Georgia Piedmont Technical College's longest-serving employee Julian P. Wade, who most recently served as the school's dean of operations, has retired after a 43-year career with the school.
Wade began his career in higher education working at the College (then named DeKalb Area Technical School) in 1969 as a part-time evening instructor, teaching accounting. He later became a full-time instructor, teaching in the Data Processing Technology program (today called Computer Information Systems).
During the course of his career at GPTC, Wade taught for 15 years in the classroom, instructing nearly every course in the CIS curriculum. He served in several capacities, including chair of the CIS department. Wade moved to the dean's office in 1989, where he began as dean of evening programs; served as dean of other disciplines at the College; and ends his long career in the position from which he is retiring.
Wade's affiliation with Georgia Piedmont Tech however, reaches further back than his 40-plus-years career at the school.
"I well remember the day of the dedication of the campus in Clarkston," said Wade, a DeKalb County native. "It was on a Sunday in the fall of 1963, and I was a senior in high school. My dad was always involved in DeKalb County politics, so he and my mom dragged me and my sister to the event. Of course, I had no idea I would one day attend the school or become an employee there."
Three years later, in 1966, Wade enrolled at the college as a part-time student, taking two night classes, and became a full-time student in August 1966. He graduated from the college with a degree in data processing technology (computer programming) in 1968.
On Dec. 12, a crowd more than 100 people consisting of GPTC administrators, faculty, staff, and Wade's family and friends gathered at the GPTC Conference Center on the DeKalb Campus to pay tribute to and bid Wade farewell.
Wade said that in retirement, he plans to continue his heavy involvement with the Association of Information Technology Professionals, to which he was recently re-elected to its national board of directors. He will continue serving on the board of the DeKalb County-based foundation Families of Children Under Stress, which provides services to children who have medically fragile or significant developmental or physical disabilities. Wade said he will also continue to be actively involved with his church.