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Blinn Class of ’65 graduates return to campus after 50 years

Friends went to elementary, high school and college together

Class of 65

July 7, 2015

After almost exactly 50 years, Atwood Kenjura, Frank Stone, Michael O’Shea, Les Doleshal and Tommy Jaster found themselves back on Blinn College’s Brenham campus.

The last time all five had stepped foot on campus together, the tiny community college had just experienced an enrollment boom, climbing to 1,177 students after enrolling 850 in 1964. Now, the campus they walked was just one of four – soon to be five – in the Blinn College district, and Blinn’s total student population approached 20,000.

Even so, for the five alumni who visited the same classrooms where they received their educations five decades previous, much remained the same, from the red brick of Old Main to the familiar small-town atmosphere.

“Some of the buildings have stayed the same but it was good for my classmates to see that growth of Blinn College since that time,” said Kenjura, who has now served on Blinn’s Board of Trustees for almost 40 years. “Blinn helped to shape our future as students.”

For Kenjura, Stone, O’Shea, Doleshal and Jaster, Blinn marked a fork in the road. The five lifelong friends had attended elementary and high school together in addition to their years at Blinn.

“We have always talked about reuniting at Blinn one day and the best time for all of us coincided with us meeting 50 years after graduating,” Kenjura said.

After Blinn, Kenjura attended pharmacy school at the University of Houston and opened Kenjura Pharmacy in Brenham in 1971. He and his wife have five children and nine grandchildren and resides in Brenham.

Stone transferred to the University of Texas at Austin and served in the Vietnam War for the U.S. Navy. He worked on the Texas Commission for Alcoholism and Drug Abuse to 13 years. He has two children and four grandchildren and resides in Galveston.

O’Shea also attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his bachelor’s degree, and obtained his master’s degree at Kent State University in Ohio. He worked as head athletic trainer for two universities and the NFL’s Baltimore Colts, and has two kids and two grandchildren. He now resides in Houston and works as an athletic trainer for the University of Houston.

Doleshal transferred to the University of Houston for his bachelor’s degree and the University of Texas at Austin for his master’s degree and retired after 34 years working for the Texas Rehabilitation Commission. He has two children and two grandchildren and resides in Austin.

Jaster transferred to the University of Texas at Austin for his bachelor’s degree, then attended Southern Methodist University for his master’s degree. He is now retired after a career in finance at Central & Southwest Corporation. He is married with three kids and five grandkids and resides in San Antonio.

“All of us are very proud of the education we received at Blinn and are equally proud of Blinn being one of the top junior colleges in Texas,” Kenjura said.

Registration is currently open for Blinn’s Summer and Fall semesters. For enrollment information and to learn about financial aid opportunities, visit: www.blinn.edu.

About Blinn College
A comprehensive community college committed to educational excellence and to individual and community enhancement, Blinn College has served its 13-county Central Texas region since 1883. 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 affordable educational excellence.

Blinn offers job seekers the skills and credentials they need to succeed in the region’s fast-growing industries, and partners with local businesses to provide skills development training for incumbent employees. Each year, Blinn programs and students make a $345.3 million impact on the local economy.

For more information about Blinn College and exciting student success initiatives such as Destination Success: First-Year Focus and the Blinn TEAM Program, visit: www.blinn.edu or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

PHOTO – Blinn College alumni Atwood Kenjura, Frank Stone, Michael O’Shea, Les Doleshal and Tommy Jaster, members of Blinn’s Class of 1965, returned to Blinn’s Brenham campus this summer to mark the 50th anniversary of their graduation.