Truett-McConnell alumna Jessie White, class of '58, was a member of a homecoming court, a cheerleader, a choir member and soloist. She is a parent of a TM alum, and Jessie later served as a trustee for her alma mater. In addition, for 11 years she served in the Truett-McConnell advancement office and was director of alumni relations.
However, September 27 dawned as no other day for Jessie when she awoke in heaven with the Lord she served for her entire life. Jessie's inoperable condition on Earth was healed the moment she went home.
"We are so pleased to have enjoyed a recent visit with Jessie," said John Yarbrough, director of alumni relations. "And I am grateful that your Alumni Association Executive Committee acted rapidly to confer upon such a distinguished alumna the Meritorious Service Award on Sept. 18, just nine day before her passing."
School officials also named the Jessie White Scholarship Fund in her honor.
Dr. Emir Caner, president of Truett-McConnell joined Yarbrough and others on the visit with Jessie.
"How are your children?" Jessie asked Caner when he entered the room.
After Yarbrough showed Jessie some photographs from her 1958 class, he gave her a card signed with well wishes from many who served with her on TM's staff.
"Jessie and I got to know one another when she was director of alumni relations in the 80s," Yarbrough said. "It was a privilege to serve with her at that time as an alum, and it was a privilege to present to her the much deserved Meritorious Service Award."
Jessie was both visibly moved and gracious when receiving the award.
When Caner informed Jessie of the scholarship fund named in her honor, he asked, "What do you want those who receive the scholarship to know?"
"To serve the Lord," she quipped without hesitation. Jessie continued to show her love for her alma mater by sharing the names of people who could assist with the advancement of the college.
A conversation including comments and memories about Truett-McConnell College continued, and then Jessie's pastor, Dan Rosser (Pleasant Grove BC, Ellijay), led the group in prayer.
"Doctors had told Jessie that there was nothing more they could do," Yarbrough told TMNews. "However, Jessie's faith, perseverance and supportive group of family, friends and a loving church fellowship sustained her until she went to be with the Lord."
Others visiting Jessie were here sister, Betty Jean Nealey, and friend, TM alumna Betty Jo Holt ('58).
Jessie's home-going was celebrated Sept. 29 at her church, the Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Ellijay.