Alumni of the Year

Jim Payne 2012 Alumnus

Jim Payne

The Panola College Alumni Association is proud to announce the selection of Mr. Jimmy D. Payne as the 2012 Panola College Alumnus of the Year. Payne will be recognized at the Panola College graduation ceremony scheduled for Friday, May 11, at 7pm in the Arthur M. Johnson Gymnasium. 

Jim Payne was born in Carthage, Texas in 1944 and graduated from Carthage High School in 1962. He was recruited by Bill Griffin to play baseball for Panola College. According to Bill O'Neal's book, Panola College: 1947-1997 The First Half Century, "The 1963 baseball team would feature seven sophomores from the 1962 conference champs, and Bill Griffin recruited several talented freshmen, then molded a superb club. The Ponies won a third consecutive conference crown that year with a 23-5 regular season record. That year the new freshman outfielder, Jimmy Payne, contributed to the winning season by hitting over .300 and not committing an error in 35 games. The 1963 baseball team was the first of four Pony teams to play in the NJCAA World Series."

Payne graduated from Panola College in 1964 with an Associate of Arts Degree. He then transferred to the University of Houston where he earned a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree in Economics and Finance. Over the years he continued his education by attending and completing programs at the Intermediate School of Banking, Southwestern Graduate School of Banking, Class XXII, and the Texas School of Trust Banking.

Payne began his 45 year career with the First State Bank & Trust Company in 1967. Since then he has served in various positions that include Assistant Vice President, Vice President, Sr. Vice President and Trust Officer, Vice Chairman of the Board, and Chairman of the Board and CEO.

Jimmy has also been very active in the community. In 1980 he was a founding member of the Panola County Girls Softball Association. Today, he serves as an Administrative Board member and Treasurer of the First United Methodist Church. He is also a member of the Board of Directors of the Texas Independent Bankers Association, an at-large Director of the Panola County Groundwater District, a Trustee of the Charles Matthews Foundation, a former President and current member of the Panola County Chamber of Commerce, a former President and current member of the Panola County Development Foundation Board, a former President and current member of the Kiwanis Club, and a Director of the CISD Education Foundation. Jimmy is also a member of the Panola County Cattlemen's Association, the Panola County Agriculture Extension Leadership Advisory Board, and the City of Carthage Park Board.

Payne is the son of Robert Henry Payne Jr. and Ivy Mae Madole, both from Madisonville, Texas.  Jimmy married his wife of 41 years, Sandra Roe, on September 5, 1970. He and Sandra have two daughters, Nelda Elizabeth "Betsy" Payne Cooney, and Julie Ann Payne Turner, both of whom attended Panola College. The Paynes also have a granddaughter, Ella Kate Turner. Sandra Payne retired from Panola College in 2009 where she served as the Director of Health Information Technology for more than a decade. She is still involved with the College and serves as a member of the Panola College Foundation Board.