2005 DAA RecipientsJosé Luis Betancourt Jr.
Former Chief Administrative/Operations Officer, San Diego Schools; Retired Rear Admiral, United States Navy
"Had it not been for the opportunity that I received to be exposed to college level work at Texas Southmost College, I never would have received my degree, I never would have joined the Navy, I never would have attained the opportunities that I’ve had."
Born in Matamoros and raised in Brownsville, Jose Luis Betancourt began his college education at TSC. He graduated in 1969 and went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish graduating cum laude from Pan American University, now UT Pan American. He also has a master’s degree from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy from Tufts University and the Industrial College of the Armed Forces in Washington D.C.
Betancourt was Commander of the U.S. Navy’s Southwest Region based in San Diego, overseeing a billion-dollar budget, including aircraft squadrons and ships from San Diego, California to Hawaii.
Betancourt’s naval career took him all over the world, including commanding the USS Merrill in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm. His ashore appointments included service in the International Military Staff at NATO headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.
David W. Nunez
Lieutenant Colonel, United States Air Force
"It turned out to be a good move. I was close to home; family was still there to support me; and the classes at TSC were small enough that you really had a personal relationship with each instructor. They knew you and what your potential was."
David W. Nunez studied biology at TSC in 1981 prior to earning a Doctor of Dental Surgery degree from the UT Health Science Center in Houston in 1989. He went on to study pathology at Baylor College of Medicine and earned a master’s degree in pathology from George Washington University School of Medicine. He served his residency in oral and maxillofacial pathology – diseases of the head and neck – at the National Naval Medical Center Hospital in Bethesda, MD.
After five years in private practice, Nunez entered the military. In 2001, he was awarded a joint service commendation medal from the Department of Defense for his exceptional performance and service following the 9-11 attack. Stationed at the Armed Forces Institute of Pathology when American Airlines Flight 77 crashed into the Pentagon he was among those forensic specialists called to help identify victims.
Welcome W. Wilson Sr.
Chairman/Chief Executive Officer, GSL Industrial Ltd.
"I would recommend to any American family that they send their children to a local college for the first two years. It was a substantial advantage to have the extra maturity when I did go away…and in a small institution you get to do more."
Welcome W. Wilson is Chairman and CEO of GSL Industrial Holdings, a partner in more than 50 industrial properties in Texas, and has been a successful real estate developer, financier, and broker in Houston since 1955.
After graduating from Brownsville Junior College (later renamed Texas Southmost College) in 1946, he received a Bachelor of Business Administration degree for the University of Houston in 1948. He served as a Naval Officer in Japan during the Korean War.
In 1956, President Dwight Eisenhower appointed Wilson to a post in the Executive Office during the Cold War. He also served as Five State Director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, where he received the Arthur Fleming Award as one of Ten Outstanding Young Men in Federal Service. His five years of service include work in the Executive Office of the President under John F. Kennedy. In 1966, President Lyndon Johnson appointed him as a Special Ambassador to Nicaragua.