Submitted by Jerry Hannah, this letter was presented at the Morris College national meeting 27 years ago. Hannah, a 1981 Morris Collage alum, made some revisions and says “this is my Father’s Day wish.”
I am indeed honored with this experience, privileged with this opportunity and forever blessed to be one of the chosen few. My presence this morning is not by accident. When Morris College agreed to let me out of the environment of intelligence and into the world of productivity, I planned that day to be petitioned by God to let me return in fashion. So here I stand this morning 34 years since my exit into the world of productivity, paying tribute to Dr. Richardson, The greatest administrator, educator and dad in the world.
Some of you are looking with suspicion. I say the greatest because Dr. Richardson accepted a “has been Morris College” and turned them into a “now Morris College.” Some are still looking with unclear minds. Dr. Richardson took Pinson bookshelves and turned it into Richardson-Johnson Fine Arts Center. You are still in disbelief. Remember Garrick Boykin Barn. Now, reflect on Garrett Boykin Physical Education Center. Now, do you believe? Let's go a step further. Dr. Richardson took a Teacher Education Program that was producing teachers and turned it into a highly productive program whose products are super educators and administrators. I can see it in your eyes. Some do not accept Dr. Richardson as the greatest administrator-educator-dad. I see all are still not convinced. There is one out there in disarray.
For a moment, let's all pretend to be in a dream for the last 48 hours and everything we've said and done is in the dream. We are in Heaven and in Heaven I meet with Momma Richardson. I pose the question to Momma Richardson, "Who is the greatest Administrator-Educator-Dad in the world?" You know son, "the S.O.L. man would be the greatest because people would come from miles and miles to learn from his wisdom: Solomon is the greatest. No, it must be the B.T. man. His college trained thousands of great women and men. Booker T. Washington would be the greatest." Then she says, "You know son, the G.W. man must be the greatest. The G.W. man took a little old peanut; something nobody thought would have much value and turned it into hundreds of products beyond man' imagination. Yes son George Washington Carver must be the greatest.
Now, pinch yourself. You are not sleep. You are wide awake.
If L.C. was an astronaut his name would be Charles Bolden.
If L.C. was a singer, his name would be Warren Sapp.
If L.C. was a basketball player, his name would be Kevin Durant.
If L.C. was a philanthropy, his named be Revd. James Solomon.
If L.C. was a politician, his name would be James Clyburn.
If L.C. was a president, he would be Barack Obama
You see this is not a dream. It was L.C.'s dream in 1974. Now it is a reality. L.C. took students most people thought were non-productive, no good and turned them into teachers, ministers, technicians, administrators, entrepreneurs, good mothers and fathers and the list continues.
To all that can hear me speaking on behalf of the Pee Dee Area Morris College Alumni Association in the words of W.E. Dubose, "An institution of higher learning is judged by its products" (the Alumni). Just look around the room this morning. If all of us would tell the truth, each of us would say Dr. Richardson has affected our lives. Some with writing skills, some with leadership abilities, some with teaching, some by preaching, and others by the way he talked, and the way he walked.
We are here this morning to show some love to the Greatest Educator- Administrator-Dad in the world.
This is the occasion, this is why we are here!