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Memorial Day 2010
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San Jacinto College
News Release
Saturday, June 05, 2010

San Jacinto College student educates others on meaning of Memorial Day

Retired Master Sgt. William F. Bell III recently presented San Jacinto College (SJC) Central with a proclamation in honor of 2010 Memorial Day. Pictured left to right: Academic Dean Van Wigginton, Vice President of Instruction Dr. Barbara Hanson, retired Master Sgt. and SJC student William F. Bell III, SJC Central President Dr. H. Neil Matkin, speech and drama professor Gale Sharpe, and military instructor Sgt. 1st Class Roland Thomas. PASADENA, Texas – In honor of Memorial Day 2010, retired Master Sgt. William F. Bell III recently presented San Jacinto College (SJC) Central with a signed proclamation on behalf of the City of Pasadena.

Signed by Pasadena Mayor Johnny Isbell, the proclamation reads that the city, along with San Jacinto College, encourages the citizens of Pasadena to observe the national holiday. Bell's idea of presenting a proclamation originated after he was assigned a project in his speech class, under the direction of professor Gale Sharpe.

"I was driving home from school thinking about my assignment when I realized that I wanted to also educate my classmates on the importance of Memorial Day," Bell said, who is the only student in his class with prior military experience. "I'm extremely glad I chose this project and provided them with information on the process of proclamations."

Bell handed his peers a packet of information that detailed the meaning of Memorial Day, complete with a copy of the proclamation. Students learned of the first observance of Memorial Day in Waterloo, N.Y. on May 5, 1866. Gen. John A. Logan issued a proclamation that a "Decoration Day" be celebrated nationwide on May 30, 1868, until the U.S. Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill in 1968, which moved the official Memorial Day to the last Monday of May. Bell's class project was unlike any other, said Sharpe.
"Rarely do I have a student like this who makes such an impact on the rest of the class," Sharpe said. "Hopefully, on this Memorial Day, students thought of the day's true meaning."

SJC Central President Dr. H. Neil Matkin said students like Bell enrich the College’s overall purpose of providing education, not only through classroom instruction, but also through the lives of others.

"One of the incredible advantages of attending San Jacinto College is the opportunity to meet folks from all walks of life,” Dr. Matkin said. “Mr. Bell has certainly brought about a greater awareness of Memorial Day to his fellow students."
Bell is currently pursuing his associate degree in occupational health and safety technology at the College’s Central campus.

San Jacinto College serves a diverse population of more than 27,000 students in over 140 degrees and certificates in university transfer and technical programs. The College also serves the community through workforce training. Students come with various goals and aspirations and we are committed to their success. San Jacinto College. Your Goals. Your College.
For more information about San Jacinto College, please visit, or call 281-998-6150.

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