Rockett’s loss leaves legacy

November 8, 2007

by Kacey D. Richard

Tech mourns the loss of its long-term friend, Galen Rockett, a man who devoted his life to making a difference on campus for students and bringing the scoreboard to life on game day.

Rockett, former director of Judicial Affairs, passed away at his home Oct. 29 after a lengthy battle with cancer. He is survived by his wife, Linda Madden Rockett, and his sons Don, Justin and Will.

Jim King, vice president of student affairs, remembered Rockett as someone who spent his entire life at Tech and loved his home.

“Galen was born and raised in Ruston,” King said. “He went to grammar school at A.E. Phillips Laboratory School and later attended Tech, where he received his bachelor’s degree and his master’s.”

Rockett, a 1973 Tech graduate with a bachelor’s of education and master’s in secondary counseling in 1979, worked as a residential assistant during graduate school.

After graduation, Rockett took a position with Tech as head of Student Center activities, quickly climbing the ladder to director of the Student Center.

Dickie Crawford, dean of Student Life, was a friend and close co-worker of Rockett’s for many years.

He described Rockett as a large man, as a passionate man, as a laid back man.

“Galen dealt with a difficult job in a delicate way,” Craw_ford said.

He said Rockett handled students mostly in trouble for conduct or a housing problem.

“Galen put the handbook together for us every year, so he knew all the policies,” Crawford said. “Whatever the problem, students would leave his office feeling appreciated that he had really listened to them.”

King and Crawford both spoke of Rockett’s love for Tech sports.

“Galen advised the spirit groups for years. He really enjoyed traveling with the groups to the games,” King said.

Both men served as pallbearers along with John Price, Gary Stokley, Wayne Brooks and Rick Emerson. Honorary pallbearers were Mickey Murphy, Jim Spaulding and Dan Erickson.

In 2006, after 25 years of service as a game official in charge of scoreboard operations at the Thomas Assembly Center, Rockett retired.

Friends and family have reached out to each other through one of Rockett’s hobbies, Tech’s online sports forum, Bulldog Barks & Bytes.

Fellow Tech alumnus and local resident Wesley Lewis posted on latechbbb.com, “At one point Galen was so sick he couldn’t work, he got his Tech fix here on this board.”

Roughedge said he loved the interaction here, and the Tech discussions were a welcome diversion from his illness.

Rockett is remembered as an avid golfer who loved to see the mountains and travel to Arkansas with his wife.