College Announces Libby Averyt as Spring 2018 Commencement Speaker, Plans to Award Nearly 1,200 Certificates and Associates Degrees on May 11
Article by: Melinda Eddleman
After finishing final semester projects and exams, Del Mar College’s (DMC) newest “prospective” graduates will take the next step and walk the stage during the College’s Spring 2018 Commencement Ceremony scheduled this Friday, May 11, at 7 p.m. in the American Bank Center. The College will award approximately 1,196 certificates and associates degrees combined to about 863 prospective May graduates.
The prospective graduates include 61 students from Collegiate High School and the Harold T. Branch Academy––a partnership between the College and Corpus Christi Independent School District––with these students completing high school-level and College credits and receiving a DMC certificate or associates degree before they even receive their high school diploma.
Before taking center stage, the DMC Class of May 2018 will hear Libby Averyt, Chief Development Officer of the United Way of the Coastal Bend, address the sea of blue caps and gowns as their commencement speaker.
Before joining the United Way, Averyt spent more than three decades in journalism, business and public service. A native Texan, Averyt moved to Corpus Christi in 1986 after earning a journalism degree from The University of Texas at Austin.
Averyt spent 30 years at the Corpus Christi Caller-Times, first working from 3 p.m. until midnight as the night-time cops reporter. She then worked her way up the ranks covering courts, local government and politics and led several investigations, including an examination of South Texas nursing homes and an in-depth look at teen pregnancy.
Averyt held numerous managerial positions at the Caller-Times and later served as Vice President and Editor from 2003 until 2008. She expanded her knowledge into the business side of journalism by moving to advertising as the Online General Manager and then as the Vice President of Advertising. In 2014, she became the first woman to serve as President and Publisher of the Caller-Times––a position she held until February 2017 after deciding to retire from journalism after a full and rewarding career.
Her retirement didn’t last long. Averyt’s love for community took her to the non-profit world and a new position in April 2017 as Chief Development Officer for United Way of the Coastal Bend. Her new career allows Averyt to combine her skills in business, communication and leadership to raise money for dozens of local programs addressing South Texas’ most pressing needs in the areas of health, education and financial stability.
A lifelong learner, Averyt returned to college in 2010 and earned her Master of Arts in Communication from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi while working full-time. She remains involved in the community by serving on the board of the United Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce and advocating at the Texas Legislature for issues important to the Coastal Bend.
Averyt received several awards and honors during her journalism career, including state and national awards from the Scripps Howard Foundation, Texas Associated Press Managing Editors Association, Headliners Club of Austin, Texas Council on Family Violence, Dallas Press Club, Texas Bar Association and the Texas Medical Association. She has also served in several professional and leadership roles and served the community on boards and received a number of honors from organizations such as the Hispanic Women’s Network of Texas-Corpus Christi, the American GI Forum, League of United Latin American Citizens Council No. 1, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and the South Texas Broadcasting System, among others.
When Averyt moved to Corpus Christi in 1986, she planned to stay a couple of years and move on. She fell in love with South Texas and its residents; and she and her husband, Charles Kaffie, are proud to call Corpus Christi their home. They have five children and one grandchild and are blessed with close friends and a love for community and each other.
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.