Center to be named for late vp

Contact: Sammy McDavid

Mississippi State will memorialize a long-time vice president April 18 when the university dedicates the Theodore K. Martin Center for Technology and Disability.

Martin, who died in 1994 at age 79, was one of the institution's most influential senior administrators. He is credited with many achievements during 35 years on the Starkville campus. Among the most prominent was his leadership in taking the first steps in 1973 to make the 1,000-acre main-campus as accessible as possible to students with disabilities. Today, some 200 students with disabilities--more than all of the state's other public universities combined--attend Mississippi State.

The 10 a.m. dedication program will be held in the second-floor classroom of the center, which adjoins the Longest Student Health Center on Hardy Road.

Speakers will include President Donald Zacharias and Charles E. Weatherly, director of development for the university's Division of Agriculture, Forestry and Veterinary Medicine. Weatherly is former executive director of Mississippi State's alumni association.

Martin served the administrations of presidents Fred Tom Mitchell, Ben F. Hilbun, Dean W. Colvard, William L. Giles, and James D. McComas. A Blue Mountain native and English professor, he held positions as registrar, dean of education and two terms as assistant to the president before being promoted to vice president in 1966.

The $3 million center bearing his name is the only one of its kind on an American college campus. Established in 1995 by the Mississippi Department of Rehabilitation Services, the 20,000 square-foot addition to the student health center provides the latest in rehabilitative engineering and rehabilitative technology to all state residents with disablities.

The need for such a center grew out of a 1993 federal mandate requiring all states to develop a vocational rehabilitation program of assistive technology services. At present, the center provides service to 700 persons.

Wed, 04/09/1997 - 05:00