Asheville School



Notable Alumni

Amy "Bellamy" Young 1987

Amy "Bellamy" Young 1987 is an actress best known for her role as First Lady Mellie Grant on ABC’s political drama series Scandal. She has had numerous other television and film roles on shows including Criminal Minds, Scrubs, CSI: Miami and Dirty Sexy Money.

Charles Ries 1968

Charles Ries 1968 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 the American Embassy in Baghdad.

Jennifer Pharr-Davis 2001

Jennifer Pharr-Davis 2001 set the record for the fastest thru hike of the Appalachian Trail with a time of 46 days, 11 hours, and 20 minutes in 2011. She has written two memoirs: Becoming Odyssa and Called Again.

James Hormel 1950

James Hormel 1950 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. Hormel was awarded the Asheville School Award of Merit in 2015.

Marisha A. Pessl 1995

Marisha A. Pessl 1995 is an author whose best-selling novel, Special Topics in Calamity Physics, made the New York Times "Top 5 Best Books of 2006 --Fiction" list. Pessl's sister, Elke Pessl 1992, also attended Asheville School.

Dr. D. Ralph Millard 1937

Dr. D. Ralph Millard 1937 was one of 10 surgeons nominated “Plastic Surgeons of the Millennium” by the American Society of Plastic Surgery in 2000. Millard was 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). His brother, Hamilton Millard 1937, also attended Asheville School. Dr. Millard was awarded the Asheville School Award of Merit in 1978.

George M. Studebaker Jr. 1906

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

Harvey S. Firestone Jr. 1916,

The Firestone Family: Harvey S. Firestone Sr., founder of Firestone Tires and former Asheville School Trustee, had three sons who attended Asheville School: Vice President of Firestone Tires Harvey S. Firestone Jr. 1916Roger Firestone 1931 and Russell Firestone 1919. Three great-grandsons, Layton Register 1981Charles 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.

Ralph E. Garner 1970

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

William Rickenbacker 1945 and David Rickenbacker 1944

William Rickenbacker 1945 and David Rickenbacker 1944 were 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.

Leslie Ann Keller 1977

Leslie Ann Keller 1977 is an artist and poet. She wrote The Art of Burgeoning: The Creativity Connection in Science, Art and Nature-- required reading for her course at 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).

Albert W. Sherer, Jr. 1934 was a career diplomat who specialized in Eastern Europe. He served as an ambassador to Togo, Guinea, Equatorial Guinea and Czechoslovakia. In 1975, he helped draft the human-rights agreement that became known as the Helsinki Accords. Sherer recieved the Asheville School Award of Merit in 1979.

H.C. Robbins Landon 1943
Landon was an American musicologist whose research helped to restore many of Haydn's works to the active repertory after more than a century of neglect, and whose popular books about Mozart countered many popular myths about that composer's life. He credited his Asheville School music teacher, Mathias Cooper, with inspiring his life’s work. The zenith of his work on the composer is "Haydn: Chronicle and Works," published in five volumes between 1976 and 1980. He provided commentary for BBC orchestral broadcasts, was a musical correspondent for the Times of London, and held teaching positions at Queens College, New York; the University of California, Davis; and the University of Wales, Cardiff.

Pete Dye Jr. 1944

Pete Dye Jr. 1944 designed world-renowned golf courses, including 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. He also wrote Bury Me in a Pot Bunker. Dye was awarded the Asheville School Award of Merit in 2002.

Frederick F. Wherry 1990

Frederick F. Wherry 1990 is a professor of sociology at Princeton University. He serves as the department representative for the Department of Sociology, and he has served as vice-president and president of the Social Science History Association. He has edited and co-edited many works, including Money Talks: How Money Really Works and The Sage Encyclopedia of Economics and Society: Volumes 1-4
Photo: Michael Marsland.

Edward L. Gaylord 1937

Edward L. Gaylord 1937 was a businessman, publisher and media mogul. He 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. The Gaylord Family Oklahoma Memorial Stadium, where the Oklahoma Sooners play, is named in honor of his family’s contributions to Oklahoma. Gaylord was awarded the Asheville School Award of Merit in 2002.

Roberts S. Blossom 1942

Roberts S. Blossom 1942 was an actor and poet. His career highlights from 50 years on stage and in movies include four Obie awards and 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). He published six books of poetry. His brother, Douglas Blossom 1941, also attended Asheville School.

Alden P. Yates 1946

Alden P. Yates 1946 began his 36-year career with the Bechtel Corporation as a field engineer in 1953. In 1983 he was named president and COO of the Bechtel parent company, Bechtel Group, Inc. Yates was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 1986, and he was a was also a member of the Conference Board, the advisory council of Stanford University School of Engineering; the California Business Roundtable; and the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Allen C. Mayer 1940

Allen C. Mayer 1940 served as the Vice President and Chairman of Oscar Mayer & Co.

Herbert Johnson
Sam Johnson

Herbert F. Johnson Jr. 1918 And Samuel C. Johnson 1946 were the third and fourth generation executives of S.C. Johnson & Son Inc., manufacturer of consumer, commercial and specialty chemicals and sanitation services. 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 1946

Leigh H. Perkins 1946 served as 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 Perkins 1932 and Ralph Perkins, Jr. 1934, and his father, Ralph Perkins 1905, also attended Asheville School.

Langdon Gilkey 1936

Langdon Gilkey 1936 was an eminent Protestant theologian who wrote of the relevance of God in a "time of troubles." He authored hundreds of articles and about 20 books, the most read of which was "Shantung Compound: The Story of Men and Women Under Pressure"—a narration of his departure from the liberal Protestant belief system during WWII when he was a prisoner of war in a Japanese internment camp in China. Long based at the University of Chicago, his career also touched on aspects of the civil rights era, Vatican II reforms and the controversy over creationism and evolution. His testimony in a landmark 1981 case affecting Arkansas public schools helped end a state requirement that gave creation science "parallel treatment" with evolution.

Stephen A. Jarislowsky 1942

Stephen A. Jarislowsky 1942 served Jarislowsky, Fraser & Company for 40 years as chairman, CEO and president. 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.

William A.V. Cecil, Jr. William A.V. Cecil, Jr. 1977 is the great-grandson of George W. Vanderbilt and has served as president and CEO of The Biltmore Company, which he co-directs with his sister, Diana C. Pickering. His father, longtime owner of the Biltmore Company William A.V. Cecil, Sr., served on the Asheville School Board of Trustees.

Reuben B. Robertson, Jr. + Presdident Eisenhower

Reuben B. Robertson, Jr., 1926

Reuben B. Robertson, Jr. ’26 was the President of Champion Paper & Fibre Co., which had a large paper and pulp mill in Canton, NC. He then went to the Yale Sheffield Scientific School to study chemical engineering in preparation for his career at Champion. 

Reuben started his formal Champion career at the Canton mill in the fall of 1930.  After 8 years in Canton, Reuben moved to Champion’s headquarters in Ohio, where he rose rapidly through the management ranks to become President in 1950, succeeding his father.

During World War II, Reuben, Jr. joined the Army as a Captain and rose to Lieutenant Colonel by the end of the War.  After several other government stints, Reuben was nominated in 1955 by President Dwight Eisenhower to be Deputy Secretary of Defense.  Reuben served in the Defense Department until 1957, when he resigned to return to his position as Champion’s President.  In 1960, he was struck and killed by a drunk driver.  At the time, Reuben was also on the board of Duke University and the boards of B.F. Goodrich and Proctor & Gamble.

Jose Gonzalez 1985

Jose Gonzalez 1985 was appointed as Mexico's Minister of Finance under President Peña Nieto. He previously served as the CEO of Petróleos Mexicanos, more commonly known as PEMEX, and he has served as the Director General of the Mexican Institute of Social Security and as Undersecretary of Income in the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit. Gonzalez also worked as a professor at Stanford University and as the Senior Economist for Bolivia, Paraguay, and Peru at the World Bank.

Phil Bruch 1941

Phil Bruch 1941 volunteered for the Civil Air Patrol (CAP) during World War II. The CAP was an organization of volunteer aviators created by the U.S. as a response to menacing Nazi U-boats that were threatening and disrupting America’s crucial oil shipments in the early days of our country’s involvement in the war. Phil joined the CAP and flew many missions, spotting enemy subs in the Gulf of Mexico and in the Atlantic. For his meritorious service, Phil received a Presidential citation and Air Medal from Harry Truman. In a ceremony in Washington, D.C. in December of 2014, Congress issued its highest award – The Congressional Gold Medal – to the CAP. Phil’s personal medal was presented posthumously to his widow, Devereaux.

Levin H. Campbell 1944

Honorable Judge Levin H. Campbell 1944 was confirmed to serve on the First Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in 1972. He served as Chief Judge from 1983 to 1990 and assumed senior status in 1992. Campbell graduated from Harvard College and Harvard Law School. In addition to numerous judicial positions, he served as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army (1951-54), was elected as a state representative of Massachusetts (1963-4), and served in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office (1965-1968). Campbell was awarded the Asheville School Award of Merit in 1982.

Perla Haney-Jardine 2015

Perla Haney-Jardine 2015 is an actress best known for her roles in Steve Jobs (2015), FutureWeather (2012), Spider-Man 3 (2007) and Kill Bill: Vol 2 (2004).

Edward B. Danson 1934

Edward B. Danson 1934 was the President of the Board of Trustees and 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.

Edmund F. Ball 1923

Edmund F. Ball 1923 was the president and chairman of Ball Corporation, a family-owned, manufacturing company making glass jars for home canning and food products. The Ball Corporation grew into one of the world’s largest packaging companies, supplying metal and plastic beverage and food containers from plants around the world. Edmund Ball received the Asheville School Award of Merit in 1972. Sons Fred Ball 1964 and Robert Ball 1971, and nephews John W. Fisher III 1971Jeffrey E. Fisher 1964, and James A. Fisher 1964 also attended Asheville School.

Dr. Reuben A. Holden 1936

Dr. Reuben A. Holden 1936 served as secretary of the corporation of Yale University and as the president of Warren Wilson College from 1971 to 1986. Holden also served on the Asheville School Board of Trustees and received the Asheville School Award of Merit in 1976.

Edmund A. "Ned" Prentis III 1942 and Edmund A. "Ted" Prentis IV 1967

Edmund A. "Ned" Prentis III 1942 and Edmund A. "Ted" Prentis IV 1967 were avid croquet players who were both inducted into the United States Croquet Association Hall of Fame. Ned Prentis served as treasurer for the international engineering company, Spencer, White and Prentis, Inc. Alongside his son Ted, Ned was a two-time winner of the Croquet National Doubles Championships, and he played twice on the United States Croquet Team. Ted Prentis was the world's first full time croquet professional. He won eight United States Croquet Association titles (including four National Doubles Championships) and three National Club Team Championships, and he was an eight time member of the United States National Team.

J. C. Penney III 1923

J. C. Penney III 1923 was the son of the founder of JCPenney stores.

The Kimberly Family 
John A. Kimberly, a founder of the Kimberly-Clark company, had one of his grandsons and three of his great-grandsons attend Asheville School. Kimberly-Clark brands include Kleenex, Scott, Huggies, Cottonelle and Depends.
James H. Kimberly James Kimberly 1927 was a race car driver active with the Sports Car Club of America (SCCA). He was an SCCA National Champion and served on their Board of Directors, and the SCCA award, the Kimberly Cup Most Improved Driver, is named after him. 
John R. Kimberly, Jr. 1948 spent the bulk of his career as a planner with Kimberly MillJohn R. Kimberly, 1948 and as President of Resource Recovery Corp, a hazardous waste collection and transportation firm.
William E. Kimberly 1951 William E. Kimberly had a 23-year career with Kimberly-Clark, retiring in 1982 as Senior Vice President with profit responsibility for the Eastern Hemisphere. After he retired from Kimberly-Clark, he started NAZTEC--an investment banking and consulting firm.
Richard H. Kimberly 1954 Richard H. Kimberly served as the Vice President of Kimberly-Clark and the principal of Kimberly Consulting in Washington, D.C.

Asheville School - Alumni