Alumnus of the Month: Dee ’63 and Terry ’64 Cole

September 21, 2014

Like many college sweethearts, Dee ’63 and Terry ’64 Cole share a lot of memories from Lees-McRae and no surprise, their favorite memories are about each other.

Terry said, “While sitting on the rock wall at the old student center, I saw a girl walking by who stopped to pet a stray kitten.  Somehow, at that moment, I knew she would be a part of my future. We did not meet until five months later in January at Banner Elk Hospital. Later that summer of 1963, Dee Bauer became my wife. Certainly, the best part of me.”

Dee said, “Coming from Maryland, I was one of the kids furthest from home. I enjoyed the mountains, hiking, being on my own for the first time and especially new friends. Dating Terry was certainly the highlight of my years there.”

Terry attributes a lot of his success to Lees-McRae and to one person in particular. “I only went to LMC one year and did not particularly enjoy the restrictive atmosphere that existed at that time. That being said, by showing sincere concern in his dealings with me, Mr. Don Baker had the most positive impact on my career and personal development than any other person I’ve ever known.”

What is their advice for current Lees-McRae students? “College is [a chance] to learn, grow and enjoy. Think about things you intend to do. Decide how you will feel about having done them. Then act, if it still seems right, with passion.”

The Coles also feel it is important to give back to Lees-McRae. In their words, “It takes money to provide opportunity.”

Where are they now? “We are both retired now after nearly 52 years of marriage. Terry retired as Senior Vice-President of Foster and Gallagher, Inc. [I am] a retired realtor who had licenses in 3 states. We have two children and five grandchildren, who live from the coast of NC to Missouri. We spend our time enjoying life with family, golfing, hiking in the mountains, hosting friends, travelling and enjoying nature.  LIFE IS GOOD!  And the strange thing is:  We don’t feel much different than we did at age 19.  We’re older, but the world still looks the same as it did when we were at Lees-McRae.”

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Terry and Dee on their wedding day
Terry and Dee at their 50th wedding anniversary celebration
Terry and Dee with their family