In Memoriam: Remembering Raymond Tanner
It is with heavy hearts that we bid farewell to Raymond Tanner, a beloved figure in the Mississippi Gulf Coast Community College community, who passed away on October 28, 2023, at the age of 74. As we celebrate his life, we remember him not just as an exceptional educator but also as a passionate advocate for community college education and a true lover of life.
A Remarkable Journey
Raymond Tanner held a unique distinction as only the second person ever to be granted the title of “professor emeritus” by the college. His remarkable career spanned 37 years, during which he dedicated himself to educating and inspiring countless students. For 28 of those years, he shared his passion for mathematics at MGCCC’s Jackson County Campus, leaving an indelible mark on the institution.
A Legacy of Excellence
During his tenure, Tanner’s commitment to excellence was recognized when he was named Instructor of the Year in 1993. This prestigious award celebrates instructors who exemplify the highest standards of community college education. In addition to his classroom contributions, he served as the chair of the Mathematics and Computer Science Department until his retirement in 2011.
A Champion of Math Education
Beyond the classroom, Raymond Tanner’s impact extended to the wider community. For many years, he took on the role of chair for the Mississippi Council of Teachers of Mathematics Junior High Math Tournament. He played a pivotal role in securing corporate sponsors to support this event. Thanks to his efforts, the regional tournament continues to thrive at the Jackson County Campus.
A Teaching Philosophy That Inspired
Tanner’s approach to education was deeply rooted in his belief that each student is a unique, untapped well of potential. He often said, “A student is a walking potentiality,” emphasizing the importance of adapting teaching methods to suit individual needs. For him, teaching was not just a profession but a calling, one that required flexibility, nurturing, and respect for students’ individual journeys.
In retirement, Raymond Tanner embraced the simple joys of life. He was an avid sportsman and found solace in fishing, tending to his home, and unwinding. He often joked with his colleagues about his post-retirement plans, saying, “There are two doors to my office, and I need signs on both that say, ‘Gone Fishin’.”
Raymond Tanner’s legacy lives on through the countless lives he touched and the impact he made on the community college education system. His dedication, passion, and unwavering commitment to students will forever be celebrated and remembered with fondness.