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Three professors retire from ULM

Published May 17, 2016

MONROE, La. — A retirement party in honor of Dr. Terry Jones, Dr. Edward ‘Gene’ Eller and Mr. Gary Ratcliff was held at the University of Louisiana Monroe on Wednesday, May 11.

All three professors retire from the university after having served for decades in higher education.

From left to right: Ratcliff, Eller, Jones

Dr. Terry Jones, a native of Winn Parish, has served ULM for 25 years as a professor in the History program. He earned his Ph.D. in history from Texas A&M University. Jones has contributed greatly to the study of Civil War History in Louisiana. In 2014, he was awarded the Dr. Arthur W. Bergeron, Jr. Award by the Civil War Round Table of Central Louisiana, and since 2011, he has had 27 articles published as part of the New York Times online “Disunion” series. 

According to Jones, his retirement is bittersweet. “I’m excited about having more time to hunt, fish, and travel but I can't help but wonder if I will be losing part of my identity,” said Jones. “I have been known as a ULM professor for a long time and it will be a bit strange not to have that connection any longer.” 

Dr. Edward ‘Gene’ Eller has served ULM for 25 years as a professor in the English program. He received his Ph.D. in English from Southern Illinois University. At ULM, he has taught courses in World and American literature, composition and poetry. He served as a moderator for the Honor’s College Quiz Bowl, director of technology for his college and program, and was recognized as the “Favorite Teacher” by the Baptist Student Union.

“I am looking forward to change my lifestyle. My wife Susan and I started together in the country and now are going back to the woods to live the life, chickens and all,” said Eller.

Mr. Gary Ratcliff has taught in the ULM Art department for 40 years. He received his bachelor’s degree from Greenville College and his master of fine arts from East Texas State University. His work in ceramics was featured in an exhibition hosted by Northwestern State University’s (NSU) Department of Fine and Graphic Art in 2014. For the last 40 years, he has taught all levels of pottery at ULM and actively participated in the Monroe community as a ceramics demonstrator and workshop performer.

“I will miss the students and my coworkers, but I am excited to have a chance to set up my own pottery and focus on marketing of the ware I create,” said Ratcliff.

According to Dr. Sandra Lemoine, Dean of the College of Arts, Education and Sciences, the retirement of Jones, Eller and Ratcliff should be seen as a celebration of their careers.

"These scholars have contributed much to ULM, our students, and our College. We are indeed sad to see them go, but we celebrate their long careers and the lasting impact they have made on our university.”