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A neon nightmare

In a time ruled by shoulder pads, leg warmers, huge earrings and  ngerless gloves; the 80’s at Tyler Junior College was just as momentous as any other period of history.

A world mourning the death of John Lennon brought an end to an erae assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan, the Challenger Space Shuttle exploding, the fall of the Berlin Wall and the students massacred at China’s Tiananmen Square were some of the most important moments in the 80’s that we learn about in our history books.

Walking around campus at TJC in the 80’s, many now would look back on past students fashion trends and ask, “What were they THINKING?!”

Students not wearing “members only jackets” were considered dorks and imitations of such jackets were not acceptable. Stretch stirrup pants were probably the most nacceptable of fashion trends; they didn’t make anybody look good.  e most memorable of all fashion trend oops of the 80’s, were the dreaded parachute pants.  epants started o skin tight but ended up baggier than basketball shorts.  dorms, Hudnall Hall. Made into an “L” shape, the design of Hudnall Hall was “planned to give maximum protection to students living in the dorm.” said then Vice President Richard H. Barrett.

Students also had a chance to be a part of history, when Ronald Reagan came to speak at TJC’s Harvey Hall. With an audience of about 4,000 people, Ronald Reagan stood before students, faculty, and community members alike to discuss his views on important issues.

“ e crowd was in no small measure moved by the importance their town had assumed,” wrote 1980 StaWriter, Michelle Green. In 1983, Dr. Harry E. Jenkinspassed away. Jenkins was president of TJC from 1946-1980, and Chancellor of TJC from 1980-1981. Not much is known about the man behind the name. Today many students attend class everyday in the building that was named after him. He was a man of many accomplishments and job positions such as dean of TJC from 1934-46, and assistant superintendent of Tyler public schools. In 1960 he was elected President of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools, and in 1972 that group voted Jenkins as a lifetime member. Jenkins died after several months of illness, but his legacy lives on through the school and its students.

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