2016 Outstanding Alumni

September 16, 2016

Congratulations to the 2016 Outstanding Alumni!

This year Donoho will honor Daniel H. White from the class of 1985, Daphne Mobley Johnston from the class of 1995, Anna Moore Clifton from the class of 1996, and Eric L. Wallace from the class of 1998.

While this year's recipients span backgrounds ranging from medical research to education to community outreach, they all share a passion for providing leadership in making positive changes in the world.

In her capacity as the executive director of the Respite Ministry at the First United Methodist Church in Montgomery, Johnston has served more than 200 patients with Alzheimer’s disease in a little more than five years. She’s also trained more than 400 volunteers throughout Alabama to deal with Alzheimer’s, and is currently working to build a state coalition of volunteers with the UAB Neurology Department.

The oldest of the alumni, White, is the founder, president and CEO of Clearside Biomedical, a company specializing in developing drug therapies to treat blinding diseases of the eye. The company has raised more than $105 million to perform drug development in three programs.

Wallace, the youngest of the alumni, is also working in the medical field as a part of the research faculty at UAB. Dr. Wallace’s research has focused on the problems of geographical and socioeconomic barriers preventing patients from getting the care they need. Wallace’s research into providing home dialysis through telemedicine and telemonitoring technologies established him on the American Society of Nephrology Kidney Health Initiative.

Away from the medical field, Clifton currently serves as the assistant superintendent of teaching and learning at Carrollton City Schools in Georgia. Overseeing a $45 million budget for a school system of 5000 students, Clifton’s leadership improved AdvancED accreditation results in Carrollton in areas of teaching and learning by more than 21 percent over the average score of other districts in the region.

Ask any of the alumni where their passions for being leaders started, and the answer is the same.

“My experience at Donoho was the foundation of my leadership career,” Johnston said. “The faculty truly wanted us to succeed and used every tool to draw out our individual talents just as good leaders do with those they serve.”

White, whose mother Jo Anne White taught first grade for more than 30 years at Donoho, said the school provided an opportunity to flourish in a small community with ample support, which he might not have received at larger public schools.

Clifton said whenever she’s asked why she chose to work in education her mind “races back to Donoho teachers who every single day gave me their very best.”

“The teachers here opened our minds to explore the insanely impossible,” Clifton said. “Our minds were fertilized daily with the challenge to think beyond what’s possible.”

Again, congratulations to the 2016 Outstanding Alumni!