NCTC Foundation Gala honors donors

Elizabeth F. Dieter | Mar 9, 2017

The North Central Texas College Foundation held it’s annual Starlite Gala Saturday, honoring individuals and organizations that have given of their time and resources to further NCTC and their local communities.

For the first time, the Starlite Gala was held in Denton County at the Texas Motor Speedway. Over 400 guests were in attendance.

The F.M. Hemphill Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor that can be granted to graduates and former students of NCTC. The NCTC Alumni and Friends established this award twenty-three years ago, fittingly named in honor of the college’s distinguished president of the Class of 1926. This year’s F.M. Hemphill Distinguished Alumni Award was presented to the Honorable Bobbie J. Mitchell, Denton County Commissioner Precinct 3.

Mitchell attended NCTC, then known as Cooke County Junior College, and took night classes. She has a long history of public service throughout Denton County. She has served as mayor, on city council, planning and zoning commission, regional transportation council, served on Governor Bush Texas Regional Review/Redevelopment Committee, Conference of Urban Counties policy committee, TML Legislative Committee, and Denton County Civil Service Commission.

Mitchell has also been active in various community organizations including American Business Women’s Association, Denton County Welfare Board of Directors, Christian Community Action, Rotary Club, Multi-agency taskforce for Youth, Salvation Army Board of Directors, Boys and Girls Club of Denton County, United Way Board, Girls Scout Board, Denton County Children Advocacy Advisory Board, Friends of the Family, Chamber of Commerce, YMCA Board of Directors, to name a few.

Throughout her career, Mitchell has been recognized for her servant leadership including being named the YMCA Minority Achiever, she received the Harte-Hanks Women Who Make a Difference Award and received the B.O.S.S. Award. She was the 1999 Lewisville Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year. She received the Status of Women Award and the Grapevine High School Hall of Fame and was the 2016 Flower Mound Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year.

The list of her accomplishments and awards goes on and on but her dedication to helping others and making Denton County a better place is evident to everyone that meets her. 

Patsy Wilson, President of the NCTC Alumni and Friends Association and NCTC Regent, presented the Ed Wright Community Service Awards for each campus. The NCTC Alumni and Friends Association established the Ed Wright Community Service Award to recognize individuals, organizations, and/or businesses for meritorious service to the college and/or the community. 

The award for Denton County went to Communities in Schools of North Texas. Ann Pape, Chief Executive Officer, and Kathy Duke, Board Chair, were present to accept the award.

Communities in Schools North Texas (CISNT) has been a strong partner with North Central Texas College working to educate students on the value of an education and to help them plan their future.  CISNT works with NCTC to host tours of our campuses and provide college readiness information. Over the years, information sessions have been held on the NCTC Flower Mound Campus offering informational sessions to students and parents for both English and non-English speakers. NCTC was able to assist many students with admission and financial aid applications.

In addition, NCTC hosted the CISNT summer program, which focused on career pathways. This was an opportunity for NCTC to reach more of the CISNT service areas, specifically Northwest ISD, Denton ISD and Lake Dallas ISD. NCTC was able to provide CISNT space to host their annual retreat prior to the 2016-2017 academic year starting on the Corinth Campus.

Currently, NCTC continues to reach out to CISNT students and their families by presenting at school functions, hosting students on campus, meeting with students at the high school, assisting with special events (Prom Showcase), actively involved in the Lunch with a Leader Program at Central Elementary.

The partnership between Communities in Schools North Texas and NCTC is changing the community in a great way by providing students and families with the opportunity to envision their education beyond high school and being a resource to CISNT staff and students.

The Ed Wright Community Service Award for the Graham campus went to the City of Graham. Brandon Anderson, City Manager, and Neal Blanton, Executive Director of the Graham Development Corporation, were present to accept the award.

In the summer of 2007, NCTC was tapped to provide instruction for the newly developed Graham Campus. Striving to develop a site for different colleges under the Graham Education and Workforce Center concept, the board realized the need to contract with just one institution. After a year of serving the Graham campus from the Bowie Campus, NCTC and the GEWC board negotiated on a plan to permanently sustain the campus for the future. The city of Graham owned the property and agreed to allow a long-time lease to the college.

After a year of NCTC providing instruction and student services from the Bowie Campus, Emily Klement was invited to meet with the board in the summer of 2008.   The Graham leadership group included the city mayor, city and economic development officials and the Graham ISD superintendent. Their goal was to start the negotiations to make the Graham campus a permanent part of the NCTC system. Included in the group were:  Neal Blanton, Wayne Christian, Larry Fields, Jack Graham, Ed Hinson, Louis Pitcock, Jr, Beau Rees, Diane Cody and Bruce Street, Jr. The Graham team decided to move forward on a branch campus maintenance tax to sustain the college for the community.  NCTC met with the Graham team to negotiate funding for a new LVN program and received funding for $250,000 to jumpstart the program in their newly renovated Allied Health Science facility, which was renovated by the Graham Industrial Association and the Graham Economic Improvement Corporation. In 2015, the Graham Industrial Association and Graham Economic Development Corporation funded the Welding/Industrial Technology Program. The renovation of a wing on the campus became a beautiful and state-of-the-art student center and conference room. The student center project was made possible because of the Graham Benevolent Fund - Jack and Winn Graham and Norman Stovall. 

Bruce Street, Jr. and his family have contributed countless resources for the success of the campus and making sure students now and in the future will have the opportunity for education and workforce training.

The city of Graham has been there all along, providing street renovations, landscaping projects, lighting projects, facilities upgrades; each and every city leader and their departments, have worked tirelessly on behalf of the creation and sustainability of this remarkable campus. They also planned and worked towards a partnership with NCTC in order to allow a generous and long-term lease of the facilities in order to serve generations of the community. The unsung heroes are the streets, parks and utility personnel who contributed many hours to improve and sustain the campus to this day.

Graham, Texas is accurately named “The Gem City of the West.”  North Central Texas College and the city of Graham are true partners in making education work on behalf of the citizens.

The service award for Montague County went to the David White. Larry Slack was present to accept the award for White.

There is much to learn in the area of service from David White. Montague County residents are constantly overwhelmed by his ability to put the needs of others before his own. He is innately patient, kind, and enthusiastically willing to meet the needs of those struggling in his community.

He has served at the Bowie Mission since 1999, feeding individuals and families across our county. In 2016, 179,000 pounds of food to 691 needy households was distributed. As the director, he recruits and develops numerous volunteers while coordinating food drives and the collection of clothing/household items. The Mission also serves many monetary needs: utility bills (totaling $6,100 in 2016), medication, shelter, etc.

White is also unit director for the Montague County Salvation Army, organizing volunteers and locations for bell ringers during the Christmas season. He joins his fellow volunteers, ringing the bell to raise funds for residents in need.

Actively involved in the Bowie Rotary Club, he has been an integral part of organizing and facilitating various community blood drives that literally give the gift of life. Each year, he spreads Christmas cheer with fellow Rotarians by planning a holiday party for special needs residents at TK Ranch and uses funds, raised throughout the year, to provide needy school children with new shoes through the Happy Feet program.

White is a living example that it's better to give than to receive. He embodies the words of Margaret Mead, "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

The Ed Wright Community Service Award for the Cooke County was presented to Ray Nichols.

Nichols began employment with Gainesville National Bank in 1969 and retired as CEO, President and Vice-Chairman of the Board in 2007. During his tenure at the bank, he was intimately involved in numerous civic and volunteer roles including President and Director of the Boys and Girls Club of Cooke County, Chairman for the President’s Council of North Central Texas College, President of the Gainesville ISD Booster Club, Director of the Early J. Patton Scholarship Foundation, Mayor Pro-tem and City Councilman of Gainesville, and many, many more.

He worked volunteering countless hours tirelessly on his dream of developing the new Cooke County Boys and Girls club by leading the capital campaign efforts, which raised over 7 million dollars towards the construction of the new facility. Today, thousands of kids and families are enjoying using this facility and are benefiting from the programs. He was also recognized as the Texoma Council Government’s (TCOG) Citizen of the Year for 2015.

Nichols has long been an avid supporter of North Central Texas College.

NCTC Foundation Board President Ryan Morris, along with NCTC President Dr. Brent Wallace and NCTC Board of Regents Chair Karla Metzler recognized inductees into the NCTC Foundation Honor Circle.

Members of the Patrons Honors Circle who have given between $1,000 and $4,999 included: Elite Custom Saddles, Equine Aqua Spa and Therapy, Estech Systems, Fried Right, Independence Animal Clinic, Marcus Clay Target Club, Ireta Jo Overstreet, Tim Winn State Farm, Dennis and Ellen Harp, Richard Huckaby, Gordon and Rita June Heard, Black Onyx Club, Denton Area Teachers Credit Union (DATCU), Ted and Adanna Conrady, Colleen Khatemi, Denton High School Cheer Booster, Forestburg Riding Club, Mary Walker, and Wichita Falls Area Community Foundation.

Inductees into the Benefactors Honor Circle, who have given between $5,000 and $9,999, included: Richard Ligon, Mark Merki, Atmos Energy Corporation, Cooke County Youth Fair, Gainesville Area Visual Arts, Dick and Patty Haayen, and Lake Cities Football and Cheerleading.

The Founders Honors Circle, including inductees who have given between $10,000 and $19,999, included: Oakmont Women’s Club, Dr. Brent Wallace, Ann Norcross, and Summit Club of Flower Mound.

Bronze Honors Circle inductees, who provided gifts between $20,000 and $29,999, included: Catholic Charities of Fort Worth and Texas Pioneer Foundation.

Inducted into the Sterling Silver Honors Club for gifts between $30,000 and $39,999 were Cooke County Electric Cooperative and Ike Stevens, Jr.

Inducted into the Pure Gold Honors Circle for gifts between $40,000 and $49,999 were Follett and the Denton Public School Foundation.

Inducted into the White Diamond Honors Circle for gifts between $50,000 and $99,000 was William Adams.

Wallace thanked those in attendance for their support of the college and the NCTC Foundation.

“I want you to know this is an exciting evening in the life of NCTC,” Wallace said. “We are celebrating our partnerships with so many individuals and entities that help us provide educational opportunities for our students. NCTC works hard to empower our students to reach their full potential.”

NCTC scholarship recipients also spoke about the impact the scholarship they received has made on their lives.

The NCTC College Singers provided entertainment during dinner.

For more information about helping provide scholarships through donations to the NCTC Foundation or about membership in the NCTC Alumni and Friends Association, contact Debbie Sharp by email:

DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD— The F.M. Hemphill Distinguished Alumni award was presented to the Honorable Bobbie J. Mitchell, Denton County Commissioner, Precinct 3 at the NCTC Starlite Gala. Pictured are (left to right) NCTC President Dr. Brent Wallace, Fred Mitchell, and recipient, Bobbie Mitchell.

To see more photos from the event, visit the North Central Texas College Facebook page.