After 41 years of dedication to Weatherford College, Carol Eppright is retiring.
Eppright began her higher education career teaching at Platte College in Columbus, Nebraska. After four years there, the Director of the Placement Office at Texas Woman’s University contacted her about a job opening at Weatherford College for an economics and history instructor.
When she moved to Weatherford in 1974, WC boasted an enrollment of approximately 1,200 and half the number of buildings currently found on campus. Eppright taught economics, American history and western civilization. She went on to chair the economics and business department in the early 2000s and was a beloved sponsor of Phi Chapter of Phi Theta Kappa, the honor society for two-year colleges, for many years.
Thinking back over her time at WC, Eppright said the best parts are the sense of family and interaction with students both in the classroom and through student organizations.
“In the ’70s and early ’80s the faculty and staff was much smaller – everyone knew everyone, their children and their pets,” Eppright said. “There was always someone there to help whenever any problems came along. The family is much larger now but that sense of belonging is still alive and well.”
Eppright and several of her WC friends often attend the Fort Worth Symphony and Pops series. She’s also gone on several trips with her work-friends, and they have memorable stories of their adventures.
“I attended my first Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges meeting with Carol approximately 25 years ago in Atlanta,” said Dr. Arleen Atkins, Dean of Institutional Effectiveness. “We ventured out one night on the subway to see the Broadway musical Cats that was there at the time. Riding back on the subway to the hotel at midnight was an experience that neither of us will ever forget. We managed to find our way back safely, and I have appreciated Carol’s courage and sense of direction ever since.”
Marilyn St. Clair, Department Chair of Business Computer Information Systems, also has an amusing story of Eppright and public transportation. While the two were attending the National Business Education Association conference in Atlanta about 15 years ago, the duo decided to go to an Atlanta Braves baseball game.
“Getting to the ball field was most interesting – we rode the subway/train and then had to take a bus to get to the park,” St. Clair said. “It was a late night when the ballgame was over and trying to find the correct bus and the correct subway/train was most interesting. We made it back safely, but I don't think I would have gone to the ballgame by myself had it not been for Carol also wanting to go.”
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Back at the office, her coworkers describer has as a tenacious, go-getter who always meets challenges head on.
“Carol Eppright has spent a career meeting obstacles with optimism and a can-do attitude,” said Mike Endy, Dean of Fine Arts and Humanities. “You can’t overstate the value of the warm smile and the hearty laugh she brings to every challenge. Find the person who doesn’t like her; I’ll bet you can’t. She’s a strong, but gentle, leader and mentor to so many of us.”
While serving as a department chair, Eppright oversaw instructor Mike McCoy who described her as eager and ready to help with any issue that arose.
“Carol has always been a very easy person with which to work,” McCoy said. “[She has always been] an excellent colleague and willing to assist me if needed.”
Not only is Eppright well-respected, she’s also generous. During the WC Foundation’s recent capital campaign, Eppright established a scholarship fund for Phi Theta Kappa students with a $40,000 gift – $1,000 for each year she had spent teaching at WC.
After several years of contemplating retirement, Eppright decided this was the right year.
“This year completes 45 years in the community college classroom for me,” Eppright said, “and I have a long bucket list of things I want to accomplish in retirement including travel and spending more time with my family, especially my grandnieces and nephews. I also plan to help my friend in her shop in Arlington and maybe some adjunct teaching at WC along with more time knitting, reading and cross-stitch.”
As so many retirees before her, Eppright doesn’t plan to leave WC for good. Future students will still have the good fortune to call her their instructor in a few economics courses.
“In spite of all of the changes, the old motto ‘WC means: We Care’ is still alive and well here,” Eppright said. “I am proud to be able to say that I spent 41 years teaching at Weatherford College.”
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