|THOUGH FRIENDS MAY LEAVE AND LIVES MAY CHANGE, FAITHFUL WE SHALL ALWAYS BE.|
|Colvert's efforts, words live on
Originally published in The News-Star newspaper, January 22, 2006
"I think you can and I believe you will," C.C. Colvert began in 1939 to sign off on his writings to the students at the Northeast Center of LSU with these words. They are the perfect embodiment of his philosophy and belief in students - as well as his untiring support of them.
In November 1932 (the third semester of the new Ouachita Parish Junior College), Colvert began his long career of communication with students in the form of letters, which were printed in the PowWow as "Colvert's Corner." Some of his writings were as simple as "don't put your feet on the furniture in the Social Hall" but some speak powerfully to us even today: "College Spirit, what is it? It is the indefinable atmosphere which surrounds a student body and faculty and commands admiration, respect and loyalty. This is something worth thinking about."
Colvert's writings to the college newspaper were just a part of his seemingly constant communication with students, faculty and the surrounding community - explaining, cheerleading, guiding, praising and "talking up the college" as he put it.
Colvert seemed to be everywhere writing, speaking at high schools, broadcasting on KMLB radio, flying himself to Baton Rouge in one of the college's airplanes, visiting drugstores where he knew high school students often hung out and asking those young people where they were going to college and getting the names and addresses of at least three prospective students from everyone that he saw. He served as a deacon in the First Baptist Church of Monroe.
In addition to being a tireless communicator, he was a builder (four buildings and a football stadium); a leader of the faculty ("If they haven't learned it, you haven't taught it."); a student (on leave in 1936-37, he completed his Ph.D at George Peabody College); a nationally recognized leader (elected president of the American Association of Community and Junior Colleges); and a friend to students (urging all students to eat in the school cafeteria, even those who could not afford lunch, "come in even if you only want a glass of ice water; "I'll come in and eat with you.”).
As you stroll through our beautiful campus, look around and see what Colvert built. Take note of the Student Center, now being renovated, and listen to Colvert say as he did on the radio in 1937, “I would also like to take the opportunity to invite you to visit the campus and inspect the new Student Center Building. Did you know we have here on the campus the most beautiful and the most magnificent building of its kind in the state of Louisiana?”
Let your mind wander to an earlier time, and as you walk where he walked, think about your connection to Colvert and those students who had the privilege of going to school when he was here.
Have a great day at ULM!
Dr. John Knesel, ULM Professor75th articles page
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