More than 500 graduates were recognized Friday evening during Blinn College’s 131st commencement ceremony at Brenham High School.

“When you came to us, our responsibility as an institution of higher learning was to present you with thoughts and ideas, challenge your thinking and encourage you to think critically,” Dr. Harold Nolte, district president, told graduates. “Today we acknowledge your scholarship, tenacity and perseverance.”

The ceremony included four student speakers – Trey Bradford (Palestine) for the Brenham campus, Lourna Santana (Caguas, P.R.) for the Bryan campus, Zachary Denny (Weimar) for the Schulenburg campus and Sandy Martinez (Sealy) for the Sealy campus.

The College recognized Math Professor Randal Hoppens, Government Professor Dr. Joyce Langenegger and Associate Degree Nursing Professor Rebecca Presswood, winners of the 2014 Blinn Professional Association Teaching Excellence Awards, and also honored 11 retirees: Hoppens (30 years), Humanities Instructor Jody Tyson (10 years), Computer Science Professor Judy Kroll (13 years), District HVAC Systems Manager Spencer Lofland (12 years), Business Division Chair and Professor Karen May (13 years), Accounts Payable Specialist Judy Niemeyer (13 years), Humanities Division Chair and Professor H.F. Poehlmann (27 years), Social Science Instructor Linda Tiemann (25 years), Coordinator of Campus Events Glen Vierus (23 years), Associate Degree Nursing Professor Lois Brokenbourgh (21 years) and Assistant Maintenance Supervisor Alfred Zettel (22 years).

The College also announced five newly endowed scholarships: the Jane Boehnemann Endowed LVN Scholarship, the Dr. James I. Durham Endowed Scholarship, the Steven and Ruth Noack Endowed Vocational Nursing Scholarship, the Theodore M. Vanderwerth Technical Education Scholarship and the Dr. Donald Voelter Endowed Scholarship.

Blinn enrolled 18,413 students this Fall and has experienced 31.1 percent growth since 2006. Founded in 1883, the College’s tuition and fees average about one-third the cost of the same classes at most four-year public universities in the state. In addition to its campuses in Brenham, Bryan, Schulenburg and Sealy, the College teaches online courses, dual credit for high school and prepares students for quick employment through its career and technical certification programs.

A recent study found that Blinn makes a $345.3 million impact on the local economy, including a $239.5 million student productivity impact due to the skills students acquired at Blinn.

Registration is available through May 11 for Blinn’s May minimester (May 12-28), and students can also enroll for the Summer I, Summer II and Fall semesters. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit:  Story and photos provided by Blinn College.

Graduation story

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