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Eddie Miranda: 214-378-1541 or emiranda@dcccd.edu
Kathye Hammontree: 214-378-1536 or khammontree@dcccd.edu

For immediate release — May 1, 2015

Cedar Valley College Fordham Award recipient Benjamin Loftis and CVC art faculty member Linda Ridgeway stand by Loftis' artwork
Cedar Valley College Fordham Award recipient Benjamin Loftis and CVC art faculty member Linda Ridgeway

(DALLAS) — Fourteen Dallas County Community College District students, each one exceling in music, visual arts or the written word, recently received awards established by a local family who is deeply passionate about the arts. Students who attend the seven DCCCD colleges were recognized during a special event on April 10 at El Centro College; the program included an exhibit of works by visual arts students, plus a stage performance that featured music and writing awardees.

One student from each DCCCD college received the Cecil Wallace Fordham Award in Visual Arts; students from six colleges earned the Alice Jones Bearding Award in Music. One student received the Eleanor Jones Award in Creative Writing.

The annual awards are made possible through endowments donated by Eleanor and George Jones and their family through the DCCCD Foundation, each carrying a cash award of $500.

“DCCCD appreciates so much that Mrs. Eleanor Jones and her children and grandchildren have continued the tradition of honoring their family and our students through these awards,” said Dr. Joe May, DCCCD’s chancellor. “The family’s dedication to the creative and performing arts survives in the works and dreams of our outstanding students. Gifts such as these are a lasting legacy that honor both the donors and the recipients.”

​North Lake College art faculty member Brett Dyer and NLC Fordham Award recipient Angela Sharp stand with Sharp's artwork
​North Lake College art faculty member Brett Dyer and NLC Fordham Award recipient Angela Sharp

​Cecil Wallace Fordham Award in Visual Arts

This award was endowed in 1979 by Eleanor Fordham Jones and her husband, George Rather Jones, in memory of her father. The award honors Cecil Fordham, an automotive mechanical engineer and veteran of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, who built furniture as a hobby and who also had a lifelong appreciation for beautiful design. The award is given annually to an outstanding visual arts major at each of the seven colleges in the DCCCD system.

This year’s visual arts honorees (listed alphabetically, with their hometown, college and major) are:

  • Jansouk Issac Chun of Allen, Brookhaven College, animation;
  • Juan E. Hernandez of Dallas, El Centro College, arts and technology;
  • Monique Jones of Mesquite, Eastfield College, illustration;
  • Benjamin Loftis of Red Oak, Cedar Valley College, drawing/printmaking;
  • Laura L. Meza of Dallas, Mountain View College, studio/graphic design;
  • Angela J. Sharp of Flower Mound, North Lake College, computer graphics; and
  • Rebecca Elaine Shewmaker of Richardson, Richland College, painting/visual arts.
Melissa Cruz playing violin
​El Centro College Berding Award winner Melissa Cruz

​Alice Jones Berding Award in Music

The award honors its namesake for her years of teaching piano both privately and in Dallas schools; it was established in 1977 through a gift from Berding’s brother, George Rather Jones, and his wife, Eleanor Fordham Jones. Continued by the family after Mrs. Berding’s death in 1981, the award is now in its 37th year.

Awarded annually to an outstanding music major at each college, with preference to piano students, this year’s academic honorees are:

  • Cory Wayne Barber of Mesquite, Richland College, music education;
  • Colby Calhoun of Garland, Eastfield College, musical theater;
  • Melissa Cruz of Dallas, El Centro College, music;
  • Hector Rivera of Dallas, Brookhaven College, music education;
  • Michael Robertson of Dallas, Cedar Valley College, music composition; and
  • Tony July Vasquez of Irving, North Lake College, music/jazz studies/guitar.

Eleanor Jones Award in Creative Writing

Established in 2002 by her family in honor of Mrs. Jones’ 75th birthday, this award is presented annually to one creative writing student representing the entire district who excels in prose or poetry. This year’s academic honoree is Billy Dennis of Mesquite, who attends Eastfield College and is majoring in English and history.

For more information, contact Kathye Hammontree in the DCCCD Foundation office, by phone at (214) 378-1536 or by email at khammontree@dcccd.edu.

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