Former Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen recognized by Brazosport College

Bonnen Central-t

BC recognizes former Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen

BC recognizes former Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen

Fri Oct 22, 2021

Bonnen Central

Brazosport College is excited to recognize the contributions of former Texas House Speaker Dennis Bonnen to the College with the naming of the Bonnen Central Building at Brazosport College. 

The Bonnen Central Building houses a large portion of College services, including the information desk, student services, counseling and testing, administration, the BC Library, Gator Hall, Community Education, the Commons and much more. The MEGlobal Student Pavilion is also located inside the Bonnen Central Building.

“Former House Speaker Bonnen demonstrated his continuous support of Brazosport College over the course of his service in the Texas Legislature,” said Brazosport College President Millicent Valek. “His leadership has been essential to so many important initiatives that allow us to carry out the mission of the college and strengthen the region we serve.

“We are honored to recognize his contribution to our College with the naming of the Bonnen Central Building,” she added.

For Speaker Bonnen, Brazosport College has always been among his top priorities.

When the state legislature recommended budget cuts in 2011 that called for eliminating all state funding to Brazosport College, Speaker Bonnen led the charge in Austin and ensured this budget recommendation was reversed.

Seven years earlier, Speaker Bonnen was instrumental in helping Brazosport College create a four-year baccalaureate program, and by assisting the College in securing funding for a second baccalaureate program. He’s also been a huge proponent of the college’s workforce and training programs, as well as many other endeavors. Speaker Bonnen helped raise more than $350,000 for Brazosport College scholarships through his 40th Birthday Roast & Toast event.

Through his two decades of service to the Texas House of Representatives, Speaker Bonnen’s leadership has resulted in more than $4.2 million dollars in special support for Brazosport College. He and his wife, Kim, have also contributed personal monetary donations to the Brazosport College Foundation for student scholarships and special programs.

“Brazosport College is the heart of southern Brazoria County – changing lives through accessible opportunities and serving as the lifeblood of the local economy,” said Speaker Bonnen. “During my 24 years in the Texas House, I prefaced every single session with the question, ‘How can I further support and strengthen Brazosport College?’ I have always recognized that any legislative victory for the college paid in dividends throughout the community.”

Speaker Bonnen credits Dr. Millicent Valek for her vision and partnership in helping move these transformative endeavors to the finish line. 

“Dr. Valek never stopped believing in the value of Brazosport College,” he said. “Her bold and passionate perseverance was an invaluable force behind the successes we achieved in Austin.”

Speaker Bonnen was sworn in as Texas Speaker of the House on January 8, 2019, for his 12th term of office. That day marked the culmination of serving in the Texas House of Representatives for more than 20 years, representing the 25th House District that encompasses southern Brazoria County and the entirety of Matagorda County. Speaker Bonnen was first elected to the Texas Legislature at the age of 24.

During his tenure, Speaker Bonnen served three sessions as Speaker Pro Tempore. He Chaired the House Ways and Means Committee, Environmental Regulation Committee, Sunset Advisory Committee and the House Special Purpose Districts. He also served as Vice Chairman of the Joint Committee of Oversight of Higher Education Governance, Excellence and Transparency, and as a member of the Natural Resources Committee.

Speaker Bonnen is a graduate of Angleton High School and graduated cum laude from St. Edwards University in Austin with a B.A. in Political Science. St. Edward's honored him with its Alumni Achievement Award in 2001 and he was inducted into the Angleton ISD Distinguished Alumni Hall of Fame in 2013.

About Brazosport College: Located in Lake Jackson, Texas, Brazosport College offers a broad range of courses and classes to address diverse educational objectives. Students planning to pursue a bachelor’s degree can enroll in academic classes, as well as courses in major fields of study, which will transfer to four-year schools. Recognized twice by the Aspen Institute as one of the nation’s top 10 community colleges, Brazosport College offers more than 75 degree and certificate programs, as well as a Bachelor Degree in Applied Technology. For more information about Brazosport College, visit www.brazosport.edu.