1999 Roll Of Honor Recipients
John Arvy Gardner arrived on the Arlington State College campus in August of 1956 to begin a 21-year career as a key member of the Mathematics Department. A native of Mississippi, he had served in a variety of Mississippi public schools as a math teacher, an athletic coach, and school administrator. In Arlington, John quickly earned the respect of his students, his colleagues, and the administrations under which he served. In the community, he pursued many areas of service including the First Christian Church, the Kiwanis Club, Common Cause, Phi Delta Kappa, and the Trailer Camping Group. After retiring in 1977, he and his wife Elizabeth traveled and continued community involvement. In 1985, John led the effort to establish the UTA Retirees Club. During the first year he served as President and several years as Games Coordinator. Health problems overtook John in the mid 1900’s which led to his death in 1998. The late John A. Gardner clearly merits placement in the UTA Retirees Club Roll of Honor.
Elizabeth Gardner born Elizabeth Bryson, a teacher, married John A, Gardner, in Mississippi in 1963; her professional status was clouded by the unwillingness of local school authorities to employ married women. She did resume teaching during the war years but gave priority to her husband John, a son, and 2 daughters. By 185 she resumed a full-time teaching career, first in Woodville, Mississippi, and then in the Arlington, Texas public schools. She retired in 1977, but continues to be heavily involved n professional activity, religious interests, and community service. Elizabeth has demonstrated her loyalty to the Retirees Club throughout its history. She accepted joint responsibility with her late husband John, for the Games Coordinator position in 1995. Her commitment to the Club continues. Elizabeth Gardner richly deserves her place in the UTA Retirees Roll of Honor.
Thurman Jasper in 1933 enrolled at North Texas Agricultural College in Arlington. He began an undergraduate career leading to a degree in Education and Mathematics from Texas Technological College in 1938. World War II interrupted his employment as a public school math teacher, and Thurman entered the U.S. Army Air Corps to serve as a Link Trainer Operator. In 1946, he returned to NTAC to begin a 35-year connection with this campus on the faculty of the Math Department. Community service has always been a major concern for Thurman. In the 1970’s, he created the Lone Star Baseball League to allow youngsters to participate in games free of the pressure associated with other juvenile leagues. He has been heavily involved in the service projects of his Kiwanis Club. In 1985, he joined the UTA Retirees Club and has served as President, Vice President, and Treasurer. Although legally blind, he continues to volunteer with Arlington Charities and serves as a docent with the Arlington Historical Society. He enjoys his okra crop in his garden that he shares with his friends. He certainly qualifies for the Roll of Honor.
Louise Koehl, a native of Houston, came to Arlington in 1959 with her husband Eugene and daughter Deborahann. She started working in 1965 at UTA (then Arlington State College) in Student Activities. After demonstrating her remarkable ability to serve others-both on campus and in the community, she transferred to the Department of Architecture in 1976. She remained there until her retirement in 1984, after twenty years of service. She was one of the charter members of the UTA Retiree Club. She served as secretary for 6 years and Hospitality/Group Coordinator since 1969. Louise’s other interest are playing bridge, volunteering for the Arlington Night Shelter and St. Marie Goretti Garden Club. She especially enjoys spending time with her grandson Eric. Louise still finds the time and the means to meet the needs of the Club. This very special person is a perfect fit in the Roll of Honor.
Joe D. Spradlin reveals a picture of a very talented individual never deterred from undertaking new challenges and achieving his objectives. After leaving UT Austin in 1943 with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering, he entered the U.S. Armed Forces and earned a Bronze Star in combat. At the end of the war, he began a sixteen year experience as a professional engineer in the private sector. In 1962, Joe came to Arlington State College to begin a highly productive twenty-one years with the Department of Electrical Engineering. On at least 4 occasions, he was selected as outstanding teacher of Engineering by his students and his peers. In 1985, Joe joined the Retiree Club and served as Vice President. He also served as Editor of the Retirees Club Newsletter. He made many contributions to the Club by providing programs and in planning assistance. He is a worker in his church, and pursues the interest of amateur radio and photography. His wife Kay, and their 2 children are his highest priority. As a founder of the Club, he qualifies to be on the Roll of Honor.