McMurry University Honors Retirees

  Gary Ellison
  Tuesday, May 5, 2015 8:52 AM
  Archives 2014 - 2015

Abilene, TX

Honors RetireesMcMurry University will honor seven of its employees who are retiring this year during a reception at 3 p.m. Tuesday, May 5, in the Furr Welcome Center.

The retirees being honored are:

Brenda Breeden

Brenda Breeden joined the business office in 1971 as a part-time accounts receivable clerk while working on her degree. She has worked as the accounts receivable clerk in the Business Office from 1985 to 2001 and as Director of Student Accounts since 2001. She was the recipient of the 1997-1998 Outstanding Staff Award.

She received her associate’s degree in 1996 and a bachelor’s degree in Christian Education in 2000, both from McMurry.

She is an active member of St. James United Methodist Church as well as a volunteer for other local service organizations.

She came to McMurry from Roby, Texas, in 1967 and was a member of Theta Chi women’s social club. She married McMurry alumnus Terry Breeden ’72 in 1968. They have three children – Mindy, James and Sheila – and seven grandchildren.

John Harvey

John Harvey came to McMurry as the Director of Physical Plant in 2002 after careers in the Air Force and the City of Abilene. 

His background led him to take a more planned approach to facilities maintenance and he continued to push for a preventative maintenance plan during his tenure.  John always was on the lookout for ways to make the University more efficient and brought in several energy efficiency plans.  Those efforts were highlighted in 2013 when AEP presented the University with a check for over $57,000 in energy savings. 

John was also instrumental in establishing our environmental compliance plan.  Implementing that plan and learning the intricacies of Environmental Protection Agency compliance has made McMurry a safer place to work, protected the environment, and potentially saved the University thousands of dollars in fines and penalties from the EPA.

Rev. Bill Libby

Rev. Bill Libby has been at McMurry University since 1996. He began and coached the cross-country teams (1996-2003) and serves as assistant professor of religion from 1996 to the present. He will continue to teach as an assistant professor after retirement. He was the Director of Champs/Life Skills 2005- 2006, 2009 to present and McMurry Athletic Director from 2006-2009. He currently co-hosts the KWKC Talk Radio program “The Professors” with Dr. Paul Fabrizio. When he’s not in the classroom or on the radio, Rev. Libby is involved in ongoing summer archaeological work in Jordan.

After graduation from Texas A&M and Drew Theological School, Libby was ordained in the United Methodist Church and served as a Chaplain in the US Army from 1961 to 1996. His service included assignments in Europe, Asia, and the United States. During those years he also completed a degree in American Diplomatic History (Kansas State) and was admitted to the doctoral program in American Studies at the University of Maryland. Later he completed the US Army’s program in Organizational Behavior and the Executive Program in Human Resources Management at Columbia University. He concluded his military service by serving on the faculty of the National Defense University.

Among his awards is the 2004 Who’s Who Among American Teachers, ASC Cross Country Coach of the year in 1999 and in 2000, Outstanding Administrator of the Year 2000, Abilene Educational Council- The Arete Award 2002 and the Graduates Faculty Appreciation Award Class of 2005.

Dr. K.O. Long

Dr. K.O. Long has served as the Dean of the School of Business since 2005. He also served as associate professor of business administration from 2003 to the present and as an adjunct professor from 1979 to 2003.

Dr. Long is a 1970 McMurry graduate. He has been active in the community through service as Hendrick Medical Center Foundation Board of Directors chair from 2000-2002, a former member of the Board of Directors of the Abilene Cultural Affairs Council , West Texas Rehab Center , Rotary Club  (President 1989-1990), Abilene Chamber of Commerce, Better Business Bureau of Abilene, Paramount Theater, and Junior Achievement. He was named a McMurry Distinguished Alumnus in 2012.

K. O. is married to Marilyn and has a daughter Tracy Arnold, and her husband Eric, of Nashville, Tennessee;  a son, Scott Long and his wife, Meredith, of Dallas, Texas; and three grandchildren Griffin Arnold and Reese Arnold of Nashville, and Bennett Long of Dallas.

Major Alice Murphy

Major Alice Carol Murphy joined the nursing faculty of Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing two weeks after retiring from the United States Air Force Nurse Corps. For the last 15 years she has energetically and creatively participated in the education of professional nurses at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

A native New Yorker, Professor Murphy is a proud graduate of the New York City public school system, K-12.  She went on to graduate from the St. Barnabas Hospital School of Nursing, Augsburg College and the University of Minnesota School of Public Health in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Following a decade- long civilian nursing career in Minneapolis she joined the Air Force Nurse Corps serving stateside and in Saudi Arabia during the Gulf War.  She is a member of several professional nursing associations including the American Nurses Association and Faith Community Nurses International.  She is a Billye Brown and Virginia Henderson Fellow of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society of Nursing. 

During her tenure at Patty Hanks Shelton School of Nursing Professor Murphy taught Community and Public Health, Pediatrics, Childbearing and Childrearing, Leadership and Management, Health Care Missions, Faith Community Nursing, and Epidemiology. Most recently she was instrumental in designing the new Hardin Simmons University Public Health minor and taught the inaugural Introduction to Public Health course in Fall 2014.  Committed to the tenets of public health and diminishing health care disparities, she coordinated the PHSSN Childhood Immunization Program through the Texas Vaccine for Children Initiative and with her team is delivering thousands of vaccinations to rural West Texas children.

An avid traveler and mission team worker, Professor Murphy has participated in health care missions and cultural exchanges in Scotland, England, Mexico, Honduras, Norway, China, Haiti, Israel and most recently Cuba.

In retirement, she hopes to continue international mission work as well as faith community nursing in her Abilene home church, Antioch Christian Methodist Episcopal Church.  A committed lifelong learner she will begin her doctoral dissertation in June 2015 in pursuit of a PhD in Human Services Leadership.

Carole Ricketts

Carole Ricketts joined McMurry University in 2005 as Controller. She previously was employed as an accountant with the Community Foundation of Abilene, Randall W. Bibb, P.C., Wolfe & Roberson, CPA, and Davis Kinard & Co., P.C.

She graduated from Sam Houston State in 1976 with a degree in Spanish and earned her BBA in accounting (cum laude) from Abilene Christian University in 1981. She earned the CPA license in 1984.

She was ordained in the Episcopal Church in 2001 and served on the staff at Church of the Heavenly Rest until 2006. She is currently on inactive status. She served as a volunteer chaplain for Hendrick Hospice and has served as a board member for Breakfast on Beech Street, Abilene Adult Day Care, and Hope Haven of Abilene in addition to a variety of charitable organizations. 

She and her husband Bobby will be moving to Tyler, Texas upon retirement where they are building a new home.  They are parents of Alyssa and Will, and grandparents to Logan, Landon and Luke.

Bishop Dan Solomon

Bishop Dan E. Solomon became Bishop in Residence at McMurry University in 2000. He also serves as President of the Texas United Methodist College Association. Bishop Solomon is a retired bishop of The United Methodist Church. He served as bishop of the Oklahoma Area from 1988-96 and the Louisiana Area from 1996-2000. In his work with the general church, Bishop Solomon has served as president of the General Board of Global Ministries and has been a member of the Commission on Status and Role of Women and the General Board of Church and Society. In 2000, he served as president of the Louisiana Interchurch Conference. His publications include "Faith Home," "Cabinet," "The Pulpit," and "Christian Advocate."

Bishop Solomon graduated summa cum laude from McMurry University and "with honors" from the Perkins School of Theology, where he received his M.Div. and was named a distinguished alumnus in 1995. He earned a D.Min. from United Theological Seminary. He holds honorary doctorates from McMurry University, Oklahoma City University and Centenary College. In 2004 he was named a distinguished alumnus of McMurry University.

Golf, sports and exercise are primary relaxation pursuits. He has two sons and one daughter and five grandchildren.

Press Contact

Gary Ellison