May 25, 2011


Bearden Posthumously Chosen Most Outstanding Faculty Member

The late Michael Bearden, Instructor of Mathematics and Physics at Northeast Alabama Community College was chosen as the Dr. Charles M. Pendley Founders’ Chair Most Outstanding Faculty Member for 2010-2011. The announcement was made at the NACC Graduation Ceremony May 13, 2011. Bearden’s wife, Tammy, accepted the award on his behalf.

Lora Mae Davis, Chair of the Founders’ Chair Committee made the announcement, saying, “The Dr. Charles M. Pendley Founders’ Chair Award for Most Outstanding Faculty Member at Northeast Alabama Community College is the highest award a faculty member can achieve at NACC, and it is an outstanding way of saying ‘thank you’ to the best faculty member of the year. It is my honor to announce the late Michael Bearden as the recipient for the year 2010 – 2011.”

Bearden taught at NACC for nine years as mathematics and physics instructor. “Not only did he have an incredible understanding of his subject matter, more importantly, he had a rare quality required of a successful teacher – he knew how to relate to his students,” continued Davis. “Mike taught during January and February 2011, and passed away March 27, 2011. Mike’s engineering background gave him a keen insight into what his students would face upon entering a four-year engineering program. He often said that every teacher should ask the question, ‘Were my students prepared after they transferred?’ It was often that you heard his students say, upon returning to the campus to visit, how prepared they were after transferring. Many have credited their success in their junior and senior years of college, and success in their careers to Mike’s classroom instruction and his assistance outside the classroom. He also taught his students, his colleagues, and all who knew him how to live life with gusto and curiosity, to maintain physical dexterity and fitness, and to appreciate nature and the gift of life. He faced his imminent death with courage, tenacity, grace, and dignity. Mike will be missed as a friend, coworker, teacher, and member of the northeast family. His students will be forever indebted to him for his efforts to help them fulfill their hopes and dreams. It is my great pleasure to present the Dr. Charles M. Pendley Founders’ Chair Award to Michael Bearden - posthumously,” concluded Davis.

Greg Millican, Chair of the Mathematics and Science Division, added, “Mike Bearden was always concerned about his students and preparing them for their junior and senior level courses. He was an inspiration to me and to so many of us as he continued to teach and assist his students while battling through his illness. He was a friend and will be missed greatly by his students, the faculty and staff. The fact that he donated his body to medical research is truly indicative of his character. Mike is truly deserving of the Most Outstanding Faculty Member Award.”

As recipient of the award, Bearden will be featured in the NACC yearbook and his name will be placed on a plaque displayed at the College.

“Mr. Bearden was such an influence on the lives of so many students through the years, as well as having such a positive effect on all of us who knew him,” stated Dr. David Campbell, NACC President. “He is a great selection for this Award. We miss him at Northeast.”

Bearden had joined the NACC faculty in 2002 as a full-time mathematics and physics instructor. He held a BS degree from Auburn University, BSEd from Athens State University, and a MAEd from Jacksonville State University.

Members of the Dr. Charles M. Pendley Founders’ Chair Committee include Lora Mae Davis, Chair, Joyce Kennamer, Pat Freeman, and Kathy Cook.

Michael Bearden,
Founders’ Chair Most Outstanding Faculty Member of 2010-2011