Reflections: Dr. William A. "Bill" Crump
As Alfred Lord Tennyson wrote in "Ulysses", "I am part of all that I have met."
At Ramhurst Elementary School, Mrs. Estell Middleton taught me to respect and fear authority in the first grade. Miss Rachel Middleton taught me the meaning of TLC—second only to my mother—when she helped me to catch up in the third grade after I was out with pneumonia. Mrs. Inez Kerr helped me to better understand other races through the readings of Joel Harris. Miss Ida Ruth Ramsey, the principal, taught me the meaning of responsibility when she paid me to build fires in the wood stoves. She also taught me the meaning of justice when she required me to cut the hickories she used to punish the guys who turned over the boy's outhouse while I observed, but she said nothing. When Colonel Charles Pannell and Mr. Wayne Westmoreland served interim appointments, they taught us to follow the rules of the game.
At the age of twelve I was baptized at Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church in Ramhurst, Georgia.
At Murray County High School, Miss Pauline Ogletree taught me that "Courtesy is Contagious", and Miss Louise Chambers taught me to value and practice civic responsibility. While Mrs. Gladys Ramsey taught me to respect biology, Mrs. Hill Jones helped me to appreciate music. Mrs. Ruth Ann Pannell instructed the girls to cook and sew, but she taught everyone to smile. Mrs. Lucille Pack convinced me to study and not to horse around in study hall. Mrs. Earnest made sure you did not shout to be heard in class. Mrs. Kerr not only taught me how to appreciate English and Literature—who can forget the poem Thanatopsis (a lengthy recitation that some 65 years later I can still recite)—but she also taught me to research socialized medicine and debate it. Mrs. Sam Maynard saved me numerous hours in college and helped my grade point average by teaching me both shorthand and typing. Mr. Ray Bagley not only taught me some basic principles of algebra, but he also taught me not to play hooky when he was principal. Mr. G. I. Maddox was there to teach me the fundamentals of agriculture, shop, and the string band. He demonstrated strength of character which continues, next to my father, to be my top role model. Prior to high school graduation, Mr. W. C. Petty, the principal, and Miss Ogletree, the counselor, took me to the University of Georgia, introduced me to my advisor Dr. William King, and taught me the meaning of personal and professional dedication.
At the age of 17, with a letter from my mother, I enlisted in the Army because my older brother was serving in the military and I felt a duty to serve my country. While serving in Japan and the Philippines I completed my course work for my high school diploma. When I returned to the states, I graduated from Murray County High School in 1947 and enrolled in the College of Education at the University of Georgia and graduated in 1950 with a Bachelors of Science in Education. Phi Kappa Phi and Kappa Delta Phi inducted me into their scholastic fraternities. The year I graduated I landed a position to teach at Murray County High School. The next year I married Betty Jo Howington of Athens who taught me the multiple dimensions of love.
The first year I taught reading to all five sections of the eighth grade. Then I moved up with the class of 1951 teaching English and Social Studies. In 1952, Principal H. C. Boston asked me to coach the girl's basketball team. (By 1954 we won a berth in the state tournament.) I also coached tennis and would pinch-hit for the principal.
Our son, Kem Arthur was born in 1953, and I began work on my master's degree in school administration. The following year I was elected principal of Spring Place Elementary where I was also able to teach a class every day to stay in touch with the students.
In 1956,1 had an opportunity to go to work for the Georgia Department of Education as a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. I was assigned to the South Georgia area and was based out of Bainbridge, Georgia. In this position I provided services needed by physically and mentally handicapped people to enter or reenter gainful employment. At night I went to Florida State University and finished my Master's Degree. During the 1960s I developed cooperative rehabilitation programs with public schools, the Department of Health, and the Department of Corrections. About this time I was promoted to assistant division director. In the early 1970s, I began the doctoral program at Georgia State University, developed standards for private vocational schools, and participated in a study for the reorganization of the Department of Education,
About the tune I received my PHD from GSU, the Commissioner of Georgia Corrections offered me a job as the Assistant Commissioner for operations. From 1976 to 1991 my continuing responsibility was interpreting and integrating the rules and regulations for the operation of state and county prisons. During this time I taught some courses in Criminal Justice at Georgia State University. During a recession in the 1980s I learned to work with churches in the Northlake, Embry Hill, and Tucker area to develop the NET pantry—an ecumenical food pantry which continues to serve these areas. This experience taught me to be thankful.
My son taught me to be a father, and his two children have taught me the pleasure of being a grandfather.
Although I am now retired with forty-four years of service to Murray County and the Sate of Georgia as a soldier, teacher, coach, principal, counselor, administrator., and Georgia State University instructor, I am currently writing a book on the history of the Georgia Justice System.
As a young person serving hi the military I saw first hand the devastation of war and the atomic bomb. At that time I dedicated myself to the education of the future generations and the betterment of my fellow man.
My hope and my prayer is that I will have half the positive influence on others during my life as my family, teachers, and others have had on me.
"I am a part of all that I have met." Alfred Lord Tennyson.
Thanks to Tim Howard for contributing this article sent to him by Betty Campbell. (Used by permission). Article was copied from Whitfield-Murray Historical Society's Quarterly, Vol. 27, No. 3, 2008.
Used in the museum by permission of the Society and Dr. Crump's family.
Note: Dr. Crump was inducted into the Murray County High School Alumni Association's HALL OF FAME, November 29, 2009.
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