JC Receives Lon Morris College Science Equipment
When assets of Lon Morris College (LMC) were sold in an auction, most of the academic buildings, Memorial Chapel, and student residences were purchased by local office supply company 11x17 Inc. Jack Webb, founder and CEO of 11x17 Inc., invested in the LMC facilities for the benefit of the community. He had hoped that an institution of higher learning would be interested in using some of his acquired real estate. Although that plan never materialized, he continued to work on ways to profit from his investment.
Webb hired Michael Mathis to manage his LMC properties under the name of Texas Ruby Properties. According to Mathis, the facilities are leased for offices, training and educational rooms, a wedding chapel, special events and banquet rooms, and housing.
In addition to buildings, Webb also inherited equipment and furnishings. He knew he had items in his buildings that could be used by Jacksonville College, so he contacted Dr. Mike Smith, president of Jacksonville College, about any needs the College might have. As a result of their conversations, Webb recently made a significant donation of science equipment to Jacksonville College. The equipment included a Fisher Scientific Isotemp 655D gravity-convection incubator (lab oven), a Ritter M9 UltraClave Automatic Sterilizer (autoclave), four Swift M1000D stereo microscopes with adjustable light, a Corning stirrer/hot plate, human anatomical models for biology courses, molecular models for chemistry courses, and a number of other science related items.
JC Academic Dean Lynn Nabi says the equipment is a wonderful gift for the College. He explained, “The majority of our students with a declared major are pre-med or nursing students. We are therefore ecstatic and very thankful that Mr. Webb contacted President Smith and Dr. Darrell Kirchner, chair of our Science Department, about donating this equipment to our College.” Dr. Kirchner added, “I am excited about putting these items to use. I know they will benefit Jacksonville College students for years to come.”
Pictured from left to right with some of the equipment donated to Jacksonville College are Dr. Darrell Kirchner, chair of the JC Science Department; Dr. Mike Smith, president of Jacksonville College; Michael Mathis, manager of Texas Ruby Properties; and donor Jack Webb, CEO of 11x17 Inc.
During Homecoming 2014, Jacksonville College alumnus Mike Patrick learned of the plans of the College to renovate and furnish the newly acquired Joe Wright property for future use. He asked his church, Pilgrim’s Rest #2 Baptist Church (PR2BC), to consider helping in some way. The church voted to give the funds necessary to refurbish and furnish a classroom on the Joe Wright campus in memory of former JC student Julie (Hughes) Vaughn, daughter of fellow church members Larry and Faye Hughes.
Julie was in the Jacksonville College Choir from 1992 to 1994. She married Joel Vaughn in 1994 and was a loving wife, mother, and daughter. She loved the Lord and was an active member of PR2BC, where she served as organist and Sunday School secretary. The members of PR2BC wanted to honor Julie’s memory, and they began to raise the funds for Jacksonville College.
On May 8, 2015, Larry and Faye Hughes visited Jacksonville College with their pastor, Craig Kearby, and his wife Julie to give the College $8,500 to remodel the Joe Wright classroom. When the classroom is completed, a commemorative plaque will be placed in the entryway of the room in honor of Pilgrim’s Rest #2 Baptist Church, and in memory of Julie Vaughn.
On May 15, Larry and Faye Hughes (on left) and Rev. Craig and Julie Kearby present JC President Dr. Mik