From Staff Reports
On Feb. 16, Ms. Kathey Comer presented the Navarro College Foundation with $10,000 to establish the Helen and Harold Gray scholarship for nursing students in order to honor her parents. Ms. Comer’s mother Helen Marguerite Reames Gray attended Navarro College from 1963-1965, and is a member of the 2022 Distinguished Alumni class that will be inducted in April.
Ms. Gray was one of the first non-traditional students of Navarro College. She was anxious to earn a college degree before her only child began high school, and reluctant to attend college alone she talked her dear friend, Lola Langston, into attending with her.
Helen’s niece was a freshman at Navarro College and warned her not to tell anyone they were related and to not associate with her on campus. Going back to college after 23 years of being out of school was not easy, but Ms. Gray forged ahead. Other students quickly realized these two older students attended every class, took careful notes and completed each assignment and the two became tutors and led study groups.
After graduation from Navarro College, Helen was hired as Executive Director of Family Service Association where she helped families and individuals with food, clothing, and medical expenses. Helen moved to Tyler and enrolled in the Early Childhood program at The University of Texas at Tyler. She joined the staff of First Baptist Church of Tyler’s Child Development Center as a part-time infant care giver and retired as Director after 20 years. Mrs. Gray served as President of the Tyler Association for the Education of Young Children and was also active in the state association.
Helen passed away on Jan. 1, 2016.
The scholarship will be offered through the Navarro College Foundation beginning this fall. For more information on scholarships through Navarro College go to scholarships.navarrocollege.edu.
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