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July 19, 2011

Westbrook resigns from Blinn College Board of Trustees

Steve WestbrookSteve Westbrook, a long serving member of the Blinn Board of Trustees, announced his resignation tonight during the regularly scheduled July board meeting.

Westbrook, who served most recently as board secretary, dedicated 18 years to Blinn College after three successful county elections earned him an at-large seat on the board. Stepping down, he reflected fondly on his time at Blinn and said he must spend more time with other obligations.

“It has been an honor to serve as a member of the Blinn Board of Trustees and to represent this great college district,” Westbrook said. “It has been remarkable to see how Blinn has flourished over the years, and I hope that I helped play a small role of some kind in that progress.”

Westbrook was first elected to the board in 1994. He was re-elected in 2000 and 2006 and served as president from 2004-2008. He served as vice president for four years and secretary from 2010 to present.

In the years Westbrook served, Blinn added a number of educational programs, including the alternative teacher certification program (2001) and three technical education programs: emergency medical services (1995), dental hygiene (1997), and physical therapist assistant (1998).

Overall enrollment nearly doubled, from 9,017 in 1994, to more than 17,000 students today. Blinn established the Schulenburg campus in 1996 and the Sealy campus in 2005. Construction projects boomed, including the W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center, the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex, Blinn’s new Administration Building, the J. Hal and Allyne Machat Music Facility renovations now underway, student apartments and a residence hall under construction on the Brenham campus.

With oversight on the board, Westbrook helped usher in construction of Blinn’s six-building brick and mortar campus in Bryan (1997), followed by the acquisition of other campus facilities. This Fall, most of Blinn’s Allied Health programs will begin classes in a new 53,000 square foot home at the Texas A&M Health Science Center (HSC).

On the courts and fields, Blinn added two new women’s sports, volleyball and softball, both in 1995. The volleyball program went on to win a national championship in 2008, while the football program won national championships in 1995, 1996, 2006 and 2009.

“We appreciate the leadership and support of Mr. Westbrook during his three terms on the Blinn College Board of Trustees,” said Atwood Kenjura, Blinn board president. “In nearly two decades of leadership, Steve has proven to be a strong communicator and a thoughtful, level-headed decision maker. He always placed the best interest of our students, faculty and staff at the forefront.”

Westbrook graduated from Blinn College with an Associate of Arts degree and attended Sam Houston State University.

His term, an at-large position, expires in May of 2012, when an election will be held to fill the position. In the interim, the Board will appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of the term.