|Popular CSCC Professor Given 2011 First Farmers Bank Achievement Award|
Posted on May 25, 2011
COLUMBIA, Tenn. (May 25, 2011) – The third annual First Farmers & Merchants Bank Achievement Award was presented last Thursday night in ceremonies at Columbia’s Maury Hills church of Christ to one of Columbia State Community College’s most admired professors. And for the more than 160 friends, family, educators, bankers and others from throughout the community in attendance, it was an evening celebrating the passion found in simply helping others.
Aubrey Flagg, an associate professor of geography at Columbia State and 40-year teaching veteran, was recognized as much for how he’s touched the lives of students and others around him as for his many achievements at the college and community.
“Aubrey is a fine representative of all that we stand for at First Farmers & Merchants Bank,” said T. Randy Stevens, chairman and CEO. “Reaching out and serving others has been especially evident in his life, and it’s a value that we’ve held high for our employees throughout our one hundred-plus years of growth. To see the warmth, praise and adoration that he’s received from others tonight underscores that service is truly a wonderful path to overcoming challenges and achieving good things in life. Aubrey Flagg proves that every day.”
The First Farmers Achievement Award seeks to recognize individuals who have been quiet but effective achievers and whose integrity and successes are representative of both the American spirit and the values of First Farmers. Previous winners include David Weathers (2010), a Major League Baseball veteran and Lawrenceburg native, and Dr. Gwendolynne Smith Jackson (2009), a Knoxville veterinarian and graduate of Columbia State Community College.
The dinner at Maury Hills, Flagg’s church, featured various friends and family honoring his accomplishments. It was capped as Flagg delighted those in attendance with stories of his life, his family and service to others.
A stellar athlete in four different sports while growing up in Cambridge, Massachusetts, Flagg was recruited to Austin Peay State University in Clarksville to play football. In 1968, he graduated from Austin Peay with a BS in history/geography, and, in 1970, he obtained his Masters from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Shortly thereafter, the graduate was asked by Columbia State Community College President Dr. Harold Pryor to teach at Columbia State, the first community college in the state designed to provide a college education to a larger number of Tennesseans. Flagg jumped at the chance, returning to Middle Tennessee with his wife, Judy Powell Flagg, where he has remained since.
A much-admired teacher, Flagg has won numerous awards and honors during his tenure at the college, including receiving the first Columbia State Outstanding Faculty Award in 1978. He has also been a recipient of the Faculty of the Year Student Graduation Award in 1998 and, in 2009, the school’s most prestigious honor – The President’s Medal -- the highest award given by the institution to an employee.
A wide variety of collegiate and community groups and non-profits have also benefited from Flagg’s leadership through the years. He’s served as team captain for Columbia State’s American Cancer Society Relay for Life, as team leader of the Columbia State Canned Food Drive, as a member and volunteer for the Habitat for Humanity Foundation Board and as a Servant Leader with Maury Hills church of Christ. In 1987, Austin Peay bestowed the Alumni Admissions Service Award on him and in 2008 he received the Middle Tennessee Kidney Walk Outstanding Fundraising Award for setting a national fundraising record for a team, raising $21,400.
“It gives us great pride to bestow this Achievement Award on someone who so intimately understands the value of striving to achieve great goals… and who has done so in his life,” Stevens said. “We all are lucky to count Aubrey as a friend. I can’t think of a finer person who so clearly illustrates how you can succeed at all you do… by focusing first on God, second on others, and, least of all, yourself.”