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Augusta Tech putting green dedicated to "Dr. Pete"

Although it's been almost two years since he retired, Dr. Peter Crawford still regularly visits his old stomping grounds. Last Wednesday, he found a new reason to visit.


Augusta Tech President Terry Elam (center) and Vice President of Operations Ted Duzenski (left) unveil the sign for the putting green as Dr. Pete Crawford and his wife look on.
Photo by Staff

Dr. Crawford retired in 2004 as Vice President of Operations of the Thomson-McDuffie Campus of Augusta Technical College. Last Wednesday, a new putting green for the golf course management and horticulture courses was dedicated to Dr. Crawford.

"I like to visit almost every week and use the library. Now, I can putt, too," Dr. Crawford said.

Approximately 25 staff members of Augusta Tech attended the surprise dedication. Vice President of Operations Ted Duzenski said it was a challenge to keep the event a surprise. Earlier in the day, Mr. Duzenski said he walked out of his office carrying the golf putters for the green, and he almost ran into Dr. Crawford.

"Here I've been trying to keep it a secret all this time, and then...bam, there he is," the VP said with a laugh.

During the ceremony, Terry Elam, the president of Augusta Technical College, told the crowd how Dr. Crawford made an impression on him the first time they met. Mr. Elam said he was a student at Augusta Tech at the time, when he met Dr. Crawford at the copy machine, and Dr. Crawford shared visions of growth at Augusta Tech.


Mr. Duzenski and Dr. Crawford shake hands.
Photo by Staff

"He's a person who can think on his own feet. ... Years later, when he came up here to run this campus, I knew I could relax because I knew it was in good hands," Mr. Elam said in his speech. "This is a good tribute to him."

A sign proclaiming "Pete's Retreat" was then unveiled, dedicating the green to "Dr. Peter Crawford, an educational visionary."

Dr. Crawford was Vice President of Operations when the Thomson-McDuffie Campus first opened in 1997 with 184 students. In his seven years of administration, the enrollment grew to over 500 students seeking degrees and diplomas, and an additional 400 involved in the continuing education program.

In the early 1980's, Dr. Crawford bought three microcomputers to begin a continuing education class, then purchased two more the following year. Today, the college offers micro-computer courses, computer networking and information technology courses.

The Tift Eagle turf for the putting green was donated by Dr. Crawford at the time of his retirement. Dr. Crawford said he wanted to leave something behind that would help the school's growth, and he knew the horticulture program needed something to work with.

The horticulture and golf course management instructor, Marcus Matthews, said the putting green will be a great asset to the program. Mr. Matthews said golf course management is a growing field right now. He said many golf courses are looking for employees who also have experience in horticulture, so they can work with the entire landscaping theme and not just the grass.


Dr. Crawford tests the new putting green.

The horticulture classes already use property at Dudley's and McCorkle's Nurseries, a greenhouse and the 47 acres on campus as resources.

"(The new putting green) definitely helps," he said. "I can teach from text books, but this gives us hands-on experience...We're lucky we have all this to play with."

In addition to golf course management and horticulture, Mr. Matthews said the putting green will be used for new courses of golf history, rules and culture.

Web posted on Thursday, July 13, 2006

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