Perspective Online

University Community Remembers Dr. Lucille Garmon

by Julie Lineback

When University of West Georgia Professor Emerita of Chemistry Dr. Lucille Garmon passed away in October, members of the UWG community couldn’t believe it. The fiery 79-year-old known for her eccentric driving, strength to outrun college students, ability to jump on stools in a single bound, and, most importantly, the love of her students and her craft had lost her battle with cancer.

University Community Remembers Dr. Lucille Garmon“She didn’t let it get her down,” her daughter Alizon Garmon recalled at a recent memorial held by the chemistry department. “She would come into this office with her wheelchair and walker.”

“She was energetic even to the last day,” echoed current Department of Chemistry Chair Dr. Sharmistha Basu-Dutt.

Chemistry workshop leader Zachary Robinson spoke about one of his favorite memories of Dr. Garmon, which happened to occur shortly after she was diagnosed with cancer. Unable to attend a meeting because she was in the hospital, the students decided to go visit her.

“We get there, and I’m expecting to see her asleep or resting, but of course she is sitting there working away, furiously typing on the computer, with stacks of paper around her,” he recalled. “She didn’t let anything get her down.”

Dr. Garmon arrived at then-West Georgia College as an assistant professor in 1968. She would eventually lead the department as chair from 1982-1995. Because of her efforts, the chemistry department was able to achieve accreditation from the American Chemical Society. She was also active in the Carrollton League of Women Voters and the American Association of University Professors.

Dr. Garmon was instrumental in developing Peer-Led Team Learning (PLTL) and the Chemistry Workshop Leader Program, student led sessions that are today required for all STEM majors at UWG. Since the fall of 1998, almost 400 UWG students have had the opportunity to serve as leaders in the program. She began the Chemistry Workshop Leader scholarship in 2012 with the intention to bring it to endowment level of $25,000. To contribute to the scholarship fund, visit

Class Notes 1940s

"When she hugged me, she had the strength that felt like it could crush me, and later on her hugs and her I love yous became more frequent. Not just at holidays or special occasions. When she told me she had cancer, I was devastated. However, she had the determination to be there. I know that her life and her legacy will live on in all the people she touched and all of us." - Dusty Otwell

Class Notes 1960s

"Lucy gave me an opportunity to start my academic career. I am grateful for that. She was a mentor to me and very supportive of me early on in my academic career. She was a pioneer who pursued what she believed in. I will miss her. It is hard for me to think of Lucy in the past tense and when I walk by her office I remember the lessons she taught me and to pursue my passion." - Dr. Farooq Khan

Class Notes 1980s

"She was always the perfect professor because she was always so devoted to her content, her classes, and her students and aside from asking for things for them, she was never complaining or trying to create a ruckus or fuss. An ideal professor in an ideal department." - Dr. Micheal Crafton

"What a wonderful person. I miss her very much." - Dr. Beheruz Sethna

Class Notes 1940s

"She had an incredibly generous heart. One story starts with a guy I will call 'Joe.' He didn’t have a home and lived off of nothing. Lucy battled for this guy to finish his degree and protected him in ways not many knew. She guarded him. She did that for a lot of other people too." - Dr. Spencer Slattery

"I am really grateful to have her show me what it takes to be an energetic professor." - Dr. Sharmistha Basu-Dutt

Class Notes 1960s

          University Community Remembers Dr. Lucille Garmon


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Posted: November 17, 2015

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