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Notable Alumni

  • Charles Ries 1968
    Charles Ries 1968Charles Ries was the U.S. Ambassador to Greece from 2004-2007. He served as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for European Affairs from 2000-2004, overseeing U.S.-European Union economics, energy, and public diplomacy. He has also served as the United States Minister for Economic Affairs and Coordinator for Economic Transition in Iraq, serving at American Embassy Baghdad.

  • Roy Kim 2012
    Roy Kim won Korea’s hit TV show Superstar K4. The prize included $500,000, professional music production, a Nissan Cube, and the opportunity to perform at the Mnet Asian Music Awards. He received Mnet’s Booming Star and Hot Music Cover awards, and has been at the top of Korean pop music charts.
  • Jennifer Pharr-Davis 2001
    Jennifer Pharr-Davis held the record for the fastest thru hike of the Appalachian Trail with a time of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes from 2011 to 2015. Today, she holds the women’s record for the fastest thru hike. She has written two memoirs: Becoming Odyssa and Called Again.

  • Amy Bellamy Young 1987
    Amy Bellamy Young is an actress best known for her role as First Lady Mellie Grant on ABC’s political drama series Scandal. She can also be seen on CBS’ Criminal Minds and had previously appeared on shows such as Scrubs, CSI: Miami and Dirty Sexy Money.

  • James Hormel 1950
    James Hormel was the first openly gay person to serve as a United States Ambassador. He was appointed by President Bill Clinton in 1999 to be the Ambassador to Luxembourg. He is the grandson of George A. Hormel, founder of Hormel Foods.



  • Roberts S. Blossom 1942
    Actor and poet. Career highlights from 50 years on stage and in movies include four Obie awards, roles in many movies including Slaughterhouse Five (1972), The Great Gatsby (1974), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Escape from Alcatraz (1979), The Quick and The Dead (1995) and Home Alone (1990). As a poet, has published six books. Brother, Douglas 1941, also attended Asheville School.
  • Allen C. Mayer 1940
    Retired Vice President and Chairman of Oscar Mayer & Co.




  • Ralph E. Garner 1970
    President of T.W. Garner Food Company, primarily known for the hot sauce “Texas Pete” and Garners jams, jellies and
    preserves.


  • The Firestone Family
    Harvey S. Firestone Sr., founder of Firestone Tires and former Asheville School Trustee had three sons to attend Asheville School. Harvey S. Firestone Jr. 1916, Vice President of Firestone Tires, Roger Firestone 1931 and Russell Firestone 1919. Three great-grandsons, Layton Register 1981, Charles Thiel 1989 and Geoff Gordon-Creed 1980, also attended Asheville School. Another member of the Firestone family, Robert D. Thomas 1927 became the President of Firestone Tire & Rubber Company.

  • David Rickenbacker 1944 And Brother, William Rickenbacker 1945
    Sons of Board of Trustee member Eddie Rickenbacker who was best known as a World War I fighter ace. He was also a race car driver and automotive designer, a government consultant in military matters and a pioneer in air transportation. During his lifetime, Rickenbacker worked with many influential civilian and military leaders. He had keen insight into technology, and vision for future improvements. Among other events, he participated in or observed Armistice Day on the Western Front and the Hindenburg explosion.
  • Leslie Ann Keller 1977
    Leslie Ann Keller
    Artist and poet, Bright Clearing at Hemlock studio, Asheville. Recently Keller has completed a manuscript titled "The Art of Burgeoning: The Creativity Connection in Science, Art and Nature.” This manuscript is required reading for The Creativity Connection course she teaches through the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement on the campus of the University of North Carolina, Asheville. She has also authored Artisi e Arazzi del Novecento (Textile Artists of the Twentieth Century), published by Electa - Milan, Italy.

  • Pete Dye Jr. 1944
    Pete Dye Jr.
    World-renowned golf course designer, author of Bury Me in a Pot Bunker. Among the golf courses he has designed are Oak Tree in Oklahoma City, The Johns Island Club in Vero Beach, the Harbortown Golf Course in Hilton Head, The Saw Grass Course in Ponte Vedra and the Ocean Course in Kiawah.

  • Edward L. Gaylord 1937
    Edward_L._Gaylord_1937.jpg
    Businessman, publisher, media mogul. Assumed leadership of Oklahoma Publishing after the death of his father in 1974, and expanded the business into a media empire which included The Daily Oklahoman newspaper, radio stations, Gaylord Hotels, the Nashville Network TV Channel (later renamed "SpikeTV" after it was sold), the Grand Ole Opry, and the Country Music Television Channel (CMT). Gaylord graduated from Stanford University with a degree in business and continued his studies at Harvard Business School before World War II interrupted his education. Ed passed away in 2003. Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where the Oklahoma Sooners play, is named in honor of his family’s contributions to Oklahoma.

  • Edward B. Danson Ph.D. 1934
    Edward B. Danson Ph.D., 1934
    President of the Board of Trustees, former Director of the Museum of Northern Arizona. An anthropologist and archaeologist (and father of actor Ted Danson), he was also Secretary of the Interior's Advisory Board on National Parks from 1958-64, was given the Department of the Interior Conservation Award in 1986, and is remembered with the Edward B. Danson Distinguished Associate Award, given annually by the Southwest Parks and Monuments Association.

  • Herbert F. Johnson Jr. 1918 And Samuel C. Johnson 1946
    Herbert F. Johnson
    Third and fourth generation executives of S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., manufacturer of consumer,
    commercial and specialty chemicals and sanitation services. Commonly known as S.C. Johnson Wax. Brands include Future, Brite, Step Saver, Klear, Glo-Coat, Fine Wood, Pledge, Duster Plus, Klean 'n Shine, Jubilee, Glory, Shout, Glade, Aveeno, Raid, Off! and others.

  • Leigh H. Perkins 1946Leigh H. Perkins
    President, CEO and owner of The Orvis Company, preeminent maker of fly-fishing tackle, wingshooting clothing and shotguns, traditional country clothing, artwork and unique giftware. Two brothers, Jacob 1932 and Ralph 1934, and his father, Ralph 1905, also attended Asheville School.

  • Stephen A. Jarislowsky 1942Stephen A. Jarislowsky
    Stephen A. Jarislowsky was the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer and former President of the Jarislowsky, Fraser & Company Ltd. for 40 years. He directed the growth of the company to become one of the largest and most successful investment management firms in Canada, managing assets of more than $54 billion. In 2005, he published The Investment Zoo: Taming the Bulls and the Bears (co-written with Craig Toomey), which sold more than 15,000 copies in Quebec and pushed the French edition of The Da Vinci Code out of the top position on the bestseller list.

  • William A.V. Cecil, Jr. 1977
    William A.V. Cecil, Jr.
    President & CEO of The Biltmore Company, great-grandson of George W. Vanderbilt, son of the current owner of the Biltmore Estate, which Bill co-directs with his sister, Diana C. Pickering.
  • Marisha A. Pessl 1995
    Marisha A. Pessl, 1995
    Published her first novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, an intellectual mystery set in a North Carolina private school in August 2006, which made the New York Times “Top 5 Best Books of 2006 – Fiction” list. Sister, Elke 1992, also attended Asheville School.

  • Dr. D. Ralph Millard 1937
    Dr. D. Ralph Millard
    One of the 10 surgeons nominated “Plastic Surgeons of the Millennium” in 2000 by the American Society of Plastic Surgery. A pioneer in techniques of rhinoplasty and cleft palate surgery, “he has virtually established the modern American school of plastic surgery" (Wolfe, Plastic Surgery of the Facial Skeleton, 1989). Brother, Hamilton 1937, also attended Asheville School.

  • George M. Studebaker Jr. 1906
    George M. Studebaker Jr.
    Son of the founder of The Studebaker Corporation, maker of the Studebaker Electric Automobile (1902).



  • J. C. Penney Jr. 1923
    J. C. Penney Jr. 1923
    Son of the founder of JCPenney stores.







  • William E. Kimberly 1951
    William E. Kimberly
    Great-grandson of one of the founders of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Retired as Senior Vice President with profit responsibility for Eastern Hemisphere.



  • Richard H. Kimberly 1954
    Richard H. Kimberly
    Great-grandson of one of the founders of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Past Vice President; retired after 40 years. Presently serves as the principal of Kimberly Consulting in Washington, D.C., a government affairs, business consulting and lobbying firm representing Kimberly-Clark Corp. at the federal and international levels, as well as other business and charitable clients.

  • John R. Kimberly 1948
    John R. Kimberly, 1948
    Great-grandson of one of the founders of Kimberly-Clark Corporation. Planner with Kimberly Mill in Neenah, Wis., Retired President of Resource Recovery Corp in Seattle, Wash., a hazardous waste collection and transportation firm.

  • James H. Kimberly 1927
    James H. Kimberly
    Race car driver and a member of the Kimberly family of the Kimberly-Clark company (his grandfather was one of the founders). Retired from the family business in the mid 1960s. Brands include Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Cottonelle and Depends. Nephews John R. Kimberly 1948, Richard H. Kimberly 1954 and William E. Kimberly 1951 also attended Asheville School.
  • Edmund F. Ball 1923
    Edmund F. Ball
    President and Chairman of Ball Corporation, a one time a family-owned, mid-west manufacturing company making only glass jars for home canning and food products, today one of the world’s largest packaging companies supplying metal and plastic beverage and food containers from plants around the world. Ball Corporation also has a wholly-owned aerospace business that supplies NASA and the Department of Defense. Sons Fred ’64 and Robert ’71, nephews John W. Fisher III ’71, Jeffrey E. Fisher ‘64, and James A. Fisher ’64 (current Board of Trustees) are proud to be a part of the Asheville School legacy.
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