Paris Junior College will add four deserving alumni to the Academic Hall of Honor Wall during Homecoming festivities on Saturday, November 5 according to Derald Bulls, Director of Institutional Advancement and Alumni Affairs. The ceremony is set for 2:30 p.m. and is open to the public in the McLemore Student Center Ballroom.
“As part of the 2016 activities, we will induct four exceptional alumni into the Academic Hall of honor,” said Bulls. “This designation begin in 1995 with the induction of seventeen former students, instructors, friends and supporters of PJC. The Academic Hall of Honor was founded for the purpose of recognizing those persons who have so loyally supported PJC through the years and contributed to its success.”
This year’s inductees include Capt. Jack Ashmore, USN, Retired, Class of 1949; Dr. Claude Caffee, Class of 1962; R. Keith Drummond, Class of 1954; and Jonathan Jordan, Class of 1996.
J.K. “Jack” Ashmore, entered the Naval Aviation Cadet Program upon graduation from PJC and completed the naval flight program, receiving his wings in 1951. As a student at PJC, he was the first recipient of a Rotary Club scholarship and played on the football team until sidelined by injury. With the untimely resignation of the women’s basketball coach at the college, Ashmore stepped in to coach for a portion of the season. An avid athlete, Ashmore was soon tabbed as the coach for the remainder of the season.
During the Korean War, Ashmore flew two tours aboard the aircraft carriers U.S.S. Sicily and U.S.S. Rendova in the Sea of Japan. He served as air operations officer aboard the U.S.S. Princeton and did a two-year tour of duty on the Admiral’s Staff in the Philippines as well as stints in Monterey, Calif., and Washington, D.C. When the Vietnam War broke out, he was assigned to Attack Squadron 22 as the executive officer and later took command of the squadron. In his career, Ashmore recorded three combat tours flying 254 combat missions. At the conclusion of the Vietnam War, he was selected for the Naval War College and George Washington University, receiving his master’s degree in international affairs. His final assignment was with the Joint Chief of Staff in the Pentagon where he and his staff briefed the President’s staff and others daily.
Among his awards received, he was presented two Distinguished Flying Crosses, Silver Leaf for Gallantry in Action, Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, 14 Air Medals, two Navy Commendation Medals, Vietnamese Cross of Gallantry and numerous campaign and service ribbons. Upon retirement, he taught management, economics, and business psychology at Bee Co. College, then began his own management agency overseeing several apartment complexes in South Texas. He and his wife Ruth returned to Paris in 1998.
Ashmore currently serves as treasurer of the PJC Alumni & Friends Association Board and has been instrumental in creating a military pilot’s museum at Cox Field, featuring many PJC alumni. Ashmore still enjoys flying as a hobby and does a great deal of humanitarian flying for worthwhile causes. He and wife Ruth live in Reno, TX. He has two sons and four grandchildren. He joins his eldest brother, J.W. Ashmore, a former PJC instructor, in the Academic Hall of Honor.
Claude Caffee retired in 2008 as the Vice President for Student Development at Brookhaven College in Farmers Branch, Texas, part of the Dallas County Community Colleges District (DCCCD). He and wife, Barbara, relocated back to their roots in the Honey Grove area and he is active in many organizations, as well as serving as Mayor of Honey Grove, secretary of the Fannin Central Appraisal District Board, Board member of the Verne Cooper Foundation and treasurer of the Honey Grove Preservation League, and a lay leader of the McKenzie United Methodist Church and multiple committees.
While earning his associate’s degree at PJC, Caffee was involved in news gathering and reporting for the student newspaper, “The Bat.” He took French, photography, and was involved in several sports. A product of West Lamar Schools, Caffee received his B.S. and M.Ed. degrees from East Texas State University, now Texas A&M University-Commerce. He went on to earn a Doctorate in Student Personnel, Guidance and Counseling with minors in English and psychology from then, ETSU. His professional career began teaching in the Pittsburg, Texas ISD. He later taught in the Arlington ISD where he also served as a counselor. His career in higher education began at Henderson State University, Arkadelphia, Ark.
He began his service to Brookhaven College in 1982 as a faculty counselor and joined the Communications Division as a speech communications professor in 1989. He authored a text book used for Speech Communications. He has been honored by his peers as he was named the recipient of the Jean Sharon Griffith Student Development Leadership Award from the DCCCD and was selected by the Texas Speech Communication Association as Educator of the Year. He was also nominated for the Minnie Stevens Piper Professor Award, which annually honors ten professors in Texas colleges and universities for outstanding achievement in the teaching profession. Caffee also is a Licensed Professional Counselor. He and his wife have two married sons, Christopher and Brandon and boast seven grandchildren.
Robert Keith Drummond is a former partner in the law firm of Strasburger and Price, LLP. In an email several years ago to the College, he said, “I love PJC and it was a fine place for me after playing second team my last year at Mt. Vernon High School. But PJC fed me well and Coach (Ernest) Hawkins saw my potential and thus I got to leave there and play football for The University of Tennessee.” Drummond earned his BS from the University of Tennessee and LLB from University of Texas College of Law. Between the University of Tennessee and University of Texas, Drummond served in the U.S. Army. Following Law School, his specialization as a trial lawyer included an extensive practice in business and intellectual property litigation. When he first joined the firm in 1961, it was named Strasburger, Price, Kelton, Miller and Martin and Drummond was the firm’s 22nd lawyer. Today the firm has offices in nine cities across the United States and over 220 attorneys on staff.
Under Strasburger, he moved through the ranks to head the General Litigation Division and was referred to as the “High Sheriff” by fellow partners. His football training and military service taught him teamwork and courage. He mentored many young lawyers and shared his passion. He was the first, and a long standing member of the firm’s policy committee and believed in a client-first process.
Drummond’s success in the courtroom earned him recognition as a fellow of the prestigious American College of Trial Lawyers. Because of his passion to impart his knowledge to new lawyers, the firm annually awards the Outstanding New Attorney award in his honor. He and his wife, Suzanne, now live in Nashville, Tenn. He has two daughters, Tracy Drummond and Paige Drummond Brody.
Jonathan Jordan currently serves as the Senior Staff Consultant for Engineering Systems, Inc. (ESI) and is based out of the Dallas office. His career path at PJC began in 1994 when he enrolled in the HVAC/R (heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration) program. He earned his AAS in 1996 and in 1998 he completed the requirements for another AAS degree in engineering, all the time maintain exceptional grades as a member of the national honor society for junior colleges, Phi Theta Kappa. He received his Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from the University of Texas.
A Lamar County native, Jordan has worked for Dell as a forensic electrical engineer and as a consulting engineer for Goodson Engineering. He joined ESI in January 2013 and is a Registered Professional Engineer (P.E.) and a certified fire and explosion investigator. While at PJC he worked as an HVAC/R lab instructor while earning his AAS in Engineering. He is involved with the Institute for Electrical and Electronics Engineers, Product Safety Engineering Society and numerous professional organizations. Currently he serves as the vice chair of forensics and failure analysis technical committee for IEEE PSES. Jordan has had several technical publications and two patents to his credit. He and his wife, Kelly, have two sons and live in McKinney.
A reception honoring Ashmore, Caffee, Drummond and Jordan will be held following the induction ceremonies. Residents from throughout the community are invited to share in this special activity. For more information contact Bulls at 903-782-0276 or firstname.lastname@example.org.