LEVELLAND, Texas (PRESS RELEASE) — The following is a press release from South Plains College:
Blaine McDonald of Levelland will be recognized during the renaming of the street at the entrance to the parking lot on the north side of the Administration Building. At 10 a.m. on June 22 (Wednesday), the Blaine McDonald Drive street sign will be unveiled.
The SPC Street Sign Naming was one of the items in the live auction featured during the 24th Annual South Plains College Scholarship Gala held in February. The item was donated by the South Plains College Board of Regents, and it grants the winner naming rights to the sign for one year.
Family, friends and members of the community are invited to attend the event, which represents a tribute to a local man with strong ties to Levelland. Although it has been more than 20 years since he retired from the college, McDonald said he proudly recalls his time at SPC. He said that in 1954-55 his father carried the petition to establish the college in Levelland. It failed the first time, but it was passed the following year.
Early in his career, McDonald worked as a carpenter and tried farming for a few years. He then began working in the oil field a position he held for six months before he decided that wasn`t the job for him.
“I saw an ad in the newspaper for a carpenter at the college, and so I applied; and I got it that same day,” he said.
It was during his time working at the college that McDonald trained to become a locksmith. He said the college had 3,000 locks on campus that locked three ways passkey, building key and grandmaster. The locks cost around $350 each. McDonald said his locksmithing skills were tested several times by SPC students. One student filled a lock with Super Glue while another student`s lock was filled with silicone.
“The kids know how to mess up locks deluxe,” McDonald said. “They found out about Super Glue, and they locked somebody in.”
McDonald said he had to develop a way to get into the door, and he finally found a solution that would soften the glue enough to allow him to pick it out of the lock. He said he used a similar technique to remove silicone from locks.
McDonald and his wife, Mary, are the parents of three adult children Carl McDonald and Captain Tammie McDonald, both of Levelland; and Lavon Weemes of Amarillo. The McDonalds have six grandchildren and seven great-grandchildren.
Carl and his wife, Carol McDonald, out-bid competitors for the inaugural street sign renaming and again this year. Carl McDonald said the street sign is a great opportunity to honor someone and this year he chose his father.
A passion for SPC has been passed down from father to son and continues to grow within the McDonald family. The McDonalds are regular participants in the scholarship gala and the family also supports scholarships in variety of other ways. The list of SPC students and graduates extends over four generations in the McDonald family.
“Having the sign named after me means a lot to me,” McDonald said. “I feel like I have accomplished something in the lives of my family. My time is short; and my kids have been super good to me. That`s one of the finest things I will ever remember.”
For more information about ways to support scholarships and students at South Plains College, contact Jordan Flores, Director of Development and Alumni Relations, at (806) 716-2020.
(Press release from South Plains College)