Over 100 people filled Enterprise State Community College’s multipurpose room for the commendation ceremony of former president and dean of instruction Dr. Joseph Talmadge on April 26.
Alabama Education Policy Advisor and Coordinator and Enterprise State Community College alumnus Nick Moore thanked Talmadge for the things he had done as president.
“As a freshman student that entered into this college on a Pell Grant, if it wasn’t for the (ESCC) Foundation scholarship that I received—that you established as president—I wouldn’t be standing here today in this role,” Moore said. “There’s no doubt that many people in this room today are standing on the shoulders of giants and you are chief among those giants.”
He also spoke on Talmadge’s role in the creation of the Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS).
“A lot of folks don’t recognize that Dr. Talmadge was a visionary leader of the Alabama Articulation Agreement Committee in 1984 and 1985,” Moore said. “Due to your leadership and help from the good Senator Jimmy Holley, you were able to develop the Alabama Statewide Transfer and Articulation Agreement. Right now because of that agreement, so many of our college students are able to finish their four-year degree at universities and colleges across Alabama. And because of that, they’re able to save money, finish their degree early and get into college.”
Moore presented Talmadge with a commendation from Gov. Kay Ivey.
“Now therefore, Kay Ivey, governor of Alabama does hereby commend Dr. Joseph Talmadge for his many contributions to the state of Alabama in both his career at Enterprise State Community College and in providing state-wide leadership through his work to improve transfer and articulation throughout the state of Alabama,” Moore read.
Director of Student Financial Aid Henry Quisenberry was originally hired by Talmadge and took to the podium to say a few words about the man.
“Thank you for your faith in us, thank you for your hope for what our beloved school could become and thank you for your unabashed love for this college and for everybody that’s served here,” Quisenberry said. “God bless you and God bless Enterprise State for the years to come.”
Current ESCC President Matt Rodgers revealed that April 26 would officially be recognized as Joseph Talmadge Day at ESCC and said a few words about Tamladge’s legacy.
“At the end of the day, we’re not judged by wins or losses, we’re not judged by the number of books we sell, we’re not judged by the money we have in our bank account, we’re judged by the effect and impact and difference we make to other people,” Rodgers said. “I am just honored today to say, Dr. Joe you’ve been successful on a job well done.”
Talmadge took an opportunity to speak to the crowd gathered in the ESCC MPR.
“I can’t turn down a podium,” Talmadge said to a room full of laughter. “I’m just proud of the college and I’m proud of Matt (Rodgers). I hope he’s going to stay out here for the next 25 or 30 years and that he keeps building off what we started. I thank all of you for coming and it just means so much to me to see all of you. That’s the greatest treasure of all is to be able to see all of you. I’m proud of this school and I know you are, too.”
After the ceremony in the MPR, the group moved to the newly renovated Talmadge Hall on campus where the building was rededicated with a new portrait of Talmadge hanging in the lobby.
Talmadge took the time after the rededication to explore the newly renovated building event giving a history lecture to his grandson.