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Blinn celebrates Doyle Coatney Center grand opening

New athletic training facility was funded entirely through private donations

April 21, 2017

Blinn College celebrated the grand opening of a new athletic training facility on its Brenham Campus Tuesday while recognizing the benefactor who made the campus addition possible.

Approximately 200 community leaders, alumni, employees, and student athletes were on hand for the grand opening ceremony for the 11,184-square-foot Doyle Coatney Center. Funded entirely through donations, the facility will be available to the public and was made possible due to a generous gift to the Blinn College Foundation from Doyle Coatney, a former member of Blinn’s football, basketball, baseball, and track teams. Gifts from the estates of Bernice Leissner and Janette and Ruben Schmidt also helped to make the Coatney Facility possible. 

The former owner of Acme Truck Line, Coatney has supported the Northshore Community Foundation’s Coatney Center for Philanthropy in Covington, La., as well as the Coatney Wellness Park, the Ochsner Health Center, and the Coatney Leadership Center and Coatney Leadership Award at St. Martin’s Episcopal School in Metairie, La. The Ochsner Health Center has recognized Coatney as a Doctor of Philanthropy.

Coatney was inducted into the Blinn Alumni & Friends Association Hall of Honor in 2016.

“Thank you, Mr. Coatney, for your incredible support of Blinn College and its students,” said Blinn College District President/CEO Dr. Mary Hensley. “We take pride knowing that your experience at Blinn College was so exceptional that it inspired the gift we recognize today, and we are humbled by the generosity you have shown our students and community.”

The late Ruben Schmidt was a U.S. Marine and a veteran of the Battle of Iwo Jima. Upon returning to the Round Top area, he ranched and raised Charolais cattle, was an excellent welder, and was active in the American Legion and Young Farmers Association.

The late Janette Schmidt worked at various jobs, including KWHI radio and Coca-Cola in Brenham, and was very active in her church, including membership in Women of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. Blinn College’s Janette & Ruben Schmidt Memorial Scholarship, for graduates of Round Top-Carmine High School with at least a 2.5 grade-point average, was established in recognition of Janette and Ruben Schmidt’s strong belief in education.

The late Bernice Leissner was a graduate of Brenham High School’s Class of 1944 and also attended Blinn College. 

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