Alumni of the Year

James Terry Alumnus 2009

James “Buddy” Terry

The Panola College Alumni Association is proud to announce the selection of Mr. James (Buddy) Terry as the 2009 Panola College Alumnus of the Year. Terry will be recognized at the Panola College graduation ceremony scheduled for Friday, May 15, at 7 p.m. in the Arthur M. Johnson Gymnasium. 

Buddy Terry graduated from Longview High School and came to Panola College to play on the championship football team. During his time at Panola College, Terry was selected along with Don Churchill, and Glyn Johnston as the 1950 “Pony Men of the Year.” In addition, Terry served as President of Delta Phi, co-captain of the Pony football team in 1948 and played right end for “The Powerful Ponies from Panola!”

The 1950 edition of the College yearbook, The Pony, documented the journey to the State championship as follows, “When the 1949 season began, everyone was optimistic as to the outcome of the Ponies in their second season of football competition. Both the players and the coaches worked hard, and as a result, opened the season with a well-earned victory over the Paris Dragons. The Ponies later traveled to Athens to win their conference opener. In the two non-conference games that followed, the Ponies were perhaps at their lowest ebb of the season, tying Northeast and losing their only game of the season to the Wharton Pioneers. However, in the weeks to follow, a regenerated Pony team trampled all their opponents, ending play with a win over Odessa for the State Championship. Then, topping all previous honors, the Ponies became the Champions of the first annual Gas Bowl at Carthage by defeating McNeese Junior College by a score of 33 to 8.”

In addition to being an outstanding football player, Terry also played as an outfielder on the 1949 state championship Pony baseball team. Playing their first year in college competition, the Ponies finished the 1949 baseball season as tri-champions of the Texas Junior College Athletic Conference. Under the guidance of Coach Defee, the Ponies won five and lost three games to tie for the championship.

After graduating from Panola College, Terry transferred to SFA and played football for the Lumberjacks where he earned the AP Little All-American honor in 1951 as a defensive end. He graduated from SFA in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in general business. After a two-year tour of service with the U.S. Army, Terry joined the marketing department of Humble Oil and Refining, Co., which later became Exxon Mobil. He worked in various positions with the company before retiring in 1986.

Terry served as secretary, vice president and president for the Exxon Retiree Club in San Antonio for seven years. He also assisted the elderly and under-privileged by delivering meals and helping coordinate clothing drives.

In 2000, Mr. and Mrs. Terry established the Buddy Terry Scholarship at Panola College. This scholarship is awarded annually to a deserving student attending Panola College. Mrs. Barbara Terry passed away in 2007. The Terrys have two sons and three grandchildren. Mr. Terry is an active member of the University United Methodist Church in San Antonio.