‘Pathways Experience’ event will honor WWII veteran Dr. B.J. Westbrook
04.30.2018 | By Andrea Vasquez
HOUSTON – The San Jacinto College Foundation will honor the life and legacy of the late Dr. B.J. Westbrook at its Pathways Experience event on Friday, May 18.
The Foundation’s annual Legacy Award will be accepted by Westbrook’s daughters, Renee and Mickie Westbrook. Each year the Foundation pays tribute to one of its influential donors that change students’ lives through the gift of education. A longtime resident of the North Channel area, Westbrook led a life of service through funding scholarships, equipment purchases and establishing an endowment for San Jacinto College students, ensuring that students have access to a quality, affordable education.
Westbrook served his country as an infantryman in the United States Army during World War II. Despite having no medical experience, he was later given a medical assignment, promoted to sergeant and managed the dispensary of the 24th and 25th divisions of the 6th Army, which included about 7,000 men.
After he completed his enlistment, Westbrook chose to pursue a college education, made possible by the GI Bill. As the first in his family to graduate from high school, a college education was an endeavor that no one in his family had ever dreamed of. Upon graduating from the University of Texas, Westbrook continued on to dental school and worked as a dentist in Houston’s North Channel area for more than 50 years. During that time, he supported many of the San Jacinto College Foundation’s initiatives and donated more than $100,000 in scholarship and program funds.
“Dr. B.J. Westbrook was a builder of dreams,” said Ruth Keenan, San Jacinto College Foundation executive director. “He came from humble beginnings, served our country and went to college on the GI Bill. He accomplished his dream of becoming a dentist and wanted to pay it forward for our students. His hard work and deep devotion to his family allowed him to not only build a life but also to commit to investing deeply in his community. We are privileged to honor his life and legacy at the Pathways Experience, and San Jacinto College will continue his dream of building accessible educational pathways for our students.”
In addition to the special award ceremony for Westbrook, guests at the 2018 San Jacinto College Foundation Pathways Experience will find a one-of-a-kind “un-gala” event with hands-on, interactive opportunities to explore the College’s degree and certificate pathways. The San Jacinto College Foundation’s Pathways Experience event takes place on Friday, May 18, 2018, from 6:30 to 11 p.m., at the San Jacinto College North Campus Center for Industrial Technology (Building 33) located at 5800 Uvalde Road in Houston. The exclusive VIP reception will be held from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m., prior to the start of the event.
Current sponsors for the Experience include Abermarle; Lubrizol; Dr. Gerald Cobb and the Community Hospital Foundation; Mr. Steven Cowart; Ruth and Gordie Keenan; Dally & Associates, Inc.; Page; San Jacinto College Strategic Leadership Team; Gary Greene; Better Homes and Gardens; Thompson & Horton; Connie Valerius; Daniel J. Snooks; Ms. Joy Niday; Bayshore Medical Center; Kendra Scott; and Phelps State Farm Insurance. Sponsorship and in-kind donation opportunities, along with couples and VIP packages are available. Individual tickets start at $250. Visit the Pathways Experience website to purchase sponsorships and tickets.
About San Jacinto College
Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students each year benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers eight areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to four-year colleges or universities or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.