On Oct. 24, the TJC Alumni Association will honor the 2009 recipients of three special awards handed out each year during homecoming festivities.
They are the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Apache Spirit Award, and the Valuable Young Alumni Award.
These award winners bring honor to the college through their spirit, motivation, personal and professional achievements.
Billie Boyd Hartley will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the most prestigious award given by TJC and recognizes a former student for distinguished achievements and contributions to society.
Hartley is a former Belle and member of Phi Theta Kappa. She graduated in the Class of 1950.
Hartley says that her two years at TJC were among the happiest in her life.
“I am so thankful I chose TJC and that TJC wrapped its arms around me educationally and socially.”
She continues to support TJC as a member of the TJC Foundation.
She was also the number one contributor to the soccer fields named in honor of her son Pat.
Ms. Hartley is actively involved in the Tyler community. She has held many leadership roles including Coronation Chair of the Texas Rose Festival and the Tyler Museum of Art.
Carmin Marie Biggs will receive the Valuable Young Alumni Award.
The Valuable Young Alumni Award recognizes a former student who has achieved personal and professional success.
In less than ten years, Biggs has gone from student to New York City producer.
When she was told she won the award, she was thrilled.
“It’s such an honor, and I’m so excited to get to come back to TJC,” Biggs said.
She was involved in several student organizations during her time at TJC.
She graduated in the Class of 1999.
She was the reporter for Phi Theta Kappa, vice-president of Student Senate, president of the freshman class, a member of Las Mascaras, and several competitive speaking events.
After graduation from TJC, Biggs received her bachelor’s degree from NYU.
She started as a producer at KLTV and is now a producer for WABC TV in New York City.
It is currently ranked the number one local news station in the country.
Heather and Tom Mensch will receive the Apache Spirit Award.
The Apache Spirit award recognizes any person or group who has shown spirit through contribution of their time and energy to a program at TJC.
“We are more than honored,” Tom Mensch said. “Most people nominated for the first time don’t receive the award.”
They are two of the band directors for the Apache Band who worked at local schools before coming to TJC.
The band has more than doubled since the arrival of the Mensches.
Besides directing the Apache Band, the Mensches also perform in various ensembles such as the Tyler Big Band, the Metro Big Band, and the East Texas Jazz Orchestra.
The Mensches are also looking forward to the future.
“We are appreciative of the success of the past five years and look forward to all the exciting moments that the future will bring.”