Special celebration marks Dr. Tydings’ decade leading Athens Technical College
Athens Technical College President Flora W. Tydings was surprised and deeply moved by an August 22 celebration that faculty and staff arranged to honor her 10th anniversary as president of the college.
The celebration followed the first-ever Student Success Summit at the college and the kick-off for the annual Athens Tech Foundation Legacy employee fundraising campaign which were held in the auditorium of the Easom building for all faculty and staff. At the conclusion of the Legacy presentation, foundation director Liz Dalton invited Dr. Tydings to the stage where she was greeted with a surprise appearance by her family and friends, as well as members of the Athens Technical College Board of Directors and members of the Athens Tech Foundation board.
Among the guests were Athens-Clarke Mayor Nancy Denson, who then stepped to the lectern and read a proclamation recognizing Dr. Tydings’ decade as president of the college. As Mayor Denson read the proclamation, Dr. Tydings stood at the side wiping away tears. The framed proclamation is signed by the mayor and highlights Dr. Tydings’ educational background, her awards and accomplishments, her volunteer efforts, and more. In it, the mayor also offers “sincere and heartfelt congratulations and gratitude for (Dr. Tydings’) many contributions to our community, and the State of Georgia.”
Athens-Clarke Chief Magistrate Judge Patricia Barron, outgoing chairwoman of the Athens Technical College Board of Directors, also addressed the crowd and offered her insights and praise by outlining Dr. Tydings’ leadership assets. Judge Barron noted that three important qualities — leadership skills, listening ability, and love — define great leaders. Judge Barron described how Dr. Tydings epitomizes all those characteristics in her work on behalf of the college, its students, and its faculty and staff. The judge also hailed Dr. Tydings dedication to the community, her hard work, and her humility, demonstrated by the president’s consistent practice of crediting the faculty and staff for the accomplishments of the college.
Ed Graham, chairman of the Athens Tech Foundation, also spoke, and he emphasized not only Dr. Tydings’ understanding of and involvement with the needs of employers, but also her role as an effective advocate for business recruitment.
“She is a very important economic development spokesperson for Georgia and a strong influence in bringing business here,” Mr. Graham said.
Companies understand that Athens Technical College will train workers for their jobs, and they come to the area to get that specialized attention, he added.
Vice President for Student Affairs Andrea Daniel spoke on behalf of the college’s vice presidents and stressed that Dr. Tydings puts students first and foremost and continually demonstrates that commitment by giving their interests priority in every decision she makes.
Ms. Dalton then presented Dr. Tydings with a journal, embossed with an owl and inscription on the front and in which faculty and staff from each of the college campuses wrote personal notes to the president. The front inscription read: “In celebration of 10 years as President of Athens Technical College, Dr. Flora W. Tydings, August 2003-August 2013.”
After the presentation, the president and all attendees enjoyed a barbecue buffet lunch catered by Lindsey’s Culinary Market.
For more on the celebration see coverage by the Athens Banner-Herald/onlineathens.com.
Photo caption: Athens Technical College President Flora W. Tydings (in red) greets family and friends who made a surprise visit during the celebration of Dr. Tydings’ 10 years at the helm of the college.