Originally, Potter Hall was called the Academic Building. In 1973, Tyler Junior College renamed the building Potter Hall in honor of the late Dr. Edward M. Potter to show their appreciation of his hard work and dedication to TJC.
Dr. Potter showed his love for TJC and its students over his 76-year connection with the school. His education and career have spanned the entire history of TJC until his death, on his 96th birthday, in 2003. Dr. Potter was a member of TJC’s first class in 1926, according to an article in the TJC magazine. He also met his wife of 65 years, Myra Aline Brooks, while a student at TJC. He is considered to be the founder of TJC’s first club Las Mascaras.
After graduating from TJC, Dr. Potter attended the University of Texas in Austin where he received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees. He also received a doctorate from East Texas Baptist University. He later served on the Board of Trustees at ETBU.
He loved working with young people and taught at various schools throughout his career. Some schools where he taught before returning to Tyler include Big Lake, Galveston, and Douglas Elementary School. After returning to Tyler, he was appointed as the dean of TJC in 1946 and then in 1966 he became the vice president.
After he retired in 1973, he returned to TJC the following year to become a board member until his 1992 resignation. In the TJC magazine article, Maxene Robinson, who was Dr. Potter’s secretary for most of his career, described him as, “a very nice, gentle person who loved the college, students and staff.” Dr. Potter is also credited with the completion of the planetarium on campus.