vice president, and she was the Art Auction Co-Chair and Sponsorship Committee Co-Chair. She is a member of the Spooky Spirits Committee at Camp Cole, a camp and retreat for children, teens, and adults with illnesses, disabilities, and life challenges. Mary Cothonneau is a graduate of Leadership Columbia and she is a member of First Presbyterian Church.  

John Patton Ford '00

John Patton lives in Los Angeles, California, where he is a writer and director. His most recent film which he directed and wrote, 2022’s Emily the Criminal starring Aubrey Plaza, received four nominations at the 38th Independent Spirit Awards, including Best First Feature, with John winning the award for Best First Screenplay. The crime-drama, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and reached the top 10 on Netflix, is a New York Times Critics Pick and earned a score of 94% on Rotten Tomatoes. John received a nomination by the Directors Guild of America for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in First-Time Feature Film, and he won the Best Feature Film and Best Director awards at the Annapolis Film Festival, the Audience Award at the Deauville Film Festival, and the Best Directorial Debut Award at the Philadelphia Film Critics Circle Awards. The National Board of Review named it one of the Top 10 Independent Films for 2022, and John and the film garnered an additional 15 nominations from 13 film and critic organizations. John has worked as a screenwriter for ten years, executing re-writes for Disney, Sony and Universal, and he has directed television commercials for brands such as Audi, Guinness and Tide. He is currently working on a new movie to begin filming in September in Toronto, Ontario. John graduated from the University of South Carolina with a Bachelor of Arts in media arts and from the American Film Institute with a Master of Fine Arts in directing. His student film, Patrol, premiered at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival.  

John Patrick Sears '14

John Patrick is a professional baseball player with Major League Baseball’s Oakland Athletics in California where he is a starting pitcher. His MLB debut was with the New York Yankees in 2022. In his second start for the Yankees last June, he became the third pitcher in franchise history to throw at least five scoreless innings in each of his first two MLB starts. He exited the game to an ovation at Yankee Stadium. As one of the top pitchers for the A’s, JP had a strong showing in May with a 3.25 earned run average and 25 strikeouts in five starts. Out of college, JP was chosen by the Seattle Mariners in Round 11 of the MLB draft and pitched in its minor league organization. He was named to the Minor League Baseball All-Star Team in 2017. In late 2017 he was traded to the New York Yankees organization where he pitched for the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders, a AAA minor league affiliate of the Yankees in Pennsylvania. JP, who graduated from The Citadel with a Bachelor of Science in business, received numerous accolades while playing for the college. He was the Division I leader of strikeouts and held the individual game record for the most strikeouts (20) in 2017, and he was named the Southern Conference Pitcher of the Year. He was named to the American Baseball Coaches Association All-Atlantic Region First Team, the Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger All-American Second Team, and the National Collegiate Baseball Writers Association All-American Third Team. JP was a four-time Collegiate Baseball/Louisville Slugger Player of the Week, a five-time Player of the Week, and a Player of the Month. He was named to the Media First Team, Coaches First Team, and the All-Freshman Team. JP’s home is in Mount Pleasant and he is engaged to marry Aileen Twohig in December. 


The Class of 2023, the 54th graduating class, joins 2,973 people who proudly count themselves among the ranks of our school's alumni.

Many of our alumni choose to return to Sumter after they finish college to start their careers and raise their families. As a matter of fact, 290 of our graduates are "legacies," or children of alumni, and 139 of our current students are second or third generation Barons. Alumni serve on the PTO Board of Directors, the Board of Trustees, and the Athletic Association Board of Directors, and 21 of our staff members are alumni.

Alumni at College

Wilson Hall alumni are attending over 81 colleges and universities for the 2023-24 school year. Below is a partial list of the schools our alumni are attending (undergraduate & graduate):

100% of the Class of 2023 was accepted to a four-year college or university and the 66 graduates were accepted to 87 colleges and universities. Wilson Hall alumni are currently attending 81 colleges and universities in 25 states and four countries: Anderson University - Anderson University Graduate School (Physical Therapy) - Auburn University - Augusta University - Baylor University - Benedictine College - Charleston School of Law - Charleston Southern University - Christopher Newport University - The Citadel - The Citadel Graduate School (Education) - Clemson University - Clemson University Graduate School (Athletic Leadership, Computer Engineering & Real Estate Development) - Coastal Carolina University - College of Charleston - College of William and Mary - Columbia International University - Columbia International University Graduate School (Counseling) - Converse University - Converse University Graduate School (Education) - Davidson College - Drexel University - Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine - Erskine College - Francis Marion University - Georgetown University School of Law - Georgia Dental College - Georgia Southern University - Harvard University Graduate School (Business) - Harvard University School of Medicine - Limestone University - Medical University of South Carolina School of Dental Medicine - Medical University of South Carolina Graduate School (Speech Therapy) - Medical University of South Carolina School of Medicine - Medical University of South Carolina School of Pharmacy - Michigan State University - Mississippi State University School of Veterinary Medicine - New York University - Pace University School of Law - Pennsylvania State University - Pepperdine University - Rhode Island School of Design - Saint Andrews University - Savannah College of Art & Design - Siena College - Southern Baptist Theological Seminary - Stonehill College - Swarthmore College - Tuskegee University School of Veterinarian Medicine - Ulster University Belfast Graduate School (Linguistics) - United States Air Force Academy - United States Military Academy at West Point - United States Naval Academy - University of Alabama Graduate School (Human Nutrition) - University of California Los Angeles - University College London - University of Colorado - University of Dayton - University of Denver - University of Georgia - University of Georgia School of Veterinary Medicine - University of Kansas - University of Mississippi - University of Mississippi School of Veterinary Medicine - University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill - University of North Florida - University of Notre Dame - University of Pennsylvania Graduate School (Architecture) - University of Pompeu Fabra Graduate School (Linguistics) - University of South Carolina - University of South Carolina Graduate School (Education) - University of South Carolina School of Law - University of South Carolina School of Medicine - University of South Florida - University of Southern California - University of Southern California Graduate School (Business) - University of Vermont - University of Virginia - University of Washington Graduate School (Engineering) - University of Wisconsin Graduate School (Plant Biology) - Utica College - Vanderbilt University Graduate School (Engineering) - Villanova University - Virginia Polytechnic Institute & State University - Wake Forest University - Western Michigan University - William Peace University - Wingate University - Winthrop University - Wofford College.


Leigh McLaurin
Alumni Events Coordinator

Classes who are organizing a reunion are encouraged to contact the school for assistance in organizing reunion events on campus. Please contact Leigh Edmunds McLaurin '92 at for assistance in planning an on-campus reunion event.

The Class of '08 is planning a reunion October 13, 2023. Please contact Caroline Crabbe Barr at for more information. 

The Class of '13 is planning a reunion October 13, 2023. Please contact Elizabeth Munn Krouse at for more information. 

The Class of '18 is planning a reunion October 13, 2023. Please contact Liza Lowder Meyers at for more information.

The Class of '73 is planning a reunion October 21, 2023. Please contact Mary Garland Dunn Roddey at for more information.

The 2013 State Championship football team will be recognized during halftime of the football game on October 27. Please contact Glen Rector, Athletic Director, at for more information. 

Members of the Class of '83 gather in the Moulton Center before a football game. 


Members of the Class of '02 gather on the Bynum Rooftop Garden for a football game. 


2022 Distinguished Alumni Awards

Alvin Butler ‘03, Mary Franklin Harvin ‘06 and Jamie Rembert, MD, ‘92 are the recipients of the 28th Wilson Hall Distinguished Alumni Awards. 

Alvin Butler '03

Alvin is a Principal at Ares Management, a global investment firm, and is based in New York City. He graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Science in business administration and finance and a Master of Science in entrepreneurship. Alvin also studied at New York University's Stern School of Business and London Business School, earning a dual Master of Business Administration degree. He serves on the Board of Directors and Nominations Committee of the CFA (Chartered Financial Analyst) Society of New York, a financial services forum and provider of professional education and career development to Wall Street. Alvin is also the Vice Chair of the Board of Directors for Kids Creative, a nonprofit organization that teaches conflict resolution and peace education through creative arts programs for preschool to high school students. He is a past young executive board member for Behind the Book, a literacy nonprofit in New York City that brings accomplished authors into underserved public schools, and he is a past treasurer and member of the board of directors of Community Coordinated Care for Children, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides access to quality early learning and intervention programs. Alvin and his wife, Michelle, live in Short Hills, New Jersey, with their son, Dominic, and daughter, Lily.

Mary Franklin Harvin '06

Mary Franklin works as a producer and reporter for KQED which broadcasts the National Public Radio and Public Broadcasting Systems radio and television stations in California. Her program is called The California Report and broadcasts statewide to an audience of three million regular listeners. For the station she serves as a fill-in editor for the Morning Edition segment, produces the tri-weekly longform news podcast, The Bay, and works as a feature producer for The California Report Magazine weekly broadcast. Mary Franklin has made numerous live radio appearances on KQED’s Forum and KPCC’s Air Talk. She established and co-edited a reporting partnership with the CalMatters College Journalism Network to create radio opportunities for student reporters across the state. Previously, Mary Franklin worked as a producer for KALW, a pioneering educational and community broadcast service licensed to the San Francisco Unified School District, as well as produced for The Kitchen Sister on National Public Radio. She graduated from the College of Charleston with a Bachelor of Arts in communications and the University of South Carolina with a Master of Mass Communication in communications management. Mary Franklin and her husband, Scott Andrews, live in California and divide their time between Nevada City and San Francisco. 

Jamie Rembert '92

Jamie lives in Oakland, California, where he has been a practicing radiation oncologist since 2006.  He launched the stereotactic radiosurgery program at Alta Bates Summit Medical Center and has served as the medical director/chair of radiation oncology since 2015.  He is also affiliated with John Muir Medical Center in Walnut Creek, California.  Jamie treats both pediatric and adult malignancies specializing in brain/spine tumors as well as prostate cancer.  He graduated magna cum laude from Harvard University with a Bachelor of Science in biochemistry.  Prior to medical school, he worked at Massachusetts General Hospital as a research scientist focusing on xenotransplantation immunology.  Jamie then completed his Doctor of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania Perelman School of Medicine where he was elected to the Alpha Omega Alpha national medical honor society and received the Merck Award for academic excellence.  He then completed his internship/residency at the University of California San Francisco where he served as chief resident.  He is a published author of numerous articles and book chapters on selected topics in radiation oncology, and he was also selected by his peers to be recognized in San Francisco magazine as one of the Bay Area's Top Doctors.