One of the most dedicated members of the Martin Methodist College family has received the institution’s highest honor.
Nedra Johnson Trebing, a 1961 graduate of the college and an employee for 33 years, was presented the President’s Medallion during the annual Benefactor’s Luncheon on Oct. 18. Making the presentation was Dr. Ted Brown, one of seven presidents for whom Trebing served as administrative assistant.
“I am only one of example of Nedra Trebing’s miraculous work,” said Brown, who credited her with getting him off on the right foot and pointing him in the right direction when he came into the office in 1998. “Nedra was good at her work at breaking in a new president – after all, she had done it six times before. She graduated in 1961 and then came to work at the college. She served in a variety of roles in the business office, the registrar’s office, but is most widely known as the trainer and guide for no less than seven presidents in the role of assistant to the president. I speak from first-hand experience as the seventh in Nedra’s long list of protégés. And I am claiming today to be the proudest among them.”
Trebing – who comes from a strong Martin Methodist family, including her brother, Doran, a 1970 graduate and a member of the Board of Trustees, and her granddaughter, Kyndall Kirby Baltimore, currently a sophomore at the college – said the honor was more than she could have ever imagined.
“In all my years working in the president’s office and being on the lookout for recipients of Martin’s most prestigious award, never did I dream of receiving the President’s Medallion myself,” she said. “I am honored. Thank you.”
She came to work at the college in 1969 and spent the first year in the academic dean’s office before moving into the office of President W.C. Westenberger. She would go on to work with Presidents Harry Wagner, Tom Gray, Bill Starnes, Tommy Yow, George Miller and Ted Brown. Dr. Fred Ford, longtime academic dean and professor of music, also served two stints as interim president while the college was conducting presidential searches.
It was an environment that Trebing treasured immensely.
“Being in the president’s office daily, while the president was on the road connecting with our constituency, I had the pleasure in his absence of becoming the president’s liaison, especially with our Martin trustees and the Tennessee Conference pastors and laypersons,” she said. “I became closely linked with our United Methodist churches and allied with our benefactors.
“The most important thing I can say,” she told the audience,” is I love Martin Methodist College, and I love the people affiliated with Martin.”
And, in paying tribute to her, Brown made it abundantly clear that the feeling is more than mutual.
“There is so much more I could say about the influence that Nedra Trebing has had on the people in her life – look around her family, her friends, her church, her community, but especially her college and you will find hundreds who have been touched by this special person.”
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