The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Board of Trustees unanimously voted on Wednesday to confer the title of Dean Emeritus to a longtime Bevill State Community College employee, Dean Jerry L. …
The Alabama Community College System (ACCS) Board of Trustees unanimously voted on Wednesday to confer the title of Dean Emeritus to a longtime Bevill State Community College employee, Dean Jerry L. Dollar.
Dollar recently retired from Bevill State after 53 years of service.
A long-time resident of Jasper and graduate from Dora High School in 1954, Dollar attained a bachelor's degree from Florence State University in 1959 and earned a master's degree in teaching from Alabama College in 1968. He attained additional graduate coursework from Birmingham-Southern College in 1962-1964 and the University of Alabama in 1996.
He has been a full-time employee at Bevill State Community College, UAB Walker College, and Walker College since 1965, having served as an instructor of general chemistry, organic chemistry, general physical science and mathematics; dean of students; Mathematics and Natural Sciences Department chairperson; provost and dean of Academic and Student Services; assistant campus dean; and associate dean of the Academic Transfer Division.
“It has been a privilege to work with Dean Dollar for all of these years," Dr. Kim Ennis, president of Bevill State, said. "During his tenure at the college, he has worked on every campus and in numerous capacities. He has impacted countless lives through his knowledge and concern for providing them with the highest quality education possible. I know that this has been his lifelong passion and will continue to be so.”
Dollar has also contributed to the academic development of students by serving as a teacher in both the Walker County and Jefferson County public school systems in Alabama from 1959-1960; visiting professor for organic chemistry at Birmingham-Southern College in Birmingham from 1975-1979; and visiting professor in the Department of Chemistry at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, in 1993.
His commitment to academic excellence also include involvements as the coordinator of distance learning for the Fayette Campus of Bevill State, as a consultant for The Science Center in Burbank, California, and as a member of the search committees at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Dollar gained additional academic and leadership skills through his distinguished military service, having served in the U.S. Army and graduating from the U.S. Army Field Artillery Basic Officer Training and from the U.S. Army War College. He began his service as a supply officer in Jasper, advancing through ranks of intelligence officer, inspector general, deputy chief of staff, reserve component team chief, and commandant of U.S. Army Reserve Forces School.
He also has been involved in a number of professional organizations and activities throughout his career, including vice president and treasurer for Education and Talent Consulting Services, as a past member of the Walker County Arts Council and as a research chemist.
Matt Woods, ACCS Board of Trustee member for District 4, said during Wednesday's meeting, “Dean Dollar has shown an unwavering commitment to education throughout his career. He has shown great dedication to Bevill State (formerly Walker College). Dean Dollar is well-known for his integrity and passion for student success.
"He has instructed many students who went on to lead productive professional careers, many of those becoming physicians, pharmacists, veterinarians, and the like. I believe him to be a true scholar and gentlemen. Thank you, Dean Dollar, for all you have given to Bevill State, and the many students whose lives you have touched and made better."
Dollar, who received a standing ovation at the meeting, thanked the ACCS Board of Trustees.
"I am very honored to be awarded the title of Dean Emeritus, but at the same time I am humbled," he said. "I have always sought to present the best course taught anywhere, the mark of which would be the performance of those students after they left my classroom. I have always sought personal improvement in knowledge and delivery of the subject matter."