Bridge named for educator

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Approximately 29,000 drivers on 15th Street every day will see Rosa T. Beard's name as they drive on the bridge over Wrightsboro Road.

Family members unveil a sign commemorating the newly named Rosa T. Beard Memorial Bridge at Paine College's Candler Memorial Library and Conference Center. Attendees drove over the bridge at 15th Street that runs over Wrightsboro Road as part of the dedication.  Michael Holahan/Staff
Michael Holahan/Staff
Family members unveil a sign commemorating the newly named Rosa T. Beard Memorial Bridge at Paine College's Candler Memorial Library and Conference Center. Attendees drove over the bridge at 15th Street that runs over Wrightsboro Road as part of the dedication.

That's the number George Bradley gave while speaking at a ceremony Saturday dedicating the overpass in Beard's memory.

"If we celebrated her a month, or even a year, we wouldn't get through all of her accomplishments, or be able to tell how she influenced each of us to become greater," said Bradley, the president of Paine College.

Beard died in December at the age of 89.

As an educator for almost 40 years, Beard taught thousands of young people in Augusta. She founded The Rocket Club for students interested in aeronautics and space, and the Rosa T. Beard Debutante Club to prepare young ladies for adulthood. For 50 years, Beard was active at Antioch Baptist Church in various choirs, as a Sunday school teacher and a trustee. She also was a board member of Shiloh Comprehensive Community Center -- a senior center, food pantry and youth-tutoring facility.

"It's befitting that a bridge be dedicated to someone who was a bridge in so many lives," said Deidre Brown Collins, who attended the ceremony at Paine College. "Her life was dedicated to seeing that others had the opportunity to success."

Beard's youngest daughter, Cheryl, described how much her mother's personal life revolved around locations on 15th Street -- she attended high school at Paine High School, the bulk of her teaching career was at Josey High School, her summer program for high school students was at the Medical College of Georgia, her involvement at Shiloh Community Center, and her preferred grocery store was Kroger.

"Mom would be so pleasantly surprised by this honor. But, it's also special because 15th Street was the arterial connector to where Rosa T. Beard lived and her community," Cheryl Beard said.

The overpass was built in 1991 to ease traffic congestion caused by trains.

More than 100 people filled a room in the Candler Memorial Library and Conference Center at Paine College for the ceremony, which was held indoors to keep people out of the summer heat.

Everyone who attended lined up in their cars and drove over the bridge. Beard's family members were allowed to go over first, while officers with the Richmond County Sheriff's Office halted other traffic.

"My only regret is that she didn't receive this particular flower while she was still living," Augusta Commissioner Alvin Mason said.

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No_Longer_Amazed 07/30/11 - 05:14 pm
The AC needs to proof this

The AC needs to proof this article: "the Rosa T. Memorial Bridge" should read "the Rosa T. Beard Memorial Bridge" - "including State Rep. Henry, D-Augusta" should read "including State Rep. Henry Howard, D-Augusta," - "lined their cars" should read "lined up their cars."

TK3 07/30/11 - 05:59 pm
I agree with your comment on

I agree with your comment on the report above No_Longer_Amazed but the paper staff have to actually read what you have posted, vs just a automated censor filter, for it to do any good pointing out their reporting errors.

I'm sure Rosa T. Beard was Deserving. That said, deserving or not I think raising monuments to or naming public structures, bridges, roads, etc., after LIVING politicians is a disturbing trend that only old Rome would be proud of and is totally wrong and un-American.

"These 'monuments to me' are among the most arrogant features of the earmark culture.." "They contribute to both political corruption and excessive spending.","Texas Republican Michael McCaul-former prosecutor

"Occupants of public offices love power and are prone to abuse it."
George Washington , Farewell Address

“Those only deserve a monument who do not need one”.~William Hazlitt (1778-1830)

mefirst 07/30/11 - 06:03 pm
Many of us will remember Ms.

Many of us will remember Ms. Beard with love and kindness. The impact she had on her students will carry over well into future, and her sage and timely advice will serve as an inspiration to generations as yet unborn. I remember her telling me to "mind my manners" on more than one occasion, steering me away from potential troublesome behavior. She more than deserves this honor, and it is fitting that she have a bridge named for her..she was indeed a bridge between ignorance and learning for so very many of Augusta's children. She made us better in many, many ways.

seenitB4 07/30/11 - 07:18 pm
We need many more like Ms

We need many more like Ms Beard.

TrulyWorried 10/11/13 - 09:27 pm
Nobody corrected me

and I need to retract my statement about the bridge being named in honor of Mrs Beard. All I would read was 15th Street Bridge - now Wrightsboro Road is mentioned and I realize that it is the OVERPASS over Wrightsboro Road NOT the 15th Street Bridge. So I have it straight now and I apologize, thinking structures were renamed in honor of someone else whenever government decides. (Let's face it, these days one really cannot trust anyone at any time). Sorry!

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