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Barbara Jones
Barbara Sue Sherrill Jones, El Centro College’s first graduate, will provide the college’s commencement address this year.

​Contact: Debra Dennis
ddennis@dcccd.edu or 214-378-1851

For immediate release — April 26, 2018

(DALLAS) — Barbara Sue Sherrill Jones, El Centro College’s first graduate — and the Dallas County Community College District’s first graduate, too — will return to her alma mater next month to share words of wisdom and inspiration during the school’s commencement exercises on Thursday, May 10.

“I was part of a new history for Dallas, and I just accepted the changes as my path to the future,” Sherrill Jones said during a visit to El Centro late last year. “I look back with pride and joy, knowing that I was a pioneer in Dallas history by being the first graduate of the DCCCD system.”

In 1968, she received El Centro’s first degree. And on graduation day this year, Sherrill Jones gets to tell fellow graduates firsthand about her experiences during El Centro’s early days and about the life she led after leaving Dallas’ first community college.

Since Sherrill Jones received her associate degree, 32,730 El Centro graduates have followed her lead, officials said.

Dr. Jose Adames, El Centro’s president, calls this year’s keynote speaker and celebrated graduate a “pioneer and trailblazer” who paved the way for all who followed her.

El Centro opened in 1966. Housed in the former Sanger-Harris Department Store, the downtown Dallas school quickly became a focal point for the community and for what Adames calls “an enduring spirit of hope.”

The college’s graduation exercise starts at 7 p.m. at Fair Park Coliseum, located at 1438 Coliseum Drive, in Dallas.

Mountain View College will welcome a well-known Texas politician to its podium. Julian Castro, a former San Antonio mayor who also served as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development under President Barack Obama, will be the school’s keynote speaker.
Mountain View’s graduation is set for 7 p.m. on Wednesday, May 9, at Inspiring Body of Christ Church, located at 7701 S. Westmoreland Road, Dallas.

DCCCD’s other five colleges also will welcome graduates, their family members and friends to commencement. Those ceremony dates, times and locations are listed below. Members of the DCCCD board of trustees also will share greetings at each location.

Brookhaven College

Thursday, May 10 — 7 p.m., Alfred J. Loos Field House, 3815 Spring Valley Road, Addison.

Cedar Valley College

Thursday, May 10 — 7 p.m., Inspiring Body of Christ Church, 7701 S. Westmoreland Road, Dallas.

Eastfield College

Saturday, May 5 — 4:30 p.m., Curtis Culwell Center, 4999 Naaman Forest Blvd., Garland.

North Lake College

Friday, May 11 — 7 p.m., Alfred J. Loos Field House, 3815 Spring Valley Road, Addison.

Richland College

Thursday, May 10 — 7:30 p.m., Curtis Culwell Center, 4999 Naaman Forest Blvd., Garland.

For more information, contact Debra Dennis in the DCCCD office of public and governmental affairs at 214-378-1851 or at ddennis@dcccd.edu.

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