By Elijah Aranzanso
This year my fellow graduates and I of the Recording Arts Program mourn the loss of our great professor Jae Henry. A person with a kind heart, and a motivated attitude, he gave his all into his recording program until the very end. Students, alumni, friends, and colleagues were devastated about his passing however most importantly his spirit will always be around guiding all of us.
Who was Jay?
A father, mentor, creator and role model. Jae was a true contributor to the music and audio industry creating hits with artists such as Public Enemy, Prince and many more. Many gold and platinum records also came with a kind hearted person who mentored and shared his knowledge with his students which helped many of them succeed and move forward in the audio industry. He was a person that really cared about making a difference in the world as well as people’s lives. He was looked upon as someone you could go to and mentor you through this crazy industry. Through many years he had inspired many students to achieve their goals and helped them see their full potential. So if you asked what made him a real legend? It was his determination and passion to teach others as well as to leave a legacy at Southwestern College which led to generations of a big happy family at the Recording Arts and Technology Program.
“The moment you achieve your goal, get your first award or recognition you’ll look back on your whole life no matter how hard it was and realize everything was worth it”. This saying Jae said to me in class one day back in 2014 was one of the reasons and motivations that kept me going till this day. He always made it clear that it didn’t matter the color of your skin, your beliefs, your past or anything but anyone can achieve greatness as long as you believed in yourself as well as having the work ethic. He also made it clear that you have to want it and fight for what you want in life. Not just an educator but as even a life coach he taught me that only the strong willed will succeed. As a growing engineer in the industry, I have adapted and succeeded through Jae’s teachings such as being humble and showing no fear, which paved the way for the opportunities I’ve received through the years.
As mentees and former students, his memory and teachings are embedded into all of us and his legacy will always live on. Ones that were lucky enough to learn and spend time with him knew that he was a person that made a huge difference in all our lives and there are no words to explain our thanks and gratitude.
Your Friend, Elijah Aranzanso