NORTH CHANNEL – Friends, co-workers, and LULAC members gathered last Thursday evening, to honor San Jacinto College Chancellor Brenda Hellyer with a “Roast & Toast.”
The event was held at the San Jacinto College North Monument Room, and after opening remarks by LULAC #4703 Cruz Hinojosa, Jr. and emcee KPRC2 Kathy Hernandez, the roasters got down to their chore of spilling the inside secrets about Brenda. Roasters included Ana Hernandez, Sylvia Garcia, Angi Wiliams, and Dan Mims. All have known Brenda for many years, giving them lots of material to draw upon. Brenda became Chancellor of San Jac in 2009.
Roaster Ana Hernandez kidded Brenda about liking to play the saxophone, since a little girl in Hayes, Kansas. But she also praised her for successfully leading the college into the top 10 in the country, as judged by the Aspen Institute.
Sylvia Garcia praised her for showing leadership by a woman, saying “she sets an example of how a woman can be in charge.” But she also mentioned that she answers her own phone.
Angi Williams said that they had a trait in common, liking designer handbags. Then she presented Brenda with a “purse raincoat” to protect that priceless attachment. She also gave Brenda a striped replica of a referee’s jersey, noting that Brenda liked to call her own decisions.
Dan Mims recalled the time that Brenda was caught in a locked hotel closet and confused about how to escape. He mentioned her driving habit of breaking toll gate arms, and also the time she couldn’t find her cell phone, because she was talking on it. But he also praised her for presiding over the college as it grew from 200 students to over 6000 now.
In her remarks Brenda defended herself against some of the barbs, but in good humor said, “I don’t think reverse is a necessary gear.”
Cruz thanked all, and reminded the audience that this was a scholarship benefit dinner.