After 38 years of service to the University of Georgia, Dale Threadgill finally decided to turn in his key to the dean’s office for the College of Engineering.

Threadgill, interim dean for the college, was honored this Thursday with a retirement reception in the rotunda of the Coverdell Center, where more than 80 people came to recognize his near-mythical determination in all he has done for the college.

“Dale must have thought he was in that Greek myth – constantly pushing the boulder up, and it was always falling back down once again,” UGA President-elect Jere Morehead said. “But he literally never gave up, and his persistence, his determination, his will that this was going to happen is the reason that all of us are here today.”

Threadgill, along with being the interim dean of the college since July 1, 2012, has worked with UGA on campuses other than the one located in Athens, and he has left a positive mark on all these places.

“Dale’s loyalty and his devotion…to the University of Georgia have never been questioned by anyone,” Morehead said. “He had a transformative impact on this institution. You have my sincere thanks and my best wishes for a job well done.”

His work with UGA, in combination with his efforts made before coming to the school, has deemed Threadgill a “superstar” in engineering, said Professor Emeritus Ron McClendon.

“He’s a hard worker – I think we’ve all seen that,” McClendon said. “He’s tireless, stubborn and he doesn’t give up easy, and we’re all thankful for that.”

Concluding the speakers was yet another man with few remaining days at his position, UGA President Michael Adams.

Adams, who played a part in giving it the “old college try” in establishing the College of Engineering, spoke on Threadgill’s longtime commitment in making the dream of this college come to fruition.

“From our first encounter,” Adams said, “Dale pushed me for a college of engineering.”

David Gattie, associate professor in the College of Engineering and host of the reception, presented Threadgill with two tokens of appreciation – a watercolor painting by Jamie Calkin and an “official” UGA rocking chair.

“Everyone knew Dale had the most God-awful taste in chairs,” Gattie said.

Speaking on his own behalf, Threadgill admired his time at UGA and told the crowd he showed no regret in coming here, despite the skepticism from his peers at Mississippi State University.

“Around 38 years ago, I was considering coming over to UGA,” he said. “But everyone told me not to do so, and I’m glad I didn’t listen to them.”

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