Jackson College Heritage Center invites community to view documentary celebrating special friendship

January 16, 2018

Learn about the extraordinary friendship between Jackson Junior College alumni, Lt. Zenneth Arthur Pond and Captain William J. Maher, with a special tribute to the Pond family, on Saturday, Feb. 3, from 2-3 p.m. the Michael Baughman Theater, Potter Center at Jackson College.

In 2016, a group of Jackson College students pored through journals, tax records and antique photos as they researched Michigan settlers. Time after time they returned to an 1840 cobbler’s diary belonging to Josiah Pond, with the penciled command, “Remember me!” Josiah was the great-great-grandfather of Jackson Junior College student and World War II hero, Lt. Zenneth Pond. Their story reflects our story, the story of America.

Students learned about the Pond family who crossed the ocean with John Winthrop, fought alongside Washington and Lafayette, and mapped out the West decades before Lewis and Clark.

They learned of his college friend, Bill Maher, whose Irish ancestors – Edward, Thomas and Hugh Turney – worked their way down the Great Erie Canal for a piece of Michigan soil and a future for their children. Like their ancestors, these young men dreamed of new frontiers.

Carefree and confident, William Maher lived a full life and inspired many. Weathered beyond his years by war, Zenneth died in his youth while flying over the Pacific. William Maher never forgot his friend, Zenneth Pond, and spent a lifetime keeping the memory of his classmate alive. Now, their stories live on.

This special event will feature a screening of the documentary:  “Answering the Call: A Memorial to Jackson Junior College Student Lt. Zenneth Pond.” Across from the theater, the Potter Center Art Gallery will host two over-sized genealogy quilts the students made, along with artifacts that trace the history of the Pond family back 400 years.

Community members are invited to this free event to explore what Jackson College students discovered. For more information, please contact Diana Agy, agydianam@jccmi.edu or call 517.787.0800.