Brothers Honor the Past, Contribute to the Future of JSU
Jacksonville State University has played a pivotal role throughout the lives of Raymond and Robert Ringer, who are both '49 graduates.
Now the brothers are working to honor the institution-and a highly regarded professor- who had such a resounding impact on them.
Last year Robert established the Raymond and Ruth Ringer Faculty Development Award on behalf of his parents. Now he's partnered with his brother and JSU to establish a professorship in memory of Professor Leon McCluer, a longtime and beloved faculty member. The brothers shared this vision with their fellow classmates and McCluer's family and friends, and thanks to their combined efforts and generosity, they have now gathered half of the $250,000 required for endowing a professorship.
Raymond and Robert were born in Jacksonville and their family lived in faculty housing while their father taught at what was then Jacksonville State Normal School. The Ringer brothers later returned to JSU to earn their bachelor's degrees, and lived in the home of Professor McCluer during part of their time on campus. Raymond recalls, "Professor McCluer was a very dedicated, conscientious teacher and just a fine individual."
Robert adds, "He had an incredible impact on me, both as a student and later in life."
Professor McCluer's positive influence guided both brothers toward careers in education. Robert obtained a master's degree from Mississippi College and a doctorate from the University of Mississippi. He then taught many years at Chipola College in Marianna, Fla. Raymond went on to teach in Cleburne County and Ider, Ala., and served as principal at Moon Lake in Mentone, Ala., and Valley Head Elementary School.
The Ringer brothers are passionate about ensuring this professorship becomes a reality during their lifetimes. Raymond says, "Professor McCluer was an institution on campus, and we'd like to see his memory carried forward through this endowment."
Robert adds, "I'm pleased to be able to give back to JSU, and if everybody gives a little bit, we can get it done."