PASADENA, Texas – The San Jacinto College “Sailing to Success” Gala, held Friday, May 20, 2016 at Sylvan Beach Pavilion, raised nearly $250,000 in support of student scholarships.

The gala was co-chaired by Rear Admiral William and Nancy Pickavance, USN (Ret.) and John and Tookie McMahan. San Jacinto College Board of Trustees Vice Chairman Mr. Larry Wilson served as the event’s emcee, which featured live music from the Eclipse Band & Orchestra, as well as a live auction and raffle.

“We had a great turnout for this year’s gala and I am extremely thankful to our donors and community for their support of our students,” said San Jacinto College Foundation Executive Director Ruth Keenan. “The generosity of everyone who attended our gala will allow us to continue to provide scholarships to San Jacinto College students, helping them realize their dream of a college education.”

This year’s gala honored Neil and Eloise West, longtime supporters of San Jacinto College, with the San Jacinto College Foundation Lifetime Legacy Award in appreciation of their continued support of student success through scholarships. Mr. West has been an active member with the San Jacinto College Foundation for more than 20 years. He helped develop the Student Success Initiative grant program that provides grants through the Foundation for faculty and staff so that they can further the College’s mission of student success. A Texas flag that flew over the state Capitol, donated by State Representative Wayne Smith, was presented to the Wests at the gala.

Major gala sponsors included the Niday family, John and Tookie McMahan, Higman Barge Lines, the Trncak family, Lubrizol, Morris Architects and Tellepsen.


About the San Jacinto College Foundation

The San Jacinto College Foundation, a nonprofit organization, is dedicated to enhancing the level of student achievement and excellence at San Jacinto College. Our purpose is to receive gifts, bequests, and donations, and to raise private funds to benefit the people of East Harris County, Texas. Donations to the Foundation are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. For more information about the Foundation, or to make a donation, please visit, or call 281-998-6104.


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, for more than 50 years. As an Achieving the Dream Leader College, San Jacinto College is committed to the goals and aspirations of a diverse population of approximately 30,000 credit students. The College offers 186 degrees and certificates, with 46 technical programs and a university transfer division. Students benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success, and job training programs that are renowned for meeting the needs of growing industries in the region. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

For more information about San Jacinto College, please call 281-998-6150, visit, or follow us on Facebook and Twitter.