The word professor is derived from Latin as, “A teacher of highest rank.” Typically, colleges and universities reserve the title, “University Professor,” for members of the faculty who make a meaningful impact in the lives of students and colleagues. The rank is a significant designation serving as tangible evidence of the University’s commitment to attracting and retaining stellar faculty; thus ensuring a high quality learning experience for all its students.
Thanks to the generosity of several key donors and the Clayton State University Foundation, the University recently bestowed the title, “University Professor,” on six faculty members during the Annual Faculty/Staff Recognition Awards Program held in Clayton State’s renowned Spivey Hall.
“This spring we began a tradition of awarding University Professorships, a designation which I think is emblematic of the celebration of faculty and their contribution to the education of our students,” says Clayton State President Dr. Thomas Hynes.
Clayton State’s initial University Professors include: Dr. Michelle Furlong, department chair of natural sciences; Dr. Jennell Charles, professor of nursing from the College of Health; Dr. Catherine “Kitty” Deering, professor of psychology; Dr. Mary Lamb, associate professor of English; Dr. Reza Kheirandish, associate professor of economics; and Dr. Christopher Raridan, associate professor of mathematics.
Awarded faculty will carry the title of, “University Professor,” for two years allowing up to 12 faculty to have the distinction at any given time. This recognition comes with a $5,000 annual salary supplement. The Clayton State University Foundation assisted in creating the monetary supplement by creating a matching dollar-for- dollar gifts program.
Fittingly, three Foundation Board members were in the audience for the announcement of University Professorships that either bore their name, or the name of their organization. Foundation Chair Tim Crawford and his wife Sabrina Crawford, owners of Heritage Cadillac Mitsubishi, were present for the initial Heritage Cadillac Mitsubishi University Professorship being awarded to Dr. Charles. Past Foundation Chair Leonard Moreland, Heritage Bank CEO, was present for the awarding of the Heritage Bank University Professorship to Dr. Furlong. Similarly, a third member of the Foundation Board, Jack Hancock, and his wife, Sherry Hancock, witnessed the awarding of the Jack and Sherry Hancock University Professorship to Dr. Deering.
Dr. Lamb received the Tommy Clonts University Professorship, established to honor Mr. Clonts’ volunteer efforts to a number of charitable causes throughout the region.
Dr. Kheirandish received the Bud and Mary Miller Professorship, established recently by the former dean of the Clayton State University College of Business, Ernest “Bud” Miller and his wife Mary.
Dr. Raridan received the Jimmy Easley University Professorship, named in honor of long-time Atlanta Journal/Constitution employee Jimmy Easley.