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Alumni share the books, programs, and music that make them think – and dance

Richard Yeilding (LB ’85)
RBY Retail

Leaves From a President’s Notebook: Lessons on Life and Leadership, by Thomas K. Hearn Jr.

“Tom’s connection to Leadership Birmingham is significant. He was on the steering committee when Leadership Birmingham was brainstormed. He became president of Wake Forest University, and his record and achievements there are profound. My takeaway from the book was his constant reference to education being a ‘magic carpet ride’ to wherever a student wants to go in life. Or else, he says, one can put the carpet on the floor and buy drapes to match!”


Michele Jenkins-Utomi (LB ’06)
Relationship Manager, Community Development Banking
PNC Financial Services Group

“I’m listening to some great music. Download these and thank me later: Queen Omega is from Trinidad and Tobago. She has pipes! I love her sound. The single ‘Don’t Call Me Local’ is the bomb. ‘Horizon Red’ by mixologists Pete and Zoe Kypri is a beat, it’s a vibe, it’s a mood. The artist October London has a Marvin Gaye sound. You’ve probably heard ‘Back to Your Place,’ but listen to ‘Mulholland Drive’ featuring Snoop Dogg and LaToiya Williams. The music of Nigerian musician Fela Kuti lives on. He is an oldie but goldie. You will not sit down for most of his songs. I recommend starting with either ‘Water No Get Enemy’ or ‘Gentleman.’”


Natalie Davis (LB ’84)
Howell T. Heflin Professor Emerita of Political Science
Birmingham-Southern College

Necessary Trouble: Growing Up at Midcentury, by Drew Gilpin Faust

“This book is written by the former Harvard president, and it is her story of growing up in a conservative, wealthy Virginia family. A number of my friends who grew up over the mountain around the same time in the mid-1940s have told me similar stories.”

Barbie, directed by Greta Gerwig

“This movie is a lot of fun! I loved the moments where the audience applauded.”


Melvin Love (LB ’18)
Oxmoor Valley Elementary School 

Abbott Elementary, TV series

“Believe it or not, I am in love with this show. I love the way it shows a nontraditional school setting and engaged students. The teachers really take their jobs to heart. One of our employees said recently that our school operates similarly to Abbott. What a compliment!”