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August 29, 2013

Hodde family’s $100,000 gift continues commitment to strengthening local workforce

Gift will allow Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr., Technical Education Center to expand its offerings

Retired Washington County attorney A.W. Hodde, Jr. and his wife Virginia continued their commitment to strengthening the local workforce with a $100,000 gift to the A.W. Hodde, Jr., Technical Education Center.

The Hoddes partnered with Blinn College in 2009 to create the 12,000-square foot, state-of-the-art Brenham facility that provides local training for a quality, viable workforce in Washington County and the surrounding communities. The center’s staff works in cooperation with local businesses to provide a well-trained workforce that meets the needs of regional employers and strengthens the local economy.

The new gift will allow the center to purchase equipment, expand its course offerings and make an even greater impact on the community it serves.

“The support of A.W. Hodde, Jr. and his family has been pivotal to the center’s success in strengthening the Washington County economy and making certain that businesses in our region have quick access to qualified, highly-trained employees,” said Dr. Harold Nolte, Blinn College district president.

A.W. Hodde, Jr. was named Blinn’s man of the year in 2010 and is one of 51 civic leaders who have been inducted in the College’s Hall of Honor. A lifelong Washington County resident, he was born in Brenham and attended Brenham public schools. Upon graduation, he immediately entered active duty in the U.S. Navy and served at naval bases in New Orleans, San Diego, La Jolla and San Francisco before being assigned to the USS Hugh W. Hadley.

Upon receiving his discharge from the Navy in 1946, Hodde attended Blinn before transferring to the University of Texas and graduating from Baylor Law School in 1951. He then began practicing law with his father, A.W. Hodde. During this time, he also taught night school for Blinn, primarily teaching veterans attending school via the G.I. Bill.

Hodde served five years as county attorney for Washington County beginning in 1960, then began practicing law as a sole practitioner until his nephew, former Blinn Board of Trustees member L.J. (Johnny) Lacina, Jr. graduated from law school and they formed Hodde & Lacina, Attorneys at Law. Hodde retired from the practice in 1994.

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, where he serves on the finance committee.

The Hoddes have been married for 60 years and have four children: Gwen Hodde Spiess and husband Donald Spiess; James Hodde and wife Lynette Hodde; Dr. Lefayne A. Hodde; and Robert B. Hodde and wife Stephanie Hodde. They have four grandchildren: Alison Spiess Loughlin and husband Thomas Loughlin III; Adam Spiess and wife Michelle Spiess; Halen Hodde; and Harper Hodde.

“It is a pleasure to proudly express my personal thanks to Mr. and Mrs. A.W. Hodde, Jr. for this very generous, thoughtful and helpful gift,” said Gus Mutscher, development coordinator and special assistant at the Blinn Foundation. “This gift reflects a knowledgeable, positive and timely assistance for the Hodde Center as we explore ways to make an ever greater economic impact on our community.”

For information on the Hodde Center and its course offerings, call 979-830-4443 or visit www.blinn.edu/blinntec.