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College Honors Two Retired Professors with Naming
September 17, 2018

Walters State Community College recently honored two retired instructors whose teaching careers have touched the lives of health care professionals throughout East Tennessee – Dr. Donald Lindsey and Dr. Lawrence Kennard. A classroom was named in honor of Lindsey and a chemistry lab was named in honor of Kennard.
“These two individuals played key roles in establishing and maintaining the reputation for excellence enjoyed by the college’s Division of Natural Science,” said Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State.
“Their greatest legacy, though, will not be found in these rooms but in the many students they have taught throughout their careers,” Miksa said.
The rooms are located in the McGuffin-Jolley Natural Science Building on the Morristown Campus. 
Lindsey joined the college in 1972, just two years after it opened. After serving as a professor and dean of natural science for many years, he retired in 2013 as special assistant to the vice president of academic affairs. Lindsey was the college’s sole microbiology professor for many years and taught many of the college’s nursing students.
“The Division of Natural Science has been fortunate through the years to always have the support of the college presidents and vice presidents. We are also fortunate to have excellent and qualified instructors,” Lindsey said.
He said that Walters State’s priority has remained the same throughout his career: provide excellent instruction. 
“We wanted our students to be able to compete with students at a four-year university and that really set the tone for natural sciences. Early on, we had many students from our service area who came to Walters State and went on to medical, pharmacy or dental school. Others saw that they were successful and that drew more students,” Lindsey added.
His wife, Marilyn, is frequently seen on campus and all three of the couple’s children attended Walters State. Brad is an optometrist, Suzanne earned her bachelor’s degree in early childhood development and Jeff is a physical therapist assistant. 
Kennard joined the faculty of Walters State in 1985 and retired in 2016 as professor of chemistry. Prior to joining Walters State, Kennard worked for a pharmaceutical company, where he was a primary investigator for the now-common pain reliever naproxen. 
“The company I worked for moved from Newport to an urban area. My wife and I really liked this area. Shortly after I left the company, I saw Walters State’s ad in the newspaper,” Kennard explained.
“I had never taught before, but I really enjoyed it from the first semester,” he said.
Kennard also began putting on chemistry shows for middle school students. The shows often looked more like magic than chemistry and students left excited about science.
Kennard’s wife, Betty, was his assistant in those shows and also served as a chaperone to many chemical association meetings. She also proofread many professional school applications for Kennard’s students.  
Both professors are popular among Walters State alumni.
“If I have to go to a doctor or go to the hospital, they roll out the red carpet. To me, seeing so many of my former students successful and knowing that they remember me, that I had an impact on their lives, is the most rewarding aspect of my career,” Kennard said.
Lindsey gets the same response. 
“I had to take my granddaughter to the emergency room this summer. All the nurses stopped by to tell me what class they were in, or to ask about other professors. It is very humbling and rewarding,” Lindsey said. 

In the photo: Walters State Community College honored two recently retired faculty members with the naming of a science classroom and a chemistry lab. From left are Dr. Tony Miksa, president of Walters State; Dr. Donald Lindsey, retired dean of natural sciences; Dr. Lawrence Kennard, retired professor of chemistry; Dr. Jeff Horner, dean of natural sciences; and Dr. Jack Campbell, president emeritus of Walters State Community College.