March 10, 2017 – On Thursday, a group of Bryan College faculty, staff, and students gathered for a dedication ceremony of its new American Sign Language (ASL) and Interpretation Center named in honor of Ruth Heflin Cofer.
“Bryan College is pleased to honor Mrs. Cofer’s life of service in the Chattanooga community with the dedication and to recognize the significant contributions of the Foundation to the growth of our ASL program,” said Chuck Baker, Vice President of Advancement.
Cofer dedicated her life to helping physically challenged and other special needs children. In addition to her activism for ASL education, Cofer served as an active volunteer and member of the Hamilton County Nursing Home for 30 years, until 1995. She also served as president for the Nursing Home Auxiliary for a total of 17 years.
She was a very dedicated Christian who gave God the praise for so many opportunities to help those around her, especially the elderly and forgotten, truly living a life following the example of Jesus Christ. Cofer passed away in 2008, leaving behind a powerful legacy of Christian service and witness.
Since 2014, the Fred J. and Ruth Heflin Cofer Foundation has awarded significant grants specifically for Bryan College’s ASL program to help fulfill its mission and equip students to use sign language skills to make a difference in today’s world. ASL is currently the second most studied language by students at Bryan.
Representing Cofer at the ceremony were her brother, Keith Heflin, and her nephew, Steve.
“What we are here for today is the result of a life well lived that will continue to go on and impact others,” said Dr. Stephen Livesay, President of Bryan College. “God placed the desire to serve others in her heart, and we are so thankful for everything her foundation continues to do to honor her life.”
The new ASL and Interpretation Center is located in Mercer Hall, room 243.
Written by Curtis Jolley, Social Media and Communications Coordinator