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Former North Greenville President Paul Talmadge passes away

Tigerville, SC (November 23, 2020) Dr. Paul A. Talmadge, the sixth president of the then North Greenville College (NGC), died November 20 at the age of 92. He served as president from 1988 to 1991.

"President Talmadge was a gentleman and a scholar, which is among the highest praise a university can offer someone of his generation. He loved this community deeply and served sacrificially," said NGU President Dr. Gene C. Fant, Jr. "His entire career was spent investing in Christ-first education, primarily in faculty roles at NGU and our sister institution Anderson University. In retirement, he joined the staff of the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville before retiring with his wife, Billie. We pray for his entire family as they mourn his loss."

Before Talmadge was appointed president in 1988, he was an instructor in Bible and religious education at North Greenville, where he remained until 1969 to join the then Anderson College. While at Anderson, he served as academic dean and on two occasions as acting president.

A native of Birmingham, AL, Talmadge grew up in the public schools of Birmingham and Selma, AL. After his high school graduation in 1946, he enlisted in the U.S. Air Force and attended the Aircraft and Engines Mechanics School at Keesler Air Force Base. He became an instructor in the school upon completing the program and instructed for the remainder of the three years. He was discharged honorably with the rank of Staff Sargeant. He entered Howard College, which is now Samford University, in 1949 and received a bachelor's in English literature in 1953. He later earned a master's degree and a doctorate in religious education from Southwestern Theological Seminary.

While attending Howard College, he was director of student religious activities and a part-time instructor in Bible Survey. He was a teaching fellow in religious education during his time at Southwestern 1959-61 before coming to North Greenville College in 1962 as a religion instructor.

After leaving NGC in 1991, Talmadge held positions of visitor center coordinator and program coordinator at The Cove at the Billy Graham Training Center in Asheville, NC. He led workshops at the training center and was the executive director for learning in retirement at Anderson College, which offered non-credit courses for mature learners.

Talmadge was the keynote speaker for North Greenville's commencement exercises in 2001 and received an honorary doctorate. Talmadge said when accepting the honor, "I have had a lifelong love of learning and education. I am honored to receive this honorary degree from a place that has been such an influential part of my life."

He will be deeply missed by his wife, Billie Mobley Talmadge, his daughters, Helen Talmadge and Rebekah Speaks, his son-in-law, Stephen Speaks, his grandchildren Rachel Willis Ramsey, Madison Heaton, Kathryn Speaks, Connor Speaks, and Paul Speaks.

A memorial service will be held at Boulevard Baptist Church in Anderson on Sat., Nov. 28 at 2 p.m. The service will also be accessible via live stream at boulevardbaptistchurch.com/funerals. A wreath is placed in his memory at the Donnan Administration Building entrance.

Story Updated 11/23/2020 - 5 p.m.


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