Texarkana College honors one of its leaders by naming new building after him

Published: Oct. 10, 2023 at 10:49 PM CDT
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TEXARKANA, Texas (KSLA) - A former president of Texarkana College was recognized Tuesday, Oct. 10 by college leaders with the official naming of the James Henry Russell STEM Complex.

“It’s the most humbling thing in the world. It still don’t seem real. I’m so honored,” said Dr. James Henry Russell. “As I told everyone in there, there ought to be a thousand names on the outside because it is not about me, because I was supported and loved and helped by so many people.”

When Dr. Russell arrived at Texarkana College in 2011, the institution was experiencing severe financial problems. College officials say under Dr. Russell’s leadership, they were able to turn things around.

“He did a wonderful job in bringing this college back to life, making it thrive again, and there is no one better deserving of this honor of having this building named after them than Dr. James Henry Russell,” said Derrick McGary, board president.

The James Henry Russell STEM Complex is part of the college’s capital improvement plan. The construction took three former buildings and combined them into one with modernized classrooms and state-of-the-art labs for students taking courses in science, technology, engineering and math.

“We are trying to provide the very best educational experience a student can get in this area,” said Dr. Catherine Howard, an instructor at Texarkana College.

“You know, the legacy I want is for every day going forth to be better than the past, and that’s what Dr. Smith and this board has done,” said Dr. Russell.