May 15, 2014

Columbia State Classroom Named for Retired Professor

Photo Caption: Aubrey Flagg said that being a professor is a noble profession as he reflected on his days as a professor at Columbia State, sharing stories with friends, colleagues and students.

(COLUMBIA, Tenn. - May 15, 2014) - - - Room 200 of the Frank G. Clement building at Columbia State Community College's Columbia campus has been named for Aubrey Flagg, retired associate professor of geography.

"Aubrey Flagg will always be a part of Columbia State," said Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president. "He has taught and inspired countless number of students over the years, he is respected by faculty and staff alike, and his love for Columbia State is above reproach."

After his retirement last May, friends and family wanted to honor Flagg by naming the room in which he taught for nearly 42 years. They gathered support and donations that will be used to support learning so his influence on Columbia State and students continues.

Bethany Lay, the executive for advancement and foundation director, explained that the naming of an institutional space for individuals or groups who have made significant contributions to society or a college is an honored tradition of higher education.

"I was nervous and teary-eyed. Columbia State means so much to me," Flagg said. "Most of the buildings on campus are named but not after many educators. This dedication was a humbling experience."

Since retiring, Flagg spends much of his free time volunteering with his wife, Judy, at Maury Hills Church and the Family Center in Columbia, and he has plans to continue volunteering with Habitat for Humanity. Although he visits the Columbia campus often, Flagg commented that the adjustment period after his retirement has been difficult.

"Teaching is all I've ever known. It wasn't about geography, it was about serving and teaching with passion," Flagg said. "I've made many dear friends at Columbia State over the years, and my heart will always be there."

Flagg served Columbia State from July 1971 to May 2013. Before beginning his tenure at Columbia State, he earned a Bachelor of Science degree in geography and history from Austin Peay State University and a Master of Science degree in geography from the University of Tennessee.

Photo Caption: Aubrey Flagg and Dr. Janet F. Smith, Columbia State president pose with the plaque that will adorn the wall next to Room 200 of the Frank G. Clement building.

The Columbia State Foundation supports and partners with Columbia State to positively impact communities and student success through the maintenance and enhancement of resources, which is achieved by excellence in relationship building, fundraising and investment management. The Columbia State Foundation was formed in 1971 as an institutionally related, yet independently chartered and separate 501(c)(3).

Columbia State is a two-year college, serving a nine-county area in southern Middle Tennessee with locations in Columbia, Franklin, Lawrenceburg, Lewisburg and Clifton. As Tennessee's first community college, Columbia State is committed to increasing access and enhancing diversity at all five campuses. Columbia State is a member of the Tennessee Board of Regents, one of the largest higher education systems in the nation. For more information, please visit

Tennessee's Community Colleges is a system of 13 colleges offering a high-quality, affordable, convenient and personal education to prepare students to achieve their educational and career goals in two years or less. We offer associate degree and certificate programs, workforce development programs and transfer pathways to four-year degrees. For more information, please visit us online at

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