After receiving 53 nominations of outstanding alumni from staff, students and the community, College of the Mainland Foundation has named 12 finalists for its 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni Award.

The finalists are Kay Armstrong, Tanya Baker, Kenneth Campbell, Mary Celeste “Sally” Davila, Dee Ann Haney, Tillie Henson, Cissy Matthews, Denise Navarro, Michael Navarro, William “Bill” McGarvey, Katherine Rodriguez and Pete Rygaard.

All have served the community professionally and through volunteering.

“The number of nominees was inspiring and overwhelming in a good way,” said Matthew Busby, COM advancement officer, who coordinated the project. “They represent a few of the thousands of COM alumni who have made a difference in the community."

Twenty-eight community members, students, faculty, staff, foundation directors, college trustees and retirees composed the review team. Teams scored each nomination based on service to the college and community, professional accomplishments and personal triumphs.

All twelve are invited to the COM 50th Anniversary Gala Sept. 15 at the Doyle Center, where five will be announced as recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.

The COM Foundation supports an annual gala for student scholarships and other needs. Last year, the gala raised more than $96,000, which funded summer scholarships and Bright Ideas Mini-Grants.

Current underwriters of the gala this year are:  

Amoco Federal Credit Union

A&A Machine & Fabrication

PBK Architects

Marathon Refinery

Texas New Mexico Power

Logical Innovations Inc.

Galveston County Daily News

Michelle & Clen Burton

Associated Credit Union

Linda & Ivan Langford

Safety Council of Texas City

Mary & Kyle Dickson

Dr. Vicki & Richard Stanfield

Linda & Ralph Holm

Eastman Chemical

Mary Ann & Eric Amelang

Galveston Symphony Orchestra

McGriff, Seibels & Williams of Texas Inc.

Trey Industries Inc.

Dunn Heat Exchangers Inc.

Moody National Bank

Vanguard Furniture

IBI Group Architects


Rachel & Jason Delgado

Rosalie & Terry Kettler

Yolanda & Alan Waters

Texas First Bank

Kitty & Gary Potter

Bracewell Law

Whitley Penn

Faust Distributing


Since 1967 College of the Mainland Foundation, a nonprofit, has been making a difference in the lives of students.  The fundraising arm of the college, the foundation is a separate 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization. Gifts from our alumni, friends, employees, corporations and foundations support and maintain the highest quality of education for our students through scholarships, vital student programs and instructional innovations across campus.

For tickets or underwriting opportunities, contact Matthew Busby at or 409-933-8613.