South Georgia Technical College Welding Instructor Brenda Butler Gilliam retires
“A woman of many talents,” may be the best way to describe South Georgia Technical College Welding Instructor Brenda Butler Gilliam, who retired recently after 19 years of service to students in Americus and at the SGTC Crisp County Center where she taught for most of her instructional career.
She was able to succeed and excel in a profession that might best be described as a “male dominated field.” She has been and still is an inspiration and an encouragement to other females who wanted to learn to weld and enter a profession that was as rewarding as it is challenging. She taught students to weld but she also challenged them to utilize their artistic talents while honing their skills. Her students made intricate designs and sculptures out of what others may have viewed as scrap metal.
South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford recognized Brenda Butler Gilliam at a special retirement celebration at the SGTC Crisp County Center with members of her family, special guests, retirees, and current faculty and staff members who have worked with Gilliam in attendance.
“This is a special day,” said South Georgia Technical College President Dr. John Watford. “We are happy for Brenda, but we are also sad. Those of us who get to work with Brenda are going to miss her, but I dare say she is going to also be missed by her students. She has really given of herself and her knowledge to our students in an effort to make them better welders and to help them find employment in this field. She has guided students to national championships in the SkillsUSA competitions and has made a huge difference in their lives.”
Dr. Watford presented a plaque to Brenda Gilliam with the SGTC logo that read, “In appreciation for your 19 years of faithful service to South Georgia Technical College.” She came to South Georgia Technical College, March 1st, 1999 and retired at the end of September 2018. Prior to joining South Georgia Technical College, she worked as a Welding Instructor at Weyerhaeuser/Proctor Gamble in Oglethorpe from 1980 to 1999.
She came to South Georgia Technical College because she had a desire to share what she had learned as a welder and welding inspector with others. She has successfully done that for the past 19 years as a lead instructor for the SGTC welding department.
She was also instrumental in helping endow a scholarship for welding students at the South Georgia Technical College Crisp County Center in memory of her nephew, Andy Jackson, who was a welding student at the Crisp County Center who passed away in 2008 in a tragic accident.
Brenda Butler Gilliam is married to Troy Gilliam. She has three children, two daughters and a son, Brandy, Callie, and Jon. She also has two step-children, Briana and Benjamin.
She attended Georgia Southwestern State University.