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ceremony was attended by STC officials, Coleman’s grandson, Tommy Branch, and many others who knew and admired Coleman.

“Mose was a pillar of the community when where we are standing was just dirt, trees, and forest,” STC President Larry Calhoun emphasized. “He was one of the founding fathers of Southeastern Tech and supported it mightily through the years. Back then, it was just an institute, or something like that, but now we are a technical college with the same accreditation that Georgia Tech or University of Georgia have. A lot of that goes back to people who invested in the community, like Mose.”

STC Foundation Treasurer Dennis Ingley also commented on Coleman’s impact on the area during his lifetime. “I am sure a lot of you know more about Mose than I do, but I do know he was quite an interesting person. Anyone who got to know him knew that he was dedicated to this area, his family, this community, and education. He loved education.”

Ingley continued, “One of the things that stood out for me was his generosity and giving. He would give in all kinds of ways. Obviously, there’s the money ways, but often he gave his time, his resources—things other than money. He loved to write books and wrote books on just about every cemetery in this part of the state. He was quite an interesting guy when it came to studying and learning, and until the day he died, I don’t think he ever stopped.”

Ingley connected this love of learning to Coleman’s work to help grow the college. “His dedication to STC was very uncommon. He started when the school started in 1989. He was on the Foundation Board for around 10 years, where he also served as treasurer,” Ingley told attendees.

“Something I learned from Mose is that life changes instantaneously,” Ingley added. “We’ll blink an eye here, we’ll be out the door, and something will be different about life. Mose taught me to take advantage of every minute and second. Every time you get to say something kind or do something good, do it. Don’t waste the time that you are given because no one knows when something may be changed.”

He concluded, “Mose was a great person. He showed it every day. Never once did I ever see him show a sign of ingratitude, hate, disruption, or anything like that. He gave a lot of money to this school, but I don’t think the money is any comparison to what he really gave. He gave himself to this school and the community, and we certainly appreciate that about him.”

Coleman’s Grandson Tommy Branch informed everyone of Coleman’s history, stating his grandfather was a very humble man and probably never shared a lot about himself. Coleman graduated with an electrical engineering degree from Georgia Tech before beginning to work Raytheon Corporation as a defense contractor outside of Boston.

When the NASA rocket program was going on in Huntsville, Alabama, Coleman was continuing to work as a defense contractor, but then began working on the program trying to get American spacecraft to the moon. He eventually moved to Huntsville to work in the space program at Redstone Arsenal for Brown Engineering, and Sperry Rand, where he worked on a telemetry project for Saturn rockets.

Coleman returned to Vidalia after President john Kennedy’s assassination and began working as a young entrepreneur with his father’s paper company, Coleman Paper Company, and a beer distributorship, Coleman Sales. Branch shared that Coleman was one of the first people to have a computer in the area, which he described as filled an entire room. This computer was used to create the program for the beer distribution company that Budweiser used throughout that time.

Branch’s grandfather moved his business to what is now the industrial area along Harris Industrial Boulevard in Vidalia, and began working with his good friend, Bill Bedingfield. Branch joked that Bedingfield seemed to be more serious about the business, while Coleman “stayed in the office and played with his computer.”

However, Branch explained that while his grandfather may not have seemed as focused on businesses, they were his livelihood. “He had a lot of hobbies and he enjoyed technical things,” Branch said. “Those businesses were his whole life. You could find him working just about until the day he died. His workdays might have started getting a little shorter, but it was always a workday.”

Branch noted, “He would much rather be working, whether it be on his book or searching for Native American cemeteries in the woods. That was just who he was.” Branch remarked, “I had a great respect for him. My family is not able to all be here today continued from page

because of health issues and location difficulties, but we are really grateful to you all for recognizing him because he deserves it. He was a really special person, not just because he was my Grandad, but because I think anyone who really got to know him would say he was a unique individual that loved education.”

Branch concluded, “He had a one-of-a-kind love for others that was very rare. He truly cared for others more than he cared for himself, and that is something today’s world really needs.” Calhoun closed the ceremony by commenting, “I really think it is appropriate that the Foundation he was such a big part of getting started had the idea to name this boardroom, which is fairly new and larger than the original one, after him,” he said. “It is representative of the growth that he contributed and got started.” The STC Foundation presented a plaque that will be displayed outside of the boardroom. The Foundation also shared an official statement regarding the dedication, which reads: “Soon after Mr. Coleman passed away, the Southeastern Technical College Foundation made the recommendation that the Boardroom on the Vidalia Campus be named in his honor. They felt this was an appropriate way to show their appreciation for Mr. Coleman’s dedication to and support of STC and technical education. Mr. Coleman was a founding Trustee of the former Southeastern Technical Institute Foundation, serving for 10 years, after which he served on the STC Board of Directors for 3 years. We are tremendously grateful for his life and for the generosity he showed us with both his time and financial resources.”

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