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Lindsey Wilson College unveils Garry Coomer Drive sign
Adair County native, a 38 year employee of the school, is a walking campus map, a living directory. 'This college will never have a GPS system or a campus map that will be as good as Garry Coomer for telling us where the lines are buried and where things are around campus,' -LWC VICE PRESIDENT ROGER DRAKE
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By Duane Bonifer, Director of Public Relations
News from Lindsey Wilson College
COLUMBIA, KY - When Garry Coomer started at Lindsey Wilson College, Richard Nixon was still serving his first term as the 37th president of the United States.
The date was April 14, 1971, and a first-class postage stamp cost but 8 cents.
On Tuesday morning, March 30, 2010, Coomer was honored for his more than 38 years of service to the college by having a Columbia city street named in his honor. Garry Coomer Drive runs in front of the Lindsey Wilson Plant Operation Department Building, the office where Coomer has spent his 38-year Lindsey Wilson career as maintenance worker.
It's hard to imagine the changes he's seen
"It's difficult for most of us to imagine the degree of change that Garry has witnessed on this campus," LWC Vice President for Administration & Finance Roger Drake told about 80 people who attended Tuesday morning's dedication ceremony in front of the Plant Operation Department Building.
As Drake noted, when Coomer started at Lindsey Wilson, the college's library was located in what is now the Everett Building and the men's basketball team - the college did not sponsor women's sports - practiced in what is now the W.W. Slider Humanities Center. Coomer has served under the last five Lindsey Wilson presidents."Garry has literally helped tear down buildings he's also helped to build," Drake said.
To understand the degree of change that has taken place at Lindsey Wilson during Coomer's nearly four decades of service, in April 1971 Lindsey Wilson's total budget of less than $500,000 supported but nine full-time faculty. Next school year, the college's budget will be more than $45 million, and the college will employ almost 100 full-time faculty.
The college's A.P. White Campus is now four times the size it was in 1971
The college's A.P. White Campus has expanded from about 45 acres to more than 200 acres, and it now has more than 600,000 square feet of office space - six times more than what existed in 1971."What I find incredibly fascinating about Garry is his uncanny ability to remember in vivid detail every little change that's happened on this campus," Drake said. "He can tell you about every change, in every floor plan that's ever happened in every building on this campus."
And although the college has better technology in 2010 than it did in 1971, it has yet to discover a computer or Global Positioning System better than Coomer.
"This college will never have a GPS system or a campus map that will be as good as Garry Coomer as telling us where the lines are buried and where things are around campus," Drake said.
This story was posted on 2010-03-31 06:17:40
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