OFTC Library in Sandersville Named in Memory of Katie Smith Poole
The Oconee Fall Line Technical College (OFTC) Board of Directors, employees, and community members celebrated with the family of the late Katie Smith Poole in the naming of the Katie Smith Poole Library on the OFTC Sandersville Campus, Thursday, September 29.
“I want to thank the people who came out,” Norman Gyamfi, Poole’s grandson, said. “What I want my grandmother remembered for is the family she built and that her family remained loyal and local.”
Earlier in the year, Gyamfi, spoke at the college’s Black History Month Event program and pledged to support the college through an annual scholarship fund of $100,000 to honor his grandmother’s legacy and involvement in postsecondary education in Washington County. Poole served on the first Board of Directors for Sandersville Regional Technical Institute and continued to faithfully serve for nine years.
“Scholarship funds like those donated by Mr. Gyamfi allow OFTC students to attend college without a financial burden,” shared Kathryn Willcox, OFTC Foundation Chair.
“These funds and this commitment to our students and the community make such a difference in the lives of our students and the community in which they live and work,” added OFTC President, Erica Harden before unveiling the black lettering designating the ‘Katie Smith Poole Library’ now hanging in a prominent location inside the library.
“This library being named in honor of my grandmother serves as a beacon of hope,” Gyamfi added. “It’s no longer one side or the other side; we are a people that are combined. The only way forward is for all of us together to live a life pleasing to God. God and love eliminate anything.”
Reflecting on his grandmother’s legacy and how she was always willing to lend a helping hand and offer people hope, Gyamfi identified with the times in his own life when others, like his grandmother, believed in him, even when he didn’t deserve it.
“When I needed help, I got that opportunity,” he said. “There are a lot of young men [and women] walking around Washington County who need help. We overcome by the words of our testimony, and my testimony is one I’m always proud to share. What I’ve been through allowed this to be possible.”
“This day is so memorable to me,” shared Cynthia Ware, Poole’s daughter. “To see my mamma’s name up against that wall, you have no idea what it means to me. To see that her legacy is living on in the entire community… I’m full and want to express my thanks to this community.”
Referring to the name now listed above the library, Jackie Gyamfi Greene, Poole’s granddaughter echoed her family’s sentiments and said, “This really just says go and do the same; that’s what her legacy truly is. We all have a different part to play. The things that you receive, you receive to give them back. That has been the entire story of my grandmamma’s life.”
After the ceremony, guests were invited to enjoy a small reception.
To learn more about the OFTC Foundation and opportunities to support OFTC’s students and programs, please visit the OFTC Foundation page on the OFTC website, or contact Kathy Aaron at firstname.lastname@example.org.