Birthday banquet funds student scholarships

It was a night filled with the smooth sound of jazz and a feeling of giving back.

Patricia Walter, chairwoman of the Communications, Languages and Reading Department at Del Mar College, used her 55th birthday to host a banquet to raise funds for scholarships. One of Walter’s favorite musicians, jazz saxophonist Tom Braxton, performed at the Feb. 5 event at the Center for Economic Development.

Braxton was at the Music Department recently giving a clinic for instructor David Irving, and playing with the ensemble group. He was asked to come and perform for Walter’s birthday banquet, playing smooth jazz music he created. He gave some friendly advice to the students at Del Mar.

watsonBrittany Claramunt/Foghorn

Hilda Llamas (right) sings Patricia Walter happy birthday. Nearly 60 tickets were pre-sold for $25, with tickets available at the door for $30.

“Going to college is a special time,” he said. “Take it serious, work very hard and make important relationships because it will help greatly down the line as far as your professional life. Don’t blow it off. Be disciplined and be committed to what you want to do.”

Walter earned her liberal arts degree at Del Mar College in fall 1983. She went on to earn a bachelor’s in science and education at Texas A&M University- Corpus Christi in 1985, as well as her master’s in science, reading and teaching in 1998. While working toward her doctorate in philosophy and curriculum and instruction that she earned in 2009, she returned to the DMC community in 2005 as a reading instructor, later becoming the chairwoman of her department.

Walter graduated with help from a scholarship and wanted to provide the same opportunity for others.

“Each person who donated got to choose which scholarship they wanted to give to. If they didn’t choose, it went to the general scholarship that any student can apply for,” Walter said of the money raised at the birthday bash. The total amount raised with the silent auction and tickets sales was $2,429.

“I think it was a success and I’m really appreciative for everyone who came out and donated to student scholarships,” Walter said.

The Del Mar Scholarship Foundation is now open and runs until April 30th. These scholarships help with tuition, books, living expenses and other necessities for school. Every scholarship is different; some require essays and others just a simple application, but after filling out the application it automatically sorts through to find the right ones for you.

For more information about scholarships or to donate, visit the Financial Aid office on the second floor of the Harvin Center or contact the Del Mar Foundation office at 361-698-1317 or

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