LONGVIEW, Texas (KETK) — Longview ISD’s to honor four distinguished alumni with special events. This year’s honorees are: Dr. Blanche Henderson Brick, Dr. James Andrew “Andy” Mack, Wray Wade and Joe Don Holley.
The district will honoree the alumni May 21 at a ceremony and luncheon.
Events on that day will begin at 10 a.m. with the Longview ISD Foundation commemorative brick presentation at the Lobo Foundation Plaza; a reception at 11:30 a.m. at Lobo Coliseum followed by lunch at noon, the district announced.
An 11:30 a.m. reception at Lobo Coliseum will be followed by lunch at Noon.
Distinguished alumni are nominated at-large and chosen by a committee of previous honorees, volunteer Distinguished Alumni Committee members and the district’s Community Relations office.
Longview ISD provided the following information about the honorees.
Blanche Henderson Brick
A 1957 graduate of Longview High School, Blanche continued her education at Baylor University wherein 1961 she earned a bachelor’s degree in education, followed in 1966 by her master’s degree in education from George Washington University, a master’s degree in American History from the University of Hawaii (1970), and then her Ph.D. in Education, Curriculum, and Instruction from Texas A&M in 1983.
Dr. Brick enjoyed a long and varied career as an educator, including a stint right here at her alma mater from 1963 to 1965 as an English teacher for 7th and 9th grade classes. Her teaching career has included stops as a Language Arts teacher for Dallas Public Schools, a 4th grade teacher in the American School in Karachi, Pakistan, and a high school history teacher in Honolulu, Hawaii, before serving as Special Assistant to the President of the University of Hawaii.
Later returning to Texas, Blanche continued her career as a teacher and administrator in positions at Texas A&M University, College Station Independent School District, and Blinn College, before retiring in 2017.
An active speaker, columnist, and presenter, Dr. Brick’s research papers have included such varied topics as Lois Killingsworth Jackson: The First Female Mayor of Longview, to William Morris Ford, Pastor of First Baptist Church, Longview, Texas, and the Southern Baptist View of Race Relations 1945-1971, and the Educational Philosophy of Horace Mann along with other contemporary political issues. Her columns have been featured in academic journals and local newspapers, and she has presented before numerous organizations such as the East Texas Historical Association, The Society for Educational Biography, The American Educational History Association, and the Pakistan-American Cultural Center. She has also served on the boards of various academic and civic organizations, including two terms as a city councilwoman for College Station from 2011 to 2017 and member of the Board of the Brazos Valley Symphony.
The daughter of Lewis and Blanche Killingsworth Henderson, Dr. Brick was nominated by J. Rex King who described her as “a perfect nominee (for this honor).”
“Not only has she had — and continues to have — a profound effect on others through her teaching and other activities, but she continues to be a proud spokesman for the city of Longview and her alma mater.”
Blanche and her husband Bob raised two children and currently live in the Bryan-College Station area.
Dr. Mack, a 1978 graduate of Longview High School, continued his education at Kilgore College before graduating Magna Cum Laude from Stephen F. Austin University, with a bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry. In 1985 he earned his Doctorate of Dental Surgery with honors from Baylor University, followed by a surgical residency at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston from 1985 to 1989.
After completing his surgical residency in 1989, Dr. Mack returned to his hometown to join East Texas Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery Associates, where he has worked ever since.
However, there’s much more to Andy’s career in Longview than what happens from “9 to 5” each day. In addition to his current tenure as Mayor for the City of Longview (elected in 2015), Dr. Mack was a City Councilman for District 4 from 1997 to 2005, served as council liaison for numerous civic committees and boards, and was a founding board member for Legacy Longview, as well as a driving force behind the development and creation of the Lear Park Complex. In addition, Andy has been involved with local Make-A-Wish, Wounded Warrior, and Junior Achievement efforts, as well as an honoree of the Longview Chamber of Commerce’s Tourism Partner of the Year, member of the 2015 Longview Vision Task Force, and various other civic groups and professional medical associations.
Over the years Dr. Mack has proven himself to be a faithful and energetic supporter of numerous community initiatives, including the creation of the Mayor’s Book Club, which led to the creation of the “Go-Giver” benefit gala. But he’s also lent his time and talents to efforts closer to home, including serving as a coach for youth baseball, softball, and basketball leagues, teaching summer camps for disadvantaged youth with Partners In Prevention, providing free monthly oral health clinics for those struggling to overcome poverty, volunteering in the kitchen at Hiway 80 Rescue Mission, as well as active roles in booster clubs for Longview Lobo Athletics, and serving as an active deacon and Sunday School teacher for First Baptist Church of Longview.
The son of Dr. Sam Mack and Joan McKenzie, and stepmother Marion Mack, Andy is married to Kelly, and was nominated by his three children: Spencer, Madison, and Luke, all of whom are also accomplished Longview High alumni.
In their letter to the Distinguished Alumni committee, the Mack children praised their father’s devotion to tirelessly giving back to the city and school he loves.
“Andy Mack has long been involved with this community publicly, but even more so behind the scenes. His giving and generous heart shines brightly through his time, service, and donations,” the letter reads. “He goes out of his way for family, friends, and people he doesn’t even know because that’s the person he is: a servant.”
Graduating from Longview High in 1986, Wray Wade’s life journey thus far has taken him around the world and back to Longview again. His talent for basketball — and determination to succeed — guided him through undergraduate degrees from Mount Hood College (Oregon) and St. Martin’s University (Washington), followed by his master’s degree in Speech from Oregon State University and Shonan Institute of Technology (Tsujido, Japan).
Wray continued his basketball career on the professional level for the Aichi-Kikai Red Wolves in the Japanese Basketball League, where he also was employed as the official English translator for the team. In 1999 Wray brought his linguistic talents back stateside when he accepted an offer from the New York City law firm of Amster, Rothstein & Ebenstein. Then in 2001, he took his first steps into entrepreneurship by starting Wade International marketing consultancy, which later transitioned into Wray Wade Enterprises in 2005. Wray Wade Enterprises is best known for his I-20 Sports initiative and the Barber Institute of Texas.
Along the way, Wray has remained committed to always finding new and creative ways to give back. An active church member of Mount Calvary since returning to East Texas in 2005, Wade has lent his time and talents to the Texas Workforce Commission Board, the Longview Symphony, Legacy Longview, the Longview Economic Development Corp. board, the Longview Greggton Rotary Club, in addition to serving as City Councilman for District 3 and being a council liaison for the Comprehensive Plan Committee, East Texas Council of Governments, Housing and Community Development Advisory Committee, and Public Transportation Advisory Board. Whether it’s volunteering to coach youth basketball or hosting a community-wide Thanksgiving dinner, Wray Wade is an advocate for and an asset to his beloved hometown.
The son of Frank and Willie M. Wade, Wray was nominated by his friend Chapin Miller, who characterized the ambition for success and passion for service that has characterized his life as one of Longview’s best and brightest sons.
“Wray Wade has come a long way. From being a young boy wanting to play basketball, to a successful entrepreneur and civic leader,” he said. “Wray’s determination and positive attitude should be an inspiration to many Longview ISD students, and the entire community.”
Joe Don Holley
A graduate of the 1990 Longview High School class, Joe Don continued his education at the University of Texas where in 1995 he earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture.
In 1996 he began his career with HKS, Inc. of Dallas, working his way up to his current position as Senior Vice President. Most recently Joe Don received the prestigious title of Principal Shareholder of his firm, where he will oversee the financial activity of over 50 offices worldwide. As a project manager with 22 years of experience, Joe Don’s expertise provides continuity of design, functionality, and client objectives. He works closely with medical professionals, physicians, and consultants in the planning of healthcare facilities.
A few of the many facilities Joe Don has been a part of include Dell Seton Medical Center at The University of Texas in Austin, Dell Children’s Medical Center of Central Texas Ambulatory Pavilion in Austin, Via Christi Hospital St. Joseph Behavioral Health in Wichita (Kansas), St. Vincent Medical Center in Jacksonville (Florida), Fort Duncan Medical Center in Eagle Pass, multiple Seton Medical Centers in Texas and many, many more.
Joe Don holds numerous credentials within his field, including an NCARB certification, LEED Accredited Professional Building Design and Construction, is Certified Construction Document Technologist, and a member of the American Institute of Architects as well as the Texas Society of Architects.
In his spare time, Joe Don is also involved with “Hearts and Hammers” of Dallas, a non-profit organization that refurbish homes in economically disadvantaged communities. Joe Don also volunteers for CANstruction International, a charity organization where architects, engineers, contractors, and students they mentor, compete to design and build giant structures made entirely from full cans of food. At the close of the competition, all of the food is donated to local food banks where the competitions are held.
The son of Don and Pat Holley, Joe Don was nominated by longtime friend and fellow LHS alum Whitney Schaap, who praised his artistic skill and innovation as an architect.
“Joe Don has tackled numerous large projects overseeing, designing, and completing structures for his firm,” she said. “The hospitals are almost like paintings that please the medical teams and make the patients feel like they are in a museum versus a medical facility. And one of our LISD graduates created this environment.”
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