College's Second President Leaves Behind a Distinguished Legacy
Dr. John W. Teel, second president of the college now known as the College of Coastal Georgia, has died. The College's longest-serving president, Teel led the then-Brunswick Junior College from 1968 – 1990.
Teel was a champion for the College, its students, and the region. He had a clear vision for turning the College into a four-year institution. While the vision didn't come to fruition during his tenure, his advocacy was essential to making the eventual transition of the College to a baccalaureate degree-granting institution a reality.
The 22 years Teel led the College were characterized by remarkable growth. When he took the helm of the College in 1968, enrollment was at 293 students. When he retired, that number had grown to 1,300. Teel also oversaw the physical expansion of the College, dedicating such buildings as Gould Library and the first science building. In 1980, Teel made his biggest contribution to the physical footprint of the College by authorizing the creation of a lake, which is now a hallmark of the Brunswick campus. In 2016, the lake was named Teel Lake in his honor.
Photo by Bobby Haven/The Brunswick News - Dr. John W. Teel, pictured at right with his wife Frances, attended the dedication ceremony for Teel Lake in April 2016. Also pictured are former Coastal Georgia President Valerie Hepburn and former Regent Jim Bishop.
Following his retirement in 1990, Teel remained a dedicated champion of the College. In October, he was on hand for the investiture of the College's sixth President, Dr. Michelle Johnston.
"Dr. John Teel was a true gift to the College of Coastal Georgia," said Johnston. "His vision for and dedication to this college were absolutely foundational to making Coastal Georgia the thriving institution it has become. While the Mariner community is mourning his loss today, we will be celebrating his legacy for decades to come. John and his wife, Frances, will always be royalty here for their selfless service."