Dr. Mike Smith, President - 903.589.7106 -

Homecoming Info

Jacksonville College Celebrates 120th Anniversary at Homecoming 2020

By Randy Decker

Jacksonville College Director of Alumni Relations

The story of Jacksonville College is rich with evidences of divine sustenance and intervention. From its founding to today, God’s provision has been clear and His blessings have been undeniable.

After the organizational meeting of the East Texas Educational Society in March of 1899, an eighteen-acre building site was purchased for Jacksonville College in July, and less than a week later, the Secretary of State approved the charter for Jacksonville College. By September, thirty-four students were enrolled in the College and taking courses in the rented upper story of the Templeton building on South Bolton Street. By December, the three-story brick building known as “Old Main” was completed, and classes were moved to that location. Old Main no longer stands at Jacksonville College. It was torn down to make room for more buildings and more students. God has sustained the College through difficult times, and He has blessed us with faithful supporters whose gifts and service have made it possible to offer a distinctly Christian education to many generations of students. Jacksonville College has seen much growth and many changes over the years, but the mission remains the same: to provide a quality education from a biblical worldview that challenges minds, transforms lives, and equips students for servant leadership and lifelong learning.

On February 7-8, 2020, Jacksonville College will host its 120th anniversary celebration at Homecoming. This year offers a special opportunity to look back at the legacy of Jacksonville College and look forward to its future. The executive committee has been hard at work to provide opportunities to celebrate the history of our alma mater, renew deep and meaningful relationships, and form new friendships.

This year the business meeting and primary music time will be moved to Friday evening, February 7 at First Baptist Church in Jacksonville. This year’s program will feature Dr. Jason Aultman, JC alumnus and pastor of Antioch Baptist Church of Conway, Arkansas. We will also recognize alumni who attended Jacksonville College in the years ending in 0 (1940, 1950, 1960, 1970, 1980, 1990, 2010, 2020). Following the Friday night gathering at First Baptist Church, we will meet on Jacksonville College’s East campus for a Homecoming bonfire, thanks to the planning of Director of Student Life Mirtha Eckles.

Saturday morning’s celebration at 10:00 a.m. in Buckner Chapel will be reserved for awards and presentations. The morning program will include the presentation of a brief video on the history of Jacksonville College. The video will be provided by the Barnwell Anderson Chapter of the Walter Prescott Webb Society together with the Cherokee County Historical Society. Homecoming Royalty honored this year will be the Kellar-Laird-Carroll Chapter of the Jacksonville College Alumni Association. The program will conclude with our traditional singing of the Hallelujah Chorus and the Jacksonville College Alma Mater.

It is our hope to dismiss the Saturday morning program by 11:15 so alumni have plenty of time to reconnect with friends at their chapter luncheons. Refer to the Homecoming schedule of events for additional information about chapter luncheons, basketball games, and other details about the celebration.

For more Homecoming 2020 information and updates, visit the alumni web page at For the most current information, make certain the alumni association has your current email address. Contact Jean Galyean at

Jacksonville College Homecoming 2020 Schedule of Events

Friday, February 7

11:30 a.m.

Alumni Lunch in JC Little Cafeteria - $5 per person

1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.

JAG Store Opens (Weatherby Building)

6:00 p.m.

Gathering of the Jags in the First Baptist Church Family Life Center

(210 Philip Street, Jacksonville, TX)

Alumni Registration and Reception

Light Snacks, Displays, and Fellowship

7:00 p.m.

College Updates

Alumni Updates, Reports, & Brief Business Meeting

Program – Dr. Jason Aultman


Bonfire - College Campus East

Saturday, February 8

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

JAG Store Open (Weatherby Building)

Commemorative and Spirit Items and Gifts

9:30 a.m.

Alumni Registration in Buckner Chapel

10:00 a.m.

Jacksonville College 120 Years Celebration in Buckner Chapel

College and Alumni Updates

Historical Video - Historical Societies

Recognitions and Awards

Alumni Chorus

11:30 a.m.

Chapter Luncheons

Kellar-Laird-Carroll: First Baptist Church Fellowship Hall

Bearden-Bonner-Gaylor: Craft Baptist Church Family Life Center

Anderson-Orr-Small: To Be Arranged

Crank-Ross: To Be Arranged

4:00 p.m.

Curtis Carroll Field House/Gymnasium

Women’s Basketball Game: Lady Jags vs. Tyler Junior College

Presentation of Homecoming Court Between Games

6:00 p.m.

Curtis Carroll Field House/Gymnasium

Men’s Basketball Game: Jaguars vs. Blinn College

Homecoming 2020 Lodging Accommodations in Jacksonville

The accommodations in the list below offer a breakfast and elevator for easy access unless otherwise noted. When making your reservation, be sure to ask for the Jacksonville College Homecoming Rate. Please note that La Quinta Inn is under construction, but it may reopen in time for Homecoming. We will keep you posted.

Best Western

1659 S. Jackson

(903) 586-0007

Executive Inn

1848 S. Jackson

(903) 589-8500

No elevator - specify ground floor room, if needed

Holiday Inn Express

1923 S. Jackson

(903) 589-8900


Spring Semester 2020

Classes meet January 13-May 6

January 9-10: Placement testing and registration