The Del Mar College Board of Regents recognized Claudia Jackson, who has been with the college for four decades, at its April 23 meeting.
“Claudia Jackson has been with Del Mar College for over 42 years,” said board Chairwoman Carol A. Scott. “I think it was not too long after that I met Claudia during the Press Club Days. Claudia has been and continues to be a role model for many people in the college relations professionals in the state and nation. More importantly she has been a leader throughout Corpus Christi, having done numerous volunteer opportunities. She always has brought us her special brand of wit.”
Regents took turns telling stories and giving thanks to Jackson, executive director of strategic community and governmental relations, for her years of service. Jackson plans to retire April 30.
“Claudia, one thing I can say about you is that you have a unique way of conducting a ground-breaking ceremony. You bring a unique perspective to your job and set the ceiling high,” said Regent Gabriel Rivas III.
Fellow Regent Libby Averyt thanked Jackson for her contribution to the journalism community.
“I really appreciate everything you have done to keep the community well-informed about Del Mar business,” Averyt said.
Scott surprised Jackson by making a special announcement during her recognition.
“I know that the joy that she has gotten out of this job is because of the stories she gets to tell about our amazing students. In that regard it pleases me to announce a scholarship fund is being se tup to honor Claudia Jackson for the students she loves. Friends and family and colleagues now have a way to show that gratitude in perpetuity,” Scott said.
Jackson, who was teary-eyed, took a moment to speak.
“As I always tell folks before they start public speaking it’s not a matter of getting rid of the butterflies in your stomach, but making them fly in formation,” Jackson said. “Next year Del Mar College will be celebrating 80 years. I have been here for half of those years. Yes, when I started I was 12 years old. In that time Del Mar has impacted more than 1 million credit and non-credit students. I see more than 100 national trophies, awards for digital media or mobile app design, but I didn’t do any of that alone. The incredible team behind me helped make things happen. The important thing is telling the students’ stories and those are the things I cherish the most.”
Mary McQueen was called to the podium to disuss her research on naming policies for colleges.
“I reviewed 15 and 12 were community colleges across the nation. I also developed a focus on what we could to do here,” McQueen said.
She recommended keeping the honor of naming buildings with the Board of Regents, but allowing the administration to have final approval for facilities such as meeting halls, coffee shop or workspaces.
The recommendation was met with mixed reactions.
“Naming is a huge opportunity and I don’t feel comfortable relinquishing that to anyone other than the board,” Regent Ed Bennett said. “I don’t mind negotiations, but naming should remain with the board.”
Because of the high demand of skilled craftsman in South Texas, an associcate program will be available starting in spring 2020.
The program was developed in response to this need and as a response to Hurricane Harvey rebuilding efforts and approved in May 2018.
Classes offered will be on basic framing, finishing, roofing, concrete foundations, building maintenance, cabinetry and more. Students will also be able to obtain OSHA 30 and NCCER certifications.
The average starting salary statewide for a carpenter is $49,879 annually. The degree has gained local industry support from Association of General Contractor and Coastal Bend Home Builders Association.