Corsicana Daily Sun, Corsicana, Texas

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November 4, 2010

College alumni awards scholarships

Awards honor past Navarro faculty, students

Five Navarro College students have been awarded scholarships by the Navarro College Alumni Association, honoring some of the founders of the institution.

The awards were presented at a ceremony held during Navarro’s homecoming activities on the Corsicana campus. Awards recognizing past teachers, administrators and students distributed to the five students chosen.

 “We are pleased to honor these people who were instrumental in the founding and early development of the college by assisting deserving students in achieving their academic goals,” said Dr. Tommy Stringer, director of the Navarro College Foundation.

Jessica Martinez of Corsicana was awarded the Gaston and Verda Gooch Memorial Scholarship. Martinez, a member of the Bulldog Marching Band, gives much time and energy to the Navarro College Pearce Museum, where she is a work-study student. Gaston Gooch was the first registrar at Navarro, and his wife, Verda, served as business manager. Both were noted for their unselfish service to the college and the community.

Mauricio Palacios, a freshman from Houston, graduated second in his class of 700. He was awarded the William and Elizabeth Stokes Scholarship. Palacios plans to transfer to Texas A&M after successfully completing his studies at Navarro to pursue a degree in engineering. William Stokes, who currently lives in Austin, taught physics at Navarro from 1947 to 1954. He said that the time he spent at Navarro was the most enjoyable time of his long career. Stokes established a scholarship to honor the Barracks Bunch, those students who attended Navarro at the college’s first campus, the Air Activities of Texas, currently the Corsicana Municipal Airport.

Sam Stroder from Frost received the Ken Clark Memorial Scholarship, honoring Navarro’s first coach. According to his coaches, Stroder reflects those traits that marked the life of Clark. In addition to his performance on the baseball field, Stroder also excels in the classroom with a 3.5 GPA. Clark’s players commented on the profound influence he had on them as athletes and men. Clark was a man of impeccable character and integrity, demanding his players put forth their best effort, not only on the playing field, but also in all their endeavors.

Dustin Griffith from Dawson was awarded the James Edgar Memorial Scholarship. To help meet his college expenses, Griffith works as a server in a local restaurant. He has compiled an impressive academic record, earning a 3.5 GPA. Griffith plans to pursue a degree in engineering. Serving as a chemistry professor at Navarro for 27 years, “Doc” Edgar was revered by his students. Upon Edgar’s retirement, they established a scholarship for students pursuing a degree in a science-related field.

LaDarius Williams from Dallas received a scholarship funded by the Barracks Bunch. He has overcome various obstacles in his life and is making great progress in pursuing his goals of earning a degree in criminal justice. Eventually, Williams hopes to go to law school.  

For more information, to donate to the Navarro College Foundation, or to establish a scholarship, please call (903) 875-7380, or send your e-mail request to


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