225 COLLEGE PARK DRIVE • WEATHERFORD, TX 76086 • 817-594-5471 / 800-287-5471
At its annual Homecoming dinner April 10, Weatherford College will honor three well-respected former students: Tom Pritchard, Alumnus of the Year; and Jon Vandagriff and James L. Harris, Distinguished Alumni. The three will be honored at the Homecoming Awards Dinner April 10 at 5 p.m. in WC’s Doss Student Center. Pritchard, class of 1953, is a retired superintendent, teacher and coach. The Brock native served as superintendent of the Millsap ISD for about 10 years before retiring in the mid-1980s. Previously he taught and served as principal in Peaster, Old Glory and Paint Creek ISDs. A past president of the Texas Retired Teachers Association, he currently serves as the president of the TRTA Foundation. He is the former president of the WC Alumni Association and was recently named to the WC Foundation Board of Directors. Pritchard and his wife, Jane, have been consistent supporters of students through donations to the WC Foundation.“Tom is a wonderful ambassador for Weatherford College,” said Brent Baker, vice president of Institutional Advancement. “In his own optimistic and enthusiastic way, he has supported his Alma Mater in a number of ways throughout the years. He’s part of three generations that have attended WC, and it’s obvious that he has a great deal of pride in this institution.”Vandagriff, said his sister Elaine, “has spent many years learning by teaching, himself.” His education began at home and extended to the local public schools, graduating from Weatherford High School and later from WC, Howard Payne College and the University of North Texas. It continued with graduate work at UNT and Texas Christian University. Vandagriff served as editor for the Weatherford Democrat and Brownwood Bulletin, and worked at Tarrant County College in various positions – communications specialist, publications director and journalism, history and photography professor. Now retired, he serves as the president of the WC Alumni Association and is involved in several local civic organizations, chief among them, the Optimist Club (past president); Parker County Retired Teachers and the Doss Heritage and Culture Center, to which he is donating the proceeds of his book, The Story of Parker County Texas 1862-1956.Harris, class of ’48, graduated from WC after returning from military service in World War II. He continued his education at Texas Wesleyan College and became an educator, teaching and coaching in Brock, Peaster and Weatherford before embarking on a life-time career with the Federal Aviation Administration, serving first as chief of the Aeromedical Education Division in Oklahoma City, and later in Washington, D.C. In 1976, he was reassigned to Oklahoma City as the director of medical education programs where he served until his retirement in 1990. Harris is currently the executive vice president of the Civil Aviation Medical Association in Oklahoma City. A highlight of his career was working with the Warren Commission after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, recreating the ballistics scenario that occurred. Harris is actively involved in civic and charitable organizations in Oklahoma City.