Ottis Allen, Associate Librarian and Director of Media Services, was presented with the J.L. Geddis Award on at SMC’s annual Recognition and Retirement Luncheon on Monday, May 12, 2014.
Geddis served admirably at SMC for 41 years, beginning in 1964. He was a student at SJC when Dr. Burgess was president. When he retired in 2005 he had served under the next four presidents: Drs. Kingman, Barrett, Fields and Teague. A life-long Methodist, Mr. Geddis was first a member at Gramling United Methodist Church and is now a very active member of Lyman UMC. He graduated high school in 1956 from Chapman High. An ambitious young man, he worked full time while earning his degree from SJC in 1959, and then Wofford where he earned his degree in Economics in 1963. He continued his education at the University of SC earning his MBA in 1964 and did additional graduate work at Clemson and Converse. J. L. held many areas of responsibility during his 41 years here at SJC and SMC including: Business Manager, VP for Business Affairs, Faculty Member—teaching Accounting and Economics, and Men’s Golf Coach for 5 years (his teams went to Nationals 4 times!) He served on 33 visiting committees for the regional accreditation agency-Southern Association of Colleges and Universities. In 1998 J. L. was inducted into the SMC Athletic Hall of Honor (along with Jerry Green and Mookie Wilson.)
In 2002, the Rev. John Hipp and some other of his grateful students honored him by establishing the J. L. Geddis Honorary Scholarship Fund. He was further honored in 2007 when the college established the J. L. Geddis Award to honor an outstanding SMC staff member each year. J. L. is married to Shelba Geddis and has one daughter Rhonda Wood (also SMC Graduate) and is the very proud grandfather of Allison Lee Wood.
Ottis is a loyal member of our campus community and is continually committed to making it better. He has been an employee of SMC for nearly 37 years. Students know they can go to Ottis with their needs and requests. He works with students who need to see videos assigned by professors and often plays them at specially-requested times. One time, Ottis had already left for the day and a student doing an evening presentation couldn’t locate the projector that had been left for them. Ottis returned to campus to lend the student one of his projectors and helped him get set up. This is one of the many examples of times Ottis has been her after hours helping students. Ottis is a friendly face for many of our regular students that come to the library and often provides a listening ear for students who are struggling.