Waldrup “Roast” & Scholarship Fundraiser nets $7,000

Written By: Teresa McCreery
Email Address: teresa.mccreery@jcjc.edu
Date Submitted: 2017-07-06 21:37:26

ELLISVILLE – The recent retirement of Ellisville Mayor, Tim Waldrup provided a unique opportunity for fun, fellowship and fundraising for friends, family and former employees of the Louin native, courtesy of Jones County Junior College’s Alumni and Foundation Office.  “Roasting” Waldrup was a fun way to raise funds for the Tim Waldrup Leadership scholarship established seven years in Waldrup’s honor by his wife, Patricia.
“We thought a ‘roast’ would be a great way to celebrate Waldrup’s accomplishments in Ellisville and at JCJC because of his gregarious nature,” said VP of Advancement and Executive Director of the JCJC Alumni and Foundation Office, Charlie Garretson.  “He has always loved joking, laughing, and playing little jokes on people.  It just seemed like a good ‘fit’ for him.”
More than $7,000 was profited from the fun and fellowship at the retired Ellisville mayor’s expense by former college presidents, coworkers, and friends.  Former JCJC President, Dr. Terrell Tisdale shared a few humorous encounters with Waldrup when he was a JCJC student and as an employee. Tisdale coaxed Waldrup to work at the two-year college following his graduation from Delta State University.
“Waldrup came by in 1970 to say his goodbyes.  He was packed and headed to Missouri,” said Tisdale. “I told him to stay and be my Dean of Men but Waldrup said he was leaving.  It wasn’t too long before I got a call from Waldrup asking if that job was still available.  He later explained his wife Pat insisted he take the job because he didn’t have a job and they just got married! Waldrup has always impressed me. He always took care of me as President probably because he knew I had the money!” 
The former JCJC President also reminded Waldrup of a few issues he faced as the JCJC VP of Student Affairs. One included former JCJC Board of Trustees member, Bud Thoms in a bizarre meeting in New Orleans.
“We were hosting the District Governor of the Lions Club for dinner in New Orleans.  It was an expensive place,” remembered Tisdale. “We enjoyed ourselves until we got the bill. Waldrup said he didn’t have any money and I didn’t have any money. I was convinced we were going to be washing dishes when the waiter told us it was taken care of.  We were shocked to learn it was Bud Thoms who was also in the restaurant and paid our bill. Somehow Waldrup always got lucky or the Lord found someone to take of us!”
Waldrup especially enjoyed taking care of students, high school counselors, and university recruiters when he was called upon to expand the college’s recruiting efforts. Former Colorado State University recruiter, Jim Heird said Waldrup was instrumental in helping him find good students to continue their education at CSU on scholarship. Heird even enrolled his son Josh at JCJC because he was so impressed with Waldrup and the college.  Heird shared several stories about how his son helped a friend avoid severe punishment because they knew how Waldrup operated when disciplining students. However, Josh was most amazed at Waldrup’s ability to gain entrance into a National Park in Utah without paying admission fees while on a Student Government Association trip.  
“Tim got out of the van and he told students he would take care of this.  Soon, they heard the park ranger say, ‘Let them pass.’  Josh said it reminded him of a scene from Star Wars when Obi-wan Kenobi,the little bald Jedi master used ‘the force’ to trick the Imperial troops to let them through the military checkpoint. The students were sure Waldrup had’ the force’ with him from that day on,” explained Heird.
A few of Waldrup’s friends commented about his thriftiness including former JCJC President, Dr. Ronald Whitehead. He shared with the crowd of more than 120 people at the Laurel Country Club, “My wife made the check out for $100 as a donation for Waldrup’s scholarship.  I told her to make it $5 because Waldrup can stretch $5 into $100!”
Aside from the funny stories, a few friends shared instances when Waldrup displayed his ability to envision greatness in people.Mississippi Senator (District 34) and former Heidelberg mayor, Juan Barnett spoke about a time when Waldrup inspired him to reach beyond what he thought was possible.  As a member of the Mississippi Municipal League, Barnett shared he didn’t think he was capable of serving on a statewide committee, but when Waldrup, who was serving as president of the League urged Barnett to be the Conference Chairman it was more than what Barnett imagined for himself.
“Waldrup believed in me and saw something I really didn’t see.  He told me, ‘Regardless of where you’re from, it doesn’t matter and it shouldn’t stop you.’  Because of Tim’s urging, I feel like that’s the reason why I’m in the current position I am now.  Back then, I wouldn’t have believed in myself enough or even have the courage enough to run a statewide conference.  That day made a difference in my life and I want to thank Tim for that from the bottom of my heart,” shared Barnett.

At the conclusion of the event, Waldrup had the opportunity to have the ‘last word’ on some of the stories shared about him.  Ultimately, he shared his philosophy about having a job.
“The only thing about a job is if you can’t have fun at it, you have just found a job.  It doesn’t matter what you do, it can be fun or it can be terrible. So, have fun and your days will go a lot faster.”
Waldrup retired as Ellisville Mayor on June 30, 2017, after serving sixteen years.  He worked at JCJC for 32 years, retiring as VP of Student Affairs in 2001.


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