Longtime Volunteer State Community College leader Patty Powell was honored today for her achievements. The college officially named the pedestrian walkway that connects the SRB Humanities Building to the Wood Campus Center the Patty Powell Bridge. Friends, family, and co-workers gathered for the ceremony. Powell served at Vol State for more than 30 years, retiring in 2016.
In thanking the attendees, Powell paraphrased, and then sang, part of a song that meant so much to her. “If I can help somebody, as I pass along. If I can cheer somebody, with a word or song. If I can show somebody, that he's travelling wrong. Then my living shall not be in vain.” It is also part of the inscription on the plaque unveiled at the event.
“Patty Powell made many contributions to the college through her role as the vice president for Student Services,” said Emily Short, current vice-president for Student Services. “However, one of her most important contributions was being a living example of respect for others. She would frequently tell the staff, ‘all anyone really wants is to be respected.’ Patty not only used those words as a training tool, but her actions matched with that truth.”
“It is so appropriate that the structure being named for Mrs. Powell is a bridge between a student services building and an academic building,” said Jerry Faulkner, Vol State president. “Student services is the bridge that connects students to the achievement of their academic goals. Patty Powell has dedicated her professional life to helping countless students cross that bridge.”
Powell began her career at Vol State in 1985 as the coordinator of Counseling. She continued as director of Counseling Services; dean of Student Services; and then vice president for Student Services for 23 years. In 2016 the college created the Patty T. Powell Award, given to outstanding graduates who have shown a respect and compassion for others.