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Wed June 30, 2010
A&M-Commerce to award Honorary Doctorate
By Brent Lyday
Commerce – Mary Bonham, co-creator of the J-B WELD Company, will be presented with an honorary doctorate from Texas A&M University-Commerce at commencement on August 14 in the A&M-Commerce Field House.
"Mary Bonham exemplifies the values instilled with hard work and determination by being the driving force behind the success of the J-B WELD Company," said Randy VanDeven, A&M-Commerce vice president for advancement. "I believe it is most fitting that A&M-Commerce is able to honor Mrs. Bonham with an honorary doctorate."
The honorary doctorate will be another addition to her list of life-long accomplishments. After marrying her husband, Sam, in 1968, the two created the J-B WELD company and traveled throughout Texas selling his "tougher than steel" epoxy he discovered in the mid-1960's. With the Bonham's work and dedication put into the company, J-B WELD became one of the most successful businesses in the world - doing business in 50 states and 27 countries.
"She helped build one of the most successful small town U.S. enterprises in Sulphur Springs," VanDeven said. "J-B WELD positively impacted industries both nationally and globally by developing the most durable cold weld product for the home, automotive, industrial, marine, and agricultural applications."
Bonham has dedicated much of her life to business ventures and community activities as well, including donations for Kid's Kingdom park in Sulphur Springs and leading the Hopkins County Courthouse Renovation project and the Women's Pavilion at the Hopkins County Memorial Hospital. She is also active in the horse racing industry, creating and operating one of the few training and breeding centers in Texas, and is a keen investor in real estate properties.
Bonham has been instrumental in educational opportunities for students in the area as well, providing high school senior scholarships to local students for more than 15 years. Two of those students currently attend A&M-Commerce.
"Her being chosen for such an honor is twofold," VanDeven said. "A&M-Commerce wanted to recognize her for her entrepreneurial leadership, her hard work and success in business, and thank her for her generosity shown throughout the years to not only Sulphur Springs, but all of Northeast Texas. A&M-Commerce is proud to be associated with Mary Bonham, her family and her many friends."