GSC Foundation Grants Emeritus Status to Cooper, Fears

Emeriti from left: Bill Cooper, William Fears
Emeriti from left: Bill Cooper, William Fears

BY: KATHERYNE A. FIELDS, Director of Marketing

As part of its mission to promote the cause of higher education and recognize distinguished service, the Gordon State College Foundation granted emeritus status to Bill Cooper and William Fears in its first meeting for the academic year Wednesday.

Chairman Derrick Lewis conducted the Foundation meeting, which was held virtually. 

“The Foundation is thankful for their service and pleased to recognize Mr. Cooper and Judge Fears,” Lewis said. “Both gentlemen have expressed their desire to maintain contact with the college, which is appreciated.”

Members who request emeritus status are presented to the Foundation board for approval and are invited to remain engaged with the Foundation as well as the college through meetings, events and other opportunities.

Cooper joined the Foundation in 2017 and served on the by-laws committee last year. He is the principal and owner of Middle Georgia Hospitality Insurance in Griffin. A graduate from the University of Georgia, he serves on the advisory board for United Bank and the UGA-Griffin Board of Visitors. Cooper has served on various hospital, civic and faith-based boards as well. He and his wife Jan have one daughter, Katie, who is an assistant professor of sociology at the University of Tampa.

Fears joined the Foundation in 2011 and served on the membership committee from 2015-2020. He attended Gordon from 1977 to 1978. Fears earned his undergraduate degree from the University of Georgia and a Juris Doctor from Woodrow Wilson College of Law. Fears is a judge of the Towaliga Circuit of the 6th Superior court District of Georgia. He is a past president for the Flint Circuit Bar Association and the Towaliga Circuit Bar Association and has served on various civic and faith-based boards. He and his wife Joyce have two children.

The pair join the extraordinary list of trustees who have transitioned to emeritus status including: Bruce Akins, Mayor Peter Banks, Capt. Paul Barnes, Bill Bazemore, George Butler, Dallis Copeland, Rep. Robert Dickey; Joe Edwards, Sr., Walter Geiger, Calvin "Hoppy" Hopkins, C.A. "Lon" Knowles, Pete Malone, Jimmy, Matthews, Ed Mitchell, Dr. Mike Oxford, Dr. John Quinn, Tom Richardson, Eddie Rogers, Larry Smith, Luke Weaver and Jennie Woodlee.

The GSC Foundation, established in 1972, seeks to support and enhance the work of Gordon State College through securing financial resources for the further development and growth of the college.