“Surprised? You bet!” said Patrick Nedry regarding his winning of the Outstanding Faculty of the Year award.
“I had no expectation, inclination, nothing! Total surprise; caught off guard,” he said. “In fact, I was gathering up my things, ready to make a quick exit. So I was certainly honored and pleased.”
As faculty of the year, Nedry gets his name forever engraved on a plaque in the A Building, and a gift.
“Sort of a capping on the career, so to speak,” he said.
Nedry was especially pleased with Vice President of Instruction Grace Yackee’s mention of he and his late twin brother’s participation in a twin study with the army.
“He was in the Air Force when I was in the Army,” he said, “and then about 10 years after we were out, they identified that there were 4,000 twin pairs that served between ’65 and ’75. We became part of a study. We did not serve in combat, so we became part of a control group for those who did.”
The study, Nedry explained, covered PTSD, propensity to use drugs and alcohol, and other behavior-affecting variables. As the years went on, it morphed into a study on aging.
“My brother did pass away in 2014,” Nedry said. “So I appreciated her including the remarks about the twin study and some of the other things I had done, as well.”
“My time, as mentioned, was split between private and public sector,” he said. Nedry spent 24 years working in industry and 29 in education – all but five of those years were at MCCC. “That was all part of being here and being able to use my private sector experience in the collegiate work that I was doing.”
Nedry noted that he was often thrown in when a class needed an instructor.
“It was quite an eclectic opportunity here,” he said. “I did a little bit of this, a little bit of that. I was kind of a utility player in the division. I could do Accounting, Intro to Computers, Business Management; lots of different things.
“So it was like, ‘Hey, send me in, coach! I can play that position ‘til you figure out what you want to do with it!’”
He also thanked the students who nominated him for the award.
“I’m very pleased,” he said.
With Nedry retiring, this honor comes not a moment too soon. His proverbial jersey may be being retired, but his impact on the college will always be remembered and appreciated.
Below is Nedry’s acceptance speech in full.
“Obviously, I don’t come with any prepared remarks for this thing! So I would just cite a few lines from a favorite movie that I’ve probably seen… well, I could ask my wife… maybe 75 or 80 times: ‘The Outlaw Josey Wales.’ And there’s a line in it from Chief Dan George, who plays the character Lone Watie.
“He makes the statement of the tribes being mishandled quite a bit during that period of our history and he said when they came to the US capital, the president at the time told them to ‘endeavor to persevere.’ He said they didn’t know what that meant, but they went out and did it anyway. So that’s what we have done – endeavor to persevere. I’m going to be retiring, but it’s been a terrific ride. Thank you all!”