Turning Tables

Brenau University President Dr. Ed Schrader swaps folksy Mississippian stories with Whitlock during faculty meeting. (Nick Dentamaro/Brenau University)
Lectern Presentation
A detail of the lectern that recently retired professor Jim Whitlock presented to University President Dr. Ed Schrader during Tuesday’s faculty meeting. (Nick Dentamaro/Brenau University)

Jim Whitlock, who recently retired from his second career as a Brenau University health care business professor (the first retirement was from a career in hospital administration), says he planned for his life going forward by setting up shop for woodworking in his home.

One of his first acquisitions in pre-retirement preparations was a ratty table rescued from the Yonah Hall dining facility on the Gainesville campus a few years ago when the then-new president of Brenau, Ed Schrader ordered a renovation of the place. Whitlock said he thought first he would simply refinish the homely dark-stained utilitarian piece, but that would have been like “putting lipstick on a pig.”

At the faculty meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 27, Whitlock presented Schrader with a lectern that he fashioned from the junked piece of furniture. The hardest part of the job, Whitlock said, was removing years of accumulated build-up of petrified chewing gum on the underside of the table. “You gave it to me,” Whitlock told his fellow Mississippi native Schrader, “and now I’m giving it back.”