Herrin Award

In 2001, Mrs. Sarah Herrin Harrison provided a generous gift to the Tyler Junior College Foundation to establish the W. Oscar and Marguerite Herrin Award for Excellence. The Herrin Award is a $500 cash gift presented annually to at least three outstanding classified staff employees to honor and recognize their dedication and service to the college.

Almost two decades before the East Texas Oil Boom, William Oscar Herrin and Marguerite Dudley Herrin were born. They were both children of Rusk County farmers and ranchers, and each had numerous siblings. Oscar and Marguerite valued the hard work required of each family member to manage their respective family farms. Every job was important, and everyone had a job. In 1931, Oscar graduated from Henderson High School, and in 1932, Marguerite graduated from Kilgore High School. Their competitive high school rivalry did not impede the couple’s four-year courtship, and they eventually married on November 25, 1939.

In 1944, shortly after the birth of their first child, James Wesley, Oscar and Marguerite began a timber business, the W.O. Herrin Lumber Company. In addition to the lumber company, they continued to manage the family farm that Oscar had inherited from his parents, James Ephraim and Maude Watson Herrin.

Oscar and Marguerite always appreciated the hard work and dedication of their employees. Most of the W.O. Herrin Lumber Company staff remained with them for over 25 years and were present at the time of Oscar's sudden death on January 5th, 1970. Although Marguerite sold the timber business shortly thereafter, she managed to maintain the family farm with the help of two long-time workers until her retirement in 1978. Marguerite continued to work at a local art-framing business in Kilgore for several years. She died on April 21st, 1991.
Sarah Herrin Harrison established the W. Oscar and Marguerite Herrin Award for Excellence to honor her parents and to reward classified staff members for their dedicated service to Tyler Junior College.

Past Recipients

 Award Year  Recipients


Jeanie Brookshire, Joseph Jones, Carl Williams


Sue Gossett, Frank Jakubik, Tracy Rea


DeVonne Cagle, Henry Ford, Steve Morrow


Daphanie Crawford, Hazel Mendez, Fran Starnes


Brenda Brungot, Ivy Caldwell, Ellen Matthews


Nancy Dugan, Kim Harden, Denny Yarborough


Julie Clark, Jeff Dawson, Belinda Marks


Debbie Brown, Priscilla Lee, Deborah VanDevelde


Gay Howard, Jim Morgan, Anita Stone


Janet Dennis, Ray Morgan, Regina Williams


Diane Garrett, Christa Lang, Linda Reeves 


Monroe Jett, Pamela McDougal, Heather Waters


 Richard Clark, Tina Morrison, Tami Tidwell 


Justin Clark, Sherry Hunt, Cheryl Mathis


Tina Beaton, Angie Clemons, Melanie Tate

Eligible recipients must have been employed for at least three years. Recipients of the award may not be nominated again for five years.