Our Donors

Angelo J. and Amelia Amato Memorial Scholarship

Angelo J. and Amelia Amato Memorial Scholarship

Angelo and Amelia Amato were lifelong residents of Galveston County, first living on the island, then moving to Texas City in 1953 where they remained for the rest of their lives. They were married for 51 years before he passed away in 1990. Amelia lived on until 2009. They have 3 sons and 1 daughter.

Angelo was a young Mariner Sea Captain and eventually became a Houston Ship Pilot with a wide open master’s license, while Amelia took solid care of the home front, raising their 4 children – even taking a job in the school cafeteria to remain close to them. Angelo partnered in a mooring company, then in 1981 started Amato Linehandlers with his son, Joe. His son, A.J., later joined the company.

Their sons remember Angelo as a good family man and hard worker, who was respected for his straight-forward honesty. Amelia is remembered as a wonderful housewife, with spectacular culinary skills, who made a career of “Mothering.”

Funding scholarships is the family’s way of helping others as they were helped by their father, who put all four children through college out of his own pocket.



BP continues support through a variety of scholarships since the Process Technology Program’s inception more than 20 years ago. Scholarships include Process Technology, COM Collegiate High School, and even equipment upgrades.

“As technology changes, the program changes with it. If you have a 20-year-old cell phone, you will want to upgrade,” said COM Process Technology Program Coordinator Jerry Duncan. “The scholarships help working students work fewer hours to pay for school so they can graduate and enter the workforce faster.”

The COM Process Technology Program takes about two years to complete and prepares graduates to work in many industries.

“BP has supported the Process Technology Program since its inception and is proud to see the continued quality and high skills of its graduates,” said Pete Nowobilski, BP’s Texas City Chemicals plant manager.


Bruce and Nadine Latimer Memorial Scholarship

Bruce Latimer, who is retired from home building and real estate, wanted to set up a memorial scholarship after his wife, Nadine, who passed away in July 2009. Nadine Latimer was a COM alumna as she completed a basic clerical skills certificate program and proudly displayed the certificate in their home office. She was an active partner with her husband in all phases of real estate, including farming and ranching operations in Fort Bend and Lavaca Counties.

College of the Mainland logo

College of the Mainland

COM TRiO Department

COM TRiO Department

The TRIO Scholarship is for active TRIO students in Upward Bound and Student Support Services. The scholarship is available for TRIO students to apply with academic needs. All TRiO student’s interested can submit their applications by applying for scholarship utilizing the COM Foundations scholarship process. Applicants names will to be forwarded to TRiO staff members for consideration.

The Federal TRIO Programs (TRIO) are Federal outreach and student services programs designed to identify and provide services for individuals from disadvantaged backgrounds. TRIO includes eight programs targeted to serve and assist low-income individuals, first-generation college students, and individuals with disabilities to progress through the academic pipeline from middle school to post baccalaureate programs. TRIO also includes a training program for directors and staff of TRIO projects.

The recipients of the grants, depending on the specific program, are institutions of higher education, public and private agencies and organizations including community-based organizations with experience in serving disadvantaged youth and secondary schools. Combinations of such institutions, agencies, and organizations may also apply for grants. These entities plan, develop and carry out the services for students. While individual students are served by these entities, they may not apply for grants under these programs. Additionally, in order to be served by one of these programs, a student must be eligible to receive services and be accepted into a funded project that serves the institution or school that student is attending or the area in which the student lives.

Craig and Melissa Eiland Scholarship

Craig and Melissa Eiland Scholarship

The Honorable Craig Eiland is an attorney and former member of the Texas House of Representatives where he served from 2003 to 2015, when he chose not to run for re-election.

Melissa, Craig’s partner and wife, is CEO of MO Investments and Eiland Law Firm.

They are very active in the local community and support several charities.

They have 4 children.

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C.R. and Margaret Johnson Memorial Scholarship

C. R. Johnson became interested in the community college movement before it became a reality in Galveston County. He came to Texas City in 1947, the year of the Great Blast which destroyed much of the city. He was an electrician and participated for many years in the rebuilding of the great industries in Texas City.

As he raised his family, Mr. Johnson keenly felt the lack of higher education in the area. The state of Kansas, where he was born and lived in the early years of his life, had many junior colleges. He had attended a vocational high school in Kansas and strongly felt education that trained young people to be economically independent was essential.

Mr. Johnson became politically active in the campaign to set up a local community college and never lost sight of the goal for better education in Galveston County.

Mr. Johnson was elected County Tax Assessor-Collector in 1961 and remained in that official capacity until he retired in 1984. The many years he spent in a county office did not lessen his interest in the labor organizations; he never turned in his union card until he retired at the age of 72. He was just as interested in the new technology that had burgeoned during his terms in office and depended on College of the Mainland for competent employees in the computer field.

When Mr. Johnson retired, he accepted appointment to a vacancy on the College of the Mainland Board of Trustees and was later elected to the unexpired term. He was very proud of the progress of the College and its students and staff.

In his memory, the C. R. Johnson Scholarship fund has been set up by his friends and family to help further the vocational education of deserving students.


David Hansmire Scholarship

“A rock is not just a rock.” – David Hansmire

David Hansmire lived in Galveston County most of his life. He taught math at La Marque High School for 8 years before coming to COM as a professor of Geology and Math at for 25 years. He also was an adviser for the honor society, Phi Theta Kappa, here at COM.

He was a member of Faith Lutheran Church where he had served on the church council and as a youth sponsor.

David coached girls softball in Santa Fe, was part of the pit crew for the Santa Fe High School Marching Band and loved helping with soccer. He even served on the Santa Fe ISD Board of Trustees.

Del Papa Distributing Scholarship in Business/Marketing/Human Resource

Del Papa Distributing Scholarship in Business/Marketing/Human Resource

Lawrence J. Del Papa

Lawrence grew up in Galveston, having lived here since the age of 2. began working in the family business, today’s Del Papa Distributing Company, at age eleven. He worked in every company position over the course of his career, retiring as Chairman of the Board in 2013, seventy-two years later. Under his leadership, the wholesale grocery company that was started by his father in 1910 is now recognized as one of the oldest, most successful and respected beer distributorships in the country. He was very active in the community, holding numerous positions on boards and committees all around Galveston County.

His most significant contribution, and the one he most enjoyed, was his long involvement with Wholesale Beer Distributors of Texas (WBDT). Lawrence was elected President of WBDT in 1963 at age 38; the youngest to ever serve WBDT as President. He was also a member of the WBDT Executive Committee for more than forty years and was elected Chairman for a number of years. Lawrence was a long time member of the National Beer Wholesalers Association (NBWA) and served a term as a Texas State representative on the NBWA Board of Directors. In 2008, he was honored with the NBWA Lifetime Achievement Award.

Lawrence enjoyed hunting at his ranch in the Texas Hill Country where he would host friends, business associates and family. Over a span of thirty years he never missed the opening weekend of deer season. Lawrence had a great passion for his work and the companionship of his many friends; however, what Lawrence most loved and enjoyed was his family.

Lawrence was a devoted son, loving husband, generous father, proud grandfather, caring brother, and loyal friend. He was a humble and private person who did not seek publicity or recognition. He had a great sense of humor and was very respected by all who knew him. He was known as a gentleman, a gentle man.


Dickinson High School Alumni

Written by Stephen Tackett on his blog: www.gatorsonlylater.com

The last time I saw Allison (Farris) Fox was in May of 2010. Before that, I’d met her for either dinner or lunch in the Spring of 1993 in San Antonio right before I graduated from college. Before that…High school graduation? Her parents packed up and moved to San Antonio shortly thereafter. Allison and I were probably closest…when we were in fifth grade.

So when my older sister Stephanie passed on a Facebook Messenger message from Allison to me late Friday night a week and a half ago, I was a little surprised. Or should I say “terrified”?

Allison had a big idea. She’d already enlisted Eric Driskell, a.k.a. Cat Daddy. Allison knew Cat wouldn’t be able to say “no” to helping the people of Dickinson. Now she wanted my help. Her vision was to raise money so that students of cash strapped families in Dickinson recovering from Hurricane Harvey could still attend college.

I was immediately overcome with a wave of nausea. I tossed and turned and didn’t sleep that night. This is how I react when I know I have to do something hard that I’m not sure I can do.

The following day, I pulled in two key resources. The first was Karen Beauchaw, who runs the DHS Alumni group. She was my neighbor growing up. Karen and her husband, Wayne, were surrogate parents to me. I knew she would help, although I didn’t know exactly what I was asking for. It was Karen who captured Allison’s vision into a perfect sound byte – “Adopt A Gator”.

I then reached out to Bernie Smiley. Since Bernie agreed to be interviewed for my blog, I’m pretty sure we’ve interacted more since than we ever did as kids. Bernie is a professor at College of the Mainland (COM). He could validate Allison’s vision and maybe give me some ideas. He had spent the earlier part of the week ripping up carpets in his home in League City but was now driving to a nostalgic concert in Nacogdoches when he took my call.

Bernie’s take was that it was a GREAT idea and that, in fact, he had planned to challenge his department to donate to a similarly aimed COM scholarship. He began talking to me enthusiastically about the kids we could help and the different possibilities across different programs. His passion for the idea was on par with his passion for music, which, if you know him at all, is saying something!

Less than a week after Allison first reached out to Eric and I, we had a functioning web page that laid out what we were doing and why and could accept “Adopt A Gator” donations to College of the Mainland. The “Adopt A Gator” campaign accepted its first “word of mouth” donations over the weekend!

With that in mind, I’d like to explain what we’ve done and why…

First, pictures are worth more than words. You can hear Allison speak about this project, follow this link:


“Adopt A Gator” is a fundraising campaign that is entirely focused on helping Dickinson students adversely effected by Harvey and enrolled at DHS in 2017-2018 attain their education goals exclusively through COM. “Adopt A Gator” is not its own foundation.

The team (Allison, Eric, Bernie, and I) emphasized 1) getting something in place quickly and 2) providing financial aid for college to as many as possible of the DHS students who needed it most. In other words, our mission and COM’s capabilities were a natural match.

In addition, we could leverage COM’s foundation such that all the proceeds of your donations went directly to funding students’ education. We were not required to cover any administrative expenses, which often run as high as 10%; COM leverages their existing staff to run their foundation for “free”. Even if you pay with a credit or debit card, the full amount you donate goes into the scholarship fund.

Furthermore, we could establish the criteria for who received awards, as well as name the group of people to review and score applications to the “Adopt A Gator” fund. Bernie Smiley is leading that team! Bernie is the perfect choice – he has dedicated his career to helping these types of students.

We are excited to do this for our community in a time of need!

Dr. Donald G. Bass and Claudena Bass Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Donald G. Bass and Claudena Bass Memorial Scholarship

Dr. Donald G. Bass was a charter faculty member at College of the Mainland, starting in 1968 as an English professor. He later became Dean of Instruction from 1985 – 1998 but eventually returned to his passion of teaching. He never retired from COM and began teaching adult basic education in his later years. His lifelong mission was to educate and he believed books should be free to anyone. He was a member of many community and educational organizations but he loved the Galveston Bay Foundation and Highland Bayou Quest projects. His concern was preservation and conservation of the greater Galveston Bay area and estuaries.


Dr. Gary E. and Mrs. Diane Wilson Endowed Scholarship

Dr. Gary Edward Wilson

Gary was born in Ft. Worth, Texas and is the son of Cecil Carroll Wilson and Normagene Kendall Wilson. As a youth, he received the God and Country Award and the Eagle Scout Award while in the Boy Scouts. He graduated from Texas Wesleyan College with a degree in history and received a master’s degree in history, a master’s degree in library and information science, and a doctorate in history from the University of North Texas. He worked almost twenty-five years at Galveston College and left as Dean of Student Support Services. He also served as interim library director at Lee College in Baytown, Texas and is a professor of history at College of the Mainland in Texas City. During the Vietnam War era, he served in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Germany for almost his entire tour of duty. He received the Army Commendation Medal for Meritorious Service and a Good Conduct Medal. He was a deacon and elder at First Presbyterian Church in Galveston and later became a member of the Clear Lake Presbyterian Church. He is an avid golfer and racquetball player and loves to travel. He has visited every state and approximately 60-foreign countries and has been a guest speaker on multiple cruises. He is married to Diane Elizabeth Easter Wilson and currently lives in the greater Houston area.

Mrs. Diane Elizabeth [Easter] Wilson

Diane was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania but lived almost all of her childhood in Los Angeles, California. She is the fifth child of Finis Claude Easter and Frances Oeser Easter. As a youth, she received many athletic awards including the national record for the standing long jump (at 13 years old), lettered in athletics 10 times in a 3-year high school, was the MVP of the first nationally televised girls high school basketball game, was asked to play professional slow- and fast-pitch softball, played against Germany in volleyball, participated in the Illinois Olympics and was on teams leading toward the 1980 World Olympics (that was boycotted). Diane graduated from Graceland College with a Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and another in Recreation and Outdoor Education. She taught one year in Kansas then continued her education with a Master’s in Physical Education with an emphasis in Biomechanics and 10 years later a Master’s in Computer Science from Ball State University, in Indiana. After teaching 3 years at Illinois Valley Community College, Diane moved to Texas and was the lead professor of Computer Science at Galveston College for almost 20 years. While at Galveston College, she also coached volleyball for 5 years, and finished 5th in the nation one year. After Galveston College she taught high school students trying to get college credit at Clear Creek ISD. Her students have won 1st place honors in programming and system design in numerous national competitions. She is an avid golfer and racquetball player (winning 1st in the state in 2006) and loves to travel with her husband. She has visited every state and approximately 50-foreign countries. She is married to Gary Edward Wilson and currently lives in the greater Houston area.


Dr. Renate True Memorial Scholarship

Renate was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil on September 19, 1936. She went to college in Brazil and received her doctorate degree.

Renate was one of the world’s first women aquanauts. She was part of the Tektite II project, an underwater laboratory which was the home to divers during Tektite I and II programs. The Tektite program was the first scientists-in-the-sea program sponsored nationally. She was featured in National Geographic. Dr. True was very proud of this accomplishment.

Dr. True taught Anatomy and Physiology at College of the Mainland for 30 years. She taught many students who remember her as an amazing person and professor.

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Ducks Abroad Scholarship

As a college student on a study abroad trip, College of the Mainland professor Doug Alvarez touched the Eiffel Tower in Paris, explored the Coliseum’s ruins in Rome and ran with the bulls in Spain.

Now he wants to give other students the opportunity to explore the world.

Alvarez and his wife, Crystal, along with Maria Sanchez and Glenn Alexander, of Sweet Peas Home Health Care, created a scholarship to help four COM students join the History of Psychology in Europe credit class during the summer of 2017.

“There’s few things that have the return on investment like traveling. It changed my perspective. I began to see education as more than memorization,” said Alvarez. “We want to provide this scholarship for students who might be excluded from the opportunity to study abroad because of the cost. We hope the scholarship motivates students to continue their education and participate in a life-changing experience.”

Students will have the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to explore psychology through the lens of the Louvre in Paris, the Freud Museum in London, and the Natural History Museum and Darwin Centre in England.

“This is the first scholarship for a study abroad program,” said Matthew Busby, of COM Foundation. “It’s particularly significant that it was started by a faculty member who believes in the program and what it does for students.”

Always wanting to give, but unsure where, Doug and Crystal Alvarez had a light bulb moment following a discussion with students about their past travels. Many thought that traveling abroad was nothing more than a dream – many have never left the United States and some have never traveled from Texas.

Two scholarships are designated for students in the Upward Bound Program, which serves low-income, disabled high school students or those who will be the first in their families to attend college. Two will go to COM students who apply, have financial need and demonstrate excellence.

“We are providing half the cost of the trip because we also want to help students in learning how to build connections, fund-raise in the community and work for funds,” said Alvarez.

Already looking ahead, Alvarez plans to continue the Ducks Abroad Summer Scholarship next year and hopes others will be inspired as he was to help.

“To the student who is first generation, low income or facing challenging barriers to succeeding in school, the message of the scholarship is a clear one: someone believes in them enough to invest their money for them to study abroad,” said Busby.

Duncanson EMS Scholarship

Duncanson EMS Scholarship

Ms. Duncanson is a senior lubrication engineer for Exxon Mobil where she has worked for over 30 years. In 2005, she decided to join the Friendswood Volunteer EMS department. Even with her busy schedule, she went back to school to become a paramedic so that she could better serve the Friendswood community. She graduated from COM’s paramedic program in 2006.

Since graduation, Duncanson has been a valued supporter of College of the Mainland and its EMS program by routinely donating to COM’s foundation. “Her donations have helped the EMS program purchase much-needed airway training manikins, instructional software, and other instructional resources,” said Cissy Matthews, dean of public service and health occupations.

Galveston County Daily News Scholarship

Galveston County Daily News Scholarship

From the printing press to the Internet and beyond, the mission of Texas’ oldest newspaper has changed little since that first edition in 1842: Tell the stories of Galveston County — one day at a time.

Telling those stories has kept The Daily News alive and vital over the years. It’s been a long, strange trip, and a wonderful one.

Galveston Newspapers Inc. publishes The Galveston County Daily News and its companion website, GalvNews.com.

It also publishes a number of special sections and monthly magazines, including Daily News Homes, Galveston County Jobs, Coast Monthly magazine, Neighbors and Mainland Messenger. Commercial printing and other advertising services also are available.

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Grafton T. and Barbara M. Austin Memorial Scholarship

The late Grafton T. Austin, was the first elected mayor of La Marque. His wife, Barbara, has been both a student and a benefactor at the College. She took art classes at the College in the early 1970s and created the Grafton T. and Barbara M. Austin Memorial Scholarship for Business and Graphic Arts students.

“I just wanted to set up a scholarship for students who need the help and who are serious about making good grades,” said Mrs. Austin. “I think it’s great for local kids to have COM nearby. I only wish it had been around when I graduated from Ball High.”

Grafton was a retired realtor and had served as the first mayor of La Marque from 1953 to 1957. He proudly served his country in the U.S. Army during WWII.

Grover and Ada Faye Salsbury Senior Adult Memorial Scholarship

Grover and Ada Faye Salsbury Senior Adult Memorial Scholarship

Grover Salsbury, a man dedicated to the community, family and friends, had one focus in the last year of his life – endowing the College of the Mainland scholarship to honor his late wife of 50 years, Ada Faye.

“It was Ada Faye and Grover. They always did everything together,” said Senior Adult Program director Alesha Aulds. “Since Ada Faye’s passing last summer, I’ve probably seen Grover almost daily. He made it his mission in life to get the scholarship endowed.”

The scholarship was initiated by the Senior Adult Advisory Council, on which Grover and Ada Faye Salsbury served. After she died, the council named it in her honor.

Hitchcock residents for more than 50 years, the Salsburys were well connected within the community.

“Because of his go-getter attitude, you couldn’t tell him no,” said Aulds. “You couldn’t go anywhere in the Hitchcock / Santa Fe area without people knowing about him. He volunteered at the Grand (Opera House in Galveston). He was very community-minded.”

A dedicated COM Foundation board member, Grover Salsbury served on the fundraising committee. He also joined the COM Senior Adult Program Advisory Committee and helped with events such as the Annual Senior Adult Christmas luncheon, where he volunteered his artistic skills.

“He would use his jigsaw and carpenter abilities. He made a big corral and Western cutouts one year,” said Aulds.

An artist, Salsbury joined stained glass and fusion glass classes at the COM Senior Adult Program. Two of his pieces, a magnificent horse and deer, won awards in the COM Senior Adult Program Art Exhibit on display at the gallery through Aug. 21.

Grover Salsbury died July 8, 2014, after seeing the scholarship endowed with over $25,000. The scholarship now will be given each year in memory of the Salsburys as the Grover and Ada Faye Salsbury Senior Adult Endowed Scholarship.

“On the last day of his life, he was helping us take in art submissions for the senior adult program art exhibit,” said Aulds. “Whatever we needed, he was always there. It’s going to be a huge loss without him.”

His hard work will live on in the scholarship dedicated to helping senior adult students train to launch new careers.

“(Ada Faye and Grover) did so much for the college,” said Dale. “He believed in helping (people) get a start.”

H. K. "Griz" and Helen Eckert Memorial Scholarship

H. K. "Griz" and Helen Eckert Memorial Scholarship

Mr H. K. “Griz” Eckert and his wife, Helen, resided in Texas City from 1938 until they moved to Kerrville, TX in 1970. Mr. Eckert was the on first Board of Trustees for COM and served as President until he resigned when they moved. COM’s own Lake Eckert was named for him.

He was the plant manager for the Monsanto plant when it exploded in April of 1947, suffering a skull fracture and several lacerations to his head. He was fortunate, considering about 150 workers were killed and 200 more injured. After healing, he went back to work to help rebuild the plant.

Mr. and Mrs. Eckert were very active in the community and church, raising two sons.

James Edwards, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

James Edwards, Jr. Memorial Scholarship

Mr. Edwards was an active union member and served his local union for 26 years. He first joined in 1964 and held his first office in 1968 continuing on to be elected as a state legislative director by OCAW District 4 Council in 1983. OCAW was the Oil, Chemical, and Atomic Workers Union.

He was a member of COM’s Board of Trustee starting in 1975 until he retired in 1990.

Upon his passing in 2001, Representative Nick Lampson paid tribute to him in a Congressional session honoring his work and accomplishments.


Jimmy Hayley Scholarship

Jimmy Hayley was a 1955 graduate of La Marque High School and went on to earn a Bachelors of Business Administration degree from Sam Houston State University in 1959.

In 1961 he began his 25-year career with Guaranty Federal Savings & Loan, first as a branch manager and Vice President before being promoted to the Galveston Office as Senior Vice President and Director of Marketing and Public Relations, with responsibility for state-wide branching operations.

In 1987, Jimmy began his second career as President of the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce. As the Chamber President, he received several state-wide awards including the Texas Chamber of Commerce’s highest honor, the Marvin Hurley Award, in 2007, and was selected the Outstanding Texas Chamber Executive in 2005 by the Texas Association of Businesses. In 2002 Jimmy received the Texas Chamber Distinguished Service Award, served as President of the Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives in 2000-2001, and was President of the Gulf Coast Chamber Executives in 1992.

In recognition of his work on behalf of the communities and the Chamber, the Texas City-La Marque Chamber of Commerce Board of Directors renamed the Chamber office The James A. “Jimmy” Hayley Building.

Jimmy always had a love of education and followed in the footsteps of his father when he was elected to the La Marque Independent School District Board of Trustees. He was re-elected seven times, serving 24 years on the school board and was school board president for three years.

In 1999, he was commissioned by Governor George W. Bush to the Texas State University Board, where he served six years including the position of Chairman and Vice Chairman of the Board of Regents for the Texas State University System, the first higher education system established in Texas. This governing body has eight member institutions including Sam Houston State University, Lamar University, and Texas State University. He also served as a member of the Sam Houston State University Advisory Board for the School of Business. A lecture room at the Sam Houston State School of Business is named in his honor. Jimmy was also Chairman of the Board of the non-profit Energy for Schools at the time of his death.

Jimmy was active in various community non-profit organizations. He was a life membership of the La Marque Kiwanis Club, a member of St. John’s United Methodist Church, Texas City Rotary Club, Gulf Coast Chamber Executives, Texas Chamber of Commerce Executives, and United Way Galveston County Mainland. He also served on the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Committee and on the Galveston County Fair Board for a number of years, heading the Auction Committee.

His honors and recognition include Sam Houston State University Distinguished Alumni Award, La Marque High School Distinguished Alumni Award, Rotary Club Vocational Award, Texas Community Builder Award, College of the Mainland Foundation Award, Texas Bancshares Howard Payne Award, Texas City-La Marque Community Service Award, Galveston County Daily News Outstanding Citizen of the Year, and Outstanding Educator of America Award.

In addition to his professional life, Jimmy had a special place in his heart for family and friends. He loved life and all aspects associated with the Texas City-La Marque community. He also loved sports of all kinds and was a life-long Houston Oilers/Texans season ticket holder, and never missed a Sunday of Texans football. If the Texans had an away game and the local church minister’s sermon got a little long, he began checking his watch, hoping to make the kick-off. Jimmy was an athlete himself, having played high school baseball and later managing and playing men’s fast-pitch softball. He was bestowed the nickname of “Squat-Low Hayley” from his many years of playing catcher.

As much as he loved following the local high school athletic scene, he had a special interest in following his grandchildren’s sporting events including Amanda’s and Abby’s gymnastics, Alyson’s and Abby’s tennis, Zack’s and Jacob’s baseball, Bryanna’s soccer, and Jacob’s football. He was known as Zack’s caddy and number one fan at all his golf tournaments.

Jimmy was himself an award-winning golfer and a collector of classic golf clubs and sports memorabilia. Nothing was better on a sunny spring afternoon than to spend time with his long-time golfing buddies.


Jordan Ellis Fire Academy Scholarship

Jordan graduated from Fire School at the College of the Mainland in Texas City and worked as a volunteer firefighter for Spring, and League City. He previously worked as an EMT for Enterprise Ambulance, and was employed as a Certified Safety Specialist at BP AMOCO in Texas City.

Jordan also obtained PADI certification for scuba diving. Outgoing and enthusiastic, Jordan was a fun-loving guy who loved music.

Above all, Jordan was a compassionate young man dedicated to serving others.


Joseph Milton Glasco Memorial Scholarship

Joseph Glasco was born in Pauls Valley, Oklahoma, but grew up in Texas.

Glasco graduated from the University of Texas at Austin. Shortly after, he enlisted in the United States Army during World War II, and he served in the Battle of the Bulge.

After the war, he enrolled at the Portsmouth Art School in Bristol, England. He also studied at the School of Painting and Sculpture, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico. He subsequently attended the Art Students League of New York.

Glasco became a renowned painter in New York City in the 1950s to 1970s. He was influenced by his friendships with Jackson Pollock and Alfonso A. Ossorio as well as the artwork of Jean Dubuffet and the art theory of Hans Hofmann. His works are on permanent display in numerous museums, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York City, the Hirshhorn Museum in Washington, and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Glasco was the lover of the writer William Goyen. In Clark Davis’ biography of Goyen called It Starts With Trouble (University of Texas Press, 2015), he documents their relationship. Glasco retired in Galveston, Texas in 1972, where he maintained a studio on The Strand near the Strand Emporium, and lived as a virtual recluse.

Glasco died on May 31, 1996 in Galveston, Texas.

Judge and Mrs. L. D. Godard Memorial Scholarship

Judge and Mrs. L. D. Godard Memorial Scholarship

This scholarship was originally started by Judge Godard’s wife, Glennis, in 1988 in his memory. She felt it was a great way to honor his memory and lifelong service to the public. She expected recipients to reflect his qualities of integrity, commitment to good citizenship, and dedication to public and community service, as well as academic achievement.

He was born in Mobile, AL and moved to Galveston when he was a child. He graduated from Ball High School, then received his degree from the University of Texas School of Law, after which began his public service career as a member of the Texas Attorney General’s staff.

Years later, he formed a partnership with William B. Dazey and they were responsible for obtaining compensation for the Texas City Disaster of 1947.

He served in the U.S. Army Intelligence Corps during World War II and was discharged with the rank of Major.

He also served as a state representative from 1947 to 1951 where he sponsored bills crating juvenile courts and increasing workers compensation.

In 1954, he was named by Gov. Allen Shrivers as an interim judge for the 56th District Court, continuing on to be elected judge of the 122nd District Court in 1958. There he served for 18 years. He retired in 1977 but continued to serve from time to time when other magistrates were on vacation.

When his wife passed away in 2006, their children, Tom and Jeannette, changed the name of the scholarship to honor both of their parents.

Judge Roy Engelke Memorial Scholarship

Judge Roy Engelke Memorial Scholarship

Judge Roy Engelke was born on Galveston Island (BOI) and always lived in the county until he passed in February 2001. He graduated Ball High School and joined the Army. Later, he graduated from the University of Texas with degrees in economics and law.

He practiced law for 28 years before being elected judge of the 212th Judicial District in Galveston in 1986. He retired from the bench in May 1998 after being stricken with cancer.

Before he took the bench, Engelke also served as chairman of the Galveston County Democratic Party and as a member of the board of trustees of College of the Mainland. He was board president for two years.


June Godard Webb Memorial Scholarship

The June Godard Webb Memorial Scholarship was established by Frank Webb in memory of his beloved wife.

June Godard Webb graduated from Texas City High School and studied art at Texas Women’s University. She loved to dance and even tried out for the Radio City Rocketts in New York City but returned to Galveston County to teach dance. June married William Jack Godard and they had three children. June supported Jack in his political career and was very active in the Texas City community. In their later years, June and Jack were world travelers.

June married her long time friend Frank Webb in 1991. They brought much love to each other, continued to travel, enjoyed local cultural events and spent time with family and friends. Frank’s love and dedication to June is memorialized in the College of the Mainland scholarship.

Frank Webb was a long time resident of Texas City. He began his professional career with Amoco Oil (then Pan American Refining) in Texas City after graduating from Georgia Tech with a degree in Mechanical Engineering. Frank advanced through the managerial ranks of Amoco where he became manager of several refineries and later assumed overall charge of refineries across the country at Amoco. He retired from Amoco in 1981.

Frank was a member of the Texas City Rotary Club and a recipient of the Distinguished Professional Award in 1997. He was named by the Mechanical Engineering School of Georgia Tech as the 1992 Distinguished Alumnus as recognition of professional achievement. In 1994, Frank was inducted into the Georgia Tech Engineering Hall of Fame. He was also a long term member of the Texas City Tourism and Recreation Board.

In addition to the funds given to College of the Mainland, Frank was a philanthropist who also set up trusts and endowments at Georgia Tech and the Melinda Webb School for Deaf Children at the Houston Center for Hearing and Speech.

Kathryn Bailey Nursing Scholarship

Kathryn Bailey Nursing Scholarship

This scholarship is in honor of Kathryn Bailey, the late mother of U.S. Senator Kay Bailey-Hutchison and one of the original members of the Mainland Medical Center Auxiliary. The auxiliary has provided service to patients and families in the La Marque and Texas City communities since 1958.

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Kevin E. Wilcox Memorial Scholarship

Kevin E. Wilcox was born August 17, 1958, at St. Albans Naval Hospital, New York, NY.

He had his first taste of travel at the age of 10 days when he landed in Argentia, Newfoundland. He only stayed a few weeks before returning to the U.S., first to Florida, then on to California.

His father was a career Navy man which is why we had numerous moves – often to remote, unheard of places. His mother was also a career officer which added to many interesting and “once in a lifetime” experiences.

While living in California, his mother became increasingly concerned over the size and number of bruises he had. With her medical knowledge, she felt there was a possibility Kevin might be a hemophiliac. This was proven correct with the diagnosis at 18 months of age – Classical Hemophiliac, Factor VIII Deficiency. His life would be lived on a precarious ‘teeter-totter’ due to this genetic, incurable condition. He would have to endure extreme physical pain and emotional scarring because of ignorant, uncaring people. Few would ever know the loneliness and shunning he experienced throughout his life.

Shortly after his diagnosis, the family traveled to Hawaii, Wake Island, and finally the Philippine Islands for 2 years.

After returning to the U.S., Kevin was enrolled in school in Pompano Beach, FL. It was only after being refused by 2 schools because of his condition that he was finally accepted. Early on, some parents refused to allow their children to play with Kevin because they did not know what hemophilia was and thought it may be a contagious disease. One teacher refused to let his mother bring the wheelchair in the classroom as it would “disturb” the other students. So Kevin was brought to class early and the wheelchair was hidden in the janitor’s closet. Kevin was left to sit in his seat the entire day – eating lunch alone, sitting at his desk alone – while the other students were at recess. He never complained. He made up games he could play alone, draw pictures, or read books.

One of his shining character traits that he developed early on was his positive attitude.

He spent a great deal of time in the hospital receiving blood transfusions, or in bed at home recovering from a hemorrhage, wrapped with pressure dressings and ice packs. He wore foam pads on his knees and elbows from the time he first started to walk to keep him from hemorrhaging into those critical joints if should fall or get bumped. His life was filled with several near death experiences – bleeding into the spinal cord, the tongue, vital organs, and head.

Throughout his life, he always felt compelled to give 100% of himself to anyone that asked or looked as though they needed help. He was shunned by many students as he was in the wheelchair for months at a time. Teachers were also callous to his condition. Still, nothing would turn him into an angry, resentful, demanding young boy. He joined the Cub Scouts where he was accepted on an equal level.

He was determined to make his life matter, even at this early age.

After nearly 3 years, we were on our way to Albuquerque, NM. He always enjoyed the outdoors, camping, going to old battlefields, and ghost towns. He loved to read about the Civil War battles and the Indian tribes and their traditions. He was soon able to realize an even greater appreciation for the Indian people when we were sent to Shiprock, NM, the largest Indian reservation in the nation. He was the only ‘white’ boy in his class. He savored his time there and often spoke about what a learning experience it had been. Once again, we were sent to another Indian reservation in Seattle, WA. This proved to be another adventure – learning to swim, ski, climb mountains, and joined others at archaeological sites. His interest in history never faded.

Kevin never complained about the frequent moves, his pain, the numerous transfusions, the way people treated him or why all this had happened to him. He always seemed to overlook or the person or problem. However, inwardly, it left its mark.

In July of 1973, we were transferred to La Marque, TX. Swimming had become a favorite sport, so he was thrilled to have a swimming pool in his new home.

At the age of 15 years, his life became utter chaos. His mother was involved in a near fatal plane crash which would keep in and out of various hospitals for the next 3 ½ years. Shortly after the plane crash, his father left the family, never to return or acknowledge Kevin was his son in any way shape or form. This young man suddenly assumed all the roles as head of the household without a grumble or hesitation, and he did them all well.

By this time, he had become very active in the Boy Scouts. One of his goals had always been to become an Eagle Scout. In spite all of the challenges and rigid requirements, he attained his and was named ‘Honor Camper’ 2 years in a row. This was an honor bestowed on Scouts by their Scout peers.

High school was difficult due to his numerous absences and his small stature, but he didn’t quit! He couldn’t play football or basketball, so he decided to put his swimming talents to good use by joining the swim team. He earned his varsity letter and was on the High School State Champion Water Polo Team. The first hemophiliac to claim this honor, that we know of. Kevin started working part time while still in high school.

Music had become an essential part of his life. This, too, would become an important goal for him. He quickly found his high school education was never going to fulfill his need in the competitive outside world. He wanted to continue his education in drafting which brought him to the doors of College of the Mainland. He graduated with his Associates degree and then went on to receive a Music Engineering degree from Full Sails University in Florida. There are many homes, housing developments, and shopping malls that demonstrate his drafting skills. His course was set.

Kevin was always generous with his skills, his time, and his limited income. People continued to take advantage of his generosity with little thought of returning a favor once he had fulfilled their request, He did not become bitter when no one would stop to see him at home during a bleed or visit him in the hospital when he would have surgery. He consoled himself with his 3 German Shepherds. He often said, “they will never leave me, they will always love me.” He has also become a recognize dog trainer. His dogs remained his best friends.

His next challenge was karate. He worked his up to a brown belt. Again, it was very difficult and painful bet he had to prove he could do it and he did!

Kevin learned very early how to manage his finances and spending money frivolously was not in his nature. However, he enjoyed the things money could not buy – the outdoors, music, watching sports, and helping people. He enjoyed traveling to Mexico, especially Cancun, so he could swim, fish and try his hand at sailing.

His last great goal was to build his own home. He drew up the plans and after long searching, found the exact parcel of land for his home. It was a 10 ½ acres piece of land in East Texas, with a creek running down one side and a bayou joining the other side. The county road crossed the front and his private road completed the lot. His home, a 3 bedroom, 2 bath ranch style was completed in May of 1991. Another goal accomplished – only to be enjoyed a short time.

He enjoyed his home for only 6 months before he died very suddenly on October 10, 1991.

His attributes were unbelievable, his warmth and caring will never be forgotten. It was a joy to be around him. All who knew him have been blessed. There is no doubt where he is, soaring with the eagles, his big blue eyes flashing, wearing his infectious beautiful smile.


Larry Smith Memorial Scholarship

Larry L. Smith was a popular college professor, accomplished athlete and lifetime social activist.

Smith is best known for his years at College of the Mainland (COM) as a history professor and founding member of the college employee organization, COMUnity. He also served on the Galveston County AFL-CIO Central Labor Council and was its secretary-treasurer for many years.

Larry grew up in the East Texas farming community of Cooper where he excelled in sports lettering in football, baseball and was all-state in basketball. He was also voted “most likely to succeed” by his class. At Sam Houston State University (SHSU) where he earned both his bachelor’s and master’s in history, Smith played first base on the Bearkat’s 1963 national championship team and was named to the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics World Series all-star teams in both 1962 and 1963, winning All-American honors in 1962. In 1963, he signed with the Baltimore Orioles, playing two seasons in their minor league system. But Larry’s love of history and his desire to teach was a stronger calling, so he moved from the baseball field to the classroom. After completing his masters, he taught in Dickinson for two years before joining College of the Mainland in 1967 as a charter employee.

At COM, he served 13 years as associate dean of continuing education and community service where he and his team developed a successful and nationally recognized program. He taught American history at COM until his retirement in 2010. Larry especially admired Dr. Herbert Stallworth, the college’s founding president, who mentored the new employees in the democratic educational philosophy of John Dewey that guided COM for many years. Larry also appreciated President Larry Stanley, COM’s longest serving president, and trustees Jim Simpson and Roy Engelke.

During his tenure at COM, Larry worked with various administrations and employees to adopt reasonable compensation contracts, equitable hiring practices and fair grievance procedures. His time at COM was not without controversy. Though popular with students—he was nominated multiple times for Teacher of the Year, winning the prestigious honor in 1988—he clashed with several administrations over hiring and firing policies and garnered his share of negative ink from one newspaper whose editor tried to have him fired. He worked to bring national speakers to campus to broaden the debates of the day. Such speakers as the late Madalyn Murray O’Hair, former U.S. Senator Barry Goldwater, Cesar Chavez, Julian Bond, Ralph Nader, peace activist David Dellinger and historian Howard Zinn (Larry’s favorite historian) stirred up as much controversy in the community as they did on campus.

Smith believed that a more informed public led to a stronger democracy. “I teach because I believe it is important for people’s thinking to be disturbed, their conscience awakened, their values challenged, their minds stretched, their lives enlightened and enlivened,” Smith has written. “I believe people have the capacity to grow and develop into compassionate and nurturing beings who can take control of their social, economic and political lives.”

Outside of the classroom, Smith treasured relationships with his adult children, Chad Smith (Andrea), chair of the sociology department at Texas State University; and Autumn Bockart (Scott) a teacher in Friendswood ISD. Larry was also a loving grandfather to Summer and Hudson Bockart and Langston and Ellison Smith. He attended their sporting events and extra-curricular activities and was proud of their accomplishments in school and beyond. Larry also said he had a special appreciation for his ex-wife Pepper Smith, a Friendswood teacher; and his former companion Alice Watford, a retired teacher. “These two women were supportive and tolerated me for 20 years, each.” While he felt he had failed these relationships, he never stopped caring for all those who were an important part of his life. Larry had fond memories of many COM colleagues, especially economics professor Bob Young and retired Political Science professor Jim Finley, as well as many community members and students. He would bump into former students around town—many of his first and second-generation students from the same family—and always had kind words of reminiscence. In recent years, Larry often joined friends for lively conversations about politics, culture or history. He took many fun road trips, coffees and lunches with a group of “men of a certain age”—Bill Spillar, Bob Shinn, Larry Stanley and Jim Higgins—who dragged him (kicking and screaming occasionally) on outings to baseball games, music venues and museums. And he always set aside Fridays for lunch with local attorney and longtime friend Larry Edrozo.

Never one to value worldly goods, in life Smith donated time and money to various social causes and individuals.

Although Larry was often melancholy, he believed that after all was said and done, as Kris Kristofferson wrote: “Knowing is a blessing rather than a curse and that the going up is worth the coming down.”

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Logical Innovations, Inc.

In 2012, Logical Innovations, Inc., established the Logical Innovations Scholarship for College of the Mainland students. The award benefits incoming freshmen graduating from Dickinson, Hitchcock, La Marque, Santa Fe or Texas City high schools with a minimum 2.5 GPA. To date, four students have received the scholarship, with Logical Innovations providing increased funding each year so that recipients have ample funding for tuition, fees and books within an entire associate’s degree program.

Logical Innovations President and CEO Denise Navarro is a Galveston County native and COM alumna, as are both of her children, who also work in the company. Navarro is passionate about building the community and considers it a personal mission to ensure the growth of the area.

“Family is extremely important to me, and College of the Mainland allowed me to start my pursuit of higher education while working and raising my family,” Navarro said. “Both of my children are COM graduates, and we take so much pride in the education that COM provided to all of us. We’ve leveraged our academic backgrounds to build and grow Logical Innovations, which is now a nationwide, award-winning company that employs almost 150 people. COM is, in a way, where it all started, and we’re grateful to be able to give back and provide the same opportunity to a new generation of students.”