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Motlow State Community College
P.O. Box 8500
Lynchburg, TN 37352-8500
(931) 393-1500

Three retire from Motlow College with 101 years of service

April 17, 2013

When Dr. Donald Cheatham, Ron Gault and Debbie Zimmerman retired from Motlow College recently, they did so with the impressive sum of 101 years of service to the institution, according to Dr. MaryLou Apple, president of the college.

Apple congratulated and shared information about the retirees during a reception held in their honor in the Marcum Technology Center on the Moore County campus.

Dr. Donald Cheatham

Cheatham retired officially at the end of 2012 with 42 years of service, but continues to teach at Motlow on a part-time basis. He was hired in August of 1970 by Motlow's first president, Dr. Sam Ingram.

He has taught speech, journalism, radio broadcasting, reading by machine (before developmental reading), economics, educational psychology, world civilizations, American history, American government, and state and local government courses.

Cheatham is a graduate of Flomaton High School in Flomaton, Ala., and served as a corporal in the U.S. Army Air Corp as a radar operator. He earned two bachelor's degrees – one in economics from Howard College (now Sanford University), and another in journalism from the University of Georgia.

Also at the University of Georgia, he completed a master's degree in social science with emphasis in political science and history, and a doctorate of education, after which he was awarded a post-doctoral research grant at Duke University. His retirement plans are to continue teaching, reading and traveling.

Cheatham and his wife, Patricia, live in Tullahoma.

Ron Gault

Gault retired from Motlow last year with 27 years of service to the college. He is a graduate of Boonshill High School in Lincoln County and completed a certificate in computer programming at Alverson-Draughnon Business College in Huntsville, Ala. He also earned an associate's degree in computer science at Motlow and was a computer programmer in the U.S. Army.

Before being hired at Motlow as a systems analyst in 1985, Gault designed and programmed computer systems for Electrocount. During his Motlow College career, he was promoted to systems manager and then was named director of computer services. His title was later changed to director of technical operations.

Gault plans to travel, catch up on woodworking projects, continue being actively involved in his church, and play golf with his golfing buddies Dave Baker, Joe Poe and Will Holt, who are also Motlow College retirees. Gault and his wife, Betty, live in Tullahoma.

Debbie Zimmerman

Zimmerman, an associate professor of communications, first came to Motlow College as a student in 1971. She was asked by Dr. Helen White, a faculty member, to perform in the second children's production at the college. White, who attended the retirement reception, inspired Zimmerman to pursue a teaching career in theatre.

After graduating from Motlow, Zimmerman enrolled at Middle Tennessee State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in speech and theatre, a master's degree in curriculum and instruction, and completed 30+ post-graduate hours in speech, theatre and education.

She joined the Motlow College faculty in 1981 and has been chairman of the Faculty Council; interim assistant vice president for academic affairs; interim dean of humanities, social science, and education twice; department chair for humanities; and coordinator for communications and performing arts. In addition, Zimmerman directed 30 children's plays and five other plays during her 32-year career with the college.

Her retirement plans are to practice her new role of 'grandmom' and spend as much time as possible with her first grandchild, Abigail. Zimmerman and her husband, Bob, live in Winchester.