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Vietnamese “Class of ‘75” establishes scholarship

Published or Revised November 30, 2005

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Khoi Nguyen, left, presents $5,000 to PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin to establish a scholarship at the college in the name of the PJC Vietnamese Friends, Class of 1975. The class made the presentation during its reunion at the PJC Homecoming last weekend. Looking on in back are (left) Khanh Nguyen, and (center) Hou Do.

A group of Vietnamese, all alumni of Paris Junior College, returned to Paris last weekend to participate in PJC Homecoming activities and to establish a scholarship fund for future students.

Most of the former students are members of the “Class of 1975,” a group of students who came to America from Vietnam as refugees, began their college
education at PJC and went on to become successful in various professions.

As a result of the help and support they received from faculty, staff and people in the Paris community during those tough times, the group elected to begin a scholarship fund at PJC with an initial donation of $5,000.

“This is just a small token of our appreciation to PJC and to the people of Paris, ” said Khanh Nguyen, who last year was named to the PJC Hall of Honor along with her husband, Ky Nguyen. Both were among the 50 students who were sent to PJC to start their life in America.

Khanh said that the “PJC Vietnamese Friends, Class of 1975” will build on this scholarship fund in years to come. “This is just a start,” she said.

Khoi Nguyen, a member of 1975 class, made the presentation to PJC President Dr. Pamela Anglin, saying that the people of PJC and Paris made them part of the United States.

“We were away from our country, lonely and full of self pity - and it was replaced with love and compassion by the people of Paris,” Khoi said.

Khoi said that Paris Junior College faculty taught them a new language, new skills and a desire to obtain as much higher education as possible.

“We all started our new lives in America with difficulties ahead of us, but with an education from PJC, a lot of support and determination, all of us have been successful,” he said. “We are just lucky to have had all of you as the faculty,” Khoi said to many of the original faculty attending the presentation.

Dr. Anglin said it is at times like these that she realizes just how important it is to have Paris Junior College and all the other community colleges serving our state and nation.

“Hearing these stories of how Paris Junior College and the community of Paris gave you a new start in life in these United States reminds us all why we are here - and reinforces our mission and purpose at PJC,” Dr. Anglin told the class. “We appreciate so much your generosity in giving this scholarship. It is so kind of you, and will enable someone else to get a new start in life at PJC.”

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