Category: GC Foundation

Vic Pierson

Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors thanks Vic Pierson

In August Victor Pierson will end a seven-year term as a director on the Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors. Pierson is chairman, president and CEO of Moody Bank and Moody Bancshares, Inc. He joined the Foundation in 2014 when the board began a period of aggressive portfolio investment. His time on the board saw exceptional growth for the Foundation’s Universal Access Community Endowment Scholarship (UA). “I am very glad to be included,” Pierson said.

Pierson helped guide the Foundation’s growth, allowing the UA scholarship to steadily increase its ability to assist students. The endowment became fully funded in 2019 and the scholarship now fully funds a Galveston College 60-hour associate degree or certification program. The growth allowed the board to increase the scholarship to assist with books and other education costs, UA+, to $2,100. Today, the board oversees 60+ scholarships with assets over $19 million.

“Vic has been a devoted member of the Galveston College Foundation board,” said Jeri Kinnear, the Foundation chair. “He always steps forward when asked, and you can’t get better than that.”

Pierson credits fellow board members for the scholarship’s success. “Everyone has been so creative,” he said. He mentions Paulie Gaido, a fellow Galveston College Foundation director, restaurateur and author of “Entertaining at Home with Fresh American Seafood and Exceptional American Wine.” Gaido’s fundraising featuring his book helped heighten community awareness for educating the next generation of chefs and raised more than $80,000 for the Vandy Anderson Culinary Arts Scholarship.

A love of education and community drives Pierson, he said. A graduate of Midwestern State University, he entered banking in Wichita Falls and moved to Galveston in 1985 to join Moody Bank. He began teaching accounting at Galveston College and continued through 2001. Pierson went on to become only the fifth chairman of the privately-owned bank in its 155-year history. He also served as mayor of Jamaica Beach from 1999 until 2013.

He is deeply involved in volunteer activities on local, state and national levels. He is a presidential appointee to the Environmental Protection Agency’s Gulf of Mexico Commission, and previously was a gubernatorial appointee to the Coastal Coordination Council. At Southern Methodist University, he chairs the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking Foundation Board of Trustees. He served as dean of bankers for the Southwestern Graduate School of Banking. At Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School Commercial Banking program, he serves on the Advisory Board’s Executive Committee. He also sits on the Board of Visitors for Texas A&M at Galveston and chairs the University of Texas Medical Branch President’s Cabinet.

The Galveston Regional Chamber of Commerce honored him as the inaugural recipient of The Vic Pierson C-Crewe Award in honor of fostering the growth of young professionals. Pierson’s resume of leadership roles in community improvement is a directory of Galveston nonprofits including United Way, The Grand 1894 Opera House, Galveston Island Rotary Club, Galveston Artillery Club, 50 Club of Galveston County, Prevent Blindness, Bay Area Coastal Protection Alliance and Historic Downtown Strand Seaport Partnership.

“The city and college have made tremendous progress in the last 36 years,” Pierson said.

He and his wife, Janice, have three children: Frankie Touchy (Jami), Laurie Popovich and Lindsay Touchy. They have three grandsons and one granddaughter.

Kelly Merry

Galveston College announces new director of development and Galveston College Foundation

Kelly Merry has joined Galveston College as director of development and the Galveston College Foundation.

Merry has 18 years of experience working as a development professional, with individual success in major gift, planned gift, capital campaign, donor relations, and annual gift work, as well as organizational success in leading and growing a development team.

“Kelly brings to us extensive fundraising experience in a variety of areas, and I am extremely impressed with her enthusiasm, knowledge and commitment to student success,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, college president. “The search committee did a wonderful job in finding the right candidate in Kelly. She understands the mission of Galveston College, our students and our community. We are truly excited to have her join our team.”

Merry most recently served as a foundation director at a children’s hospital in the Pacific Northwest where she worked on a $1 billion campaign. She has served on the boards of directors and executive committees of the Association of Fundraising Professionals Washington Chapter and Washington Planned Giving Council, where she most recently served as immediate past president. She is a past member of the Puget Sound Chapter of the Penn State Alumni Association’s Board of Directors and is a member of the Phi Beta Kappa Society.

Merry holds a certificate in fundraising management from the University of Washington and a bachelor’s degree in sociology and a minor in information systems and statistical analysis from the Schreyer Honors College at Pennsylvania State University.

Merry said she is excited to join the Galveston College family.

“The rich history of Galveston Island, the vibrancy of its community and the positive impact Galveston College has on its students drew me to this position,” she said. “I look forward to immersing myself in the community and helping support the vision of a progressive, dynamic institution of higher education known for its partnerships with businesses and organizations and its commitment to provide a quality learning environment that is student-focused.”

Scholarships available at Galveston College

Galveston College opens scholarship application for 2021-22 academic year

The 2021-22 application for Galveston College scholarships is available online at https://gc.edu/galveston-college-scholarships/. The deadline to apply is Friday, April 16, at 5 p.m.
Galveston College is committed to providing scholarship opportunities to students by seeking funds from individuals, businesses, organizations and college resources. The criteria for eligibility and the award amount for these scholarships have been developed in cooperation with each scholarship sponsor.
The scholarship program at Galveston College encourages graduating high school seniors, transfer students, currently enrolled students, and other deserving individuals to apply for scholarship monies.
Awards range from $500 to $2,500 per academic year. Academic excellence, financial need, displayed leadership abilities and participation in extracurricular activities are taken into consideration during the award process.
Visit https://gc.edu/galveston-college-scholarships/ and complete one application to be considered for Galveston College scholarships.
For more information about Galveston College scholarships, please contact the Financial Aid office at finaid@gc.edu.

Galveston College Foundation announces Helen K. and Phillip A. Lohec Endowed Scholarship

The Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors has announced the creation of the Helen K. and Phillip A. Lohec Endowed Scholarship at Galveston College.

Established by Mark T. and Pamela Lohec Stasney and family, the new scholarship is available to full- and part-time students at Galveston College who are pursuing an associate degree or technical certificate and may be applied to tuition, fees, books or course supplies. The first recipient will be announced in spring 2022.

“My parents have been a part of the Galveston community for decades,” said daughter Pamela Stasney. “They have served and volunteered in the community in many roles, from government to historical to education to church. We wanted to find a way to honor their contributions and hard work, and we felt a scholarship at a local institution would be an appropriate way to thank them while supporting and encouraging others. We hope the recipients will find the same calling to work hard and to support their home communities.”

Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors Chair Jeri Kinnear said, “It is a great honor to announce that Pam Stasney and her family have endowed a scholarship to recognize the contributions that her parents, Helen K. and Phillip A. Lohec, have made to our community. Galveston College is so fortunate to have patrons such as the Stasneys, who like the college believe and support the philosophy of “opening doors and changing lives.”

“On behalf of our students, faculty and staff at Galveston College, I want to express my sincere gratitude for the creation of this endowed scholarship that will benefit our students for years to come,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, president of Galveston College. “We are thankful for the Lohec family and the positive impact they’ve had on the Galveston community.”

Currently, there are several scholarships available for students interested in Galveston College.

Application information is available on the college website at https://gc.edu/financial-aid/available-aid/scholarships/ and from the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@gc.edu.

To make a gift to the Galveston College Foundation, please contact Dr. Van Patterson at (409) 944-1205 or vpatterson@gc.edu.

College Foundation announces endowment of Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts

The Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors has announced the creation of the Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts endowment at Galveston College.

The new scholarship will foster the development of aspiring culinary arts professionals enrolled at Galveston College. The first recipients of the Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts will be announced in spring 2021.

“The Vandy I knew loved good food. You could frequently find him along with his food enthusiast friends enjoying the culinary achievements of all his favorite restaurants. This scholarship honors Vandy’s love for Galveston’s culinary gastronomic community and those that chose to take up that life’s work. The Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy scholarship means that students will be able to pursue their dreams and our local hospitality industry will have a skilled workforce,” said Jeri Kinnear, chair of the Galveston College Foundation.

Ann Anderson, Vandy Anderson’s sister, said she is thrilled and grateful to everyone in the community who supported the family in establishing the endowed scholarship.
“We are so honored by the establishment of this scholarship that lovingly will be named after Vandy, to whom education, history and the island were so very important,” Anderson said. “By supporting culinary student talent, this scholarship will celebrate our Vandy’s passion for life, support for education, and love of family and community – not to mention a fine meal!”

Vandy Anderson passed away on April 16, 2016. He was 73. He started his radio career at KILE radio and would become the owner/manager of KGBC for more than 30 years. Broadcasters inducted him into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in 2014.
“Vandy served his community in numerous ways as a broadcaster, trustee, chair or adviser for organizations across Galveston until his passing,” said Paulie Gaido, retired Galveston restaurateur. “The scholarship honors his legacy in the Galveston community and his love for the people of the island.”

Gaido’s book, “Entertaining at Home with Fresh American Seafood and Exceptional American Wine,” which he wrote with his wife Mary Kay, helped raise funds locally to honor the much-beloved man known as the “Voice of Galveston” during his long tenure at KGBC.

“On behalf of our culinary arts program and our culinary students, I want to thank all of those who made this endowment possible for their generous and thoughtful gifts,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, president of Galveston College. “This scholarship will honor Vandy’s memory and celebrate his passion for life, the joy of cooking and the importance of the culinary arts. We are grateful for and humbled by the Anderson family’s decision to honor Vandy in this way.”

Currently, there are several scholarships available for those interested in the Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy. Application information is available on the college website at https://gc.edu/financial-aid/available-aid/scholarships/ and from the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@gc.edu.

To make a gift to the Vandy Anderson Scholarship Award in Culinary Arts or for more information about the Galveston College Foundation, please contact Dr. Van Patterson at (409) 944-1205 or vpatterson@gc.edu.
Dr. John P. McGovern

McGovern Foundation donates $40,000 to Galveston College Foundation’s Universal Access Scholarship programs

The John P. McGovern Foundation recently donated $40,000 to the Galveston College Foundation’s Universal Access Community Scholarship Endowment and Non-Tuition Educational Expenses Fund programs. The contribution continues the McGovern Foundation’s long history of support for Galveston College students. John P. McGovern Foundation contributions since 1996 total almost $900,000 toward Universal Access Scholarship funding and health programs at Galveston College.

The generosity of the McGovern Foundation mirrors that of the man who started it. He was a co-founder of the American Osler Society and founder of the McGovern Allergy Clinic in Houston. He established his foundation in 1961 and focused his philanthropy on the Texas Medical Center and programs benefiting families and children.

The Universal Access and Universal Access Plus scholarships will continue to help eligible Galveston students into the future and arrive at their educational goals sooner. Universal Access fully funds tuition and fees for a 60-hour degree program at Galveston College. Universal Access Plus in 2019-2020 provided $500 towards textbooks, digital tools, access fees and laptops.

In spring 2020, 74 percent of Galveston College’s students attended college on a part-time basis. Twenty-four percent had dependent children at home. Seventy-six percent juggled the demands of working and higher education. It takes Galveston College students an average of 3.7 years to graduate without public or private financial assistance. Universal Access students graduate on average in 2.7 years.

The McGovern Foundation also benefits students in the health sciences through another scholarship program.

The John P. McGovern 21st Century Memorial Scholarship in Nursing and Health Sciences is a separate example of the impact the McGovern Foundation has had on the fabric of Galveston College. The McGovern Scholars are health sciences students with a 3.0 or better GPA and receive an $800 scholarship.

For the Galveston College community, the focus of McGovern Foundation’s generosity is helping its students pay for tuition, fees, books and digital resources. This allows them to focus on their studies, stay in college and graduate.


John P. McGovern 21st Century Memorial Scholarship in Nursing and Health Sciences recipients Joshua Bland (left) and Ashlay Lewis-Helton attend President’s Evening 2020, Galveston College’s donor recognition event.


Dr. John P. McGovern gets a hug at the Children’s Zoo that bears his name. The John P. McGovern Foundation has donated almost $900,000 since 1996 to Galveston College Universal Access, Nursing and Health Sciences.
Photo courtesy Melissa Phillip, Houston Chronicle

Del Papa family and Del Papa Distributing gift $5,000 to Vandy Anderson Culinary Arts Memorial Scholarship Fund


Vandy Anderson, beloved donor to Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy
Photo courtesy Galveston County Daily News

Earlier this spring, the Del Papa family and Del Papa Distributing made a contribution of $5,000 to the Vandy Anderson Culinary Arts Memorial Scholarship Fund. The fund supports students attending the Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy. Del Papa Distributing and the Del Papa family are stalwart supporters of Galveston College and determined to help students in the hospitality and culinary professions.

“Vandy Anderson served his community in numerous ways as a broadcaster, trustee, chair or adviser for organizations across Galveston until his passing in 2016,” said Paulie Gaido, a Galveston College Foundation director, restaurateur and author of “Entertaining at Home with Fresh American Seafood and Exceptional American Wine.” “He was a lover of local seafood made by local chefs; he is as synonymous with Galveston Island as oleanders, boat shoes and the first crisp chill that heralds the season’s oysters.”

The scholarship honors Anderson’s love of the Galveston gastronomic community. Gaido’s book helped raise $75,000 locally to honor the much-beloved man known as the “Voice of Galveston” during his long tenure at KGBC radio.

“The Del Papa donation is wonderful,” said the program director, Chef Paul Mendoza. “The Vandy Anderson Culinary Arts Scholarship has taken off in the last couple of years thanks to the good works of people like Del Papa and Mr. Paulie Gaido.”

“Scholarships give people a chance who may not otherwise be able to afford culinary school,” said Mendoza. “I always encourage my new and returning students to apply. Scholarships pay for attendance costs when other sources of financial aid are not enough or unavailable. ”

Currently, the culinary program has four or more different scholarships available. Application information is available on the college website at https://gc.edu/financial-aid/available-aid/scholarships/ and from the Office of Financial Aid at finaid@gc.edu.


Former Galveston College Culinary Arts Academy students (left to right) Ebony Smith, Justin Cahill, Wayman Crawford, Stephanie Bass, Pauline Browning, Francesca Romero, Angelica Ellsworth, Julie Ellis, Carltel Williams, Cheryl Washington, Whitney Ermis, Jennifer Lopez, Angela Lopez and Allyson Johnson

Mary Moody Northen

Mary Moody Northen Endowment gifts $5,000 to Radiography Degree Stipend program

The Mary Moody Northen Endowment recently announced a $5,000 gift to the newly established Galveston College Radiography Degree Stipend. The program is for graduating Radiography students and provides $250 to help pay the costs of national and state testing and licensure.

The Galveston College Office of Development received the endowment’s unanimous decision of support of the stipend appeal in a June 24 letter.

The Radiography Degree Stipend allows returning Radiography students to focus on graduating not struggling to come up with the fees needed to enable them to work.

Over 70 percent of Galveston College students juggle work and college. Twenty-four percent have dependent children at home. They work in industries that rely heavily on part-time labor, such as leisure, retail and hospitality. These island industries are hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic and economic downturn.

In the spring, the Radiography Club raised funds to support May graduates of the program, as they faced $350 in bills for testing and fees. At the same time, the COVID-19 pandemic was causing disruptions in students’ finances as jobs were lost and family incomes cut.

In 2020-2021, graduating Radiography students will see that stress reduced. The $250 stipend will defray two-thirds of the testing and licensure costs for 20 students. The balance is the responsibility of the student.

The Mary Moody Northen Endowment is a Galveston philanthropy supporting community development efforts throughout the city since 1964.

2020 Bromburg Trust

Emergency Student Scholarship Fund receives gift from Dr. Leon Bromberg Charitable Trust

The Dr. Leon Bromberg Charitable Trust recently awarded the Galveston College Emergency Student Scholarship Fund a gift of $3,000. The Bromberg is a mainstay within the Galveston philanthropic community and a long-time supporter of the college.

The Bromberg gift comes at a much-needed time for the scholarship designed to help students overcome unexpected financial emergencies. Of the $50,000 budgeted at the beginning of the year, less than $6,000 remains at the end of June. In May, as scholarship funds dwindled, the Bromberg board responded to an appeal brought on by COVID-19 and its effect on Galveston College students and their families.

The pandemic placed an enormous financial strain on many of the college’s students and the families they support.

“The Emergency Scholarship reduces these stresses,” said Meghann Nash, director of financial aid. “It allows the student with unexpected bills to stay in college and graduate.”

Seventy percent of Galveston College students attend part-time. They balance the needs of higher education or training with jobs and families. Approximately one in four students have children. They work in island industries that rely heavily on part-time workers, such as leisure, retail and hospitality.

As these industries scale back or shutter, students find themselves on reduced hours or unemployed facing unexpected financial emergencies that threaten their education. The Emergency Student Scholarship Fund helps students through these difficult times allowing them to stay in college without delaying their futures due to a financial crisis.

Apply now for Galveston College scholarships

Did you know the Galveston College Foundation and Galveston College offer numerous scholarship opportunities in addition to the dynamic Universal Access Community Endowment Scholarship?
Thanks to the generosity of many individuals, businesses and organizations, current and prospective students may apply for a wide variety of scholarships. The criteria for eligibility and the award amount for these scholarships has been developed in cooperation with each scholarship sponsor.
Now is the perfect time for you or someone you know to complete an application for Galveston College scholarships for 2020-2021.
The scholarship program at Galveston College encourages graduating high school seniors, transfer students, currently enrolled students and other deserving individuals to apply for scholarship monies. Awards range from $500 to $2,500 per academic year. Academic excellence, financial need, displayed leadership abilities and participation in extracurricular activities are taken into consideration during the award process.
Click here and complete one application to be considered for Galveston College scholarships.
Email the application to finaid@gc.edu or fax it to (409) 944-1505 by 5 p.m. on Friday, April 17.
Graduating high school students who reside in the Galveston College taxing district have until June 9 to submit their applications for the Galveston College Foundation Universal Access Scholarship. Information regarding the 2020-2021 Universal Access Scholarship can be found at https://gc.edu/financial-aid/financial-aid-forms/.
Please contact finaid@gc.edu for assistance and with any questions.