Heritage Center invites community to a special event

May 17, 2017

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 Thursday, June 15, from 6-8 p.m. at the Jackson College W.J. Maher Campus.

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 is 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 story lives on.

This special evening will feature a premiere screening of “Answering the Call: A Memorial to Jackson Junior College Student Lt. Zenneth Pond.” See the unveiling of two large genealogy quilts, showcasing the Maher and Pond families. There will be a celebration of 10 years of community projects and activities, with both students and community members sharing memories of their work.

Community members are invited, and refreshments will be served. W.J. Maher Campus is located at 3000 Blake Road, Jackson. For more information, contact Cindy Gilmore at the Jackson College Foundation, 517.787.0244, or via e-mail to cgilmore@jccmi.edu.