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Death of Dr. Lounell Mullis

Alumni of Truett-McConnell College from the years 1948 through 1956 are mourning the death of Dr. Lillian Lounell Mullis, greatly beloved religion
Lounell Mullis as she looked when she came to TMC in 1948
faculty member and Dean of Women during those years. Dr. Mullis passed away on February 10, 2009, in her sleep at home.

A native of west central North Carolina near Statesville, Dr. Mullis came to the Truett-McConnell College faculty in the school’s second year of operation. She was a trusted friend to all who knew her, and her work and influence in molding Truett-McConnell cannot be overestimated.

Dr. Mullis retired many years ago from higher education, having last served on the faculty of Catawba College, a private Christian college of approximately 1,000 students affiliated with the United Church of Christ and located in Salisbury, NC.

A few years ago she moved into a Methodist retirement complex, Givens Estates, in Asheville, NC, and lived out the remainder of her life there. Her funeral service was held on February 13 in the Norma Pulliam Chapel at Givens Estates. She was a member of First Baptist Church of Asheville.

Dr. Mullis is survived by a sister, Helen Frost, of Mars Hill, NC; two nephews, and two nieces.

Just a year ago, in February 2008, Dr. Mike Simoneaux, current Vice President for Academic Services at TMC, and his wife, Bonnie, visited Dr. Mullis in her apartment at Givens Estates. He reported that she was energetic and enthusiastic and that she walked with them all around the retirement complex at a steady pace. This being his first meeting with her, he was very much impressed by her youthful vigor and keen mind.
Dr. Mike Simoneaux with Dr. Mullis at her home in February 2008.

TMC Alumni Director Edna Holcomb made this statement: “With the death of Lounell Mullis, Truett-McConnell College is diminished. She was—and will always remain—an integral part of the foundation of this college. Truett-McConnell today rests on the shoulders of people like Lounell Mullis, who shaped it and supported it in its early years. The legacy that she left at this college is one of the school’s greatest treasures.”


David C. Jordan, 80, of Athens, GA, passed away on November 5, 2008 in Athens. Jordan was a native of Crawford, GA, and a charter student of TMC, enrolling in September 1947 when the college opened its doors to students. Two years later, he received an associate’s degree in the first graduating class in June of 1949.

After leaving Truett-McConnell, Jordan attended Mercer University and the University of Georgia. He taught school in Clarke and Madison Counties and later became Director of the State of Georgia YMCA, from which he retired after 30 years of service. In 1989 he was elected Honorary Life Member of the Georgia YMCA board, and in 2006, the Georgia YMCA created the DAVID C. JORDAN AWARD to be given each year to the Georgia YMCA Teacher of the Year. He was also a bivocational minister, serving as pastor of several churches in Oglethorpe, Clarke and Greene Counties for 52 years.

Survivors include his wife, Jo; a niece and several cousins.

Jordan’s influence is still strong at Truett-McConnell because he was the designer of the college seal during the first college term. Mr. H. W. (Pop) Rohrer, Assistant to the President of TMC, helped Jordan plan the basic concepts that the seal should convey, and Jordan did the art work that produced the college seal.
Since that time, the design of the seal has been refined several times to reflect and accommodate upgraded computer and digital technology, but the basic design and elements of the seal remain the same ones that David Jordan designed in the fall of 1947.

The various elements in the seal’s design represent concepts that were vital in establishing the college in 1946 and still form the foundation on which the institution rests.
  • The open book represents the Bible, the word of God to the world.
  • The lighted torch held in front of the open book conveys the message that the Bible provides light to the world.
  • Arched above the torch is the Latin phrase Veritas Liberat (“truth liberates” or “truth sets free”).
  • The date 1946 is the year Truett-McConnell College was established.
  • Around the outside perimeter of the seal is the name of the college and its location.
Original seal drawn by hand by David Jordan in 1947
Together, the elements of the seal proclaim that, since 1946, Truett-McConnell College in Cleveland, Georgia, has been an institution which demonstrates that God’s word is the light of the world and that the search for truth in learning sets people free from the bondage of ignorance and darkness. The lighted torch in the college’s seal inspired the flame of knowledge which burns in the institution’s logo today.

Memories: A Vital Part of the Fabric of Life

 

Renowned artist John Kollock has captured memories of Truett-McConnell College in an enduring painting of the key buildings used by the campus through its early years.  Depicted in the painting are Barrett Hall, Mullis Hall (now Nix Hardware), the Miller Building, Sewell-Plunkett Chapel, and the Alumni Fountain.

 

Quality color numbered prints of the painting signed by the artist are available for a limited time at $35.00 each.  Proceeds from the prints go to support the Truett-McConnell Fund, the college’s annual fund.  Please make checks payable to Truett-McConnell College.  Prints will be sent in a sturdy mailer upon purchase.  To order a print, call the Office of Institutional Advancement at 706.865.2134, ext. 176.

How thre Cross Came to Stand on the Hill at TMC
 
Once Upon a Hill
 
By Michael E. Holdredge
Class of 1967
 
The following includes edited excerpts from a written account of the events supplied by Rev. Holdredge.  The entire document may be found in the Cofer Library of Truett-McConnell College.
 
   For most youth the transition from high school to college is both exciting and fearful.  It was no different for me during the fall of 1965.  With suitcases and car packed, I said goodbye to my mother, and I was off to college.  I distinctly remember the excitement of this new phase of my life, the beautiful fall day, and the rock music streaming from my car radio all the way to Cleveland.
 
   Upon arrival, I was assigned to the “Cardboard Castle.”  I learned from word-of-mouth that it had begun as an old chicken house and had been transformed into temporary army barracks and then into a college dorm.  The first few weeks were filled with meeting new people, the drudgery of lessons and, of course, party time.  Trying to study was extremely difficult.  Halfway through the quarter, I moved into the men’s dormitory.
 
   As I progressed deeper into the school year, I realized there was another group on campus besides the wild bunch.  It was a small, quiet group that pretty much kept to themselves.  They were Christians—though not the nominal, average Christian student like myself. I had never seen or known people who lived what they professed.  It was unnerving.  They quietly practiced their piety.  They prayed before meals, they carried their Bibles, they laughed and had a good time, but they never cursed.  It was their different lifestyles, their genuineness that spoke so loudly!
 
   The character and mood of many of the campus population was as chaotic and troubled as the nation itself, caught in the throes of the Vietnam War.  Our country was at war, and our hearts, filled to the brim with sin and hostility and wickedness, were also caught up in a battle, one for the souls of students, and it was about to come to a dramatic climax. 
 
   About mid-January the school took a bus load of students to a nearby town for the showing of a film entitled The Restless Ones, starring a man named Billy Graham.  That night, along with countless other students, I totally yielded my life without reservation to the person of the Lord Jesus Christ.  During the days that followed, new and different emotions were now escalating throughout the student body.  The campus was still abuzz with the impact of what had happened.  We were living out, on campus among our friends, the life transformation that began on that snowy night in January. 
 
   One day, sometime during those dark days of fall and early winter, a small cross mysteriously appeared on top of the hill beside the library.  Many asked who put it there, but no one seemed to know.  It was a simple cross, made of two small sticks from a broken tree limb tied together by kite string.  It was not placed in a hole; instead a number of small rocks buttressed the bottom of the cross to hold it upright.  It stood approximately 1½ - 2 feet high.  No one knew the maker of the cross and rock altar, but many students frequently went up on the hill to kneel and intercede on behalf of their beloved student body, for a dark cloud hung over Truett-McConnell campus.
 
   Little did anyone know that the showing of the Billy Graham film would start a shower of mercy drops that would become a downpour as God rent the heavens and in one divine moment flooded the lives of countless numbers of people.  And people are still, to this day, being changed by the power of the cross.  To some the cross seems like foolishness—but not so with God.  A magnificent cross now stands atop the hill not 30 feet from where that first humble cross stood, the cross that caused such a stir. 
 
   One night I saw my friend Mitch Lanthier from Winder kneeling near the cross, face turned toward heaven and tears streaming down his face.  “I’ve just got saved,” Mitch joyfully exclaimed.  Another friend said, “And guess what!  Mitch is the one who put the cross on the hill.”  There was wonderful celebration that night.
 
   I am grateful to have been a part of the moving of God that so shook the Truett campus even till the end of that year.  That night and those months have been a high-water mark for me over these years—to realize that present within the heart of one unsaved student had been the desire to raise a cross over a campus filled with brokenness and sin.
 
   Out of the unmet need in his own heart, Mitch Lanthier erected an altar and a simple cross that would one day emerge as the centerpiece overlooking the Truett-McConnell campus.  I do not know how many crosses have been erected in the same spot over the years since that first simple cross, nor do I know all the details of the present one.  This I do know: the cross still gives meaning and purpose to those who are violated by sin and crushed beneath its awful weight.  It is still and always will be a beacon of hope that calls men and women to Christ.
 
Rev. Michael E. Holdredge is pastor of New Hope Baptist Church in Newnan, GA.
 
"For the preaching of the cross is to them that perish foolishness; but unto us which are saved it is the power of God." – 1 Corinthians 1:18.

CAN YOU IDENTIFY THESE HISTORIC PHOTOS?

   For some of you, these photos will recall vivid memories.  Those alumni who do not remember these days might be intrigued to see something about Truett-McConnell’s beginnings.  From time to time, we will publish old photos that might be of interest to alumni.
 
 
   Formal ceremonies that opened Truett-McConnell Junior College were held at 7:30 PM on September 17, 1947, in the First Baptist Church of Cleveland.  Leading in prayer is Rev. Claude C. Boynton of Blairsville, a member of the small group of people who conceived the dream of Truett-McConnell—“a college in the mountains for mountain boys and girls.”  Behind Rev. Boynton (left to right) are members of the administration and first faculty: Mrs. E. T. Staton; Miss Mary Frances Conger; Mr. Norman C. Smith, Jr.; Clarence W. Pittman; and Rev. Julius H. Spears, Dean.
 

 
   The foundation for an administration/classroom building was poured in 1948-1949.  Construction of the building was delayed until sufficient funds could be raised.  The building was completed in 1956 and named for Rev. Joe H. Miller, second president of the college who was in office when the building was completed.  The campus was moved from the town square to its new permanent location when classes began in the fall of 1956.  The Miller Building still serves as the main classroom/administration building on the TMC campus.
 
NOTE:  The entire hill from the highway to the top was covered in a thick stand of slender pine trees.  As one of the early administrators of the college said, “Truett-McConnell College was literally carved out of a pine thicket.”
 

 
   The Industrial Arts Building was the first building to be constructed on the present campus.  It was used at first as a storage facility for equipment and building materials used in the construction of the Miller Building.  When the Miller Building project was completed and the college moved its operations to the new location, the Industrial Arts Building served temporarily as the college dining hall.  It was used as the instruction site for industrial arts classes for a short time, and eventually it became the location of the grounds and facilities department.  Located near the college’s swimming pool, it is still used for storage.
 
 

 
   Barrett Hall was a former private residence located behind the Cleveland Methodist Church.  It was Truett-McConnell’s first classroom building.  In the late 1970s, the Methodist Church owned the unoccupied building, and the building was purchased by Rush Mauney, a member of a prominent Cleveland family.  He had it moved to another location on Old Clarkesville Highway in Cleveland, where he renovated the building.  Today it is known as RuSharon, the lovely home of Rush and Sharon Mauney and their daughter, Jessamine.

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