CLEVELAND — Ethelene Dyer Jones was pleasantly surprised. The corporate representatives from Victory Processing were honored. Gloria Sutton had a sneaky idea but nothing she could put her finger on. And Colby Tilley was never quite sure why he was summoned back to his former employer after three decades.
All four individuals and the one Gainesville business were recognized for outstanding service and support of Truett McConnell University on Jan. 23 during the President’s Chapel service.
They ranged from a charter member of Truett McConnell Junior College in 1947 to a nearly 40-year-jack-of-all-trades employee to a nationally recognized women’s basketball coach to a generous Hall County business.
And their love for the once-small junior college-turned-college-turned-university was evident by the embrace they received from students, faculty, and staff.
TMU recently learned that, to be in compliance with White County emergency services, all streets must be named. So President Emir Caner, with input from the campus, decided the best way to fulfill the letter of the law was to name their four roadways after individuals who had distinguished themselves in service to the institution.
Those being honored included …
ETHELENE DYER JONES
- Born on 1930 and grew-up on a farm in the Choestoe District of Union County, GA.
- Was saved and Believer Baptized at the age of 9 at Choestoe Baptist Church (Baptized in the Notla River).
- Her Pastor, Rev. Claud C. Boynton, was instrumental in the Georgia Baptist Convention establishing Truett McConnell Junior College and served on the original Board of Trustees.
- On December 23, 1949 she married Rev. Grover Jones who she met as both were charter students and graduates of Truett McConnell.
- The couple had two children; Keith (deceased November 16, 2017) and Cynthia Denise who attended the ceremony.
- Ethelene has 7 grandchildren and 20 great grandchildren.
- Jones died in 2011 after serving in ministry for more than 44 years, 16 of which were as DOM of the Morganton/Mountain Town Association. He was a respected leader among Georgia Baptists.
- Charter student at Truett McConnell (September 15, 1947) and 1st graduating class on May 30, 1949
- Served as Student Manger of the College Bookstore
- Her brother, Bluford, attended Truett McConnell 1952-54.
- Mercer University – BA in English – 1952
- Western Carolina University – MA in English – 1965
- University of Georgia – Specialist in Education – 1971 (concentration in Library/Media Services)
- Taught in elementary, secondary, and college settings until her retirement in 1990 (taught in Choestoe School, Bib County, Epworth, and Blue Ridge)
- Taught in off campus settings for Brenau College and on the Ellijay campus for Truett McConnell
- Two books of Poetry, The Singing in the Wood (1984), Mother and Child Reunion (1995)
- Four books of History, Faith through Flood and Fire (1983), A History of Fannin County, Georgia (1989), 100 years of Heritage and Hope; A History of Morganton Baptist Association (1993), Cemeteries of Fannin County, GA (2003), and Facing Forward (2013)
- 1982 – Georgia Library Media Department citation for her service
- 1986 – Library/Media Specialist of the Year for the state of Georgia
- 1992 – Georgia Poetry Society citation for her service
- 1999 – Daughters of the American Revolution the “Evelyn Cole Peters Award” for the poem “Stitches of Appalachian Heritage”
- 2001 – Georgia House of Representatives Resolution 50EX1 commending her for her life achievements
- 2011 – Fannin County Heritage Foundation for her dedication and service
- 2011 – Georgia Governor’s Award in the Humanities
- 2017 – Old Unicoi Trail Chapter, The Women in American History Award
- 2017 – “Preservationist of the Year” Award by Union County Historical Society
Ms. Gloria has been employed at Truett McConnell University for 39 years. She began her relationship with the institution in August 1978.
- Gloria has held positions as: Assistant to the Controller, Business Office Clerk, Switchboard Operator, Safety Officer, and is currently our Mail Room/Copy Center Manager.
- She has been a lifelong member of St. John Missionary Baptist Church in Cleveland where she and her husband are the longest living members.
- Gloria has been married to her husband Phineas “Snap” Sutton for 51 years.
- The couple has one son Maurice, one step-daughter Shirley, and two adopted daughters Christine and Almah.
- Gloria and Snap also have 10 grandchildren, 3 great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild.
- For the past 17 years Ms. Gloria has been the TMU representative for the White County Kiwanis Club.
- Gloria has been a faithful follower of our Lord throughout her career as an employee at Truett McConnell, as a wife, and mother.
- Born in Raleigh, NC and Grew up in Pittsboro, NC
- He has two children, Jason and Sarah, and 3 grandchildren
- He is a member of Summit Baptist Church
- Appalachian State University, B.S. Health & Physical Education – 1972
- Georgia Southern University, MRA – Recreation Administration – 1976
- Auburn University, M.Ed. – Educational Administration – 1988
- Auburn University, Ed. S – Educational Administration – 1992
- High Point University, 2012 -2014, Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach
- Kennesaw State University, 1995-2012, Head Women’s Basketball Coach
- Auburn University in Montgomery, 1985-1995, Head Women’s Basketball Coach
- Truett McConnell, 1975-1995, Head Women’s Basketball Coach, Athletic Director, Physical Education Instructor
- Georgia Southern University, 1974-75, Graduate Assistant – Physical Education Classes
- Horton Middle School, 1973-74, taught 7th grade and Coached Junior Football at Northwood High School
- Chatham Central High School, taught history
- Truett McConnell – 234-46, Regional Champions – 78, 80, 81, 85, State Champions – 79, 89, 81, 82, 85, National Champions 1980
- AUM– 218-74, District 27 Tournament Champions 87, 89, 91, 92, 94 – District 27 Season Champions 88, 91, 92, NAIA National Tournament – Sweet 16, 88, 93, Elite 8 – 95, Final 4 – 94
- Kennesaw State – 290-208, NCAA II Elite 8 – 97, 98, Peach Belt Conference Champions 97 & 98
- Truett McConnell: Regional Coach of the Year 78, 79, 80,81 ,84, 85 – Atlanta Tip-Office Club Junior College Coach of the Year – 1985
- AUM: District 27 Coach of the year 87, 89, 91, 92, 94 – AUM Sports Hall of Fame
- Kennesaw State: Peach Belt Conference Coach of the Year 1997 – Whack Hyder Georgia Division II Coach of the Year 1997 & 1999 – Georgia Sports Hall of Fame Board College Coach of the Year, Division II/III – 1997 – Elected Into The Northeast Georgia Sports Hall of Fame -2005
Victory Processing was represented by owners Johnny Young, Todd Reese, Todd Robson, and Phillip Jones.
During the past five years the 1,750-employee business has contributed to the Eberli Bolt Student Scholarship, the founding of TMUPRESS which will be the University’s book publishing venture, to the George Blaurock Student Wellness Center, and to the institution’s General Fund.
Victory processes more than 5 million pounds of chicken per week and was honored in 2017 as the Best Large Business in Hall County by the Hall County Chamber of Commerce.
This story was written with assistance from Jenny Gregory, digital content specialist for Marketing and Communications at the University.