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Texas College Athletics Named RRAC GPA Award Co-Champions

Waco, Texas -- For the first time in the 20-year history of the conference, the Red River Athletic Conference (RRAC) GPA Award will be presented to co-champions, Texas College and University of the Southwest (N.M.). Texas College and University of the Southwest both compiled a cumulative student-athlete GPA of 3.18. Texas College had 78 scholar-athletes (above 3.0 GPA) for the 2017-2018 year. The RRAC GPA Award is presented annually to the athletic program with the best cumulative GPA among all of its student-athletes in the most recent academic year.


Steer Transition Enrichment Program

The Class of 2022 got a head start with Texas College's Steer Transition Enrichment Program (STEP). The program, now in it's fifth year, serves as a transitional implementation to assist incoming freshmen with their acclimation to collegiate life. STEP lasts for five weeks during the summer; the students live on campus and earn 12 credit hours toward their degree. The STEP cohort also receives facilitated study sessions, tutoring, academic advising and academic success workshops. The program, with a structured schedule Monday through Friday, allows for students to gain firsthand knowledge and experience of campus life prior to entering the Fall Term to ensure a successful college career.

Pictured above, L-R: Incoming Texas College freshman moves in for STEP. STEP students engaged in a morning course.


Texas College Enters New Academic Partnership with Tyler Junior College

Tyler Junior College and Texas College entered into an articulation agreement on Friday, June 15th, in the McKinney Hall Connector on campus. The agreement was signed by chief executive officers and chief academic officers of the two Tyler institutions -- Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, Sr., Texas College President; Dr. Michael Metke, Tyler Junior College Chancellor and CEO; Dr. Stephen Jones, Texas College Vice President for Academic Affairs; and Dr. Juan E. Mejia, Tyler Junior College President for Branch Locations & District Provost -- to strengthen the collaboration between both institutions. The signing formalized a long-standing relationship between the schools and serves to create a seamless pathway for students transferring from Tyler Junior College to complete their baccalaureate degree at Texas College.

With designated staff at Tyler Junior College to champion the partnership, the articulation agreement is expected to increase the amount of Tyler Junior College transfer students to Texas College. Tyler Junior College's Transfer Center and Texas College's Office of Admission will work closely together to continue to build the relationship between the two institutions.

This is the second academic partnership of 2018 for Texas College. The College also partnered with the University of Texas at Tyler in March, signing a memorandum of understanding (MOU). The MOU allows Texas College students access to undergraduate programs at UT Tyler that are not offered at the HBCU. Therefore, the MOU creates the possibility of attaining a baccalaureate degree from both institutions simultaneously. In addition, students from Texas College have the opportunity to begin study in selected master’s programs at UT Tyler as they complete their baccalaureate degree from Texas College. With both partnerships now official, students can take the "higher education tour of Tyler" and experience all three institutions seamlessly, earning an associate degree from Tyler Junior College, a baccalaureate degree from Texas College, and a graduate degree from the University of Texas at Tyler.

Pictured above, L-R: Dr. Juan Mejia, Dr. Mike Metke, Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, and Dr. Stephen Jones sign an articulation agreement between the two institutions in the McKinney Hall Connector


Lectures to be Made More Easily Accessible for Students

Texas College courses are getting a technological upgrade this upcoming Fall semester. At the end of May Texas College faculty participated in a three day workshop to make their lectures easily accessible via live streaming. The Moody Science and Business Center (MSBC), where the majority of classes are held, is currently in the process of equipping every classroom to accommodate this new advancement. While the lecture will be streamed live, students are also able to access the lecture at a later date for their convenience and comprehension.

Pictured above, L-R:Dr. Godwin Osuagwu and Dr. Charity Adama engage in a training session for streaming lectures for the upcoming Fall 2018 semester.


Track & Field Places at National Meet

Congratulations are in order for Texas College's Track and Field Team. Andre Jefferson, Junior at Texas College, along with seven other teammates traveled to Gulf Shores, Alabama to compete at the NAIA Track and Field National Championships on May 24th - 26th. Jefferson competed in Men's Long Jump and placed 3rd in the entire NAIA Track and Field Nation.


Commencement

May 5, 2018 - 10:00 A.M.“War March of the Priests” is played throughout Caldwell Auditorium by the Texas College Band as 107 graduates marched in and took their seats, the colors were posted by the Tyler Police Department, and Dr. Dwight J. Fennell took his post at the podium; Texas College’s Class of 2018 Commencement had begun.

Welcome and greetings were brought by Senior Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III, Chairman of the Board of Trustees, Councilman Edward D. Moore, City of Tyler Councilman, and Gwendolyn Collins, First Vice President of the Texas College National Alumni Association. Musical selections by the Texas College Concert Choir were also sprinkled in prior to Dr. Fennell’s introduction of the commencement speaker, Kevin W. Williams.

Williams was most recently the Board Chairman, President and Managing Director of General Motors (GM) of Canada Ltd. Prior to this role, Williams had served as GM Vice President and General Manager, Service and Parts Operations, where he oversaw all GM Global Aftersales businesses, and served as Chairman and Global Process Leader for the GM Automotive Aftermarket Strategy Board. Williams held a number of global senior roles at General Motors. He currently serves as the Vice Chairman for the United Negro College Fund Foundation.

Williams addressed the graduating class with inspirational words and a tagline not soon to be forgotten. “What’s the word?” he would ask graduates throughout his speech, in which they would respond, “excellence”. He would continue to emphasize the importance of education and hard work to achieve their goals as they strive for excellence in everything they do, simply because they are capable.

Following the Commencement Address, Dr. Stephen Jones, Vice President for Academic Affairs, presented the 107 candidates for graduation to Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, where he conferred all degrees. Texas College also awarded two honorary degrees, the Doctor of Humane Letters, to Sheryl Ann Northcutt and Kevin W. Williams, presented by Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, Dr. Jerry L. Christian, and Dr. Leon McCowan. The college also recognized alumni Roberta Mason and Dr. Joe McCalister on their 50th Anniversary. To bring Commencement to a close, the graduates sang the Alma Mater one final time prior to recessing out of Caldwell Auditorium.

Pictured above, L-R: President Dwight J. Fennell speaks at 2018 Commencement. Commencement Speaker Kevin Williams addresses the Class of 2018. Graduate Nora Cordova receives her degree.


Baccalaureate Service

May 4, 2018 - 11:00 A.M. The graduates, faculty and staff, dressed in academic regalia, marched into Gus F. Taylor gymnasium for the annual Baccalaureate Service. The service serves as a final spiritual gathering of the graduates prior to their crossing into alumni status. The service included musical selections from both the Texas College Concert Choir and the Texas College Band. Members of the Executive Cabinet and the Board of Trustees, shared motivational words with the Class of 2018 prior to Rev. Dr. Vanessee J. Burns Baccalaureate address.

Following the address, Dr. Stephen Jones introduced the Class of 2018 Valedictorian, Linet Juma, and Salutatorian, Oluwakemi Oshaleke, to which received enormous support from their peers. The Class was then presented with individual Bibles as gifts from the College, made possible by the 8th Episcopal District of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. After the graduates had received their gifts Senior Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick, III and Dr. Dwight J. Fennell gave remarks; the ceremony concluded with a Benediction from Rev. Jamie Capers.
Pictured above, L-R: Rev. Dr. Vanessee J. Burns delivers the Baccalaureate Address to the Class of 2018. Dr. Dwight J. Fennell comments on the academic achievements of Linet Juma, 2018Valedictorian, and Oluwakemi Oshaleke, 2018 Salutatorian.


Tom Joyner Foundation® Recognizes Texas College as School of the Month

The Tom Joyner Foundation is recognizing Texas College in Tyler, Texas as the April 2018 School of the Month. The foundation, formed by the nationally syndicated radio personality, chose Texas College as part of its on-going effort to assist these institutions in broadening and strengthening their efforts to raise money to help keep students attending HBCUs. As one of the Tom Joyner Foundation ‘Schools of the Month’, each school will be promoted by the Tom Joyner Morning Show and receive those funds raised from listeners, alumni and other interested parties that month. The show, aired in 115 markets around the country, reaches nearly eight million listeners every week. 

About the Tom Joyner Foundation:

The Tom Joyner Foundation's primary mission is helping to keep students enrolled in Historically Black Colleges & Universities (HBCUs.) Since 1998, the foundation, chaired by nationally syndicated radio personality Tom Joyner, has raised in excess of $65 million to help keep students enrolled in black colleges, has assisted more than 24,000 students and worked with more than 100 HBCUs.  The Foundation announces the “Herc Scholars” who are distinguished male students at each ‘School of the Month’. The organization’s largest annual fundraiser is its “Fantastic Voyage”™, which is an activity-filled ‘party with a purpose’. For information about the scholarship program, students should contact their school administrators. For more information about the Foundation, go to TomJoynerFoundation.org.


Texas College and UT Tyler Enter New Academic Partnership

Texas College and the University of Texas at Tyler entered into a groundbreaking partnership for their students. The two institutions of higher education signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, March 23, 2018 to celebrate the development of a new relationship focused on providing research and transfer opportunities for students at Texas College.

The memorandum includes two key components: 2+2 Agreements, which will provide pathways for Texas College undergraduate students to transfer into select undergraduate programs at UTT, and a 4+1 Agreement, which will provide opportunities to allow Texas College undergraduate students to begin limited studies in selected master’s programs at UT Tyler as they complete their degrees at Texas College.

Texas College Vice President of Academic Affairs Stephen Jones said the program will initially focus on engineering and life sciences partnerships. “It’s really about developing a relationship, once they go to a campus this large, they can get lost,” Jones said. “We’re excited to help offer different experiences.” Students will be able to begin taking courses at UT Tyler by this summer. Jones said the first group would be small, likely comprised of about 15 of the school’s Legacy Scholarship recipients.

Texas College President Dwight Fennell said he was proud to help build a pathway that will not only benefit his students, but the Tyler area as well. “It’s a great experience for us, coming from a small liberal arts community to a research-based institution,” Fennell said.

UT Tyler President Michael Tidwell said the agreement was a natural fit for the two schools. “We had a great opportunity to sign (the MoU) with the oldest college in Tyler,” Tidwell said. “The greater the connectivity of institutions in our community, the greater the impact we will have.”

The memorandum will go into effect this summer and remain in place for three years.

Pictured above: University of Texas at Tyler Provost Dr. Amir Mirmiran, left, and Texas College Vice President of Academic Affairs Dr. Stephen Jones, right, stand in support as UT-Tyler President Michael Tidwell, left, and Texas College President Dwight Fennell, right, sign a Memorandum of Understanding.


Texas College Celebrates 124th Anniversary with Founders' Convocation

Alumni, students, faculty and staff gathered in Gus F. Taylor Gymnasium at Texas College Friday afternoon for the college's Founders' Convocation. The convocation officially commemorates the college's 124th anniversary. Since 1894, Texas College's mission has been to ensure that students experience balanced intellectual, psychological, social and spiritual development, aimed at enabling them to become active, productive members of society where they live and work.

The event celebrated this mission through music and speakers; the Texas College Concert Choir and Texas College Band both performed for the occassion. A number of students, current faculty and staff, and alumni spoke for the 124th celebration. The keynote speaker at the convocation was the Rev. Dr. Willie Champion, presiding elder of the Dallas District of the Dallas-Fort Worth Region of the Christian Methodist Episcopal Church. "Our history at Texas College is rich and complex," Champion said. "Founders' Day is when Texas College pauses to recognize its rich past and promising future."

Texas College President Dr. Dwight J. Fennell also spoke at various points of the program. "One hundred and twenty-four years ago, our founders created this sense of community that still exists today," he said. Dr. Fennell talked about the accomplishments Texas College has made, as well as the need for people to continue to give back to the College that gave them so much so the next generation can be prepared for their future. Multiple alumni also presented contributions from their respective alumni chapters for the event. "I daresay God has a purpose for this institution and this administration," Dr. Fennell said in closing.

Rev. Jamie Capers gave the benediction before all those gathered sang the College alma mater in closing of the celebration.

Pictured above: Rev. Dr. Willie Champion speaks at Founders' Convocation.


Tenth Annual Texas College LEGACY Scholarship Fundraiser

Texas College hosted the 10th annual LEGACY Scholarship Fundraiser on Friday, March 9, 2018 at Harvey Hall Convention Center. Beginning in 2009, LEGACY has served as a scholarship fundraiser to make educational dreams a reality for deserving students. In previous years the College has recognized individuals and organizations who have been contributing members to Texas College and/or the City of Tyler as LEGACY Honorees. However, this year the Honoree spotlight    focused on fifteen deserving students who have excelled academically and established a vision for themselves.

There were also special acknowledgements given for deserving individuals. Dr. Dwight J. Fennell was recognized for his 10 years of service to the College as President. In addition, alumna Irma P. Hall was also recognized. After graduating from Texas College, Hall taught in Dallas for nearly three decades and also has had a successful acting career. Hall has nearly 100 television and film credits, including turns in movies “The Ladykillers” with Tom Hanks, “Beloved” with Oprah Winfrey and “Collateral” with Jamie Foxx and Tom Cruise.

CBS19’s Tashara Parker and Rachel Willis served as the Mistresses of Ceremony for the evening. George Faber provided music for the event, along with the Texas College Concert Choir and the Texas College Jazz Ensemble. Next year’s LEGACY Scholarship Fundraiser will be held on Friday, March 8, 2019.

Scholarship Recipients:

Corianna Adams

Perla Amezcua

Ke’Shonda Arnold

Nicholas Babineaux

Karen Hernandez

Chelsea Elees Hylton

Alexis Marshall

Anthony Migliore

Jaren Murphy

Damilola Oshaleke

Oluwakemi Oshaleke

Killian Pallone

Chloe Rogers

Carlos Romero

Tiffany Yvette Simmons

Pictured L-R: Dr. Fennell presents Perla Amezcua with the LEGACY Scholar Honoree Award. Dr. Fennell receives recognition for his 10 years of service to the College as president. Ms. Irma P. Hall speaks following her recognition.


Texas College Attends National Speech and Debate Tournament

Texas College students attended Wiley College’s Annual National HBCU Speech and Debate Tournament held January 25 – 28, 2018 on Wiley’s campus. HBCUs from all over the country were in attendance for the annual gathering, competing against each other. The event itself maintained a high level of professionalism, but also notoriety. With a letter of welcome from Governor Greg Abbott and attendance of actor Denzel Washington, the event was not one to be missed.

The event emphasized debate, but also offered various other oratory competitions. Christian Gooden, Student Government Association President, and Eric Cato, Freshman Class President, competed in the Interview Competition held January 26th and January 27th. The Interview Competition simulated a corporate interview scenario where the students were the applicants and the judges were the employers. The two competed against a pool of over twenty other HBCU students, answering tough questions for twenty minute sessions at a time.

Prior to the competition beginning, the competitors were asked to turn in a résumé to the judges for review. The judges studied each student’s résumé and questioned the “applicant” during their interview session to test their skills.

While the Texas College students did not take home the gold Christian Gooden said, “The experience was invaluable. They asked the tough questions, but also offered constructive criticism to help us build a great résumé.”

Denzel Washington, in a speech given to the body of students, said “One day you will all become leaders in your field and in your community. This competition, your involvement and interest in these activities, will translate to success in your future.”

Gooden cited this speech as one of the more inspiring moments, “His (Washington) speech echoed the importance of education and the value offered from collaborating and competing with some of the HBCU’s brightest. The level of competition was overwhelming; I was nervous at first, but once I calmed my nerves I was able to realize the wealth of opportunity at the event. Being able to connect and network with other outstanding students was a priceless opportunity.”

Gooden even met the writer of The Great Debaters, and discussed Texas College’s debate team during the era of Wiley’s “Great Debaters”. In doing so, hearing about Texas College’s history in debate, Gooden seeks to revamp debate on the College’s campus.

Pictured L-R: Eric Cato, Christian Gooden


Texas College Advances to National Qualifying Tournament of 29th Annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge

Texas College will compete in the National Qualifying Tournament of the 29th annual Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), America’s premier quiz bowl for top HBCU students. The fast-paced buzzer competition highlights students’ academic prowess and ability to answer questions about history, science, literature, religion, the arts and pop culture. Texas College is one of 65 teams competing for institutional grants and a spot in the Honda Campus All-Star Challenge National Championship Tournament taking place in Los Angeles, April 7 – 11, 2018.

The Texas College HCASC Team will consist of:

  • Justin Jackson
  • Jye Jackson
  • Joseph Panalez
  • Saul Lawson
  • Tanner Land

WHEN: Saturday, February 3 from 9:30 A.M. – 6 P.M.

WHERE: Prairie View A&M University, Memorial Student Center

VOTING: 4 HBCUs will automatically qualify for the National Championship based on a public vote at http://bit.ly/2G79eVv. Vote up to 3 times/day through February 5.

About Honda and Historically Black Colleges and Universities:

Honda has supported and celebrated America's HBCUs for more than 25 years. Since 1989, Honda Campus All-Star Challenge (HCASC), one of Honda's largest and longest running philanthropic initiatives in the United States, has impacted the lives of over 125,000 academic superstars from across the country. Since 2003, Honda Battle of the Bands (HBOB) has provided eight top HBCU marching bands with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver a dynamic performance on a national stage. Both HCASC and HBOB enable schools to earn grants and positive attention for their respective institutions. Through programs like HCASC and HBOB, Honda is not only supporting students academically, but helping position them for career success.


Texas College Juma Named RRAC Women's Hoops Player of the Week

Linet Juma of Texas College earned recognition as the RRAC Women's Basketball Player of the Week for her performance over the dates of Jan. 15-21. This is the conference's 10th weekly award of the 2017-18 basketball season.

Juma posted a pair of double-double games and a rare 20-rebound effort to lead the Lady Steers to a 1-1 week. The junior center delivered 19 points and 20 rebounds in a 50-46 loss to Wiley College (Texas), and she sparked an 86-61 victory over Jarvis Christian College (Texas) with 28 points and 15 boards. Overall, Juma connected on 15-of-26 shots from the field (57.7%) and 17-of-22 from the free throw line. The Kenyan leads the RRAC in rebounding with 12.3 boards per game, and she is fifth in scoring at 15.5 points per game.


Texas College Celebrates Martin Luther King Jr.

by Brianna Harmon, Tyler Morning Telegraph

The Texas College Marching Stampede Band pumped up the campus as students holding signs marched to the Steer Walk as part of the College’s Martin Luther King Jr. Day Celebration. The signs portrayed messages including: “Power to the People”, “Fight On,” “You’re Next” and “We Shall Overcome.”

The student-organized event on Thursday featured the college's male ensemble concert choir, reflections by student leaders and    closing remarks from President Dr. Dwight J. Fennell.

Fennell was intrigued with the students’ tenacity to put the event together. “I am so appreciative,” he said. “I thought it was        meaningful and appropriate, and I thought it added some uplift so that it is not just a gloomy occasion, but also a celebratory type of    occasion. We wanted the student leaders to get involved in terms of doing some of the research and making presentations to the  general public, but we wanted the campus body to know as well.”

Fennell remarked taking a step back to embrace the full meaning of the holiday is important to not only the community, but also the students. “It means a great deal,” Fennell said. “It means bringing a recognition for a man who did so much for so many lives and so many communities that our students need to know about it. To me it's not the day that matters, it is the fact that you give homage at a time that is respectful of what is to take place, and that is the official celebration of the date."

Fennell not only remembered the contributions of King, but also acknowledged the work and presence of God in history. “We wanted to pause for a moment and in doing so we also want to say thank you to God,” he said. “Thank you for allowing this institution to  remain in existence for 124 years. We realize that couldn’t be done by us alone.”

Student Government Association President Christian Gooden recited MLK’s "I Have a Dream" speech as a part of the ceremony. “It felt great to celebrate, especially at a Historically Black College,” Gooden said. “It was my first time celebrating here as SGA President and it felt wonderful taking part in this capacity. Overall, it was a great celebration, and to hear my peers reverberate Dr. King’s message so eloquently, they sounded so beautiful.”

Pictured above: Texas College students participate in march in MLK Day celebration.


Texas College Faculty and Staff Spread Holiday Cheer

The Texas College Faculty/Staff Christmas Party took place on Monday, December 11, 2017. To spread holiday cheer, spearheaded by First Lady Angelia Fennell, faculty and staff members brought toys for children who would do without this season. In addition, the College also adopted two families of foster children for the holiday to specifically buy gifts for.

Moreover, the College also came together to provide full holiday meal food baskets for families in need.

Mrs. Fennell spoke on the initiative and the importance of giving this holiday season, creating an emotion filled room.

Pictured Left to Right:

  • First Lady Angelia Fennell speaks on the importance of the gifts and the families benefiting.
  • Texas College Christmas Tree with some of the donated gifts.
  • President Dwight J. Fennell makes comments at the Christmas Party and First Lady Angelia Fennell looks on.


Texas College Students Selected to Participate at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Biology majors Chloe Rogers, senior, and Chania Tripp, sophomore, were just selected to participate in Brookhaven National Laboratory’s Winter College Mini-Semester Program taking place January 8-12, 2018 in Upton, New York. The two were selected as part of a twenty student cohort.

About Brookhaven National Laboratory

Brookhaven National Laboratories operate cutting-edge large-scale facilities for studies in physics, chemistry, biology, medicine, applied science, and a wide range of advanced technologies. The Laboratory's almost 3,000 scientists, engineers, and support staff are joined each year by more than 4,000 visiting researchers from around the world. Their award-winning history stretches back to 1947, and they continue to unravel mysteries from the nanoscale to the cosmic scale, and everything in between. Brookhaven research has been honored by seven Nobel Prizes, as well as National Medals of Science, Enrico Fermi Awards, Wolf Foundation Prizes, dozens of R&D 100 awards, and many other recognitions.

About the Program

The program will be conducted by BNL researchers and will operate from 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. for five days. It will expose students to the wide range of research projects conducted at BNL, help them to understand different pathways to scientific careers, and develop networking opportunities with the BNL scientific community and administrators. The program format includes orientation, classroom instruction, a communication workshop, tours of research facilities, BNL based literature research assignments, reverse interviews with scientists and engineers, group oral presentations, scientific lectures and safety overviews. First-hand reinforcement of concepts learned will be supported and enhanced by BNL researchers and technical staff. Further, the students will apply for the Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internship, which offers students the opportunity to become part of a scientific research team for a summer, fall, or spring.


Texas College Provides Thanksgiving Meals for Families in Need

Texas College Students, Faculty, and Staff banded together for Thanksgiving this year. The College hosted a food drive in hopes to feed families in need for the holiday. The Texas College family did not disappoint, with some students bringing in over 100 canned food items individually.

Organized by Dean of Students Isaac Williams and Area Coordinator for Criminal Justice Doris Addison, the College was able to feed a full traditional Thanksgiving meal to over 100 different families in need. Inclusive of those 100 plus families were senior citizens unable to leave home to retrieve the meal. Addison and her Criminal Justice majors reached out to local areas to see how they could assist some of these elderly community members.

Community service being one of the six core values of Texas College, the students felt it necessary to give back to the area and to those in need. Senior Criminal Justice Major Dimenya Booker, said “It’s a great feeling to be able to give back to others, especially those in need. Thanksgiving is a holiday to reflect on all of the things one should be thankful for in their lives, along with enjoying time with loved ones. We just hope we were able to ease the financial burden of some families this year so they were able to focus on what’s truly important for the holiday—family.”

The meals were delivered or made available for pickup on Monday, November 20th, prior to the school’s closure for the Thanksgiving break.


Gilmore-Hartley Hall

On Thursday, October 26, 2017, the new resident hall on the Texas College campus was dedicated to Bishop Marshall Gilmore and Bill G. Hartley as Gilmore-Hartley Hall. Gilmore-Hartley Hall was the major project in President Dwight J. Fennell’s Phase I building initiative, which aimed at expansion in the living-learning environments for the benefit of students and staffs. The new resident hall houses nearly 250 students in a coeducational living environment, with the first and second floor reserved for females, while the third and fourth are reserved for males. The Hall features a quad-suite styling to accomodate four students. The suites are comprised of two separate bedrooms, one common area, two bathrooms, and a vanity and sink in each room. Each floor allows access to a computer lab, lounge, and laundry area for student use.

Texas College has recently completed Phase I, that included: building new student resident halls for men and women; renovating current resident facilities along with the addition of expanded computer centers; adding a new fitness center for students and staff; expansion of the dining facilities; the addition of a new Athletic Complex; the addition of a newly designed Music Hall for the Choir and Marching Band; and, the re-design and expansion of outdoor areas for social and academic gatherings. All of the aforementioned accommodations are for creating environments where learning and growth are given priority. With the completion of Phase I, Dr. Fennell has quickly moved on to further improve the campus by launching the complete renovation of Martin Hall, built in 1924, which holds a spot on the National Register for Historic Places

When Texas College faced unforeseen valleys that could have forced the campus to shut its doors, it took the hard work and unwavering dedication of many to keep the institution alive. However, two individuals took the challenges head on, emerging as titans for the College.

During that era, perhaps no two people worked more diligently to ensure the College’s success than Bishop Marshall Gilmore and Bill G. Hartley.

Gilmore served as presiding bishop of the Eighth Episcopal District in the Christian Methodist Episcopal (CME) Church and as the College’s chairman of the board of trustees. Hartley served as the President and CEO of Southside Bank, but also as a trustee on the Board, as well.

As the College faced financial challenges, Gilmore and Hartley rolled up their sleeves and got to work. The two, collaboratively, secured funds to ensure continued operation of the oldest institution in Tyler. Reaching out, soliciting, and securing these resources led to Texas College’s success throughout this demanding period.

Thus, for their tireless efforts and herculean contributions to Texas College, their selection was of obvious choice.

“The contributions of Bishop Gilmore and Mr. Hartley have led to this day, as they have been figuratively giants in the life of Texas College,” Dr. Dwight J. Fennell said. “The collaboration and friendship of these gentlemen has led to many individuals receiving an education. Their collaboration has led to gainful employment opportunities being had for another.”

Gilmore-Hartley Hall is the first new campus structure erected by the school since 1967, though several renovations have and continue to take place.

For Bishop Gilmore, the dedication and news that the college now has nearly 1,000 students enrolled, 992, brought him immense joy. He recalled during a particularly arduous period when  enrollment dropped down to just 240 students.

“When an institution is tuition driven, we were in serious trouble,” Gilmore said. “With friends and with loved ones the Lord brought us through.”

Both Gilmore and Hartley credit each other for being sources of strength and support during the time the college was recovering.

“Among many things that my father has always greatly valued, education is at the top of the list,” Jane Coker, Hartley’s daughter, said. “For over 20 years he worked with Texas College and many fine and gifted individuals-none he necessarily valued more as a friend than Bishop Marshall Gilmore.”

“The two of them being honored together today is a special treat,” she added. “Bill’s love of education and those that lead young  people to finding their dream and finding their future and their chosen profession will live on long beyond any of our lives.”

In keeping with the College’s founding, senior Bishop Lawrence L. Reddick III, Chairman of the College’s Board of Trustees, asked that God bless the new dormitory.

To acknowledge the accomplishments and contributions of Bishop Marshall Gilmore and Bill G. Hartley, plaques cast in bronze were given prime placement in the Hall, for all to note.


Education Students Present Research at State Conference

Texas College senior Teacher Education major’s Cortez Adams and Jonathan Johnson entered their research    project in the Emerging Scholars Track of the Consortium of State Organizations for Texas Teacher Education and were chosen to present in Corpus Christi in October. As a collaborative research project, the students chose “The Impact of Stress in the Sports Setting”. This study focused on the perceptions of stress within an athlete, while providing an increased awareness for improving the care for stress. The data in this study also showed what areas require a greater level of improvement geared towards success in anxiety disorder associated with this population.


The Queen is Crowned

On Friday, October 7, 2017, Chasey R. Shepard took her seat at the throne as the 2017-2018 Miss Texas College. As she sat in her throne, donned with a gleaming crown, Shepard reflected on the long history her family has held with Texas  College.

For as long as she can remember, Shepard’s family painted a picture of the rich,  vibrant atmosphere of their alma mater, Texas College. She learned about the college’s legacy of producing educators and its time-honored traditions, including the de facto face of the 123 year old campus, Miss Texas College.

“It’s a family thing,” she said. “We’ve gone here at least as far back as the 1960s.”

Immediately she fell into a leadership role through her involvement with the Texas College Concert Choir and the Texas College Campus Ministry, serving currently as the Chaplain for the Choir.

At the end of her junior year, Shepard decided to step outside of her comfort zone and put her name in the hat for Miss Texas College. Her goal is to help  students embrace the culture she grew up hearing about.

“To be a great leader, you have to follow first. In pop culture, everyone wants to be the chief,” she said. “I may not say the core values everyday, because I’m living them. They were already embedded in me.”

The title of Miss Texas College dates back, minimally, almost a century. Texas College Coordinator of Public Relations Jake Martin said he has been diving into archives and has traced the tradition as far back as the 1920s.

“These traditions are the root and the foundation that keep Texas College alive,” Shepard said. “We have so many diverse backgrounds that bring us together and bridge those gaps; it creates the authentic college experience.”

Shepard will finish her Education degree, seeking certification in Early Childhood— 6th grade, in May. Shepard’s post-graduation plans are aimed at teaching fourth grade, while pursuing her master’s degree, and eventually a doctorate, while teaching in a local district. She hopes to instill in her students the values she has learned at Texas College.

“At first I was a sociology major, but God was calling me to teach,” she said. “Fourth grade, to me, is when their mind is really developing and you can catch them early and instill in them values.” A big part of her calling to teach is the desire to encourage  diversity and celebrate differences, she said. But for now, Shepard is ready to serve her college with pride and show the community the values Texas College embraces.

Chasey’s Coronation held true to Miss Texas College tradition as she received her crowning from the previous Miss Texas College, Taylor Pierce, gifted pearls by President Dwight J. Fennell and First Lady Angelia Fennell, and then escorted by SGA President Christian Gooden in the traditional all white tuxedo.

The Queen’s Court consisted of Mr. and Miss Freshman Sidney Patton and Destinee McGinnis; Mr. and Miss Sophomore Shakur Johnson and Tiffany Simmons; Mr. and Miss Junior Malcolm Patton and Charlize Gaines; and Mr. and Miss Senior Nigel Mayfield and Jamaria Hogan. The Queen also had an outer court of 31 couples representing various organizations campus wide


Texas College Student Selected by the Whitehouse Initiative on HBCUs

Congratulations are in order for Texas College student, Monica Dorsey on her selection as a 2017 White House    Initiative on Historically Black Colleges and Universities, HBCU All-Star Student Ambassador. Out of an applicant pool of over 500 students, she was chosen as one of 53 students to serve.

Monica, a Garland, TX native, is a  senior Social Work major with a 3.6 GPA. Not only does she excel in the classroom, but also on the basketball court; Monica is the team captain of the Texas College Women’s Basketball Team. To add to her heavy involvement, she is also the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA) President on campus and involved with multiple volunteer efforts in Tyler.

On September 17th, Monica flew to Washington D.C. to meet the other 52 Ambassadors at the 2017 National HBCU Week              Conference. With a dinner honoring the students, then two days filled with seminars from leaders in an array of fields, Monica    describes the experience as one she will never forget, commenting “It challenged me to go beyond my norm and comfort zone to tap into my      leadership skills and resources to impact my community. It was inspiring to see so many students, really bright amazing individuals, interacting and really    pushing to edify one another.” As an Ambassador, she is charged with hosting a community event this year, as well as attending various functions and meetings as a representative for the White House Initiative.


The Texas College District Culminates with Ribbon Cutting and Community Block Party

The Texas College District was officially opened Friday, September 1st with a ribbon cutting hosted by Texas College and the City of Tyler. In addition to the ribbon cutting, the celebration was host to a community wide block party to celebrate the occasion.

President Dwight J. Fennell, Mayor Martin Heines, City of Tyler Councilmembers and City Manager's Office, Senator John Cornyn's Office, Tyler I.S.D’s Superintendent Dr. Marty Crawford, PATH, Alumni, current students, faculty/staff, and many others were present to celebrate this major event in the life of the College. The Texas College Concert Choir harmonized hymns, and the Texas College Stampede Marching Band belted out energetic numbers. The College’s Golden Girls Dance Team danced along in harmony with the College’s twirlers, flag squad and the cheer team. A few cymbal players also got into the groove, dancing as they played without missing a beat.

The Texas College District is a project that has been in the works for over seven years and has finally come to life. Thanks to the City of Tyler's endorsement and Dr. Fennell's vision for the College, there is now a distinct feel and a restored sense of pride and academia to the community. “It’s more than a ribbon cutting celebration for improvements in the community,” said Dr. Dwight J. Fennell, President of Texas College. “This celebration is renewed life with an expectation of more things to come. It’s a celebration of revitalization of this community.” The project entailed:

  • Purple Texas College signage atop street signs and traffic lights
  • Gold Texas College Banners hung from street lamps
  • New decorative street lamps
  • Repaving of sidewalks and roads
  • Speed humps added in front of the college entrance
  • Bus Stop relocated and updated with purple accents
  • Addition of bridge on 26th Street, connecting the street, creating a straight route from Broadway to Texas College's main entrance

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