LMC Presents: Chopped East Texas

     JACKSONVILLE, TX. – LMC Hospitality Presents:  Chopped: East Texas, is the final project for Lon Morris College’s Meetings, Expositions, Events and Conventions (MEEC) course.  Last year’s class created and launched a tourism video for the City of Jacksonville.  This year, it’s all about the food.  The MEEC course is designed to explore, discuss & execute all operational areas of meeting & event planning.  Most importantly, the students plan and produce a real event that will make a positive impact in the community.

Josi Moore, a LMC Hospitality Freshman from Whitehouse, is the Director of Events. She and her team of Event Coordinators are focusing on all areas of the competition including marketing and public relations.  The Food & Beverage Director, Adrianna Damiani, a LMC Hospitality Freshman from Malakoff, leads a team that is coordinating all the culinary aspects of the competition.

The Food & Beverage team has researched ingredients at FRESH in Tyler and locally produced food items.  The culinary competition will also showcase “Farm to Table” ingredients from Poppa Skinny’s Farm, an organic family farm located near Dialville Texas between Jacksonville and Rusk. They raise seasonal produce, fruit, pastured eggs, chicken and pork.  

This culinary competition will be hosted at The Landmark at Lon Morris College in Jacksonville, TX on Monday April 23, 2012 at 6pm. A Cocktail reception and complimentary farm to table h’ors d’oeuvres will be provided by Sadler’s Kitchen & Catering starting at 5:30pm before the competition.

The East Texas Couples competing include:

TEAM STANFILL Eric Stanfill (President of Jacksonville Rotary) & Kathleen Stanfill (Discover East Texas Magazine)

BAD HATtiude Rob Gowin (Owner of Sadler’s Kitchen & Catering/D.J’s BBQ) & JoTe Brown (LMC Hospitality Administration Graduate Class of 2011/currently majoring in Hospitality Administration at Stephen F. Austin State University).

KEEPING UP WITH THE JONESES Nathan Jones (Executive Vice President of Austin Bank & President of Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce) & Lisa Jones (Gourmet Foodie)

CULINARY SKILLS Melodie Nelson (current LMC Hospitality Administration Student and future restaurateur) & Dylan Humphries (Whitehouse High School culinary student and 1st Place winner of the East Texas Regional Cupcake battle).

Judging the “mystery basket” competition are local and prominent chefs including Chef Simon Webster, Executive Chef and owner of Sabor a Pasíon, Chef Jackson York, Executive Chef of Edom Bakery and Grill, Christine Garner, food editor of the Tyler Paper, and Chef Deidra Stewart, Chef and Instructor of Whitehouse High School. The MC for the evening will be Region’s 56 Bob Brackeen. Tickets will be $20 per person. All proceeds go the The School of Hospitality Administration at Lon Morris College. Please reserve your tickets by Thursday April 19th, 2012. “This is going to be a great event celebrating culinary tourism, education & East Texas,” stated Breezy Lake, LMC Director of Hospitality Administration.



Lon Morris College Students Meet Challenge by Feinstein Corporation to Help Feed the Hungry


     JACKSONVILLE, TX. – Lon Morris College students took a challenge made by the Feinstein Corp. to help feed the hungry nationwide through their challenge to the H.O.P.E. organization in Jacksonville, Texas.  Students of the Service Learning classes at Lon Morris College and the Lon Morris College band worked hard to raise money and collect can goods during the month of March.  The Feinstein group will match both the money and canned good donations.

    The Lon Morris College Band went door to door this past week asking neighbors and friends to give canned goods or money. Hannah Foster was in charge of the challenge, but had great help from Linda Gray, the LMC librarian, Mike Kellogg, the LMC band director, the LMC band, Ms. Addington, teacher of Service Learning, and Service Learning students. With the help of all these great faculty and students, Lon Morris College did their part in helping feed the hungry.

Pictured:  Members of the Service Learning classes and LMC Band donating canned foods and money to HOPE in partnership with the Feinstein Corporation.

News Release
LMC Media Relations 

Lon Morris Takes Awards in Student Government Association Regional Meeting

            JACKSONVILLE, TX. – Lon Morris College hosted the Texas Junior College Student Government Association Region III Spring Meeting Tuesday. In addition to LMC, there were six schools in attendance: Navarro College (Corsicana), Navarro College (Mexia), Navarro College (Waxahachie), Trinity Valley Community College, Kilgore College, and Northeast Texas Community College. Fifty-Seven students from Region III attended.

          During the General Assembly it was announced that Kendal Carnley, Lon Morris Student Government Association President and TJCSGA Region III Vice-President, was the recipient of the TJCSGA Region III Student of the Year Award.  David Gehrels, Lon Morris SGA Advisor and TJCSGA Region III Advisor, was also awarded the TJCSGA Region III Advisor of the Year Award.  Both Kendal and David will be the Region III candidates for the state level of both awards.

         “This is a tremendous honor for me. The fact that my students nominated me for this achievement was amazing enough, but to win against seasoned advisors of TJCSGA in only our second year with the organization was overwhelming.  I could not be successful without the dedication of my student staff.  It was even more wonderful that Kendal was duly recognized for his hard work and dedication,” Gehrels said.

           Carnley said he was overwhelmed with pride in his school and the work his organization has done.  “When I found out I was nominated, I was extremely humbled and excited that my peers and advisor thought highly enough to nominate me.  All the credit goes to our school and the hard work my officers have pulled of this year,” Carnley said.

            LMC hopes to send a full delegation of 10 students to the State Convention in Austin at the end of this month to represent one of the only private two year schools in attendance. “It is a great honor to represent the concerns of private schools to the state body. We have a unique perspective on the House and Senate Bills discussed at the convention and that lends us a strong voice,” Gehrels said.

            Carnley said the LMC community has been wonderful helping raise the funds they need to attend. “We are excited to represent LMC at state.  Our SGA has three students already sponsored. We have reached out to our Board of Regents as well, and have garnered donations from some of the members of the Jacksonville community,” Carnley said.

            The Lon Morris Student Government Association is still looking for help getting their students to Austin this month. If you or your business would like to help, contact David Gehrels or Kendal Carnley at 903-589-4035, or dgehrels@lonmorris.edu.


March 9, 2012

Lady Bearcats Defeats Kilgore College in Region XIV Conference Tournament

Longview News Journal

By Gabriel D. Brooks

     JACKSONVILLE, TX. – Lon Morris College and Louisburg College aren’t in the same town or state, but it’s the history, curriculum, student body, and even struggles that brought the current college presidents together to make the two private educational institutions unite as  “sister schools.”

   On Thursday, September 29th, Louisburg’s College President, Dr. Mark David La Branche, visited the campus of Lon Morris College.  For two days, Dr. La Branche visited with administration, faculty and staff to share the challenges his college faced and how their learning community overcame it.

  Dr. La Branche said the reason for visiting Lon Morris College was not only to offer support to administration and faculty, but begin to develop a growing relationship between the two historical colleges.  “Dr. McCall and I and some other president’s who have a national group of presidents come together a couple of times a year and we committed to be mentors to each other.  There are things that are here at Lon Morris that I could learn and that there are things at Louisburg College that Lon Morris could learn from.”

   Just as LMC is the oldest two year school in the State of Texas, Louisburg College has been serving students for over 220 years, as the oldest two-year college in the nation.  As a college related by faith to the United Methodist Church, Louisburg is also the only two-year residential college in North Carolina.  It also draws nearly 800 students and employs about 130 people to a small community similar to Jacksonville.

    “It just so happens that Louisburg College and Lon Morris College have a great deal in common, including the fact that Louisburg College went through some difficult times a few years ago,” La Branche said.

    Having both evolved from a Female Academy, the colleges have always demonstrated their number one mission; which is to give every person the opportunity to get an education.  With over 375 combined years of changes, both colleges strongly value and understand the importance of diversity.  Today, the campuses are made up of young men and women, both nationally and internationally.  Students come from all different walks of life and are ethnically diverse.  LMC and Louisburg also offer a unique academic program for students with learning disabilities.

   Dr. McCall says while the schools are similar in student size and population, many of the recent changes at Lon Morris College also took place at Louisburg College; changes that ultimately led to a positive turn around.  “The similarities between the two colleges are truly remarkable; from having similar histories and struggles to bringing back a football program, we are definitely mirror images of one another,” Dr. McCall said.

    In the 20th Century, the colleges shared a very similar story.  During the Great Depression, both institutions were burdened with debt and a shrinking enrollment.   A period of revitalization and growth occurred for the institutions during the administration of two popular presidents, ironically both named Cecil. Under the late Dr. Cecil Peeples

(LMC President 1935-1973) and the late Cecil W. Robbins (Louisburg President 1955-1974) enrollment, faculty size, budget, and physical plants were significantly increased and improved.  Historically, keeping the doors open has always been a challenge and priority for the two non-profit Christian institutions.

   Dr. La Branche said the most important thing to take away from this experience is how the two colleges can learn from one another.  In the near future, Dr. McCall will visit Louisburg College to provide insight on the programming offered at Lon Morris College.

    “I’ve had the opportunity to learn and really come to be supportive and let people know that what we do as two year private, residential liberal arts college is extremely important.  It’s a great mission and its worthy of our struggle.  They will get through this and that’s my focus for being here.  We stand as a sister institution ready to assist the college with any information we have,” La Branche said.


Rodney Wright, 19, is a sophomore at Lon Morris College and plans to graduate Spring 2012 with an Associates of Science degree. He graduated from Tatum High School in 2010. He serves as an orientation leader and member of the LMC Campus Improvement Team. In addition, Wright is a student-athlete on the Track & Field team and also serves as a Resident Assistant and Student Ambassador. After, his two years at LMC he plans to continue his studies and pursue a degree in engineering.

Q & A With the Student of the Week!

What are your plans after graduation? After Lon Morris I plan to continue towards my bachelor’s degree and strive to be a better man through the success that comes with education.

Do you plan to stay in East Texas? If it’s possible, I would like to stay in the East Texas area most definitely.

What has your education done for you? My education has expanded my horizons and knowledge and made me more interested in the world around us.

What is your best tip for success? I would encourage people to listen. It’s so easy now days to jump to conclusions and make assumptions but we have to be more open to other people’s ideas and opinions.

What advice can you offer for college-bound students? I would advise new college students to keep their priorities straight and focus on the task at hand which is getting an education. They will have many distractions but they have to stay focused.

Describe your experience here at Lon Morris College? Lon Morris College has been a blessing to me because everyone here really cares about my success. I’m glad that I chose to attend this school to start my college career. I have met so many people and made friendships that will last a lifetime. This place will always be a part of my story.

Colleges Celebrate International Flair

Jacksonville Daily Progress 

by Lauren LaFleur

JACKSONVILLE — Hundreds of students come to Jacksonville each semester to attend the three institutions of higher education in town, and each school welcomes several international students to their classes and the community.

Lon Morris College, Jacksonville College and the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary currently count students from 32 different countries in their student populations — a portion of the student body that provides a richness to the schools, according to Dr. David Heflin, international student sponsor at Jacksonville College.

“The international students have so much to give,” he said. “They are exceptional students. They take advantage of our technology, they’re not just goofing off. They set a very good example for our students.

“They also adapt to our southern dialect of English very easily. They adapt to our system really quickly. They learn about freedom — something they do not have completely in their home country — and they remind us how blessed we are. We’re more thankful to God for our blessings because of them.”

Heflin said international students at Jacksonville College hail from Haiti, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mexico, Zambia, Rwanda, Kenya, Russia, Puerto Rico, Sweden, Cambodia, Brazil, Vietnam and Iran.

“I believe that diversity is one of the major benefits to living on a residential campus,” said David Gehrels, coordinator of student activities at Lon Morris College. “Coming from a small town in East Texas, my experiences with different cultures was limited. Meeting students from other parts of the country and other parts of the world helped to open my understanding of the different things people experience.”

He said countries represented at Lon Morris College for the fall semester include Zaire, Guatemala, Mexico, Croatia, Japan, Venezuela, Nigeria, Jamaica, Dominican Republic, Ivory Coast, Canada, Congo, Trinidad and Tobago, Germany and the Bahamas.

He said the students offer many valuable assets to the school.

“The diversity of leadership styles and approaches to education and social interaction provide unique opportunities for American students to experience various ways to impact their campus organizations, sports teams and academics,” he said.

At the Baptist Missionary Association Theological Seminary, countries currently represented include Czech Republic, Ghana West Africa, Liberia West Africa, Nigeria, China, Haiti, Thailand and Puerto Rico.

“Our international students are encouraged to join the International Student Club (ISC) once they settle onto campus,” Gehrels said. “The ISC provides our international students a chance to become a part of the LMC family in a smaller ‘family style’ setting they can be a part of while attending college far away from home.  It encourages international students to fully participate in all campus activities and provides acceptance and support for their endeavors while they adjust to their new surroundings.

“We also provide bi-weekly shuttle services around Jacksonville, and a monthly shuttle to Tyler for shopping, banking and business, as well as opportunities to socialize and have fun.”

Heflin said international students at JC mingle with other international students in town, especially at the international students’ Christmas party, held at the home of LMC’s Art Gust and his wife Barbara.

“We get all these international students together from the three different institutions of higher learning, and they will learn that there is someone who speaks the same language,” Heflin said. “You will see them writing down their email addresses, contact information, and they will have a friend who they keep in touch with.”

He said the party usually includes introducing the students to the Christian aspects of the holiday and the students’ teaching each other about the holiday in their respective countries.

“They share the customs of how they celebrate a Christian Christmas in their country,” Heflin said. One of the most surprising parts of the celebration is when students take turns singing “Silent Night” in their native languages — eight last year.

LMC Director of Admissions Jessica Chiles said international students at LMC generally come to the school from two areas: the church and athletics.

“We have a long history of international students who receive a bishop’s scholarship through the United Methodist Church to attend our school,” she said. “Some of our best athletes are from other countries and go on to do great things with their careers.”

Heflin said Jacksonville’s small campuses provide a unique experience for the international students that helps them further their education.

“Since we teach developmental reading and writing here, if they can’t control English well, they have the opportunity to get extra help with it,” he said. “It’s nice for them to be at a small school where you can get to know your teacher and know they love you and care for you. They get very close to their teachers.”

Heflin said the international students have the power to heavily influence their American counterparts’ lives as well — an experience Heflin personally had.

When he attended JC, Heflin’s roommate was from Taiwan. He taught Heflin about his country’s customs and some Mandarin. Heflin continued his education in languages because of his experience learning from his Taiwanese roommate.

“I was really blessed by having an international roommate,” he said. “There is a long tradition of hosting international students here.”

JACKSONVILLE, TX. – Lon Morris College Alpha Week kicks off this year on Sunday, August 21, 2011 when the new Bearcats move into the residence halls.

The freshmen and their parents will be welcomed by upper-class students, faculty, staff and volunteers from local churches including the First United Methodist Church and Central Baptist Church.

To achieve the goal of nurturing academic, social, and spiritual growth through an engaging liberal arts curriculum and vibrant campus life, LMC faculty and staff must start from the very beginning of a student’s college career.

Alpha Week at LMC is designed just to do that.

The Office of Student Activities will host a number of events to ease freshmen into many different aspects of life as a college student at Lon Morris College.  These events focus on familiarizing the new students with all the resources available while also introducing them to the new and old traditions LMC as to offer.

“By making a connection with the campus environment early through both social and academic events, students will rapidly connect with the campus and develop a sense of ownership which leads to stronger retention of students,” stated David Gehrels, LMC Coordinator of Student Activities.

Other events include LMC’s annual Convocation, which officially welcomes new and returning students, is scheduled to be held on Wednesday, August 23 at 7:00pm at the First United Methodist Church in Jacksonville.  The week will wrap up on Friday evening with an outdoor BBQ and street dance to celebrate the first Bearcat football game of the season.

“I can’t wait for the students to arrive.  We are so excited about the new year and I want to make sure the students are engaged so that I can help meet their needs,” Kendal Carnley, 2011-2012 LMC Student Body President.

According to Gehrels, “There are many opportunities to get involved on campus.  Alpha Week is just the beginning.  We hope that all students, new and returning, get or stay involved on campus and make their college experience here at LMC the best two years of their life.”


     JACKSONVILLE, TX. – A partnership between the LMC Grounds and Maintenance Office, The Division of Student Life and several dedicated faculty members and community partners has resulted in the creation of the Lon Morris College Campus Improvement Teams. Students, staff, faculty and community members meet on campus every Thursday morning to complete projects such as cleaning flowerbeds, pulling weeds, mowing, moving brush and weed eating.

 “Our greatest resource is our students and as we engage them in the work of improving our campus, we hope they will take ownership,” Dean of Students, Kent Willis said.   “It is especially encouraging to students to see staff, faculty and community members who are supporting their efforts.”

 LMC Sophomore, Rodney Wright said, “It’s a great feeling to contribute to the school and give back. It’s nice for people to come by and honk the horn as we work and admire our campus.”

 Community members, such as Rob Gowin of Sadler’s and members of the Cherokee County Master Gardeners have also taken this opportunity to get involved.

  “This is the perfect time for our community to embrace this living piece of history and institution of higher education,” Gowin said.

 Since the Campus Improvement Teams have been implemented, fifty Knockout Roses, donated by Tyler Rose Nursery, have been planted in front of the E. C. Scurlock Student Center, fountains have been revitalized, and flowerbeds have been designed.

 For more information regarding the Lon Morris College Campus Improvement Teams and volunteer opportunities, please contact Kent Willis, LMC Dean of Students (kwillis@lonmorris.edu).

*Photo courtesy of Amanda Chesshir.






JACKSONVILLE – Lon Morris College has named Loretta Gallegos, Ph.D., as its provost. Dr. Gallegos, no stranger to Lon Morris or the administrative leadership team, will serve as the provost in an effort to streamline administrative operations of the college.

“As a critical member of the College’s leadership team, Dr. Loretta Gallegos has consistently researched and embraced opportunities for creative academic programming,” said Lon Morris President Miles McCall, Ph.D. “She has a strong record of engaging students and enhancing their academic experience through practical and immediate application of what they learn in the classroom. She is also an accomplished builder of teams capable of extraordinary results.”

“First and foremost, I am an educator who is passionate about the role education plays in impacting our society. Here at Lon Morris College, our faculty and staff are about the business of transforming lives each and every time they go in to the classroom or assist with student services. There are some who might think the scope of responsibility for provost is too vast to truly be effective. Under normal circumstances I might agree. However, the Provost team consists of people of extreme integrity, intelligence, energy, and dedication to the College. Because they are great at what they do, the Office of the Provost can operate in efficiency and effectiveness,” said Gallegos.

Gallegos joined the college two years ago serving as Lon Morris’ Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Prior to Lon Morris, Gallegos has over fifteen years of higher education administration experience. She has served in numerous senior-level positions at Santa Fe Community College in New Mexico, Pueblo Community College, in Colorado and Colorado State University. She received her doctorate degree in Educational Leadership and Human Resource Studies from Colorado State University.