Lee College boasts award-winning video, website

Lee College Marketing and Public Affairs garnered national attention recently when it was awarded the National Council for Marketing and Public Relations (NCMPR) Gold Medallion for video production and Bronze Medallion for website at the District 4 Conference in Hot Springs, Ark., Oct. 21-23.

“Our website is critical to the mission of our institution and the success of our students,” said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College president. “For many students, the website serves as their first impression of Lee College. Even before they step foot on our campus or complete an enrollment application, it gives them a powerful visual representation of what we have to offer. Congratulations to our Marketing and Public Affairs team on a job well done!”

The new Lee College website was completed and rolled out to the public in August 2020, shortly after the pandemic hit. Roger Demary, web services manager for Lee College, worked to lead the effort remotely. The goal of the upgrade was to implement a design that would allow the college’s website to grow and change incrementally, rather than being locked into a redesign mentality.

“We wanted a product that was flexible enough to adapt to changing wants and needs without requiring a complete overhaul every time we considered a significant adjustment,” Demary said.

According to Demary, moving to a top-tier product was a big change, but it offered much better tools, including the capability of adding a lot more personalization to the site.

“For example, if you let us know you’re a prospective student when you visit the website, on subsequent visits you may see information geared specifically toward that group,” he said. “If you say you’re a parent or an international student, same thing. This will open several marketing options we haven’t had.”

The Lee College video was awarded the Gold Medallion by NCMPR for its exceptional storytelling, diversity and creativity.

Chris Coats, assistant director of Marketing and Public Affairs at Lee College, originally created the video for use during new student orientation sessions. The goal of the video was to give a broad view of Lee College and its diverse populations, while highlighting fields of study that exist within those student populations.

“It’s a quick way to show people that there are other people like themselves, and they are succeeding in college. Maybe you can do it too,” said Coats. “Of all the things I do, I like making videos the most. I enjoy visually conveying the story of Lee College.”

“It’s rewarding to speak with students who have been positively impacted by the school. It has changed their life – either in determining their career trajectory, or enabling them to be a better provider for their family,” he said.

NCMPR District 4 covers Texas, Arkansas, Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Wyoming. The Lee College website and video have both been entered in the NCMPR national contest, which will take place later this year.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

The Aspen Institute Names Lee College one of 150 U.S. Community Colleges Eligible for 2023 Aspen Prize

Aspen Top 150 prizeWASHINGTON, D.C. — The Aspen Institute has named Lee College one of the 150 institutions eligible to compete for the Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence, the nation’s signature recognition of high achievement and performance among America’s community colleges. The colleges selected for this honor stand out among more than 1,000 community colleges nationwide as having high and improving levels of student success as well as equitable outcomes for Black and Hispanic students and those from lower-income backgrounds.

“We are honored to be named to this prestigious list of remarkable institutions throughout the United States who are dedicated to serving all students regardless of their background,” said Lee College President Dr. Lynda Villanueva. “To be recognized for our focus on student success and equity by the Aspen Institute is a testament to our strategic vision, and the substantial effort our college has invested in making that vision a reality.”

The Aspen Prize spotlights exemplary community colleges in order to elevate the sector, drive attention to colleges doing the best work, and discover and share highly effective student success and equity strategies. Since 2010, Aspen has chosen to focus intensively on community colleges because they are — as First Lady Dr. Jill Biden stated at the 2021 Aspen Prize ceremony — “a powerful engine of prosperity.”

But student outcomes vary enormously among community colleges, and improving those outcomes is essential to securing our nation’s economic future, strengthening communities, and ensuring that diverse populations experience economic mobility and prosperity. With these goals in mind, the Aspen Prize honors colleges with outstanding achievement in five critical areas: teaching and learning, certificate and degree completion, transfer and bachelor’s attainment, workforce success, and equity for students of color and students from low-income backgrounds.

“In an era of persistent inequity and workforce talent gaps, our nation’s best community colleges are stepping up to deliver more degrees to increasingly diverse students so they are prepared for the good jobs waiting to be filled,” said Josh Wyner, executive director of the Aspen Institute College Excellence Program. “Leaders of exceptional community colleges understand that achieving excellence requires expanding college access and increasing degree completion, but it doesn’t stop there.  They are committed to ensuring that all students — including students of color and those from low-income backgrounds — graduate with the skills needed to secure a job with family-sustaining wages or successfully transfer to and graduate from a university. That same commitment that stands at the center of the Aspen Prize: to advance the goals of social mobility and equitable talent development.”

The eligible colleges represent the diversity and depth of the community college sector. Located in urban, rural, and suburban areas across 34 states, these colleges serve as few as 230 students and as many as 57,000. Winning colleges have ranged from smaller institutions serving rural community and smaller towns—including Lake Area Technical Institute (SD, 2017 prize winner) and Walla Walla Community College (WA, 2013) — to large community colleges serving major metropolitan areas, including Miami Dade College (FL, 2019) and San Antonio College (TX, 2021).

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Publication spotlights Lee’s push to help students with basic needs

Lee College has been highlighted in a Community College Daily article that discusses the ways in which several colleges have made good use of unsolicited funds received recently from philanthropist MacKenzie Scott.

Scott unexpectedly donated $5 million to Lee College in June, in recognition of the college’s work to support students in need, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The article recognizes the $2 million that Lee had spent in advance of Scott’s gift on assisting students with basic needs, such as food and medical expenses.

Lee College President Dr. Lynda Villanueva is quoted as saying, “Coming to college shouldn’t mean that students should have to do without life’s necessities.”

Read the full article here.

Lee celebrates 20th anniversary of The Human Condition

Former Lee College students (from left) Debbie Long, Christian Morrell, and Jessie Selph.

Baytown, TX – Debbie Long walked into the college classroom and nearly changed her mind. As a non-traditional student, Long began taking classes at Lee College later in life after her children were grown and out of the house. Initially, she was concerned about the age difference between her and her peers, but one course helped her find her voice and gave her the newfound confidence she needed to finish her degree plan.

“I didn’t have much confidence when I started going back to school,” said Long. “I definitely felt the age difference. But the Human Condition class felt like a safe place to share ideas and to learn from each other. Despite our differences, everyone in the class became good friends and accepted each other for who we were. The instructors were amazing and gave me the confidence that pushed me to do things I never thought I could do. I’ve never experienced anything like it.”

This month, Lee College celebrates 20 years of the Human Condition: a unique, critical-thinking seminar within the Lee College Honors Program. Developed in 2000, the academically advanced team-taught course has challenged Lee College students for more than two decades to question the world around them through analysis of various literature and art forms.

“The goal of the class is not to change students’ minds. The goal is to teach them to consider different perspectives and understand why they believe what they believe,” said Dr. Georgeann Ward, Lee College Honors Program coordinator and lead instructor for the Human Condition. “We want students to learn how to have tough discussions and consider perspectives they didn’t think about before to then form their own beliefs. These are essential skills, and I can’t think of a more important time in history for students to question and investigate the information they receive.”

Each unit begins with a study of social theory or philosophy that provides insight into human behavior. Students then apply these theoretical “lenses” to various texts, including literature, film, art, architecture, and field experiences. At the end of the semester, students complete a seminar paper and present their work to the college community and often at local, regional and national conferences.

Ward said the reading and writing-intensive course is fundamentally different from typical college courses because the instructors are never standing at a podium delivering a lecture. Instead, the entire class collaborates in search of knowledge. 

“In the Human Condition, [the instructors] are not merely the depositors of knowledge, but we are looking to students to bring their questions and drive the discussion,” said Ward. “Everyone in the room is on an equal plane at all times as makers of knowledge.”

“For some students, this is a life-changing course because it gives them brand new perspectives and opens the door for academic opportunities they might not have thought were possible,” said Ward.

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Presidential Honors Day list announced for 2020

Lee College recently announced its 2020 Presidential Honors Day Honorees, a tradition at the College for the past 30 years. Presidential Honors Day distinguishes the top student in each academic and applied science discipline program at Lee College. Honorees are nominated by their instructors and, in cases when there are multiple nominations, voted on by the instructors in that division or program. Students can be nominated for exceptional grades and academic mastery in the classroom, as well as exhibiting high levels of integrity and perseverance in their educational pursuit.

During the celebration, honorees’ friends, families, and instructors come together to praise their triumphs and hard-earned victories from the past year. This year, however, among virtual classrooms and social distancing, the gatherings will be much smaller and will most likely include only people living under the same roof. Even still, the title remains one of the highest honors at the College. And that is a big reason to celebrate.

“These students have worked exceptionally hard to earn this honor, and our entire community could not be prouder of them,” said Dr. Lynda Villanueva, Lee College President. “Their achievements are a bright light in the midst of these uncertain times, and we are celebrating with them even if it is from afar. I hope they know how sincerely proud we are of them and all they have accomplished at Lee College. We cannot wait to see what the future holds for these honorees.”

To commemorate this distinction, all 2020 Honorees will receive a personalized letter of congratulations from President Villanueva, and a special certificate of achievement delivered to their home address.

“These students have gone above and beyond in academic excellence, hard work, leadership, and influence in their classrooms and programs,” said Dr. Georgeann Ward, Honors Program Coordinator for Lee College. “For some students, Honors Day is the first time that they have had such recognition, and it opens up the possibilities they imagine for themselves. Although we aren’t able to gather together for the formal celebration, I hope the students understand how proud Lee College is of them.”

Congratulations to the 2020 Lee College Presidential Honors Day Honorees:

  • Ashley Bliss, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Counselors Program
  • Brittney Bomar, Computer-Aided Drafting & Design
  • Michael Bond, Process Technology
  • Kelby Buchanan, Volleyball
  • Jessica Burrows, Analytical Instrumentation
  • Victoria Burwell, Teacher Education
  • Marco Cardenas, Chemistry
  • Julio Cesar Chacon, Safety Management
  • Lesly Chavez, Sociology
  • Christina Contreras, Developmental Math
  • John T. Elliott, Electrical Technology
  • Adam Fontenot, Mathematics STEM Pathway
  • Adanna Frazier, Mathematics Non-STEM Pathway
  • Melissa Gill, Alcohol & Drug Abuse Prevention Program
  • Joey Isaac Guerrero, Computer Maintenance Technology
  • Amy Halik, Child Development
  • Scott Helms, Kinesiology
  • Nathan Howard, Applied General Chemistry
  • Jesus Rodriguez Jaime, Industrial Instrumentation
  • Pamela Johnson, Economics
  • Cynthia Justice, Health Information Technology
  • Melody Land, Vocational Nursing
  • Ryan Lara, American Studies
  • Melanie Leal, History
  • Monica Erin Lilley, SocialWork
  • Melissa Mar, Freshman Composition
  • Julio Martinez, Speech
  • Juan Nevarez Martinez, Computer & Graphics Technology
  • Cristina McMillin, Anatomy & Physiology
  • Bryan Medina, Psychology
  • Karlynn Miller, Environmental Sciences
  • Aquila Mitchell, Humanities
  • Karen Montemayor, Drafting
  • Daniel Mullins, Process Pipe Design
  • Izailah Ortuna, Philosophy
  • Izailah Ortuna, Accounting Technology
  • Richard Perdomo, Instrumentation Technology
  • Dani Perry, Sophomore Literature
  • Elizabeth Powell, Theater Arts
  • Avinash Rambarran, The Human Condition
  • Israel Robles, Photography
  • David Rodriguez, Welding Inspection
  • Andrea Rogers, Government
  • Zuleymma Saldana, Associate Degree of Nursing
  • Jeremy Salinas, Manufacturing Engineering Technology
  • Keyma Sanchez, Learning Strategies
  • Ashlyn Scheller, Business Administration
  • Aldo Simental, Developmental English
  • Larissa Solis, Art
  • Madison Steadham, Business Management
  • Grace Ann Strouhal, Music-Piano
  • Grace Ann Strouhal, Music-Vocal
  • Nicholas Washington, Music Instrumental

Honors students shine at GCIC Conference

Congratulations to five Lee College honors students who were selected to present their research at the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Consortium (GCIC) in Houston recently. The annual academic conference brings together educators and honors students from across the Gulf Coast region to encourage and promote student presentations and publication.

According to Dr. Georgann Ward, Honors Program Coordinator at Lee College, few students have the opportunity to present their work at academic conferences like this one. In fact, faculty members typically begin this type of work in graduate school or once they become professional educators.

“One of the most exciting parts of my job is to see how students grow in the process of revising work for a ‘real’ audience at an academic conference. Through this process, they understand how their ideas truly matter and devise the best ways of expressing those ideas to others,” said Ward. “Lee College’s commitment to student presentations at conferences shows that it is important to our college to professionalize students and also to make them most competitive as they transfer to a four-year institution.”

The students applied to the conference and were selected in a “blind scoring” by judges associated with the Gulf Coast Intercollegiate Honors Council. Judges selected their research based on a high level of interest, purpose and appeal.

Ryan Lara, Noe Sanchez, Lindsey Sanford, and Amber Fanning shared their papers from the Human Condition, a combined English and Humanities class at Lee College. Their work used a philosophical “lens” to analyze a film or work of literature. Each semester, students in the Human Condition complete this type of paper – called a seminar paper – and present their work to the Lee College community as a practice for potential conferences they might be invited to attend.

Dinah Lemonier wrote her paper in Steve Showalter’s honors Government class, and though it was a film analysis, she used research about the Red Scare to analyze themes in the film more deeply.

“It is always a thrill to see how our students have grown over the course of a semester or year,” said Jerry Hamby, co-instructor of the Human Condition. “Their papers demonstrate increasing levels of sophistication, and their level of confidence is markedly greater. The students also get a chance to compete with the best and brightest peers from other colleges. Our honors students always make us proud.”

The Lee College Honors Program serves academically talented and highly motivated students. Students entering the nationally recognized program will experience enrichment of course materials and the freedom to work independently and collaboratively with faculty members who encourage lively, engaging discourse and activity both inside and outside the classroom. Enrollment in Honors classes is limited and classes are taught in a seminar format.

  • Noe Sanchez, The Complex and Versatile “Boy Codes” in “Vulgaria”
  • Lindsey Sandford, Bohemian Rhapsody and Freddy Mercury: The Un-Masculine Man
  • Amber Fanning, The Conditioning of Choice: Existentialism in a Clockwork Orange
  • Ryan Lara, Hardening of a Soul: Racism, Masculinity, and Dehumanization in Fences
  • Dinah Lemonier, More than Black and White: A Film Analysis of Good Night and Good Luck

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

Great Plains Honors Council Recognizes Outstanding Lee College Honors Students

IMPACT Early College High School senior and Lee College Honors Program graduate Maria Gelves has won the prestigious Dennis Boe Award for a paper she wrote for the Lee College honors course, The Human Condition, taught by Jerry Hamby and Dr. Georgeann Ward. A Marxist critique of Margaret Atwood’s “The Handmaid’s Tale,” Gelves’ paper is titled “Manifesting a ‘Biological Destiny’: Handmaids as ‘Sacred’ Instruments of Production in Gilead’s Industrial Theocracy.”

The Boe Award is determined by the Great Plains Honors Council in a highly competitive, blind judging of outstanding scholarly writing from collegiate honors programs in Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas.

“Students learn so much from revising their work for competition and adapting their ideas for live audiences. Academic conferences and competitions like the Boe Award raise the stakes for student work and help them achieve clarity and a strong sense of purpose with their ideas,” Dr. Ward explained.

Because Gelves completed her Associate Degree in December, she entered the Boe competition for students who had earned 60+ hours of college credit, making her competition quite advanced.

In addition to winning a cash award and a plaque, Gelves will present her paper in a special session at the Great Plains Honors Council Conference at the University of Texas at Tyler in April.

Joining Gelves at the Great Plains Conference, several other Honors Program students will present papers that they wrote for the Human Condition: Marleah Downes, Dinah Lemonier, Amy Waltz-Reasonover, Ryan Lara, Noe Sanchez and Lindsey Sanford. Lara, Sanchez, and Sanford are all, like Gelves, IMPACT ECHS students.

Human Condition instructor Jerry Hamby added, “Maria is one of those students who demonstrate ever more sophisticated levels of intellectual curiosity, pushing themselves with every new assignment. She has a natural talent for writing, but, more importantly, she knows how to work for her success. Earning the Boe Award is the payoff.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 14 independent school districts. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.

ACCT names Lee College a 2018 regional Equity Award winner

The Association of Community College Trustees has named Lee College its 2018 Equity Award recipient for the group’s Western Region. The college will be judged against winning colleges from other regions for recognition at the national level in October.

One outstanding award recipient in each category will be announced during the Annual ACCT Awards Gala on Friday, Oct. 26, at the New York Marriott Marquis, in conjunction with the 49th Annual ACCT Leadership Congress.

Honors students named Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship semifinalists

Lee College has the distinction of having two of its honors students selected as semifinalists for the Jack Kent Cooke Scholarship. Cilah Ndofor from Cameroon, West Africa and Emily Blumentritt from Baytown, Texas are both currently enrolled in Lee College’s Honors Program. The Jack Kent Cooke Foundation has selected 534 high-achieving community college students from across the U.S. as semifinalists to compete for its Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship, from a pool of nearly 2,500 applicants. This highly competitive scholarship will offer selected finalists as much as $40,000 per year for up to three years to complete their bachelor’s degrees at selective four-year colleges and universities.

Cilah Ndofor,  a General Studies student tracked to transfer to a four-year institution as a pre-medicine major has her sights set on eventually becoming a neurosurgeon.

“Words can’t express how overjoyed I was when I received the email stating I had been selected as a semifinalist.” Says Ndofor.  “I really wasn’t confident about myself because I know this scholarship selection is highly competitive but I just kept my fingers crossed and I’m still keeping them crossed!”

Noting what a boost it was to her confidence, Ndofor says of the nomination, “I now believe I can succeed in anything I do in life.”

She continues by saying that she would,  “characterize the significance of being selected a semifinalist as beneficial. Mentioning in my transfer applications that I am a semifinalist for this prestigious scholarship will definitely improve my chances of getting accepted and getting scholarships as well. I am very honored for making it this far in the competition.”

Ndofor is currently pursuing applications to Harvard, the University of Texas at Austin, Rice University and the University of Houston – Main Campus. She plans on pursuing a major in Biology with a minor in Mathematics prior to applying to medical school.

Emily Blumentritt, from Baytown, Texas is a General Studies major with plans to transfer into a Wildlife Biology or related program.

“I’m very passionate about nature, wildlife, and giving back to my community, so I hope to pursue a career in which I can contribute to scientific knowledge, help preserve nature and wildlife for future generations, and connect others to the natural world in a way that brings value and meaning to their lives. I’m considering applying to various universities, including Cornell, Texas A&M, and UCLA.”

As with Ndofor, Emily was surprised and excited to be chosen as a semifinalist.

“Being considered for this prestigious scholarship has really opened things up for me. As a Jack Kent Cooke semifinalist, I’ve already been invited to apply at an ivy league school, something I had never truly thought of as a possibility before. Being selected as a semifinalist is a recognition of the hard work and talent that a student displays in their community college years. It’s truly an honor to be selected.”

The honors program at Lee College has cultivated a national reputation for the rigor of its coursework and the high caliber student it produces. It’s impact on the lives of its honors students is evident.

“I sent in my application expecting to be disappointed,” says Blumentritt. “I am incredibly grateful to the wonderful professors here at Lee who helped me apply for the scholarship and who have supported me and my work throughout my time here.”

Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholars will be selected in April, based on their academic performance, leadership, perseverance, and service to others. “Community colleges hold many of the nation’s most gifted students,” said Harold O. Levy, Executive Director of the Cooke Foundation. “Yet too often these students are denied the opportunity to fulfill their potential due to lack of adequate resources and support. Our scholarships help to remove these barriers so that talented students with financial need have a chance to complete their college education and pursue their goals and dreams.”

Cooke Scholarships fund the costs of attending college not covered by other financial aid, plus intensive academic advising, stipends for internships, study abroad opportunities, and the ability to network with other Cooke Scholars and alumni. After earning a bachelor’s degree, these Cooke Scholars will also be eligible to apply for a scholarship for graduate school worth up to a total of $75,000.

The Cooke Foundation is dedicated to advancing the education of exceptionally promising students who have financial need. Since 2000, the foundation has awarded $175 million in scholarships to more than 2,300 students from 8th grade through graduate school, along with comprehensive counseling and other support services. The foundation has also provided over $97 million in grants to organizations that serve such students. www.jkcf.org

Research by Lee alum leads to historical marker at Double Bayou Dance Hall

American Studies thesis sets foundation for state recognition of hall known for Texas blues

Photo of the historical marker. Caleb Moore and John Britt stand on either side.
Lee College alumnus Caleb Moore (left) joins retired instructor John Britt at the Double Bayou Dance Hall on Saturday, June 24, 2017, to celebrate the dedication of the official Texas State Historical Marker recognizing the hall’s significance to surrounding communities. Moore completed a thesis for Britt’s American Studies course that focused on the dance hall and led to the marker being erected at the site in Chambers County.

ANAHUAC, TX — Before he began researching the Double Bayou Dance Hall in Chambers County to complete his thesis for the American Studies course offered through the Lee College Honors Program, alumnus Caleb Moore had never heard of the little one-room gathering spot on the “Chitlin’ Circuit” where blues legends like T-Bone Walker and Big Joe Turner stopped to perform on their way to Houston.

Now, many of the facts that Moore uncovered for his research paper grace a Texas Historical Marker recognizing the dance hall’s significance to the predominately African-American community of Double Bayou and those who flocked to it for generations, eager to end a hard day’s work by dancing to the rich sounds of Texas blues filling the rafters and spilling into the surrounding woods.

Established in the late 1920s and constructed of wood, hog wire, and cedar logs under a tin roof, the original dance hall structure was destroyed by a storm in 1941 and rebuilt nearby just after World War II. For Moore, an honored guest at the historical marker dedication ceremony hosted in late June by the Chambers County Historical Commission, it felt good knowing he played a role in ensuring the story of the Double Bayou Dance Hall will endure even if the building itself does not.

“If people don’t write the history down, it disappears,” said Moore, who graduated from Lee College in May 2013. “Now the dance hall has something that will stay, something that’s set in stone. People can look at the marker to remember and learn about their heritage.”

The American Studies class combines American literature and history, using an interdisciplinary approach to help students examine American culture and gain an understanding of how literature reflects historical events. Retired instructor John Britt started the course and was team-teaching with faculty member Kathleen Sydnor when Moore settled on the Double Bayou Dance Hall as the focus of his final capstone project, which requires students to complete a research paper about an event of literary or historical significance.

“Lee College is one of only a few community colleges in the country with an American Studies program,” said Britt, a past executive committee member of the Chambers County Historical Commission and an award-winning author and historian. “I suggested the topic and (Moore) ran with it. He dove right into the research.”

At the dedication ceremony, descendants of the dance hall’s owners and members of the community listened to live music and reminisced on good times over old photos, mementos and plates of barbecue. Moore was surprised to see his own aunt in one of the shots in the photo archive, reminding him of the lesson he learned while working on the thesis that ultimately brought the historical marker to Double Bayou.

“You can think something doesn’t have anything to do with you, but everything in this world has a connection to you,” he said. “You just have to take the time to learn history, talk to people and explore the world around you.”

Lee College offers more than 100 associate degree and certificate programs, as well as non-credit workforce and community education courses, that prepare its diverse student body for advanced higher education; successful entry into the workforce; and a variety of in-demand careers. With the main campus and McNair Center located in Baytown, Texas, and a satellite education center in nearby South Liberty County, the college serves a geographic area of more than 220,000 residents that includes 15 school systems. To learn more, visit www.lee.edu.