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This statue honors chemist Dimitri Mendeleev, the inventor of the periodic table, and was dedicated in honor of local Troy University professor and administrator Dr. Don Jeffrey. At the time of the dedication in 2018, Dr. Jeffrey had served the Dothan campus of Troy University for four decades. The history of the Dothan campus is deeply related to service, as Troy University, then Troy State College, began offering courses on military bases in conjunction with the United States Military. In 1951 Troy University began offering courses at Fort Rucker, located near Dothan. Later in 1961, the growth of attending students at the location made it necessary to expand, leading to the construction of a separate teaching center at Fort Rucker, which later grew into this campus where Dr. Jeffrey and many other educators have served. In addition to being an educator, Jeffrey is a veteran.

The 2018 dedication of the statue

Clothing, Smile, Coat, Tie

The history of Troy University starts on February 26th, 1887, when the Troy State Normal School was established by the Alabama legislature to train teachers. The name of the school changes several times throughout its history, changing to Troy State Normal College in 1893, and changing once more to Troy State Teacher’s College in 1929 to better reflect its purpose.

In the years closely following WW2, higher education saw tremendous growth with the passing of the GI Bill. As soldiers came home from the war, many were seeking to use the effects of the GI Bill to get an education. Like many other colleges, Troy experienced this growth and capitalized on it and in 1951 began offering extension courses at Fort Rucker near Dothan, and also at Maxwell Air Force Base in Montgomery. These attempts at capitalizing on military personnel needing education were the start of Troy University’s long relationship with the United States Military. The initial site at Fort Rucker was established as a “Course Completion” site, meaning students did not have to attend any classes at Troy’s main campus to finish their Bachelor’s degrees. In 1961 a separate teaching center was established at Fort Rucker, which was the first building of the Dothan branch of Troy University. 

In 1957, following the school’s expanded course lineup the college changed names again to Troy State College. Later on in 1967 Gov. Lurleen B. Wallace appointed 8 members to the new Troy State College Board of Trustees, making the College independent from the State Board of Education. As one of their first acts, the board recommended and voted on changing the school name to Troy State University, the decision becoming official on December 14th, 1967.

By 1974 the Fort Rucker location of Troy had outgrown their initial facility and temporarily moved classes to Wallace Community college for a year before moving into the Houston Hotel in Dothan in 1975. The school would occupy the Houston Hotel until 1977 when they bought the building for use as their main campus building. The Houston Hotel remained the location of the Dothan branch of Troy University until 1990 when the college moved to the Dothan Campus on US 231. The Houston Hotel was sold to WTVY Dothan in 1993 who renamed it the Woods Building after the station owner Charles Woods.

Between 1978 and 1982 Troy University became more independent with the Dothan and Montgomery campuses instructed to acquire their own separate accreditation from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. The Dothan campus, following the requirements to become accredited, expanded its course offerings, and built a physical plant. In 1982 the Troy State University System was formed and the campuses in Dothan and Montgomery were granted independent accreditation status. This period of being independent lasted for nearly 30 years until in April of 2004 when “State” was dropped from the school’s name due to the school expanding globally. In August of 2005, all Troy campuses became unified under one accreditation.

Kaylor, Noel Harold. Troy University, Encyclopedia of Alabama. July 13th 2013. Accessed November 27th 2020.

Snellgrove, Joseph Douglas. Houston Hotel, Dothan AL, Troy University Wiregrass Archives. September 1st 1986. Accessed November 27th 2020.

Troy State University Dothan, 1974-2002 Record Group 006 , Troy University. Accessed November 27th 2020.

The History of Troy University, Troy University. Accessed November 27th 2020.

Moseley, Dendy. Troy University branch expansion, 1964-2005: Kudzu U., The University of Alabama Institutional Repository. January 1st 2018. Accessed November 27th 2020.

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