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PJC names four to 2018 Academic Hall of Honor

Published or Revised November 06, 2018

2018 PJC Academic Hall of Honor Inductees

Paris Junior College Academic Hall of Honor 2018 inductees include, from top, James A. “Jim” Wade, Judy R. Hodgkiss,  James R. Rodgers, and Sheila Coursey.

One of the highlights of Paris Junior College’s Homecoming, November 9-10, will be the induction of the Academic Hall of Honor Class of 2018. Named this year are James A. “Jim” Wade, Sheila Coursey, James R. Rodgers and Judy R. Hodgkiss.

“These alumni exemplify the best of PJC,” said President Dr. Pamela Anglin. “Each inductee has made an impact in their chosen career while embodying the basic principles taught during their time as a member of the student body at the College. We applaud their accomplishments and look forward to celebrating them during the Distinguished Alumni and Academic Hall of Honor Award Luncheon.”

The luncheon will take place at 11:30 a.m. at Love Civic Center, and will include the presentation of the Distinguished Alumni Award to Dr. W. Robert Houston, retired Professor Emeritus from the University of Houston, College of Education.

A member of the Class of 1973, James A. “Jim” Wade was a member of Phi Theta Kappa at PJC and of Alpha Chi at East Texas State University (now Texas A&M University - Commerce); both are national honor societies. He owns UNITY Financial Services in Mesquite, Texas. He established the company in 1977 and provides accounting and tax compliance, wealth management, estate planning and business consulting services to a large client base.

Professionally, Wade has earned the Five Star Wealth Manager Award for five consecutive years and holds memberships in the National Society of Tax Professionals, American Academy of Certified Estate Planners and the Society of Certified Senior Advisors. He has been recognized by The Mesquite News Reader’s Choice Awards twice, once as “Best Financial Planner” and “Best Financial Services Provider.”

Wade served a six-year term as the mayor of Sunnyvale, currently serves on the town council, and spent three years as a trustee of the Sunnyvale ISD. For 15 years he was the vice president of the Sunnyvale 4A Development Corporation, for 12 years was director for the Sunnyvale 4B Development Corporation, and served on the Planning and Zoning and Board of Adjustment.

He received the Sunnyvale Chamber’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2016 and is past president of the Mesquite Rotary Club. He is the founding director and current president of the Hope Charitable Foundation and a founding director and current president of the non-profit Friends of the Sunnyvale Public Library. He and his wife, Kay (a retired educational diagnostician for Dallas ISD), are members of First Baptist Church (FBD) in Dallas. At FBD, he serves as a deacon and is a past president of the Sanctuary Orchestra, past chairman of the Finance Committee and First Baptist Academy Board of Trustees, and currently chairs the Finance Committee.

Wade plays trumpet in the FBD Sanctuary Orchestra and the Dallas Praise Orchestra and, as a musician, has traveled to Zambia, Kenya, Argentina, Brazil, Israel, Russia, Australia, New Zealand, and Scotland. He is an Eagle Scout and Master Mason. He and Kay have two children and six grandchildren, and he is the son of Lawrence Wade and the late Betty Wade, of Paris.

Judy R. Hodgkiss, an attorney with The Moore Law Firm, LLP, was valedictorian of her Paris High School graduating class and a summa cum laude graduate of PJC in 1980. She earned her bachelor’s of business administration degree, magna cum laude, at Texas A&M University, and finished in the top 10 percent of her class, cum laude, while earning her juris doctorate at Baylor University School of Law.

Upon passing the State of Texas Bar Examination, she began practicing in Paris in 1986, has been associated with the Moore Law Firm since 1990, and is now a partner. She maintains a general trial practice including family law, civil and criminal litigation, and personal injury.

She and her brother, James Rodgers, A.W. “Plug” Clem, and Stephen Walker are partners in the firm.

Hodgkiss is a member of the State Bar of Texas, Northeast Texas Bar Association, and Lamar County Bar Association where she served as President and was named Lawyer of the Year in 1997. She is also a member of the American Bar Association and Texas Trial Lawyers Association. She served as a member of the Sixth Judicial District State Bar of Texas Grievance Committee from 1996 to 2002 and has an AV Preeminent Rating by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings System, the highest rating available.

She was admitted to the Texas Bar to practice in 1986 and the U.S. Court of Appeals Fifth Circuit in 1988. Hodgkiss is a former President of the Lamar County Bar Association and has been recognized multiple times as the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year.

Hodgkiss is married to Charlie Hodgkiss, instructor and division chair at PJC. They have three daughters, Jill, Lauren, and Marissa, and two grandchildren, and are members of the College Church of Christ. She and her brother, James R. Rodgers, are the children of the late James D. and Mildred Rodgers, of Paris.

Rodgers has practiced in Paris for over 35 years, the last 28 associated with the Moore Law Firm. He maintains a general trial practice focused on commercial litigation, family law, civil and criminal litigation, and personal injury. He represents clients large and small throughout Lamar County and the immediate service area.

He was a summa cum laude graduate of PJC and Austin College. At AC, he was an economics major with a triple minor: mathematics, literature and political science, and was a member of Alpha Chi. Rodgers completed his juris doctorate at Baylor University School of Law with a full scholarship due to his high academic performance at AC. He began practicing in Paris in 1983 with the late Jim Dick Lovett, and has served as President of the Lamar County Bar Association, been recognized as the Lamar County Lawyer of the Year, and received the Pro Bono Lawyer of the Year several times.

Respected as one of the best litigants in this region, Rodgers has handled many significant cases during his career in the courtroom. The Moore Law Firm, L.L.P. dates back to 1893 and focuses its practice in a five-county area. He is rated “AV Preeminent” by the Martindale-Hubbell Peer Review Ratings System, the highest rating available. He has been admitted to practice in the North Texas District and Eastern District of Oklahoma and conducted trials in Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Arkansas. For a time he served as a special prosecutor in Red River County.

His wife, Kristy, is an attorney with Lone Star Legal Aid and together they have five children: Katherine, Wes, Jacob, Kelsey, Kori, and John Robert, who died of leukemia in 1996. Rodgers has one granddaughter born in September. His family attends the Lamar Avenue Church of Christ.

A member of the Class of 1993, Sheila Coursey completed her degree in accounting at East Texas State, now Texas A&M University-Commerce, and began a successful career at the Campbell Soup plant in Paris.

Coursey currently serves as Senior Manager, Plant Financial Planning and Analysis Lead for the Campbell Soup Company here in Paris. Her career path in accounting began at PJC in 1990 and she later transferred to ETSU/TAMU-C, where she earned her bachelors of business administration degree in accounting. 

During her career at Campbell’s Coursey has held several positions within the Paris plant including cost accountant, production planner, cost accounting manager, and assistant controller. She celebrated her 23rd anniversary with the company in March.

In giving back to her hometown, Coursey has served as a board member and treasurer of the United Way of Lamar County and on the Children’s Advocacy Center board.  In fact, she was a member of the 1998 Lamar County Chamber of Commerce Leadership class which founded the CAC.

She and her husband, Tim are active members of East Paris Baptist Church. Her hobbies include bicycling, water sports, and fishing. They have three children and four grandsons. She is a graduate of Prairiland High School and the daughter of Janice Bratcher, Paris, and the late Paul Withers.

Tickets for the Distinguished Alumni and Academic Hall of Honor Award Luncheon are $20 and may be purchased through the Office of Institutional Advancement/Alumni Affairs at the College. Contact, Derald Bulls, Director, (903)782-0276 or by email, .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address), to purchase tickets or for more information. The ticket deadline is Wednesday, November 7.

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