Tag: Galveston College Foundation

2021 Norma Rubin Donation

New nursing scholarship honors longtime healthcare educator

Galveston College students will now have the opportunity to fulfill their dreams of becoming nursing professionals thanks to a new scholarship established in memory of longtime Galveston healthcare educator Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Rubin.

Dr. Norma Rubin and her children, Ross and his wife Michelle, Corey, and Jana and her husband Jesse, created the Dr. Sanford A. Rubin Memorial Scholarship in Nursing in honor of Dr. Sandy Rubin, who died shortly before his 80th birthday on April 17 of this year.

Sandy, who diagnosed himself as a juvenile diabetic at the age of 11, had a long and distinguished career in healthcare. He attended Waco High School, graduated from Baylor University and received his medical degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. He held positions in the departments of radiology at the schools of medicine at both the University of Tennessee and the University of Arkansas. He returned to UTMB in 1979 as chief of Thoracic Radiology. During his tenure, he also served as the director of the Radiology Residency Program and as the director of Medical Student Education.

Sandy was a well-known volunteer in public schools, sharing his expertise and knowledge regarding the dangers of cigarette smoking and his passions for nature and specifically, herpetology. He won numerous awards throughout his career, including the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award at UTMB and the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Society of Thoracic Radiology. He remained at UTMB until his retirement in 2005.

Norma taught medical students for more than 30 years in the department of neuroscience, cell biology and anatomy at UTMB. She said her husband never let his diabetes slow him down, but COVID-19 forced a delay in vascular studies that were originally scheduled for the summer of 2020.

“When he was hospitalized, we looked at the care we received and realized it was the nurses who kept him alive,” Norma said. “We had a newfound appreciation for nurses and those involved in direct patient care.”

Norma said she and Sandy, who were married 56 years, both chaired the admissions committee at UTMB at different times and were responsible for screening applicants for medical school.

“I was always so amazed at how hard some students had to work to be able to attend school,” she said. “I’m just so thankful and grateful that I am in a position to be able to help.”

“The Galveston College Foundation is delighted to work with the Rubin Family to establish this scholarship that will provide support for future students pursuing an associate degree or certificate in nursing at Galveston College,” said Kelly Merry, director of development and the Galveston College Foundation. It will also be available to students in the college’s new Bachelor of Science in Nursing program, which is scheduled to begin in fall 2022.

“The Galveston College Foundation is honored to accept this fitting tribute to Dr. Rubin to benefit nursing students at the college,” Foundation Chair Keith McFatridge said. “These types of opportunities for students are particularly important in Galveston and the Texas Gulf Coast region. We deeply appreciate the generosity of the Rubin Family.”

Carol Hodges, secretary of the Foundation Board and retired lieutenant colonel with the U.S. Army Nurse Corps, said, “As a member of the Galveston College Foundation Board, it is always a pleasure to receive an endowed gift to benefit the students. As a retired Registered Nurse Practitioner, the Sanford A. Rubin MD Memorial Scholarship in Nursing is especially gratifying as I know a scholarship that helps individuals attain the education to become an RN is a benefit to that individual and to the community in which we live.”

“The Dr. Sanford A. Rubin Memorial Scholarship in Nursing will have a positive impact on the lives of students for years to come, and it will benefit the entire community by helping to prepare the next generation of nurses,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, Galveston College president. “This gift is consistent with the care, compassion and generosity the Rubin family has exhibited in the Galveston community for many years.”

Above: Dr. Norma Rubin (center) presents a gift to Kelly Merry, director of development and the Galveston College Foundation, and Dr. Myles Shelton, Galveston College president, to endow a nursing scholarship in memory of her husband, Dr. Sanford “Sandy” Rubin,” a longtime healthcare educator in Galveston.

Theron Waddell and Jeri Jaquis endow scholarship for future teachers

Longtime Galveston College professor Theron Waddell is thankful for the experiences he had as a college student and the influence his college professors had on his decision to pursue a career in education.

To show his appreciation for the “gifts” his professors gave to him and the impact his 50-year career at Galveston College had in his life, Waddell and his wife, Jeri Jaquis, established the M.T. Waddell Scholarship with the Galveston College Foundation to provide support for future students majoring in social or behavioral sciences for which there are teaching opportunities at the high school or college level.

Theron or “Bujo” as he is known to friends and family, spent 50 years on the faculty of Galveston College before retiring in May of 2019. Jeri taught in the Galveston College Nursing program for 17 years before joining the faculty of the University of Texas Medical Branch, where she still teaches as an adjunct professor.

“I had students whose mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters were in my classes,” Theron said. “Former students come up to me at the grocery store, the pharmacy and other places in the community. They’ll say, ‘Do you remember me?’ Most of the time, I do.”

The Waddells said they became interested in endowing a scholarship at Galveston College because so few students consider careers in teaching social sciences, which include disciplines such as history, political science, psychology and sociology among others. They were also troubled by the lack of scholarships for students who wanted to pursue careers in teaching.

“My father always said, ‘Think about what you’re doing now and think about what others will think about you when you’re gone,’” Theron said. “We started looking at scholarships available to students. There were many scholarships for students majoring in engineering and health sciences, but scholarships for students who plan to teach – especially in the social sciences disciplines, were almost non-existent. We hope this scholarship will encourage students to pursue careers in teaching – maybe even at the community-college level.”

Theron began his professional career as the first full-time administrative assistant in the Texas Senate from 1963 to 1967, working for Senator Criss Cole, Senator Chet Brooks and the Senate Interim Committee on Vocational-Technical Education. While there, he authored a report titled “To Bridge the Gap,” which resulted in legislation that laid the foundation for career-technical education in Texas as it stands today.

After serving as an instructor of government at Sam Houston State University, Houston Baptist College, San Antonio College and San Jacinto College, he began his career at Galveston College on September 1, 1969, as professor of government.

From 1969 to 1984 and 2002 to 2004, he chaired the Social Sciences department at Galveston College. He also served as special assistant to the president for policy research and writing for six years, acting assistant dean of the Humanities division for two years, acting director of Student Services a year, and director of the Arts and Humanities division for seven years.

He served on the adjunct faculty of Texas A&M University at Galveston for 20 years and as an adjunct professor at the University of Houston-Clear Lake. For 10 years, he chaired the Galveston County Democratic Party. He also served as the legislative chair and vice president and program chair of the Texas Government Section of the Texas Community College Teachers Association.

Among the thousands of students Theron taught at Galveston College were former Galveston Mayor Jim Yarbrough, the late Florentino “Tino” Gonzalez who served on the Galveston Community College District Board of Regents, and Angela Wilson, community news editor with the Galveston County Daily News and member of the Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors.

“I had decided to go back to college in the summer of 2004 and so of course I had to start all over again with my basics at Galveston College. That summer I took government from Professor Waddell and it was one of the most interesting classes that I ever had. I was majoring in history at the time, so the class offered me a lot of new information that I hadn’t learned before in high school,” Wilson said.

“He was always so thoughtful and amusing, to me; however, he was stern and was a tell-it-like-it-is teacher that I’m sure has had his footprint on a lot of people’s lives throughout his 50-year teaching career.

“As a current member of the Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors, the scholarship established by someone who meant so much to our community and this college is one that I’m sure will help those students who want to do better and do more in their own way. By establishing this scholarship it’ll help the board continue its mission, too, to help students obtain their degree.”

Jeri and Theron met at Moody Memorial United Methodist Church while performing in the chorus for Handel’s Messiah. They have been married for 36 years.

Although they are retired, the Waddells stay busy volunteering in the community. They have served as volunteer ushers at The Grand 1894 Opera House since 2005, and they volunteered with Dickens on The Strand for more than 20 years.

Most recently, they volunteered to assist in administering COVID-19 vaccinations at the mass vaccination clinic at Walter Hall Park in League City and the Galveston County Health District in Texas City, where they are members of the Galveston County Medical Reserve Corps.

“For me, this scholarship is all about student success,” Jeri said. “The very first day we volunteered at the clinic in Texas City, a former nursing student of mine from Galveston College walked up to me and asked me if I recognized her. I enjoy seeing my former students working at various places in the community and hearing their success stories.”

Jeri is also chairing the American Heritage Committee for the George Washington Chapter of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. The couple have been riding in organized bike rides since 1987.

“Throughout their lives, Theron and Jeri have inspired students to ensure their success and encouraged them to fulfill their potential. We are deeply grateful for their tremendous generosity in supporting our students and helping to remove financial barriers for those who are considering careers as teachers,” said Dr. Myles Shelton, Galveston College president.

“Galveston College is blessed to have benefactors such as Professor Theron Waddell and Jeri Jaquis,” said Keith McFatridge, Galveston College Foundation chair. “Their scholarship will make it possible for so very many students to succeed in the future. We greatly appreciate their generous donation making it possible for so many future Galveston college students to obtain their education.”

Galveston College Foundation Logo

Fall brings changes to Galveston College Foundation logo

Fall brings changes. With the start of a new academic year, the Galveston College Foundation is sporting a new look.

“After more years than anyone can remember, the Galveston College Foundation has a new logo that is indicative of what we are: A beacon of light for the future of our students on Galveston Island,” said Jeri Kinnear, Galveston College Foundation board chair.

In 2018, Galveston College modernized the college’s logo as part of its public relations and marketing program. It was the first change to the logo in more than 35 years. The college refreshed the logo with bright orange and royal blue colors and also updated the font style.

“The college logo represents the high-quality learning experience students have here on the island,” said Carol Langston, director of Public Affairs at Galveston College.

The influence of a logo is important.

“A logo is undoubtedly one of the single most important elements of a college’s marketing and communications program. It’s an integral part of a college’s brand, perhaps the most impactful means of recognition that is used in all types of materials, from billboards and brochures to apparel and commercials,” said Langston.

The foundation logo builds off that aesthetic.

“It’s important to have college and foundation logos that are complementary to each other so that our brand stays strong and recognizable,” Langston said. “We are excited that the foundation board of directors has selected the jetty lighthouse image, as well as the college’s official royal blue color and a warm yellow from the college’s secondary color palette, as part of the new foundation logo design.”

The new foundation logo shows beams of light radiating from the lighthouse, and seabirds have been added to emphasize the island community the Galveston College Foundation serves.

The design by Galveston College’s own creative services manager, Sandi Smith, shows an “emphasis of the foundation’s commitment to the students at Galveston College while maintaining our commitment to its legacy,” said Carol Hodges, Galveston College Foundation board secretary.

Jeri Kinnear

Galveston College Foundation board chair looks back on 7 years of service

After seven years with the Galveston College Foundation, Jeri Kinnear will leave her position as chair of the board of directors at the end of August. A strong proponent of education, Kinnear is an experienced and committed community leader. She serves on numerous nonprofit boards and is a founding member of the Galveston Sustainable Communities Alliance and a founding member of the Moody Early Childhood Center.

As her board term ends, she reflects on her time with Galveston College Foundation.

“I am very grateful to Jan Coggeshall who more than seven years ago told me she wanted me to serve on the Galveston College Foundation board. At that time, I didn’t understand how important the Foundation was for many of Galveston’s graduating classes, but I soon found out. I will be forever grateful for her advice, trust and friendship.

“Galveston College Foundation is an important and serious institution providing life-changing opportunities to the graduating classes of Galveston for the education they want to pursue without the financial barriers that plague so many others.

“During my time on the board, we have contracted with a professional nonprofit accounting firm to provide monthly financial reports. We hired an excellent nonprofit auditing firm to provide essential yearly reports. We established firm investment parameters for our financial advisors, and we established a set of bylaws that are indicative of what we are and what we do. Under our previous development director, we secured enough capital to provide for the tuition of all Universal Access eligible students, and enough funds to assist with their additional expenses. And, we assisted the college in hiring a new highly qualified executive director for the development office.

“The future of Galveston College is exciting. There is a Facilities Master Plan in place presently focusing on nursing and health sciences. Soon a new instructional building will be seen on campus with more to follow. The Foundation is there to support those new nursing and health sciences students.

“I am proud of what all of us who have served on the board have accomplished over the past seven years. It has been a pleasure working with Dr. Myles Shelton and the staff of Galveston College, especially Gloria Milton and Brett Benson. I leave the board with a heavy heart but knowing that this board and future boards will make a difference by continuing to ‘open doors and change lives.'”

The Galveston College Foundation welcomes its returning and new board members at its August 2021 meeting.

“Jeri is involved with many nonprofit organizations looking to make our community better,” said incoming chair, Keith McFatridge. “It has been a pleasure to work with her and experience her commitment to education and Galveston College students. I am sure she will continue her tireless work for the island and its younger generation.”

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.”

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.

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

Universal Access 2019

Galveston College Foundation lightens the load

Galveston College Foundation is privileged to continue working away at the tough barrier which is student debt through its Universal Access (UA) Community Endowment Scholarship program and the Non-Tuition Educational Expenses Endowment Fund (UA Plus) in 2019. The changes will mean more dollars for UA-eligible students than ever before.

Galveston College UA scholar Priscila Becerril is in her fifth semester and studying to be a nurse. She will finish in 2021-2022. She plans to pursue her bachelor’s degree after graduation.

“I would love to continue,” she said. UA has been her primary source of funding her college education.

UA is a performance-driven scholarship program where eligible students receive up to $4,620. This pays for full tuition and fees for up to 60 credit hours at Galveston College. This is enough to complete an associate degree or certification program. Students must maintain a 2.0 grade-point average. Beginning in the fall 2019 semester, the Non-Tuition Educational Expenses Scholarship (also known as UA Plus) has added a $500 stipend to help students meet costs of books, digital access and other education information costs.

Jeri Kinnear became chair of the Galveston College Foundation Board of Directors this past August. Kinnear has seen first-hand the benefits the UA program creates.

“Galveston College, through the Universal Access and UA Plus scholarship programs, evens the playing field for those who graduate from high school in Galveston and want to go to college and cannot afford to do so. And, for those who can afford to go and want a head start, we will offer the same UA and UA Plus scholarships. What a great way to begin your next step in life,” Kinnear said.

The increased funding will be a big help to Becerril in completing her degree. A Ball High School graduate, she said a lot of her classmates are like her and not eligible for federal aid but can benefit from the additional assistance.

Over the last 18 years, the Galveston College Foundation’s Universal Access Community Endowment has supported over 1,700 Galveston high school graduates. These students were not eligible for federal or state funding—oftentimes because their income exceeded eligibility limits. However, they still needed financial assistance to attend college and graduate.

The Galveston College Foundation is an independent 501(c)3, founded to support Galveston College through fundraising locally, regionally and nationally. Its mission is to support Galveston high school graduates through an earned scholarship program as they strive to obtain their first two years of a baccalaureate degree or the foundation of a career through an associate degree or certificate debt free regardless of their family’s ability to pay.

Eligibility criteria for the UA scholarship program at Galveston College are available on the college’s website or by contacting the Offices of Development and Galveston College Foundation. 

Galveston College costs 7 percent less than its peers (in district) and 11 percent less (out of district). Students can save $14,000 by taking their first two years at Galveston College when compared to attending the University of Texas Medical Branch – Galveston’s School of Nursing and studies at Texas A&M University at Galveston.

Galveston College received approval from the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges in December 2018 to expand its traditional community-college mission to include the awarding of bachelor’s degrees. The college launched a Bachelor of Applied Science in Healthcare Management program in fall 2019 with a full cohort of students, and plans to expand its applied baccalaureate offerings in the future.

In May, the Galveston College Foundation’s full board voted to extend UA Plus funds beyond the associate degree to its scholars that choose to continue at Galveston College for a baccalaureate program.

In sharp contrast to a low of 35 percent graduation rate of students receiving federal Pell grants, a full 88 percent of students receiving support from the Universal Access endowment either graduate or obtain sufficient academic credits to transfer to a four-year institution of their choosing.

Submitted by the Offices of Development and Galveston College Foundation