“I attended five colleges and universities, but the [King’s] academy remains first in my heart.” – Dr. Robert W. Posey (TKA Class of 1942) Retired Dean Eastern Kentucky University
The King’s Academy Alumni
The esteemed alumni of The King’s Academy are at once the past, present and future of TKA. Upon graduation, TKA alumni go out into the world to achieve great success in diverse industries and endeavors, well equipped to stand strong in their Christian beliefs while achieving career and family goals. Despite the many demands for their time and attention, TKA alumni selflessly invest time and talent back into the academy, ensuring the opportunity for future generations to join their ranks. We are honored to call them alumni and friend.
Get to Know The King’s Academy Alumni
Outstanding Alumni of 2013:
Pauline Tibbetts (’45) and Tom Shen (’73)
The King’s Academy named prominent Florida business leader Pauline Enix Tibbetts and California banking software executive Tsu-Hung (“Tom”) Shen as 2013 Outstanding Alumni during campus Alumni Day festivities May 4. Alumni Director Dan Kirkpatrick coordinated alumni activities for the annual event.
Both recipients graduated when the school was known exclusively as Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy. Today the HCBA corporation does business as The King’s Academy, Bible Training Center and Chilhowee Retreat Center.
Outstanding Alumni awards are based on outstanding achievement, service to God and service to others. In announcing the honorees, Academy President Walter Grubb said, “Our 2013 recipients have truly inspirational life stories. It is an honor to affirm these two leaders in this way. Polly Tibbetts and Tom Shen are two people who would not seek this kind of public recognition. That makes them all the more worthy. They are also alumni who love and support this school.”
Tibbetts was present for the presentation, but was not aware the honor was to be bestowed upon her. She was visibly moved by the announcement. Shen was on a business trip and was unable to attend the ceremony.
Pauline Enix was one of six children living in Harlan, Kentucky, in the early 1940’s. Her mother died giving birth to the seventh child, and her father died a year later, “Polly” and her sister, Alta, ages six and eight, began a journey that separated them from their siblings. The eldest sister lived in Indiana. Two older brothers looked to the United States armed forces for stability and security, and to serve their country. An aunt in Arizona took the youngest boy and a girl. Grace Nettleton Home for Girls in Harrogate, Tennessee, became home for Polly and Alta.
In 1942, as Polly approached her high school years, a Baptist preacher arranged for the girls to move to Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy. They arrived in 1942. With nowhere else to go, the girls lived on campus year-round, accelerating their high school coursework and completing their graduation requirements in three years.
Nonetheless, Polly made time for co-curricular activities and leadership roles. She was class secretary-treasurer two years, Young Women’s Auxiliary secretary three years, and played a role in the class play three years.
She helped earn her tuition by working in the cafeteria. The late William F. Hall was a favorite teacher, encouraging her to overcome her natural shyness and become involved in student activities. She also remembers fondly English Teacher Pauline Clark, daughter of Academy President and Mrs. Roy Anderson.
After her academy graduation in 1945, Polly attended one semester at Carson-Newman College. Then life took another dramatic change. First, Polly terminated her college career to care for her older sister in Indiana who was ill. Then, the aunt in Arizona needed someone else to care for the two younger siblings. The older boys finished their military careers, and the eldest, Clyde, invited them all to move to St. Petersburg, Florida, and live under one roof. Polly, then 19, became the matriarch of the family. She was “mother” to the two youngest children, whom she had not seen since they were very young. The brothers worked to provide financial support and the siblings lived together, taking care of each other in unique fashion.
While Polly was cooking, washing and managing the home, she met Linton Tibbetts. They were married Easter Sunday 1948, in a double ceremony with her sister, Alta, and Alta’s husband, Jack. Polly and Linton each brought into the relationship a solid commitment to hard work and a deep appreciation for family relationships. As children were born, they were raised in a Christian atmosphere and, in turn, instilled with the same values that carried their parents through difficult times. Today the Tibbetts family is widely respected in Florida and the Cayman Islands for their leadership, service and philanthropy.
Linton Tibbetts had arrived in St. Petersburg from the Cayman Islands with $16 in his pocket in 1943. After serving in the U.S. military during World War II, he worked in the local building trades. He borrowed $1,500 to purchase a six-year-old lumber company from T.T. Cox in 1948. Cox Lumber grew to the point that it was purchased by Home Depot in 2006. Linton passed away in 2011.
While successful by worldly standards, Pauline Tibbetts is quick to say her greatest legacy is her family. Attending the alumni ceremony with Pauline Tibbetts were her sister, Alta Mae Enix Hurlston (’46) of St. Petersburg, Florida, and her daughters, Mary Tibbetts Brandes of St. Petersburg, Florida, and Donna Tibbetts Hooker of Maryville, Tennessee. Sadly, Polly’s two sons, David and Daniel, passed away in 2001 and 2006, respectively. Polly says she also enjoys her nine grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
She enjoys traveling, and has been named a Kentucky Colonel. She is a member of Starkey Road Baptist Church, in Seminole, Florida.
President Grubb presented the award to Tibbetts, saying, “It is our privilege, our responsibility, to affirm the generosity, perseverance, faithfulness, grace and love of this truly remarkable woman.”
“Banking software developer Tom Shen of Calabasas, California, is one of the most highly skilled business leaders I have ever met,” Grubb said. “He loves the Lord, he loves this academy, and I am privileged to call him my friend.”
Born in Taiwan, Shen came to the academy as an international boarding student, graduating in 1973. After attending the University of Tennessee and the University of California at Los Angeles, he immersed himself in banking technology and has been involved in a number of related ventures.
Shen was Founder, Chairman, CEO and President of Software Dynamics, Inc. He sold SDI in 2001 to S1 Corporation, a leading global provider to more than 4,000 financial institutions. He served as General Manager with S1 for 2 years, and retired in September 2003. In his retirement, he graduated Summa Cum Laude from The Master’s College with a bachelor’s degree in Christian Ministries. In 2005, he joined Digital Insight, an Internet banking and payments provider of on-demand services.
Today Shen is focused on his newest start-up company, Malauzai Software, Inc., based in Austin, Texas. Malauzai focuses on SmartDevice Apps for community banks and credit unions.
In 2006, Shen endowed a scholarship fund at the academy to honor “Mama Cates,” an academy staff member who encouraged him when he was a student.
Shen is Co-Chair of the academy’s Celebrating Our Past—Together—Building Our Future capital campaign to expand and enhance the academy’s facilities. He is excited about the future direction of the academy.
He is active within his church, the Community Christian Alliance Church, where he contributes in teaching, mentoring, and growth group ministries. The Shens have three adult children.
Outstanding Alumni of 2012:
Virginia Sutton Dillon (’56) and Tim Page (’55)
Virginia Sutton was very active as a Chilhowee student. She was in the Beta Club and served on the Baptist Student Union Council and Chatter (newspaper) staff. She also sang in the academy choir, and accompanied the choir on the piano for Miss Lambert.
In her senior year she was runner-up for Miss Chilhowee.
After attending Carson-Newman College for a time, she began teaching music in Copper Hill, Tennessee. It was there she met Norman Dillon, and they married in 1959.
She subsequently completed her bachelor’s degree and then earned her master’s at Tennessee Technological University in Cookeville.
She and Norman taught school in Irvington, Kentucky, where he also coached basketball.
In 1965 they moved to Byrdstown in Picket County, Tennessee, where Virginia taught both elementary and high school music. Her high school choral group traveled extensively, and performed on the well-known television program Hee Haw.
In 1972 Norman took the position of high school principal in Charleston, Tennessee, in Bradley County. Virginia became music teacher at Oak Grove and Prospect Elementary Schools, and received Teacher of the Year honors for her service there. Norman retired in 1990 and Virginia retired in 1991.
The Dillons have two children, Regina and Harry, who are both educators and coaches. Regina is in her 31st year of teaching English at Bradley County Central High School. Harry teaches and coaches football and baseball at Walker Valley High School. Norman and Virginia have three grandchildren: Kellen, who teaches and coaches at Bradley Central; Jackie, who teaches 2nd Grade in Murfreesboro; and Cal, who attends Bradley Central.
Virginia Sutton Dillon has spent her life loving and caring for her family, and serving actively in her church. She is known for her servant’s heart, often cooking and preparing food for others, especially those who were sick or grieving. She presently attends First Baptist Church in Calhoun, Tennessee, where she has taught Sunday School. She has directed music in several churches in her area.
Virginia also loves her alma mater. Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy holds a special place in her heart.
When Tim Page, graduate in the Class of 1955, arrived at Chilhowee, he was, as he says, a “wet-behind-the-ears,” scared little boy. A lifelong relationship was established instantly that very first day. The academy’s beloved Polly Clark put her arm around that boy and assured him that everything was going to be all right. He never forgot that gesture of love.
And it was Mrs. Clark’s love, coupled with Principal and Boys Dorm Director York Stewart’s “board of education” and “in-your-face, be-a-man” encouragement, that nurtured this frail little boy into a solid football player and four-year member in the letterman’s club, including one year as the club president.
He literally “grew up” on this campus, fully immersed in the Chilhowee experience. During his years here there was a softening of the rigid walls he had put up around his heart as a child. By the time he was a graduating senior, he had earned the title “Mr. Chilhowee.”
However, that rough exterior can still surface today if Tim observes someone perpetrating an injustice on someone else. Pity the guilty party!
Chilhowee left an indelible impression on his life. It gave him his faith, which, in turn, provided him the confidence to marry and raise two godly children, the strength to endure the death of his first wife, and the openness to marry again.
Tim Page has spent a lifetime giving back, to the Lord and to the academy.
- He has served multiple terms on the academy’s Board of Trustees, always being the visionary, thinking outside the box, and initiating stimulating discussions about how to make the academy a better school.
- He is ever present at alumni events where he fills the room with laughter and joy.
- He led the campaign to restore our cupola.
- He built a highly respected and successful construction business.
- He serves in leadership roles in his church, Grace Baptist Church of Knoxville.
- And when Chilhowee’s beloved matriarch Polly Clark was languishing in a ward of a Maryville nursing home, depressed and lonely, it was Tim Page who came to her rescue, stepping in to correct an injustice and enable her to spend her final days in the comfort of her own home. It was a surprise to no one but Tim that Mrs. Clark affirmed his gestures of love by endowing an academy scholarship in his name in her estate plans.
Outstanding Alumni of 2011:
Dr. D. Carter Davis (’59) and Charlotte Jones Davis (’59)
The International Alumni Association of Harrison-Chilhowee Baptist Academy, doing business as The King’s Academy since 1993, named retired missionaries Dr. D. Carter and Charlotte Jones Davis as Outstanding Alumni of 2011 during Alumni Day festivities in May. The Davis’, both members of the academy’s Class of 1959, reside in Knoxville, TN, following thirty-two years of service in the West Indies and South America.The annual awards are based on outstanding achievement, support for the academy, service to God and service to others.
In announcing the honorees, Academy President Walter Grubb said, “Carter and Charlotte Davis have cheerfully given a major portion of their lives to others in the name of Christ. It is an honor for us to recognize them in this way.” Read Full Article Here.