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College Announces Fall 2019 Commencement Speaker for Dec. 13 Ceremony at American Bank Center

Article by: Melinda Eddleman

It’s the time of year most everyone gets wrapped up in the holidays. So, what better time is there to receive an associate’s degree or certificate as part of the celebratory season?

Del Mar College (DMC) will hold its Fall 2019 Commencement Ceremony this Friday, Dec. 13, at the American Bank Center beginning at 7 p.m. Out of nearly 560 “prospective” graduates receiving a combined 704 associate’s degrees and certificates, 385 students have chosen to walk the stage … a fitting gift for any proud parent, grandparent, sibling or friend.Before taking that traditional spotlighted walk to receive their reward for a lot of hard work, Friday night’s ceremony participants will hear the wise words of U.S. Army Sergeant (Retired) Dotson G. Lewis, Jr.


Described by his friends as a decorated American hero and patriot, Lewis is a man of many accomplishments. Born in Gunter, Texas, he spent most of his early years in northwest Arkansas; and at age 18, he joined the U.S. Army.

In 1948, General Douglas MacArthur presented the soldier with a gold watch. Lewis spent 13 months in combat during the Korean War and received several combat medals, including the Korean Service Award with five battle stars.

During the 1950s, Sgt. Lewis was assigned to the Army Air Defense at Ft. Bliss here in Texas. He worked in Research & Development, primarily developing and testing surface-to-air missile systems.

In 1964 after the Olympic Games in Tokyo, Sgt. Lewis and his family were deployed to the 3rd Infantry Division in Germany, where soon after his arrival he was assigned as the division’s Special Services NCOIC (Noncommissioned Officer in Charge). In 1967, he was chosen as the European “Sportsman of the Year” and then received the U.S. Army’s Legion of Merit Award the following year.He continued to add to his accomplishments after retiring from active duty service with a 21-year career with the U.S. Army, including becoming a writer, educator and sports official, along with fulfilling other roles.

From 1968 to 1977, Lewis worked toward and earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, along with his Master’s degree in Education from the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP). During that period, he also worked as an Instructor with the Physical Education Department and was Director of UTEP’s Intramurals Program.

Lewis served as Supervisor of the Southwest Officials Association from 1977 to 1995; and between 1987 and 1995, he assisted with writing the annual CCA Football Mechanics Manual and the illustrated NCAA Football Rules manuals. Additionally, between 1995 and 1999 Lewis was honored in several Halls of Fame, including the Football Officiating and the Japanese-American Football Halls of Fame.

In July 2002, Lewis and his wife Peggy relocated to Corpus Christi, where he received the city’s Greatest Generation Award in 2008. For the past 17 years, he has taught courses for Del Mar College, including for a time as an Adjunct Instructor for the Kinesiology Department (2010-2015), and continues to serve as a Volunteer Senior Education Instructor for Continuing Education and Off-Campus Programs.

The 91-year-old is still going strong! Saturday mornings, he hosts a radio talk show, The Veterans Radio Round Table, on 1440 KEYS from 8 to 10 a.m. He writes “Sports Talk” articles and “Senior Moments” for the Island Moon newspaper on Padre Island. And, Lewis serves as Chair of the Corpus Christi Parks & Recreation Advisory Committee and is an Instant Reply consultant.

About Del Mar College

Del Mar College empowers students to achieve their dreams. We offer quality programs, individual attention, outstanding instruction through faculty with real-world experience and affordable costs to credit and noncredit students in Corpus Christi and the South Texas Coastal Bend area. Nationally recognized while locally focused, we’re ranked in the top two percent of community colleges in the country granting associate degrees to Hispanic students (Community College Week). Del Mar College focuses on offering our students programs that match current or emerging career opportunities. Whether students are interested in the fine arts, sciences, business, occupational or technical areas, students get the education they need for the future they want at Del Mar College.