Del Mar alumni honored for their successes

Blue and Silver Spectacular honors 5 former students

Students leave Del Mar College with more than certificates and degrees, but with stories of success and challenges overcome. Alumni gathered at the Holiday Inn Nov. 1 to share these stories and honor past students who have gone on to see great success.

The Blue and Silver Spectacular is an annual event that has been honoring Viking alumni since 1996. Five past students and one local businessman shared the stage and told what led them to where they are now.

Tina Butler, who was honored as distinguished staff, has always been heavily devoted to Del Mar College. She left Del Mar College with a certificate and three associate degrees and continued to work in several Del Mar departments while achieving her bachelor’s degree through the Incarnate Word Adult Degree Completion Program. In 2010, she became an executive assistant to the president of the college, where she works today.

“I do have a deep passion for Del Mar College,” Butler said. “When I come across students who are encountering a situation, I can truly put myself in their shoes to show them that they can do it just as I have.”

Benita Flores-Munoz was honored as distinguished staff that evening for her work at Del Mar as an instructor of child development. Flores-Munoz graduated from Del Mar in 1989 with an associate of applied science degree in early childhood development. She later returned to work with the same people who taught her.

“If I’m distinguished in any way, it’s simply because I am a product of Del Mar. I was taught by the best,” Flores-Munoz proudly said.

Del Mar’s Vikings Alumni honored Ajit David as Distinguished Friend of the College. David is a businessman who graduated from Texas A&M University-Kingsville with a graduate degree in chemical engineering. David has always had a soft spot for education and serves on the Executive Committee of the Del Mar College Foundation.

Samuel Longoria, who was honored as Distinguished Young Alumni, left Del Mar with an associate degree in business administration. Longoria went on to receive his bachelor’s degree from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi. Today Longoria serves as a vice president for BBVA Compass Bank while also serving the community with his free time.

“Being able to win this award makes me want to reach out to kids so that they can fulfill their dreams,” Longoria said.

John Valls, Distinguished Alumni, believes everyone should share the responsibility in serving the community. After graduating from Del Mar College, Valls completed his education and has served on many boards such as the Bridge Credit Union Board.

“It means a lot to me,” Valls said. “It’s kind of like coming full circle and like coming home.”

Outstanding Alumni of the Year went to Sandra Glover Messbarger. Messbarger has 31 years of experience in education that has involved teaching, supervising and administrating. Messbarger now serves on Del Mar’s Board of Regents where her passion for higher education continues to shine. Messbarger looked back to her past that night as she recalled the beginning of her journey at Del Mar.

“Del Mar gave me the passion, the want-to,” Messbarger said. “I’m so fortunate that Del Mar has happened to me.”


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