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Blinn recognizes Kolkhorst for commitment to community

Newly-elected Texas senator served 14 years as District 13 state representative

Sen. Lois W. Kolkhorst Blinn College presented Sen. Lois W. Kolkhorst its Don Wilhelm Pride, Honor and Dedication (PHD) Award Saturday during a luncheon that also recognized the Blinn volleyball team for its 2014 national championship.

Formerly the District 13 state representative, Kolkhorst was elected to the Texas District 18 Senate seat in December. The Brenham native had served in the Texas House of Representatives since 2001.

As chair of the House Committee on Public Health, she oversaw the state's health care system and set priorities for the Texas Health and Human Services Commission. She was also a member of the House Committee on County Affairs, where she helped solve challenges facing the state's 254 counties.

Kolkhorst spent six years on the House Appropriations Committee, managing and directing funds for public schools, community colleges, universities and medical schools. As an advocate for education issues, she has been honored by both the Texas Retired Teacher Association as well as the College of Education at Sam Houston State University for her longtime support of teacher and classroom issues.

She has written and passed bills that tackle a variety of issues, from healthcare, criminal justice and prison reform to education and agriculture policies, consumer rights, economic development, foster children and domestic violence legislation. Her landmark legislation to improve consumer transparency at colleges and universities was featured in The Wall Street Journal and on the Fox News Channel.

A successful business owner, she's been awarded for her work by the National Federation of Independent Business and the Texas Association of Business. As a champion for state sovereignty and constitutional issues, she's received awards from groups like the Texas Eagle Forum and Empower Texans.

In 2013, she teamed up with Texas CASA to reform the state's foster care system, and that same year worked with March of Dimes to create statewide standards for neonatal intensive care for premature babies. She has received national attention for her efforts to pass an interstate health care compact so more public health policies can be controlled by the states.

An avid hunter, Kolkhorst has received the repeated endorsement of groups like the Texas State Rifle Association, the Texas Wildlife Association and the Texas and Southwestern Cattle Raisers Association. In 2009, she pushed through a restructuring of the Texas Department of Public Safety with bipartisan support, and is known for passing legislation to directly address the costs incurred by illegal immigration.

A staunch supporter of property rights, Kolkhorst joined forces with grassroots groups and gained national attention in 2005 for questioning the proposed Trans-Texas Corridor system of privatized toll roads. For her consistent emphasis on faith and family, she's received the Friend of Children Award from The United Way, as well as the endorsement of pro-life groups like Texas Alliance for Life.

The Texas Farm Bureau has repeatedly recognized her for her support of agriculture issues and the Texas Travel Industry Association has awarded Kolkhorst for her statewide work in promoting Texas tourism.
Blinn named Kolkhorst to its Hall of Honor in 2013, selecting her as its person of the year.

Previous PHD Award winners include the Kruse family last year and former Texas House of Representatives Speaker Gus Mutscher in 2012.

The luncheon also recognized Blinn’s volleyball team, which captured its second consecutive NJCAA Division I national championship in 2014. The program has now won four national titles, including three in the past four seasons.

About Blinn College
Founded in 1883, Blinn is a comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement. With an enrollment of 19,317 students, Blinn ranks among the nation’s leaders in transferring students to leading four-year universities and has received national recognition for its affordable educational excellence.

As part of its commitment to student success, Blinn is implementing a Quality Enhancement Plan titled “Destination Success: First-Year Focus,” which utilizes learning communities to support first-year college students.

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