Hall of Honor
The Blinn College Alumni and Friends Association named former Speaker of the Texas House of Representatives Gus Mutscher its 2017 Person of the Year, and also inducted four community leaders to the Blinn College Hall of Honor during a luncheon on October 27.
Mutscher, Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp, businessman and former Blinn College Foundation Board President Ron Alfred, Blinn College alumna and Administrative Assistant to the Chancellor of the Blinn College District Becky Krebs, and City of Brenham Mayor Milton Tate each were inducted into the Hall of Honor. The Hall of Honor recognizes Blinn’s most distinguished alumni, local business leaders, and those who have made a significant impact in their communities or professions.
Gus Franklin Mutscher was born to Gustav and Gertie Goeke Mutscher of the William Penn community in Washington County, Nov. 19, 1932. He was baptized on Dec. 18, 1932, and confirmed on Feb. 23, 1947, at Bethlehem Lutheran Church in William Penn by Pastor Carl Appel.
Mutscher attended the William Penn School and Brenham High School. He attended Blinn College on a baseball scholarship and received an Associate of Arts degree. He then earned a Bachelor of Business Administration degree at the University of Texas at Austin in 1956, with a Reserve Commission in the U.S. Army.
Following his graduation, Mutscher worked in sales and advertising in the Houston area for the Borden Company. While there, he was recognized by the Houston Chamber of Commerce with the Outstanding Young Texan Award. In 1960, he won election to the Texas House of Representatives, representing Austin, Burleson, Lee, Waller, and Washington counties. During his six-year tenure, he served on a number of important committees, including as chair of the Committee on Claims and Accounts and chair of the Legislative Redistricting Committee.
In 1969, Mutscher was elected Speaker of the House, serving until 1971. During his tenure, the House increased state financial support for higher education, mental health, and other state social services. He was instrumental in the establishment of the Brenham Assisted Living facility and in the creation of the Star of the Republic Museum at Washington-on-the-Brazos State Historic Site.
“Mr. Mutscher had many great accomplishments while serving as an elected official,” said Houston McGaugh, Star of the Republic Museum Director. “He strived to advance the state’s higher education system to a level of national prominence.”
Following his position in the Texas House, Mutscher was appointed in 1976 to fill the vacancy as Washington County Judge – a position he held for 14 years. During that time, Mutscher also held a number of state and national offices, including President of the National Association of Regional Councils of Government. Locally, he assisted in the creation of the Blinn College Alumni & Friends Association and the Hall of Honor, and continued to be an active supporter of Blinn College.
“Gus Mutscher’s incredible friendship to Blinn College and the Star of the Republic Museum had a tremendous impact on education in the State of Texas,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Chancellor of the Blinn College District.
A longtime member of Grace Lutheran Church in Brenham, Mutscher served as national president of Gamma Delta, a Lutheran youth organization, as a young man. Later, he served a term as Chairman of Grace congregation.
Texas A&M University System Chancellor John Sharp leads one of the nation’s largest university systems. Since his appointment in 2011, he has been unwavering in his dedication to students, faculty and innovative research.
Chancellor Sharp’s support for students seeking advancement through higher education extends across the Brazos Valley and includes Blinn College. Chancellor Sharp and other administrations from the A&M System have introduced several exciting programs and maintained forward-thinking partnerships with Blinn College.
The joint initiatives of the Texas A&M System and Blinn College seek to address a wide range of needs, including: creating new pathways to four-year degrees; establishing a program in Brenham for aspiring engineers; devising a plan to bolster industry in the Brazos Valley by building a more skilled workforce; and realizing a vision for a one-of-a-kind higher education and research hub at the System’s RELLIS Campus in Bryan.
A Texas A&M/Blinn program dubbed “Transfer Enrollment at A&M,” or TEAM, is a collaborative, co-enrollment effort that began in 2001 and continues to thrive under Chancellor Sharp. The initiative allows for the admission of hundreds more qualified students into the Texas A&M freshman class than would have otherwise been possible due to enrollment limitations.
Another source of pride that shows the strong relationship between the two institutions is the Texas A&M Engineering Academy at Blinn. In partnership with Texas A&M University’s College of Engineering and Blinn-Brenham, this unique program gives students an opportunity to pursue their engineering degree while being co-enrolled at Texas A&M and Blinn College.
Further, Blinn and the A&M System agreed in 2017 to create a partnership dedicated to offering expanded education and training programs in the Brazos Valley. Under Chancellor Sharp, the Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service and Blinn are designing workforce training programs to be taught at the RELLIS Campus.
Finally, and perhaps the most ambitious venture of them all, The Texas A&M University System and Blinn entered into an pioneering partnership in 2016 to build a collection of new facilities at the RELLIS Campus. An innovative educational community is being formed on the sprawling new campus that combines a major university system with a community college at a single physical location. The campus will allow Blinn College students to study in a state-of-the-art educational building and later seamlessly transfer to A&M System universities that also will have a presence at RELLIS. These students will be exposed to cutting-edge research by public and private entities in fields such as robotics, driverless vehicles and smart grids.
Chancellor Sharp brings with him more than three decades of public service. He earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from Texas A&M University in 1972, where he was a member of the Corps staff of the Corps of Cadets, a member of the 1972 rugby team, and where he was elected student body president. Upon graduation, he was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the United States Army Reserve.
In 1976, Sharp received a master’s degree in public administration from Southwest Texas State University while working full-time with the Legislative Budget Board in Austin.
He served for several years in Texas government as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, the Texas Senate, and the Texas Railroad Commission. Additionally, he was elected twice to serve as state comptroller.
Ron Alfred moved to Brenham to establish a career in banking, raise a family, and begin a life of community involvement. The East Texas native attended Tyler Junior College before transferring to the University of Texas. It was in Austin where he met his wife, Deanna, and they decided on a move to Brenham after their graduations. However, Uncle Sam wanted his service in the Army first, and then two years earning an MBA at the University of North Texas pushed back that entry date into Washington County until 1975.
Ron’s involvement with Blinn spans several decades, beginning with teaching occasional evening courses in Real Estate and Business on the Brenham campus; and, more recently serving several terms on the Blinn Foundation Board, holding the position of President in 2015.
He is a graduate of several banking schools and served as President/CEO of the Brenham National Bank and Brenham Bancshares through 2014. He now serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board and remains active on numerous bank committees. Additionally, Ron has been President of the Brenham Noon Lions Club, The Washington County Texas Ex-Students Association, and the Brenham Country Club. He is past Chairman of the Economic Development Foundation of Brenham and of the Texas Bankers Association Lending Committee. He is a past Board Member of the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, District Councilman of the University of Texas Ex-Students Association, Board Member and officer in the Washington on the Brazos State Park Association, Director of the Washington County Chapter of the American Heart Association, Director of the Washington County Chamber of Commerce, Director of the Texas Association of Business, Treasurer of the Endowment Committee at the first United Methodist Church, and Secretary-Treasurer of the Brazos Valley Bankers Association.
Ron is a Life Member of the Blinn Alumni and Friends Association. He is married to Deanna (Dippel), a Blinn graduate. Both their sons attended Blinn before transferring to the University of Texas. Corby lives in Austin; and Kurt, with his wife Lauren and their daughter Ellie, lives in Brenham.
Becky Krebs was born in Brenham and is the oldest of five children. She was raised on a dairy farm in Burton and worked alongside her parents, siblings, grandparents, great uncles, aunts, and cousins. She has been with Blinn College for 23 years, where she has served as an assistant to four Blinn College presidents and the current Chancellor.
Growing up, Krebs was active in 4-H, where she showed capons, turkeys, fryers, steers, and dairy. Her dad took the girls to show their dairy animals in Brenham, Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Fort Worth, Anderson, and Katy. She was a Washington County Fair Queen candidate in 1977 and continued her involvement with the Fair by serving as a Washington County Fair volunteer on the Dairy Judging Committee from 1977-1995. She was a member of the 1977 State Dairy Judging Team and participated in the National Dairy Expo in Wisconsin with her sister, Cindy, and cousins, Karla and Dayna, placing 11th.
Krebs attended and graduated from Burton High School, where she participated in all sports, including tennis, basketball, softball, track, and was a drum major and a twirler in the high school band. She was voted Ms. Panther by the students her senior year. She attended Blinn Junior College and earned her Associate of Arts in business administration, then transferred to Texas A&M University to major in business administration. While at Blinn College, she worked as a student worker for the Dean of Instruction, Dr. Charles L. Cottingham, and his assistant Nancy Roesler. While attending Texas A&M, she worked in the Student Financial Aid and Undergraduate Programs Offices.
After college, she worked as a secretary at the Texas Agricultural Extension Service and spent nine years at Germania Insurance before learning of the president’s secretary position at Blinn becoming available from a phone call from Nancy Roesler. Krebs was thrilled to be offered the position and accepted the job at Blinn College without ever having met Dr. Don Voelter. In her current position as Assistant to Blinn College Chancellor Dr. Mary Hensley, Krebs interacts with state, county, and local officials, works cooperatively with staff to carry out the District’s mission and vision, manages and maintains schedules, appointments and travel arrangements, arranges and coordinates meetings, and supervises student workers. While working with the Chancellor and past presidents, Krebs has played a key role in the Chancellor’s holiday receptions, annual Endowed Scholarship Luncheons, annual year-end barbecue and retiree recognitions, to name a few.
Krebs is a lifetime member of the Alumni and Friends Association, an O’Donnell Seat Patron, Kruse Paver Donor, former member Blinn Professional Association, former Blinn representative to the National and State Associations of Presidential Assistants in Higher Education (NAPHE) and won the 2011 Blinn marketing contest to name the monthly staff newsletter, the Blinn Connection. Becky has coordinated, assisted, or participated in all the presidential searches at the College and worked with the trustees in various capacities. She has served as a Sunday school teacher, lector, communion assistant, and member of the Pastoral Care Committee at Shelby Lutheran and Greenvine Emmanuel Lutheran Church.
She lives in Fayette County with her husband Steven and son Tyler. She and her family enjoy cooking, hunting, fishing, shooting skeet, playing cards and dominos, and visiting with family and friends.
Milton Tate was born and raised in Giddings, Texas. He graduated from Giddings High School in 1957 before going to the University of Texas College of Business Administration, where he earned his degree in general business in 1961. He graduated from the University of Texas School of Law in 1963.
After serving as an assistant city attorney in Lubbock, he joined George Moorman in Brenham in June 1965, and became a partner at Moorman and Tate in January 1966.
He served as county attorney until 1974, and served as city attorney from 1982-90. He retired from the firm that is now Moorman, Tate, Haley, Upchurch, and Yates in 2009. He is now president of Washington County Abstract Company.
A strong believer in the importance of devoting time and resources to improving the quality of life in Brenham and Washington County, Tate has served as Mayor of the City of Brenham since he was elected in a special election in 2003.
He was the first person from Washington County to serve on the Board of Directors of the Lower Colorado River Authority, and held all offices, including chairman. He served as chairman of the Texas State Bar Grievance Committee, was on the Brenham Industrial Foundation Board of Directors for 25 years, and served as Brenham Board of Community Development Chair. He was one of the founders and served on the Board of Directors of Texas National Bank, served as a Brenham Rotary Club member and officer, and served as past president of the Washington-on-the-Brazos State Park Association board. He currently serves as First Vice President of the Brazos Valley Council of Governments.
In recognition of his commitment to civic service, Tate was named the Washington County Chamber of Commerce Man of the Year in 1996.
Tate is a life member of the Ex-Students Association of the University of Texas and a member of numerous committees supporting the University of Texas and the University of Texas School of Law, and is a supporter of many educational activities at Brenham ISD and Blinn College.
Tate is a member of First United Methodist Church of Brenham, where he has served in nearly every office on the Church boards.
He married his high school sweetheart, Twila Kieke, on June 4, 1960. Their family includes three daughters and two sons-in-law: Rebecca and Scott Ehlert, Rachel and Chris Cangelosi, and the late Susan Tate. Their six grandchildren are his pride and joy: Andy and Lillie Ehlert, and Janie, Miriam, Annie, and Sally Cangelosi.