Spiesses endow scholarship in honor of A.W. Hodde, Jr.

Hodde was a benefactor of Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center

Hodde was a benefactor of Blinn College’s A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center

August 30, 2021

Gwen Hodde Spiess and husband Donald Spiess are honoring the memory of A.W. Hodde, Jr. with a new endowed scholarship supporting Blinn College District students.

The Spiesses have gifted $25,000 to the Blinn College Foundation to establish an endowed scholarship that will benefit students attending classes at the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center.

Hodde, Gwen Spiess’ father, was one of the major benefactors for the job training center, donating $350,000 toward its construction and later $20,000 for its operation. The 12,000-square-foot center opened in 2009 to provide local training for a quality, viable workforce throughout Blinn’s 13-county service area. An expansion that doubled its size was opened in 2017.

“He was a longtime advocate of education,” Gwen Spiess said, “and our family has always had a strong connection to Blinn. I remember my father teaching night classes at Blinn when I was a young child.”

She said she also remembers as a child playing in her grandparents’ home, which now houses the Blinn Foundation.

Hodde and the Spiesses all attended Blinn; Donald graduated in 1972 prior to the couple marrying and moving to Huntsville.

After serving in the U.S. Navy, Hodde attended Blinn in 1947 before transferring to the University of Texas and then graduating from the Baylor Law School in 1951. He passed away in August.

“What Mr. Hodde did for Blinn College is an amazing testament to his belief in education and his desire to help others,” said Sam Sommer, Chair of the Blinn College Foundation Board of Directors. “The generous gift given by Gwen and Donald Spiess carries on his legacy. With the help of that scholarship, many students will be able to get the training they need for the jobs that they want.”

A variety of workforce training classes are offered at the Hodde Technical Center, including credit and non-credit courses. Fall 2021 courses being offered include welding, drafting, certified nurse aide, pharmacy technician, clinical medical assistant, first aid/CPR, and electrician license renewal. More information is available at www.blinn.edu/workforce/brenham-fall-schedule.html.

The Blinn College Foundation oversees approximately 300 endowed scholarships. It provides financial support for activities and programs that enhance educational opportunities for Blinn students.

Endowed scholarships are available to new and returning students from a wide variety of backgrounds, majors, and experiences. Scholarships are awarded based on high academic achievement, participation in student activities, and community involvement.

Students can apply for Blinn scholarships by completing a single application at www.blinn.edu/scholarships. Prior to applying, students must complete an application for admission to Blinn College at www.applytexas.org.

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