College of the Mainland celebrated its 50th anniversary in a big way on Thursday, Sept. 15, at the Doyle Center. 

The COM Foundation gala honoring distinguished alumni drew over 270 attendees and raised over $79,000 for scholarships. 

The evening started with a VIP reception for the 12 distinguished alumni nominees, and concluded with the naming of the five 50th Anniversary Distinguished Alumni. 

The five honorees include Texas City Commissioner Dee Ann Haney; retired COM employee and member of the COM’s first graduating class, Tillie Henson; founder of business services company Logical Innovations, Denise Navarro; Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer at Moody National Bank, Katherine Rodriguez; and former La Marque mayor and process technology instructor, Pete Rygaard. 

Fifty-three alumni were nominated from all over the country.  A review panel honed the number down to twelve finalists, and then a group of reviewers that included students, community members, and Foundation board members chose the five alumni for the 50th Anniversary honor. 

The 50th Anniversary celebration continues will a free community event on campus on Oct. 1.

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