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DCCCD Foundation Awards Students Excelling in Art, Music and Writing


For immediate release - March 27, 2006
(DALLAS) – They study, they write; they sing, paint and sculpt. They also have jobs, commute and face the challenges of daily life. A dedicated group of 15 Dallas County Community College students will be recognized for their talent and skills by the DCCCD Foundation on Friday, April 7, during a special program that will showcase each student’s gift. The event will be held at El Centro College, beginning with a musical presentation from 10:45 to 11:45 a.m. in the performance hall, followed by a noon luncheon, poetry reading and student art exhibit in the art gallery.

Each year, the Cecil Wallace Fordham Memorial Award in Visual Arts, the Alice Jones Berding Memorial Award in Music and the Eleanor Jones Award in Creative Writing are given to students from DCCCD’s seven colleges who excel in art, music and creative writing. All three awards are funded through endowments administered by the DCCCD Foundation.

Each outstanding student receives a cash award of $400, made possible by gifts from the Jones family. The general public is invited to attend the morning concert or view the visual arts exhibit after 1:30 p.m.

The Cecil Wallace Fordham Award in Visual Arts, made possible with a gift from Fordham’s daughter, Eleanor Fordham Jones, and her family, was created to remember Mr. Fordham’s love of visual beauty. The following students, who must be enrolled in the visual arts field at one of DCCCD’s colleges, will receive that award: Arthur G. Fields, Brookhaven College; Larissa Titus, Cedar Valley College; Mickey Bruce, Eastfield College; Joel Bueno Jr., El Centro College; Lucas Martell, Mountain View College; Sandra Legere, North Lake College; and Patty Rooney, Richland College.

The Alice Jones Berding Award in Music, made possible with a gift from Berding’s late brother, George Rather Jones, honors Ms. Berding’s years of teaching in the Dallas schools as a piano instructor and as a private teacher as well. Awardees must be enrolled in music, and preference is given to students who are studying piano. The recipients are: Eric Camarillo, Brookhaven College; Cassandra Beard, Cedar Valley College; Bernadette Buentipo, Eastfield College; Shena Craine, El Centro College; Anna V. Hinda, Mountain View College; Elizabeth Windsor, North Lake College; and Chi Hue Lee, Richland College.

The Eleanor Jones Award for Creative Writing was established in 2002 by her sons, daughter and grandchildren to honor Mrs. Jones’ birthday. The award is presented annually to an outstanding student who excels in the composition of prose or poetry at one of the seven DCCCD colleges that offers creative writing. This year’s winner, William Payne of Brookhaven College, will recite a selection of his works.

“Through these scholarships, we honor the lives of Alice Jones Berding, Eleanor Jones and Cecil Wallace Fordham,” said Betheny Reid, executive director of the DCCCD Foundation. “Their dedication to music and the visual arts survives in the work and dreams of 15 outstanding students. Gifts such as these are a lasting legacy honoring both the benefactors and recipients.”

Fordham, born in Ohio, was a mechanical engineer who worked in the automotive industry for 40 years for both General Motors and the Ford Motor Company. In his spare time, he enjoyed building furniture and appreciated the creations of others. He also was involved in a number of major engineering projects during his career, including the construction of the Alaskan Highway during early World War II. Fordham earned the rank of colonel in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and also served on active duty as a sergeant during that war. When he died in 1962, he left one daughter, Eleanor Fordham Jones, and seven grandchildren.

Mrs. Jones and her husband, the late George Rather Jones, awarded the first Alice Jones Berding Memorial Award in Music in 1977, in honor of Mr. Jones’ sister. Mrs. Jones, her children and her grandchildren continue to attend the awards ceremony each year. The first Cecil Wallace Fordham Memorial Awards in Visual Arts was given in 1979.

“Mrs. Jones has a great heart,” added Reid. “She is a wonderful example of a person who gives back to the community, and she is one of the first of our longtime donors who gave to the Rising Star scholarship program. Donors like Mrs. Jones inspire others to give.” Mrs. Jones’ son, Robert, is a member of the DCCCD Foundation’s board of directors.

For more information, see the recipients list or contact Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation office at (214) 860-2455.