PARIS - Three Paris Junior College graduates will be inducted into the Academic Hall of Honor as part of the 2011 Homecoming activities.
They include longtime educators Robert G. ‘Bob’ White and his wife, Dorothy Bailey White, Ed.D., and retired U.S. Navy Commander Thomas R. McCool. The ceremonies will be held at 2:30 p.m., Saturday, November 12 in the McLemore Student Center Ballroom. The community is invited to attend.
“These three graduates represent the potential available to every student at Paris Junior College,” said Dr. Pam Anglin, PJC President. “Each has made an impact in the career field that brings honor to their hometown and their community college, and I’m pleased to be able to recognize them.”
A 1974 PJC graduate, McCool enlisted in the Navy in 1973 and selected the Naval Enlisted Scientific Education Program in 1976. Following his graduation from the University of Texas - Austin, in 1979 with a degree in electrical engineering, he received his Naval Officer Commission.
Commander McCool served twenty-six years in the Navy, accumulating more than 4000 flight hours and over 500 carrier-arrested landings, as well as taking part in over 40 combat missions. During his tour, he served as the Commanding Officer for Tactical Electronic Warfare Squadron 136. That Squadron earned the Navy Battle Efficiency, Squadron Safety and Tactical Excellence Awards during McCool’s tour as Commanding Officer.
“I received an outstanding education while attending Paris Junior College and remain forever indebted to the dedicated professors and administration for ensuring students are well prepared to go forward in their life’s pursuits.”
McCool earned other military awards, including the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medal, Strike/Flight Air Medal in addition to various other personal and unit awards. He and wife Lisa now call LaVista, Neb., home. They have one daughter, Lacey Eicher, and three grandchildren: Emma, Liam, and Rowyn.
Salutatorian of her Blossom High School class, Dr. White received her Associate of Arts degree from PJC in 1959 and went on to earn her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics and special certification as a vocational teacher from East Texas State University, now known as Texas A&M Commerce. In addition, she received her Master of Science degree from ETSU in Home Economics and Audio-Visual Education. In 1975, she fulfilled the requirements for her Doctor of Education through the University of Houston in Administration and Supervision. She later completed her certification as a professional counselor through the University of Houston, Clear Lake.
She holds virtually every teaching level certification including vocational teaching, professional teaching, supervisor, principal and superintendent, in addition to her professional counselor license. Her first educator’s job was at Roxton High School, teaching homemaking. She and husband Bob worked in the Paris ISD until the early 1970s when their careers took them to the Houston area. Since then, Dorothy has taught in private and public education as well as higher education for over 40 years.
The game that Bob White began playing a young man in high school and college continues to be his passion and he has the awards to prove it, including winning his fourth National Senior Games Golf Tournament this summer. The 1953 Paris High graduate was a member of the PJC golf team and graduated from the college in 1955. He continued his education at East Texas State where he fulfilled his bachelors, masters, principal and professional counselor requirements to become an educator. He also holds teaching, supervisor and principal certificates and is a licensed professional counselor.
In the midst of his college time, he graduated from the Artillery Officers Candidate School at Fort Sill, Okla., and was commissioned as a second lieutenant. Bob spent 24 years combined service in the United States Army, both active and reserve duty, and retired with the rank of Major.
While in Paris, Bob served as a principle, teacher, counselor or coach at East Paris, Crockett, Travis, J.G. Wooten, Graham and Justiss schools. Once he and Dorothy relocated to the Houston area, Bob worked with the Pearland ISD and Friendswood ISD as a high school counselor. He retired from teaching in 2000, working with the Community Education Partners-Alternative School in Houston.
His passion for golf has brought Bob much fame as he has captured the Texas State Senior Games Association championship ten times and won the National Senior Games Association title on four occasions.
He is a member of the Texas State Teachers Association, National Education Association and Texas Retired Teachers Association, and is a life member of the Parent-Teachers Association and Reserve Officers Association. He was honored by the Boys and Girls Club of the Red River Valley and added as a member of their Wall of Fame.
The Whites are members of First Baptist Church, Friendswood, where Bob is a Sunday School teacher; both are involved with the Meals on Wheels and Homebound Ministry.
The Whites have two daughters: Lesa and husband Roger Roecker, and Kelley and husband Chad Hawkins, as well as five grandchildren.
Tickets for the Distinguished Alumna Luncheon are sold out, but a waiting list is being maintained. For more information, call 903-782-0276.