DOTHAN — Troy University celebrated the career and service of former Congressman Terry Everett on Friday morning, dedicating R. Terry Everett Hall and opening the Everett Congressional Library on the University's Dothan Campus.
The TROY Board of Trustees voted in July to rename the Library/Technology Building at the Dothan Campus in honor of Everett, the eight-term congressman from Dothan. In addition, the Wiregrass Archives at the Dothan Campus, located inside Everett Hall, will serve as the permanent home for Everett's congressional papers and other memorabilia documenting his time in the U.S. House of Representatives.
“Terry Everett has always been a great statesman, patriot and friend, but he has also been a role model of ethical behavior," TROY Chancellor Dr. Jack Hawkins, Jr., said during the ceremony. “The entire Wiregrass owes a tremendous debt to Terry Everett, so the naming of this building in his honor is a lasting tribute to a gentleman and true patriot."
Maj. Gen. Bowen Ballard, USAF retired, served as the keynote speaker for the event and spoke of Everett's dedication as a public servant.
“When you think of Terry Everett and all that he has done, you realize what a humble, dedicated public servant he is," Gen. Ballard said. “He would be the first to tell ‘I'm not a politician,' and that's a good thing."
Gen. Michael Hayden, a former director of both the CIA and National Security Agency and Deputy Director of National Intelligence from 2005-2006, was unable to attend the ceremony in person but delivered a message via video, speaking with great appreciation for Everett's commitment to the country's defense.
“I deeply appreciate the courage in your commitment to America's strength and America's defense," Gen. Hayden said. “This is a labor of love, a labor of duty and a labor done in secret. You don't get to see the contributions men like Terry make on that committee. There are no easy issues in front of the Intelligence Committees in the House and the Senate."
Other speakers at Friday's event included TROY Board of Trustees member Charles Nailen, Dr. Don Jeffrey, Vice Chancellor of the Dothan Campus, Dothan Mayor Mike Schmitz and the event's honoree, Mr. Everett.
“I am humbled and very thankful for what Troy University has done," Everett said. “I very much admire Dr. Hawkins and what he has been able to do here at Troy University."
Many of Everett's former congressional staff members attended Friday's dedication ceremony, and the former Congressman took the opportunity to pay tribute to them.
“You can't do a lot in life unless you have good support from people," he said. “I am very much aware of the fact that I have much to be thankful for and that includes a lot of people that have helped me."
Everett served in the House of Representatives from 1993-2009. During his tenure in Congress, Everett served on the House Committee on Agriculture, the House Committee on Armed Services, the House Veterans Committee and the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
Prior to his public service, Everett enjoyed successful careers as a newspaper executive, a farmer and a contractor. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force as an intelligence specialist in Europe.