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The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

NE landmarks reflect memories

NE+landmarks+reflect+memories

By Tommie Owen/ reporter

The chime garden on NE Campus commemorates former staffer Mario Hernandez.
The chime garden on NE Campus commemorates former staffer Mario Hernandez.

Scattered across NE Campus are landmarks placed to honor people who impacted the campus community in a positive way. 

The chime garden, swing and clock tower serve as permanent reminders for future generations.

Co-workers chose a chime garden for former business services bursar Mario Hernandez.

“Mario was involved in a fatal home explosion in 2000,” business services administrative assistant Jessica Payne said. “We chose chimes because Mario whistled all the time.”

Hernandez left behind a wife, Maria, and three children who set up a scholarship in his name. Mario changed the tradition in his family by attending college. Therefore, the scholarship is geared toward other first-generation college students.

Maria Hernandez met students who received Hernandez Scholarships at a reception last fall.

“I enjoyed that very much,” she said. “They’ve got their goals, and I told them not to let anyone or anything get them off their paths.”

She said her husband looked for potential students all the time.

“He would read a young kid’s nametag at a grocery store and ask, ‘You go to school?’” she said. “If they said no, he’d ask, ‘Why not?’ Then he’d hand them his business card and say, ‘You come see me.’”

The swing outside NADM and NBSS is dedicated to Georgia Kaspar, who worked for TCC for 25 years. She started as secretary in the English department then moved on to the humanities division. At the time of her death, she was administrative assistant to the vice president of academic affairs.

Kaspar died of pancreatic cancer three years ago. Those who attended her funeral were asked to make donations to the Swing Project instead of flowers.

Lisa Benedetti, NW humanities dean and former NE communication arts chair, explained why friends and co-workers selected a swing as a tribute.

“Friends wanted a peaceful place to sit and reflect about Georgia,” she said.

Gary Smith, former academic affairs vice president, said she taught him everything he knows.

“Even district people would call her for help. She was a tremendous source,” he said.

One year at registration, a reported 800 students came to the vice president’s office looking for answers. Kaspar worked to accommodate every student.

Above: Students, faculty and staff can sit on benches in the chime garden. Left: The tower honors former campus president Herman L. Crow.Photos by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian
Above: Students, faculty and staff can sit on benches in the chime garden. Left: The tower honors former campus president Herman L. Crow.
Photos by Katelyn Townsend/The Collegian

“Students would come in mad but left loving Georgia,” he said.

Renee Peacock, NE grounds services worker, installed the swing and said future plans include a plaque and flowerbed.

“We’re just waiting on the irrigation system to be installed,” she said.

The flowerbed will contain a mixture of pink and purple flowers since Kaspar loved the color purple.

Business associates said Kaspar was detail-oriented, funny and an extremely good writer.

“I will never forget her kindness and graciousness whenever I had a question. But most of all, she had a great sense of humor,” said Anita Birdow from TCC human resources.

The clock tower stands diagonal to the swing, next to the Student Center as a focal point of the NE Campus and can be heard every quarter-hour.

The tower honors Herman L. Crow, who served NE Campus as a faculty member, social science division chair, dean of instruction and then president for 20 years. Crow worked in the education system for over 47 years.

“He made a difference in many lives through his work in education,” cousin Betty Deaver said.

Crow cared for his parents and worked hard to maintain their ranch so his sister could go east and pursue other interests.

“Herman was the epitome of Texas hospitality,” sister Kay Dickert said.

He died in 2013 at the age of 93. In lieu of flowers, donations were made to the TCC Scholarship Fund.

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