End of an era at PDCCC

Published 9:27 am Friday, May 14, 2010

FRANKLIN—Today marks the end of an era at Paul D. Camp Community College.

Associate physical education professor Maggie Evans, who is the last of the original faculty members who started when the college opened in 1971, is retiring.

“It was exciting,” Evans said about being there when the college opened. “It was a fun time because we were all in on the start of something new.”

Among her last duties will be attending the graduation ceremony at 7 tonight, May 14, at PDCCC’s Regional Workforce Development Center.

“I think I’ve only missed a couple in 39 years,” Evans said. “I’ve seen a lot of people walk across that stage, but it’s important to them so it’s important to me, too.”

There were about 20 faculty members in the beginning; she was the youngest. A lot of the staff was just out of college or graduate school—as was Evans.

“I was the only health and P.E. teacher, and have been the whole time,” she said.

Evans has taught the children of some of her students.

“When I started getting grandchildren, I thought, ‘I better go,’” she joked.

A Louisiana native, Evans went to work as a commercial fisherman in Alaska after completing graduate school. That’s where Evans was located when she heard she’d been chosen for the job at PDCCC. She didn’t anticipate staying there nearly four decades.

“I don’t think anybody anticipates that, but I was having a good time so I just stayed,” Evans said. “I have been blessed to enjoy what I do.”

She has seen a lot of changes over her tenure. Evans remembers when all of the college’s faculty members had to share one telephone and, even though she’s been teaching some online classes for about eight years, she still prefers classrooms.

“I’ve taught a lot of people that work here,” Evans said. “That’s fun—to see former students come back and become colleagues.”

Dr. Patsy Joyner, who is now the vice president for institutional advancement at PDCCC, was a student of Evans’.

“She’s made a positive impact on so many people,” Joyner said. “It just seems impossible that she’s not going to be with us anymore.”

Joyner said Evans is “an excellent teacher” who has always been “energetic and uplifting.”

Evans said she’s enjoyed “almost all” of her students and teaching various classes.

Evans doesn’t plan to sit idle. She has joined a tennis league and will continue to teach an exercise class at the YMCA.

She said the college started with a sense of family.

“I think, for the most part, we’ve maintained that sense of family and I hope that continues,” Evans said. “Our students become part of that family and we all look out after each other. I’ve appreciated that and I hope it continues.”

Evans lives in Franklin with her husband, Jim. Their son, Mark, is a graduate of PDCCC and works in the college’s information technology department.