Dave White was busy welcoming guests to the Riverfront Campus Tuesday afternoon and there was a full room in the lobby and atrium of the building he was instrumental in building.
Not unusual for the campus vice chancellor, who so often has welcomed guests to what has become the anchor for riverfront development in downtown Phenix City. What was of note, however, was that it would be among his last official duties.
White, a 24-year veteran of the University, has retired from service, and he was being honored Sept. 29 with a reception and retirement program. As a testament to his tenure at TROY, the crowd seemed equal parts community members from Phenix City and Columbus, University faculty and staff, and Phenix City students.
Marianne Michael, the campus director of communication, speaking during the program portion of the event, recalled White’s first staff meetings in the Riverfront building – in its third-floor board room with no walls.
“He inspired us to accomplish dreams,” she said.
That was a great way to sum up White’s leadership, after he was named vice chancellor after having served for many years as Southeast Region Director for University College, and later eCampus. He first joined the University as a faculty member at Fort Benning after a 26-year career in the U.S. Army, retiring as a colonel. His leadership abilities quickly moved him into leadership positions.
“Twenty-four years ago when Dave White accepted our offer, he helped move the University to the next level through his innovation and he was critical to our move in distance learning. As vice chancellor, he’s made Troy University an integral part of the community in Phenix City,” said Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr.
Hawkins said White’s military background allowed the University to hone its ability to serve military members and called the Army’s Fort Benning critical to the University’s success in providing education to servicemen and women and their families.
“Dave understands the needs of those in the military,” he said. “We always miss those who are so valued. He leaves some huge footprints.”
Along with Michael, faculty member Dr. Paige Paquette, and Jerri Carroll, campus registrar, spoke with Phenix City Mayor Eddie Lowe, Dr. Lance Tatum, Senior Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs, and Dr. Hawkins.
“I don’t think there’s anything anyone enjoys more than the respect of their colleagues, and affirmation from not only the people they work with but from those who work for them that they’ve done a good job. That’s how I felt today,” White said. “I enjoyed coming to work every day of my 24 years with Troy. I enjoyed and respected the people who worked in the University and I especially enjoyed the students that we served. I’m going to miss it.”