TVCC announces six HODA honorees
Trinity Valley Community College has announced the Hall of Distinguished Alumni Class of 2022.
Six former students, including two former Cardettes, a former Cardinal Football player, a distinguished philanthropist, a prominent veterinarian and a Distinguished Young Alumni will be honored.
“This group of alumni stood out amongst our slate of nominees and their inspirational stories with TVCC as their forefront of their success were certainly remarkable.” Darla Mansfield, Alumni Relations Coordinator said. “We are inducting five deserving individuals into the Hall of Distinguished Alumni and have also established a new honor recognizing a Cardinal as the Distinguished Young Alumni. They are certainly a unique group that have continually shared their servant hearts for TVCC and our students.”
The ceremony is scheduled for a 9:30 a.m. brunch Saturday, Oct. 29, at Athens Country Club. Admission is free, but RSVP is required by Friday, Oct. 14 at noon, by calling 903-670-2620.
Here is the Class of 2022:
Life as a college student was anything but normal for Archie Dennis.
Dennis, who grew up on a farm, would wake up at 3 a.m. to milk cows and deliver milk before heading to class.
After class, there was still plenty of work to be done bailing hay and doing contract work. Even with his busy schedule, Dennis still managed to be Vice President of the Agriculture Club and a member of Circle “K.”
Upon graduation from Henderson County Junior College, JH Davis loaned Dennis the necessary funds to purchase the patent and corresponding business on Porter Morrison and Son Laboratory Cotton Gins.
Over the 64 years Dennis has owned the company, he has sold over 1,000 gins throughout the United States and to over 75 countries worldwide.
Two of the gins are on display at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC.
Dennis is an early member of the Methodist Men of First United Methodist Church in Athens and was the blood drive chairman for six years at First United Methodist Church.
Dennis and his wife, June, have three children (Wayne Dennis, Wesley Dennis and Susan Maddock) and four grandchildren.
The love John Morton has for Trinity Valley Community College is almost as big as his love for pets.
As a prominent veterinarian, Morton has remained in the Athens area since 1964 when he graduated from Henderson County Junior College. Since his time at the college, Morton received a Bachelor of Veterinary Science degree from Texas A&M University and a doctorate in 1969. John is also the recipient of the 2010 Outstanding Alumni-Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine.
Morton was the president of the Texas Veterinary Medical Association in 2011, received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the same group in 2012, is a member of the American Veterinary Dental Association and the American Veterinary Medical Association.
Morton is married to Ginger and they have four children, Janet, Michael, Jesse, and James which all three boys have attended Trinity Valley Community College.
ABE MACK IV
For Abe Mack IV, his time at Trinity Valley Community College taught him leadership, dedication and hard work.
As a member of the Cardinal football team, Abe left TVCC and went to school at Cameron and Langston University.
For the past 22 years, he has been a commissioned officer with the Texas Department of Public Safety as a Texas State Trooper and a Senior Corporal on the Dallas North Tollway.
Abe also has a hand in community service work, he and his wife started The Elite 2014 AAU Basketball program which allowed school age boys to play basketball across the US. They also started Fades for Grades, which helps pay for haircuts when kids bring their report cards to the barbershop with straight A’s. He also is a member of the Rising Star Masonic Lodge #22 since 1994.
Abe has a son who played for the Trinity Valley Men’s basketball team, Dion Mack.
BELINDA POWELL NEAL
Dedication and hard work is something Belinda Powell Neal has excelled at throughout her career.
With two national titles as a member of the TVCC National Champion cheer team, she was a member of the Who’s Who among American Junior College Students, recipient of the Rotary Club scholarship, member of the TVCC Student Senate, 1990 Homecoming Queen and a Cardinal Beauty finalist.
Following her time here, she cheered for the Lumberjacks and received a bachelor's degree in Interdisciplinary Studies from Stephen F. Austin State University in 1993 and a Master of Education from Stephen F. Austin in 1996. She also has a doctorate from Baylor University in Education.
Belinda has served as Assistant Principal of Round Rock ISD, Principal and Assistant Superintendent of Lindale ISD. She has served as 2014-15 State President of Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association, Kiwanis Club member, Smith County Advocacy Center member and is currently the Associate Executive Director of Instruction for the Texas Elementary Principals and Supervisors Association based in Austin.
She has been married to her husband Casey for 28 years and they have one daughter Macy Dot Neal, who is a rising country artist living in Nashville.
Amy Green-Solorio has spent much of her life dancing to the beat of her own drum.
Now she is passing that love on to the next generation.
As a Captain for the Cardettes and Student Senate President from 2002-2004, she went on to Texas State University earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Dance and was a member of the famous Texas State Strutters. She then became the Dance Director for Bryan Adams High School and has been there for the past 15 years.
During her time at Bryan Adams, she has had 12 students become members of the Cardettes and has one of her Senior Lieutenants coming in the 2023-24 school year. She also helps the Cardettes with freshman mini-camp, Cardette Camp, Dance Your Heart Out Camp, Officer Auditions, Show Choreography, Cardette Connection and attending numerous performances.
She has received 10 awards during her time at Bryan Adams High School such as Teacher of the Year, Distinguished Teacher review, Recipient, Texas Dance Educators Association Dance Educator of the Year and Director of the Year semifinalist, and Dallas Chamber of Commerce Teacher of the Year.
Green-Solorio is married to Rigo and they have a son Lucas and daughter Ellie. Her sister is a Cardette Alum, Lisa Daniel.
A new honor sees Dutchess Gutierrez named as the Distinguished Young Alum.
Gutierrez graduated from TVCC as a member of the Cardettes Dance Team before going on to Sam Houston State University to earn a bachelor's degree in Dance. She continued her education at Texas Woman’s University and obtained a master's degree in Teaching in 2014.
During her time at TVCC, she was a Cardette Lieutenant and Showgirl and was a member of the Student Senate.
She has kept her love for dance at the forefront as a Texas Legends Dancer where she was an NBA G League All Star Dancer and has been the Director of Dance at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas ISD since 2014. Gutierrez has served as a district drill team co-facilitator for three years, serves as a Teacher Excellence Initiative expert on her campus, has been the recipient of the campus Fine Arts Teacher of the Year award, the Principal's Award, and was the 2021-2022 Campus Teacher of the Year.
She is a Dallas ISD distinguished teacher, a Texas Education Agency “Master” teacher and was a 2021-2022 Dallas ISD Secondary Teacher of the Year finalist.
Since graduating from TVCC, she continues to help assist and teach at the TVCC Dance Your Heart Out camp, has been a judge for Cardette Officer and Line auditions and has been with the Cardette Connection program for several years.
Gutierrez is married to Ruben and is the daughter of Adrienne Garcia O’Malley. She has a brother, Phillip Garcia, a sister Raven Garcia Lawes, a niece Alina, and a nephew Phillip Heinz.