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Jackson College Heritage Center Wins 2019 State History Award

The Jackson College Heritage Center has been named recipient of the 2019 State History Award in the category of Education: Educational Programs.  This is the third statewide award the center has received in the last two years.

Presented by the Historical Society of Michigan (HSM), the award recognizes organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the appreciation, collection, preservation and/or promotion of state and local history. In 2018, the Jackson College Heritage Center won the Michigan Governor’s Award and the Michigan Historical Society Award for Education for its work telling the story of one of our alumni, Capt. Zenneth Pond, in the documentary, “Answering the Call.” 

In 2019, 2nd Lt. Elwood Ray Bailey was remembered in the Heritage Center’s tribute, “Going Home: The Story of Sacrifice, Courage, and Friendship.” The documentary tells the story of three Jackson Junior College students, William Maher, Zenneth Pond and Elwood Bailey, who grew up as children of the Great Depression.  The three friends were pioneers in the early aviation field and were taught to fly by one of Jackson Junior College’s champions, Frank Dove. All found their way to the battlefield; two lost their lives over the Pacific, and one spent a lifetime trying to bring his two friends “home.” A documentary film and art display, as well as oral interviews, were part of the project. 

“Being involved with these projects has given me a sense of community, both with other students and with our larger community,” said student Dameon Rhoads, who traveled to Ludington to accept the award for the Heritage Center. “Being part of the Heritage Center projects appealed to me because while I’ve never served, I do have many veterans in my family. The Heritage Center offers the opportunity to give back to the community and tell these heroes’ stories.”

The 2019 Michigan Historical Society Award recognizes the outstanding work the Heritage Center volunteers do as they donate their time to collect and share the inspirational stories of Jacksonians whose sacrifice and courage helped shape American history. Over the past 12 years, Heritage Center students have contributed over 20,000 service hoursworking to save our community’s unique stories. Participants in each project learn the importance of contributing to something greater than themselves — something for the greater good. Since 2006, Heritage Center volunteers have completed over a dozen community projects, spanning three counties: Jackson, Adrian, and Hillsdale. They have collected stories and photographs and shared them with the community, either in a museum or art display, film, quilt, or booklet. In addition to the three statewide awards, the Jackson Women’s History Council Susan B. Anthony Awards also recognized Professor Agy and several Heritage Center students in 2019.  

Learn more about the Heritage Center at jccmi.edu/heritage-center/.

Jackson College student Dameon Rhoads who accepted the award on behalf of the Heritage Center
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