Farewell to the Inmans
Presbyterian College’s 2015-16 academic year will be the first since 1980 without at least one member of the Inman family as part of the college’s faculty or staff. John Inman, a professor of biology since 1980, and Teresa Inman, a library staff member since 1981, both retired at the end of June. The two of them have made invaluable contributions to our campus, and here in archives, we’d like to take this opportunity to tell you a little bit about what they mean to the college.
Teresa Rose Brannon grew up in Atlanta and first came to the Presbyterian College campus as a high school student visiting her older brother Mark, who entered PC in 1967 and graduated in 1971. Teresa returned to PC as a student in 1969. She majored in sociology and was active in campus life, singing in the college choir, acting as a ROTC sponsor, and cheerleading. While at PC, she also began dating John Inman, a biology major and football player from Summerville, SC. John graduated from PC in 1973 as that year’s outstanding senior; Teresa graduated in 1974. They married in 1974 and moved to West Lafayette, Indiana, where John pursued a master’s degree in biology, then a Ph.D. in agronomy.
The Inmans’ second chapter at PC began in 1980 when John was hired as an assistant professor of biology and they moved to Clinton with their two daughters. Teresa joined the college staff in 1981, working part-time in the library as an evening circulation supervisor. The following year the Inmans welcomed a third daughter. Teresa became the full-time head of circulation in 1988. In 1996, she entered the University of South Carolina as a graduate student, participating in the distance learning program while still working full time, and received her master’s degree in library and information science in 1999. She became a reference librarian at the PC library in January of 2002. During Teresa’s time in reference, the department developed a robust outreach to students and faculty. She worked diligently to make the campus community aware of the resources the library has to offer and to assist the users of those resources.
Meanwhile, John served as chair of the biology department from 1982 until 1990. He was awarded tenure in 1984 and was named the Charles A. Dana Professor of Biology, an endowed chair, in 2001. As a professor, he demonstrated his care and concern for his students, going beyond grading their assignments to engaging with them and mentoring them. He also served PC and the community in other ways, including establishing a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity, serving as faculty athletic representative, and spearheading PC’s Greenhose initiative.
In 2011, Teresa decided to move from full-time to part-time status at the library, and the following year she applied for the part-time position of archives and special collections librarian, which became open upon the retirement of Nancy Snell Griffith. She has served in this capacity for the past three years, a time period which has brought many changes to the department, which are reflected in our new name, effective next month: archives and technical services. This means that in addition to our archives work, Teresa has also overseen the cataloging and processing of all library materials. In spite of the limited hours she has available to work as a part-time staff member, Teresa has given her full devotion to her work here, whether she is creating displays, downloading catalog records, answering questions about PC history, or assisting student, faculty, and outside researchers with archives resources.
During all their years at PC (a combined 77!), Teresa and John have always exemplified the PC motto, Dum Vivimus Servimus (While we live, we serve), in their passion for their work and their dedication to their college, their church, and their community. Their service to PC arises from their love for the college and their belief in its mission, which John himself described in a recent address to the William Plumer Jacobs Society. He shared an incident related to him by a former student, in which the student believed that a single phone call from Dr. Inman had had a profound effect on the course of the student’s life. John went on to say, “I’m not sure what motivates faculty to go beyond the mandatory classroom/lab exercises to engage students and help them to find their dreams. I have a sense that it is a belief that faculty and staff share – not something we talk about but something that eventually ‘infects’ us all.” John noted that when he played football for Coach Cally Gault, the coach often told his players, “When you step onto this campus, I believe you are a different person, a better person.” John concluded, “I laughed behind [Coach Gault’s] back about the absurdity of that statement until the day I began to believe it myself.”
It is clear from the record of their years at PC that John and Teresa both believe that statement, and the PC community is better because of their time here. In his address to the William Plumer Jacobs Society, John said of Dr. Jacobs, “It is truly amazing to consider what effect one inspired, dedicated person can have.” As John and Teresa end their employment at PC (but not, we hope, their relationship with PC), it is truly amazing to consider what effect two inspired, dedicated people can have. John and Teresa, we wish you well, hope you enjoy retirement and invite you to come back and visit anytime!
posted by Sarah Leckie
A note from Teresa: At the end of June, I will be retiring after supervising the college archives for the past three years. I’ve enjoyed my work here immensely and learned something new about our college every single day. Sarah Leckie, on whom I have relied in just about every aspect of the work we do here, will be the new supervisor of the department. Sarah also assisted Nancy Griffith prior to my time in the archives and recently earned her MLIS from the University of South Carolina. Her nine years in the department and her coursework in the management of digital collections will serve the department well as we move further into exciting digital projects.
We hope you will continue to watch this space for historical information about this great institution of ours, Presbyterian College.
Teresa Inman ’74