Dr. Tod Allen Farmer, president of Weatherford College, recognized Myrlan Coleman and Sue Coody with presidential awards on Friday, Sept. 13, at a presidential luncheon held in the Alkek Fine Arts Center.
Faculty, staff, students and the community were invited to the speech and luncheon which highlighted student athletes, student ambassadors, the college’s fine arts students as well as the indelible mark WC has left on the community over the past 150 years.
“A sesquicentennial celebration is truly something special,” Farmer said. “150 years of institutional history. As amazing as it sounds, we have one employee that has been with Weatherford College for a third of that 150-year history.”
Farmer then presented the second annual Presidential Service Award to art professor Myrlan Coleman who has been employed at WC since Sept. 1, 1969.
“Through the decades she literally taught generations of Weatherford College students,” he said. “In addition to her exceptional instruction, Myrlan Coleman designed and artistically created the official WC Christmas card each year including a very special card she’s created this year for our sesquicentennial celebration.”
Coleman also served as department chair from 1999 until 2005, has served as a trusted mentor for countless students and is a respected colleague, he added.
Farmer also presented the first Presidential Core Values coin inscribed with “faith, hope and love” to Sue Coody, a retired WC employee and the current WC Board of Trustees vice chair.
Coody came to WC in 1973 after serving as a teacher in Weatherford ISD. During her career at WC, she taught English, served as a humanities division director, the director of institutional effectiveness and director of instructional support prior to her retirement in 2011.
“Of the many amazing individuals associated with Weatherford College, I can think of no one who for such a sustained period of time has better modeled the core values of faith, hope and love,” Farmer said.
Farmer also presented Ralph Willingham, a 47-year WC employee who was recently awarded the Diana Davis Service Award for Excellence, with an official State of Texas resolution in his honor for his distinguished service to veterans authored by Texas State Senator Pat Fallon.
He also recognized Dana Orban with a pin for her five years of service as a Phi Theta Kappa advisor.
In additional to individual acknowledgements, Farmer highlighted institutional achievements from the past year including growth in foundation giving, the Steinway initiative, awards from the East Parker County Chamber of Commerce and the Texas Workforce Commission, the creation of a new agricultural department, approval of the Bachelor’s of Science in Nursing degree and improvement in faculty and staff wages.
“If you are liking what you are seeing, please know that we are just getting started,” he said.
Quelling rumors, Farmer said he does not intend to transform WC into a university nor make it similar to the large community college systems in Dallas and Tarrant County.
“Rather, my intention is to collaboratively transform Weatherford College into a higher education institution that is internationally known for excellence,” he said. “Weatherford College will become an All-Steinway institution and will become the cultural hub of our region. Weatherford College will continue to add new high-tech academic programs. Weatherford College will launch a building campaign to replace our aging infrastructure with state-of-the-art academic buildings. Weatherford College will continue to win awards for excellence in a wide array of areas. Weatherford College will continue to produce Grammy-award winning artists, professional athletes and dynamic business and community leaders. Weatherford College will expand our athletic programs, add artificial turf to our ballfields, expand our residence halls and bring home a national championship.
“Weatherford College will become known as ‘the’ college that produces excellence. We will have excellence in academics. We will have excellence in agriculture. We will have excellence in the arts. And we will have excellence in athletics. Weatherford College will have excellence in everything we do.”
* You can watch Dr. Farmer’s speech online at https://youtu.be/eBcyyzGRHBU.