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Dr. Joseph Talmadge receives commendation

Dr. Joseph Talmadge receives commendation

Over 100 people filled Enterprise State Community College’s multipurpose room for the commendation ceremony of former president and dean of instruction Dr. Joseph Talmadge on April 26.

Alabama Education Policy Advisor and Coordinator and Enterprise State Community College alumnus Nick Moore thanked Talmadge for the things he had done as president.

“As a freshman student that entered into this college on a Pell Grant, if it wasn’t for the (ESCC) Foundation scholarship that I received—that you established as president—I wouldn’t be standing here today in this role,” Moore said. “There’s no doubt that many people in this room today are standing on the shoulders of giants and you are chief among those giants.”

He also spoke on Talmadge’s role in the creation of the Statewide Transfer and Articulation Reporting System (STARS).

“A lot of folks don’t recognize that Dr. Talmadge was a visionary leader of the Alabama Articulation Agreement Committee in 1984 and 1985,” Moore said. “Due to your leadership and help from the good Senator Jimmy Holley, you were able to develop the Alabama Statewide Transfer and Articulation Agreement. Right now because of that agreement, so many of our college students are able to finish their four-year degree at universities and colleges across Alabama. And because of that, they’re able to save money, finish their degree early and get into college.”

Moore presented Talmadge with a commendation from Gov. Kay Ivey.

“Now therefore, Kay Ivey, governor of Alabama does hereby commend Dr. Joseph Talmadge for his many contributions to the state of Alabama in both his career at Enterprise State Community College and in providing state-wide leadership through his work to improve transfer and articulation throughout the state of Alabama,” Moore read.

Director of Student Financial Aid Henry Quisenberry was originally hired by Talmadge and took to the podium to say a few words about the man.

“Thank you for your faith in us, thank you for your hope for what our beloved school could become and thank you for your unabashed love for this college and for everybody that’s served here,” Quisenberry said. “God bless you and God bless Enterprise State for the years to come.”

Current ESCC President Matt Rodgers revealed that April 26 would officially be recognized as Joseph Talmadge Day at ESCC and said a few words about Tamladge’s legacy.

“At the end of the day, we’re not judged by wins or losses, we’re not judged by the number of books we sell, we’re not judged by the money we have in our bank account, we’re judged by the effect and impact and difference we make to other people,” Rodgers said. “I am just honored today to say, Dr. Joe you’ve been successful on a job well done.”

Talmadge took an opportunity to speak to the crowd gathered in the ESCC MPR.

“I can’t turn down a podium,” Talmadge said to a room full of laughter. “I’m just proud of the college and I’m proud of Matt (Rodgers). I hope he’s going to stay out here for the next 25 or 30 years and that he keeps building off what we started. I thank all of you for coming and it just means so much to me to see all of you. That’s the greatest treasure of all is to be able to see all of you. I’m proud of this school and I know you are, too.”

After the ceremony in the MPR, the group moved to the newly renovated Talmadge Hall on campus where the building was rededicated with a new portrait of Talmadge hanging in the lobby.

Talmadge took the time after the rededication to explore the newly renovated building event giving a history lecture to his grandson.

Former Daleville star earns four-year scholarship offers

Former Daleville star earns four-year scholarship offers

Former Daleville football and basketball star Kainan Pouncy’s Enterprise State basketball career came to a close earlier this year, but his college career is only beginning.

Pouncy received four scholarship offers from four-year basketball programs last week including the University of Montevallo, Georgia Southwestern State University, University of Arkansas at Monticello and Florida A&M University.

Montevallo, Georgia Southwestern and Arkansas-Monticello are all Division II schools, while Florida A&M is a Division I school and part of the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference, which is made up primarily of historically black colleges and universities. Montevallo is also historically a Division II power having reached the Division II Sweet 16 eight times since 2004 and the Elite 8 three times during that span, including an appearance in the NCAA Division II National Championship in 2012.


“I was really excited (to receive the offers) and the chance to play at the next level is always a blessing,” Pouncy said. “I just want to choose the school that best fits me with great coaches that I can get along with and a nice, safe campus. I want to be the best version of myself that I can possibly be and win a championship.”

Before coming to ESCC, Pouncy was an all-state athlete in both basketball and football at Daleville High School. Pouncy had a massive senior season despite coming off of an ACL tear during his junior season. He averaged 18 points, 8.4 rebounds, 6.1 steals, 5.7 assists and 1.5 blocks per game in his senior campaign at Daleville.

Pouncy earned Alabama Community College Conference (ACCC) All-Region 22 second team honors in both his freshman and sophomore seasons at ESCC. He also earned All-South Division first team honors in both seasons.

Pouncy averaged 20.3 points per game as a sophomore, which was fourth in the entire conference, and 19.7 points per game as a freshman. Pouncy’s 47 total steals during the season was also 10th in the conference and his 8.1 rebounds per game as fourth in the ACCC.

Pouncy said that he thoroughly enjoyed his time at ESCC and learned a lot there.

“It was great and I definitely would recommend ESCC to future players,” Pouny said. “I really learned about what it takes and to thrive and work hard on and off the court on a daily basis.”


Talmadge honored with commendation

Talmadge honored with commendation

Friday was a very special day for Enterprise State Community College as the school hosted a commendation ceremony for one of its founders.

Dr. Joe Talmadge, who was instrumental in ESCC’s creation and served as the school’s first Dean of Instruction before becoming its president, was honored by former and current ESCC faculty and staff as he received a commendation letter from Governor Kay Ivey Friday morning. ESCC’s Associate Dean of Students and Athletic Director Kevin Ammons called the ceremony to order and thanked Talmadge for his many years of service to the school.


“If it wasn’t for Dr. Talmadge, many of us may never have been here as a student or as an employee,” Ammons said. “From the bottom of my heart Dr. Talmadge, I want to thank you for your years of service and for all the wonderful things you did for Enterprise State.”


Following the invocation given by First Baptist Church Senior Pastor Ben Bowden and a video tribute, ESCC President Matt Rodgers spoke of his relationship with Talmadge throughout the years and said that Talmadge is a testament to true success.


“When I think of Dr. Talmadge, I think of success, because of the success this college has had and continues to have, the impact on the community,” Rodgers said. “I think it goes without being said that Dr. Talmadge has been a success, but it’s not just because he’s been a college president or a Dean of Instruction. I think we all understand the impact he’s had: he’s a wonderful husband, wonderful father, wonderful grandfather, wonderful church member, a deacon in his church, a Sunday school teacher… Those are the things that make this man a special man. At the end of the day, we’re not judged by wins or losses, by the number of books we sell or the money we have in the bank account — we’re judged by the impact that we have on other people, the difference that we make for other people, and I’m just honored today to say that Dr. Joe, you have been successful, you have succeeded, and job well done.”


Rodgers declared April 26 to be “Dr. Joe Talmadge Day” on the ESCC campus before conceding the podium to ESCC Student Financial Aid Director Chip Quisenberry. Quisenberry, who has known Talmadge for more than 40 years, said that Talmadge’s life and actions with ESCC are true testimonies of faith, hope and love.


“It struck me in talking about faith, hope and love that the love of teaching and working together is what made Enterprise State such a great place long ago, and it’s love for our former dean and our president, the man we honor today, that’s brought all of us here today,” Quisenberry said. “Dr. Talmadge, thank you for your faith in us, your hope for what our beloved school could become, and thank you for your unabashed love for this college and for everyone who’s served here. God bless you and God bless Enterprise State in years to come.”


Nick Moore then took the podium on behalf of Governor Kay Ivey to present Talmadge with a commendation letter. Prior to presenting the letter, Moore, an ESCC graduate himself, thanked Talmadge personally for his dedication to students and the community college system over the years.


“If it wasn’t for the Foundation scholarship that I received that you established as president, I wouldn’t be standing here today in this role. Personally, I thank you sir,” Moore said.


After the commendation letter presentation, Talmadge thanked former and current ESCC faculty and staff for their commitment to a positive vision for the school.


“When I first came to Enterprise, the first house I bought was across the street on George Wallace Drive, and I looked across the street and this was a peanut field, and I knew there was supposed to be a college here but it’s awfully hard to get a college out of a peanut field. But we did,” Talmadge said. “We put the bricks up outside, but somebody has had the vision to make the inside look nice, and that’s really great. I’m really proud of the school now because it has wonderful leadership, wonderful faculty members, and I think that every year that goes by we get better and better and better. I’m proud of the college, I’m proud of Matt and what he’s going to do, and I hope he stays out here the next 25 or 30 years and keeps on building on what we started here.”


The ceremony was concluded with the unveiling of an updated portrait of Talmadge that will hang in the newly-renovated Talmadge Hall on campus.

ESCC hosts Spring Student Art Show, Concert

ESCC hosts Spring Student Art Show, Concert     

Enterprise State Community College welcomed music and art lovers for its 2019 Spring Student Art Show and Concert Monday evening.]


The event began with the biannual art show that featured work from ESCC’s art students. Using “various forms of media” to convey their visions, students took inspiration from the world around them and translated that inspiration to paper or canvas. Many of the pieces were inspired by the ESCC Fine Arts Department’s recent trip to the National Cathedral in Washington, D.C., and some of the building’s stately architecture was immortalized in paint and ink for the art show.


Following the art show, crowds gathered in the Multipurpose Room for the Fine Arts Division Spring Concert, featuring performances from various groups in the Fine Arts Department. The ESCC Camerata began the program in earnest, singing a number of a cappella and foreign language pieces they have performed at various Renaissance fairs across the state.


ESCC’s Instrumental Ensemble took the stage next, featuring a solo piano performance by Malia Silva before moving on to the larger ensemble pieces. Audiences were treated to Claude T. Smith’s arrangements of “Blessed are They (from A German Requiem)” and “Shenandoah (A Sea Fantasy)” and Gary Fagan’s “Matrix” during the set.


Tenor Aaron Shealy and pianist Carol Windham took over from the Instrumental Ensemble for a performance of “La Sena,” following which the ESCC Concert Choir sang various selections from their “Prelude to an Evensong” set that they performed at the National Cathedral. The Concert Choir rounded out their performance with a high-energy performance of Keith Hampton’s “Praise His Holy Name!” and were treated to a standing ovation once the concert concluded.

Mayor recognizes ESCC in proclamation

Mayor recognizes ESCC in proclamation

Enterprise Mayor Bill Cooper recently proclaimed April as National Community College Month and recognized the achievements of Enterprise State Community College and its position as a staple in the city.


According to the proclamation, ESCC has offered many high school graduates an opportunity to expand and grow their education by “setting their foundation” for success.


The proclamation states that ESCC has created skilled workers in fields where they are in demand.


“Enterprise is home to aviation at Fort Rucker (and) ESCC trains the professionals who work on and maintain the aircraft used at Fort Rucker, thus providing exceptional employment opportunities in the community,” the proclamation reads


ESCC also recently created a CDL-program, and there is a high demand for truck drivers in the area.


The college was established in September of 1965 as Enterprise State Junior College before a name change to ESCC in Nov. 2009.


In Aug. 2017, former Enterprise High School Principal Matt Rodgers became the college’s fifth president.


Rodgers said the entire ESCC community has been supportive in the goal he set for 100 percent student success.


“ESCC is humbled and honored to receive this proclamation of recognition,” Rodgers said. “Whether we work directly with students, community, or with education systems, all of us must commit our best resources so that students can grow their minds and then graduate toward lives of meaning and impact. When we work together, there is no limit to what we can achieve, and we truly appreciate the partnership with the City of Enterprise.”

Two represent ESCC on All-Alabama Academic Team

Two represent ESCC on All-Alabama Academic Team   

James Eldreth and Julie Fleming, two of Enterprise State Community College’s top academic students, have been nominated for the state of Alabama’s elite All-Alabama Academic Team.


Eldreth and Fleming were selected by ESCC faculty and staff to serve on the team. The criteria for selection across Alabama’s community colleges include students who “excel academically; demonstrate intellectual rigor in their course of study; show academic growth and potential; and use their two-year college education to better themselves, their college and their communities.”


All nominees are presented to the national Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society for final selection.

ESCC’s students joined other nominees for a special luncheon held in their honor on April 19, 2019 by the Alabama Community College System. As a result of their nomination, Eldreth and Fleming will each receive a $1,000 academic scholarship from the All-Alabama Academic Team Foundation.

Fleming was a finalist in ESCC’s President’s Cup award, which is the highest honor the college awards to a current student. She is a native of Enterprise and a 2017 graduate of Enterprise High School. She currently boasts a 4.0 GPA, and plans to ultimately earn a master’s degree in Sports Management from the University of Alabama and open a recreation center for poverty-stricken children.


Eldreth is also a native of Enterprise and a 1985 graduate of Woodlawn High School. He currently boasts a 3.9 GPA. He plans to earn an Airframe & Powerplant Technology AAS degree from the Alabama Aviation College and begin working at Fort Rucker in his field.

ESCC celebrates Founders Day 2019

ESCC celebrates Founders Day 2019

Enterprise State Community College took to its running track Wednesday to celebrate a special school holiday.


Students, faculty and staff gathered for barbecue, field games and fun in celebration of Founders Day, an occasion dedicated to ESCC’s founding in 1963. According to information provided by ESCC Public Relations Director Stephen Schmidt, Founders Day was first officially celebrated in the early 1970s and has been observed in fall and spring semesters in the years since.


Founders Day 2019 was organized by ESCC’s Founders Day Committee and Student Support Services.

ESCC awards Forester renovations bid

ESCC awards Forester renovations bid

Enterprise State Community College awarded the bid on the Forester Hall renovation project on Monday, March 25.

Bullard-Cook, Inc. out of Montgomery was awarded the bid for $1.3 million, according to ESCC Dean of Student Services Olivier Charles.

“Our faculty is excited because they have a quality space to teach and a state-of-the-art space to teach,” Charles said. “Our students will have a state-of-the-art space to learn in and our community will have a state-of-the-art fine arts building that they can visit or peruse right here in Coffee County.”

The renovations will see a complete overhaul of the building, separating it into three different areas: music, theater and art.

The art portion of the renovations will include turning the lobby of the building into a gallery for visual arts students.

“Our art will be able to have art shows—right there—within their building that the public can view,” Charles said. “Also, the community can also have shows there as well. We want to open that building up to the community and allow them to use the spaces if they need to.”

New furniture will also be brought in to the lobby for students to use to hang out and relax or study between classes.

“A lot of our fine arts students actually sit and hang out in that building between classes so we’re going to add the proper furniture so that they can sit and study and be able to plug their devices in right there and prepare for the next class,” Charles said.

Another renovation under the art section of the building will be a darkroom for photography students, according to Charles.

He said as far as the renovations for the music side, the choral rehearsal room will be repainted and soundproofed.

The theater section of the building will see a brand new black box theater for the students to use as a classroom and for performances.

“There will be opportunities for students to build props, there will be one-man or one-woman shows, there will be small recitals, there will be small plays and all of those will happen within the black box theater,” Charles said.

He said the theater will hold 85-100 seats and will also be open to the community to use for shows.

The ESCC Foundation gifted the institution $350,000 to build the black box theater and will be named after the ESCC Foundation.

Other renovations will include new bathrooms and an office suit for all the faculty with a break room.

Charles said that the renovations are slated to start in late April or early May after spring classes are over but before finals are taken. Construction is expected to take 90 days and he said that ESCC hopes to have the faculty and staff moved back in by early-mid August before fall classes start.

The building is currently slated to be opened and used at the start of fall classes.

“We believe that a successful fine arts program not only enhances opportunities for our students, but it also provides a means to connect our community with the college,” ESCC President Matt Rodgers said. “We are fortunate to have excellent support from our community for this important program.  We want ESCC to be known as the ‘Center for Fine Arts in the Wiregrass.’”

ESCC holds Fine Arts Scholarship auditions

ESCC holds Fine Arts Scholarship auditions

The Enterprise State Community College Fine Arts Division held its auditions for the Fine Arts Scholarship on March 14 and 15.

With over 30 applicants this year it is the biggest applicant pool that ESCC has ever had.

“People are wanting to be a part of our program,” said ESCC Fine Arts Division Chair Ken Thomas. “We have a good product here, we have good instruction, we have great instructors so the word is getting out about what we’re doing here at ESCC and students are wanting to be of our program.”

As part of the audition, students sang, danced or played instruments for Thomas, ESCC Vocal Instructor Erin Smith and ESCC Director of Band August A. Gallaher.

“We look for a lot of different things such as their ability to learn, we check if they can hear the pitches, we check their singing voice and range,” Thomas said. “Mr. Gallaher listens to their town quality and how they play the scales so there are a lot of different elements that we look for.”

Thomas said that he and the other instructors will be reviewing all the auditions after spring break to try and send out award letters by mid April.

The scholarship is available for all of those students interested in participating in the ESCC concert band, ESCC concert choir, Entertainers Show Choir, theater and visual arts.

Students who are awarded the scholarship must take a minimum of 12 credit hours and maintain a cumulative 2.5 GPA to continue receiving the benefits of the scholarship.

ESCC choir sings at the National Cathedral

ESCC choir sings at the National Cathedral  

The Enterprise State Community College Fine Arts Division students made the long trip to Washington D.C. to sing at the National Cathedral.

The ESCC Concert Choir combined with the Episcopal Church of the Nativity in Dothan to sing eight selections: “None Other Lamb,” “For God so Loved the World,” “Set me as a Seal,” “Amazing Grace,” “O Jesu Christe,” “Give me Jesus,” “The Eyes of All Wait Upon Thee” and “Hear my Prayer.”

ESCC Fine Arts Division Chair Ken Thomas said that the students did a great job performing at the service.

“I think that was the best performance I heard from them all year,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t be more proud of them. I get really emotional thinking about what they have done and how far they have come this year. To start off at the beginning of the year, working through the tone quality and blend and then to be there at the National Cathedral to be singing a near perfect performance—I’m very proud of them.”

He said that one specific piece really stood out to him during the performance.

“The performance itself, hearing them sing “Give me Jesus,”—it was very moving to hear them sing that,” Thomas said.

Enterprise Mayor William E. Cooper, Enterprise District 1 City Councilwoman Sonya Rich, Enterprise District 2 Councilman Eugene Goolsby, Enterprise Communications Director Jason Wright and Enterprise Consulting Engineer Glenn Morgan attended the concert as well.

“It was really an honor for us to have them there,” Thomas said. “The fact that they took the time out of their schedule—they were there on city business—to come to the performance meant a lot to me. It tells me that they are invested in this college and the impact this college has on the community.”

The trip was not solely for the concert choir though, the ESCC Visual Arts students got chances to draw scenes of the city that they can include in their Spring art show. These students also had the chance to visit different art museums and galleries in the city as well.

The ESCC Fine Arts Division students, who were joined by ESCC President Matt Rodgers, ESCC Dean of Instruction Danny Long and ESCC Marketing Director Stephen Schmidt, also took time to enjoy the sites and scenes of Washington D.C.

The group took trips to the Lincoln Memorial, The White House, the Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial, Washington Monument, The Capitol Building and a photo op with Representative Martha Roby who also spoke to the students. Students also had time to free-roam around D.C. and explore the city at their leisure.

Thomas said that overall the trip was success.

“It was a huge success,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t have asked for a better trip where the execution, the performance—it was better than I expected it to be. Other than a few students being late—but not very late—it was a perfect trip.”

He said he hopes the students learn the value of hard work from the trip.

“I hope the students learn that with hard work, you can go anywhere,” Thomas said. “For several students it was their first time to go to our nation’s capital—through the arts. The arts can show you the world. So if they work hard and they’re committed, the sky’s the limit.”

Thomas said he’s already looking outside of the United States for the next big Fine Arts Division trip.

“I’m looking at some cathedrals in Europe,” Thomas said. “And the arts centers in Europe for our visual arts students—maybe Italy, Austria, Germany or the UK—we’ll see. Like I said, ‘The sky’s the limit,’ and if they work hard the arts can take them around the world.”

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