“John had a passion for videography, a zeal for photography and a very good eye,” said Coomes, a Broadcast Production Technology instructor at Isothermal. “One of John’s greatest talents, though, was his ability to put people at ease when he was interviewing them. You can’t really teach that – how to make someone comfortable when there is a camera in their face, often in stressful situations. He had a gift for it. Hopefully, this scholarship will help students follow in John’s footsteps for years to come.”Contributions may be made to the scholarship fund by sending a check to Isothermal Community College, attention: John Wallace Billingsley Memorial Scholarship, P.O. Box 804, Spindale, NC 28160. For more information, call 828-286-3636, ext. 491.
Monday, March 15, 2010
A Gift for It
(VIA Ashvegas) Two months after a young photojournalist fell to his death, the community college that helped shape him has established a scholarship in his memory. John Billingsley earned his Broadcast Production degree from Isothermal Community College before advancing to Appalachian State University. After interning at the WLOS Rutherford County Bureau, he gained employment at the station itself and quickly proved himself a favorite of his new coworkers. All of which made his sudden death one of the most shocking news items his friends ever processed. Now, they - along with John's parents - have started a scholarship in his name. The scholarship will cover tuition for a second-year Broadcast Production Technology student at Isothermal. Administrators hope Billingsley’s family and friends will help fund the scholarship for years to come. It's a fitting tribute to a young man on the cusp of his career. John's time behind the lens was short, but he quickly proved he could do a lot more than just carry a camera...