MCC Hall of Fame honoree: David Quave

There's a phrase that says education doesn't cost; it pays. 

For David Quave, the experience gained from Meridian Community College yielded many dividends. "MCC's influence on me and my family greatly transcends the two years I was enrolled," he said. "MCC means everything to me. I feel like it's a pivotal point." 

Quave is one of three MCC alumni who will be added to the College's Hall of Fame roster on Wednesday, March 6, during a ceremony spotlighting the honorees' achievements. Hosted by the MCC Foundation, the induction ceremony will begin at 2 p.m. in the McCain Theater, with a reception in the College's PTK Courtyard of Scholars, adjacent to Ivy-Scaggs Hall. Other Class of 2024 Hall of Fame members include Dr. Sarah Abernathy and David Garner. This year’s ceremony marks the first time a brother and sister (Dr. Abernathy and Garner) will be inducted into the Hall of Fame. 

Now living in Atlanta, Quave was reared in Meridian, graduated from Meridian High School, and came to MCC because it was close to home and a wise financial choice. "The school was a true blessing for me and my family," he said. "It wasn't just what it meant to me, but to my two sisters, mother, and father. I don't think we would have faired as well if I hadn't been for MCC," he said. 

Quave recalls the College as instrumental in providing a foundation for his future. 

"My fondest memory of MCC was the quality of the student body, the faculty, and the number of students who proved successful post-graduation and throughout their work career," Quave said, adding that coming to MCC "allowed me to further develop close serious friendships as we were all moving from childhood to adulthood." 

One of those friendships was with fellow MCC classmate George Knieriem. Quave explained that his friend, who is now deceased, was on a cooperative program through MCC and Western Electric and maintained excellent grades. Knieriem was the de facto head of his family, with four siblings, a mother, and a beloved grandmother living together; he would graduate from Mississippi State University with a high grade point average and later work with Western Electric until his retirement. "He was a dear friend and a wonderful citizen. I knew him to always do the honorable thing. He always represented himself, his family, and MCC with the highest regard and standards," Quave said. 

After MCC, Quave transferred to Mississippi State University, where he earned his degree in marketing and worked for Xerox and American Hospital Supply until he landed a position with Medtronic with their implantable cardiac medical device division, selling implantable pacemakers and defibrillators. It would be a 36-year career with the company. "My customers were cardiac surgeons and cardiologists," Quave said, noting, "I was extremely lucky to be assigned to medical schools both in North Carolina and Atlanta as well as large metro hospitals." 

He married Betty Fatherree, who had been an Eastern Airlines flight attendant for 15 years. She retired to rear their daughters, Elizabeth and Susanne. 

Immediately after retiring from Medtronic, Quave and Betty moved to Colorado for a "wonderful change of scenery. We had always enjoyed snow skiing with peers and also friends and family," he said. But they returned to their Southern roots, where "we missed the close proximity to our friends and family in Atlanta and Meridian." They also came back to enjoy their lake cabin and hikes in the north Georgia mountains. 

Also, upon retirement, the Quaves began considering how to give back. The couple decided to focus on education and turned to Quave's alma mater, MCC, where they invested in the College in 2015 to make a difference in many others' lives with a gift of $1 million. 

Over the years, Quave said he has defined success as who you are and your investment in the people of your life. "I have strived not to be fixated on how successful or important someone is, both personally and professionally. When you retire, the façade and power are gone, and all that is left is the real you," he said. 

He added that enduring relationships with his extended family is vital, and staying in touch is key. 

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