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Hodde, Jr. gifts $20,000 to support Blinn’s technical education center

A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center will introduce new programs following facility expansion

A.W. Hodde, Jr. and his wife Virginia

April 6, 2016

A.W. Hodde, Jr. and his wife Virginia recently gifted $20,000 in support of the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center.
The 12,000-square foot Hodde Center was built in 2009 to provide local training for a quality, viable workforce in Washington and the surrounding communities. As part of Blinn’s Division of Workforce Education, its staff works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that strengthens the local economy.

“The Hodde family’s generosity and support continues to make a difference in the lives of Washington County families and ensures that local businesses have access to highly-trained employees,” said Dr. Mary Hensley, Blinn College district president/CEO.

In August, the U.S. Economic Development Administration announced that it was awarding the Brenham Economic Development Foundation (EDF) a $1.35 million grant to double the size of the Hodde Center and allow Blinn to introduce new training programs for local job seekers. The new space will include multi-purpose classrooms and workforce labs and is expected to be completed by summer 2016, with training beginning on-site that fall.

Blinn will lease and operate the completed facility for up to 20 years and will develop new programs to support the high skill/high growth occupations in the region, including industrial machinery mechanics, commercial truck driving and heavy equipment operation. To support truck drivers and heavy equipment operators, a program in diesel engine mechanics will also be developed.

A retired attorney, A.W. Hodde, Jr. is a lifelong Washington County resident and was inducted into the Blinn College Hall of Honor in 2010, earning person of the year recognition. After serving in the U.S. Navy, Hodde attended Blinn before transferring to the University of Texas and graduating from Baylor Law School in 1951.

Hodde has served as Washington County Chamber of Commerce president and Sons of Hermann Exalted Ruler of the Elks Lodge. He has spent more than 50 years as a member of Sons of Hermann, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars and the Elks Lodge. He has also served on the board of directors for First National Bank and Blue Bell Creameries. Hodde and his wife, Virginia Kessel Hodde, are members of the First United Methodist Church in Brenham.

The Blinn Foundation supports programs and activities that enhance the quality of education for Blinn College students and expand the educational opportunities for the entire community. While raising funds is an important function, the Foundation also seeks to heighten community awareness of the mission and accomplishments of the College and to promote excellence in education.

Since its inception in 2000, the Foundation has raised funds to purchase classroom equipment and supplies, and help launch major construction projects across Blinn’s campuses, including the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center, the J. Hal and Allyne Machat Music Facility, the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex and the Bert and Mae Dean Wheeler Residence Hall.

For more information on the Foundation and its mission, call 979-830-4107 or visit: foundation.blinn.edu.