Contributors for the Fall 2009 Issue

Marshall Chapman

Marshall Chapman, BA’71, is a rocker, songwriter, author, and contributing editor of Garden & Gun magazine. Her first book, Goodbye, Little Rock and Roller, was a 2004 SEBA bestseller. She’s recorded 11 critically acclaimed albums. In 1994 she endowed the first basketball scholarship at Vanderbilt. “It was important that it be for the women’s team,” she says. “Vanderbilt didn’t have intercollegiate women’s sports when I was there. I was pre-Title IX.” She’s currently working on a new CD called Big Lonesome while awaiting the release of her second book, They Came to Nashville. To subscribe to her fan e-newsletter, go to

Randy Brooks

Randy Brooks, BA’70, appeared as a teenager on the Ted Mack Amateur Hour and has been an amateur ever since. He’s been a dinner-theater actor and traveling musician, and has entertained with USO companies in Vietnam, Thailand and Europe. These days he is a customer service supervisor at American Airlines’ headquarters. A member of Dallas trop-rock band The Bad Monkeys, Brooks has written many songs, but the one that pays the bills is a Christmas tune about a certain hapless grandmother.

Andrea Alvord

Andrea Alvord, BA’03, is a Navy SH-60B Seahawk helicopter pilot currently serving as flag aide to Commander Naval Air Force, Atlantic in Norfolk, Va. Alvord emigrated from Zimbabwe with her parents and younger sister, Nicola, BS’05, in 1988. During her tour with the “Proud Warriors” of HSL-42, Alvord made several deployments overseas in support of Operation Enduring Freedom, Operation Iraqi Freedom and counter-narcoterrorism operations.

Michael Sims

Michael Sims’ nonfiction books include the internationally acclaimed and widely translated Adam’s Navel; Apollo’s Fire, which NPR chose as a best science book of the year; and recently a companion book for the National Geographic Channel series In the Womb. His writing has appeared in many periodicals, including New Statesman, Orion, and The Chronicle of Higher Education, and he reviews regularly for The Washington Post. Sims has been featured on many TV and radio programs, from CBS’s Early Show and Inside Edition to BBC Radio’s Woman’s Hour.

Joanne Lamphere Beckham

Joanne Lamphere Beckham, BA’62, worked as an award-winning editor at Vanderbilt for more than 25 years. Since retiring from a full-time career in 2006, she has continued writing for various publications and has taught English as a Second Language. At Vanderbilt she earned her undergraduate degree in English, cum laude, and did graduate work at Peabody College and the Owen Graduate School of Management.

Additional Contributors: Carole Bartoo, John S. Beasley II, Craig Boerner, Joan Brasher, Thomas Davis, Angela Fox, Frye Gaillard, Carol Hamlett, Cornelia Heard, Joe Howell, Paul Kingsbury, Melanie Moran, Ann Marie Deer Owens, Jim Patterson, Lisa Robbins, David F. Salisbury, Bill Snyder, Cindy Thomsen, Susan Ford Wiltshire, Amy Wolf, Nicholas S. Zeppos

Explore Story Topics