Athens State President to step down after 41 years - WAFF-TV: News, Weather and Sports for Huntsville, AL

Athens State President to step down after 41 years

The president of Athens State University who gained national attention when a late country singer saved him from a coma has announced his retirement after 41 years at the school.      

66-year-old Jerry Bartlett said he will step down as the university's 35th president on August 1st.

He became a faculty member at Athens College in 1967 and became president in 1991.       Bartlett spearheaded an effort to change the school's name from Athens State College to Athens State University in 1998. He also laid the groundwork for distance-learning.      

In 2000, Patsy Cline's voice lured him from a two-month coma. Huntsville doctors had induced the coma during Bartlett's triple bypass surgery. When they couldn't awaken him, a nurse suggested music. Bartlett awoke after three days of Cline tunes.


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