Garry Coomer Drive Honors Longtime Employee
Posted on Wednesday, March 31, 2010 [9:54 AM]
LWC Vice President for Administration & Finance
Roger Drake, left, assists LWC
maintenance worker Garry Coomer in unveiling Garry Coomer Drive as
John Begley looks on.
COLUMBIA, Ky. -- When Garry Coomer started at Lindsey Wilson
College, Richard Nixon was still serving his first term at the 37th
president of the United States.
The date was April 14, 1971, and a first-class postage stamp
cost but 8 cents.
On Tuesday morning, Coomer was honored for his more than 38
years of service to the college by having a Columbia city street
named in his honor. Garry Coomer Drive runs in front of the Lindsey
Wilson Plant Operation Department Building, the office where Coomer
has spent his 38-year Lindsey Wilson career as maintenance
"It's difficult for most of us to imagine the degree of change
that Garry has witnessed on this campus," LWC Vice President for Administration & Finance
Roger Drake told about 80 people who attended Tuesday morning's
dedication ceremony in front of the Plant Operation Department
As Drake noted, when Coomer started at Lindsey Wilson, the
college's library was located in what is now the Everett Building
and the men's basketball team -- the college did not sponsor
women's sports -- practiced in what is now the W.W. Slider
Humanities Center. Coomer has served under the last five Lindsey
"Garry has literally helped tear down buildings he's also helped
to build," Drake said.
To understand the degree of change that has taken place at
Lindsey Wilson during Coomer's nearly four decades of service, in
April 1971 Lindsey Wilson's total budget of less than $500,000
supported but nine full-time faculty. Next school year, the
college's budget will be more than $45 million, and the college
will employ almost 100 full-time faculty.
The college's A.P. White Campus has expanded from about 45 acres
to more than 200 acres, and it now has more than 600,000 square
feet of office space -- six times more than what existed in
"What I find incredibly fascinating about Garry is his uncanny
ability to remember in vivid detail every little change that's
happened on this campus," Drake said. "He can tell you about every
change, in every floor plan that's ever happened in every building
on this campus."
And although the college has better technology in 2010 than it
did in 1971, it has yet to discover a computer or Global
Positioning System better than Coomer.
"This college will never have a GPS system or a campus map that
will be as good as Garry Coomer as telling us where the lines are
buried and where things are around campus," Drake said.