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Del Mar College Announces New Corpus Christi Fire Chief Brandon Wade as Commencement Speaker, Giving Address This Friday (Dec. 15)

College awarding 644 associate’s degrees, certificates and occupational skills awards overall to 518 “prospective” graduates making up Class of Fall 2023

Article by Melinda Eddleman

New City of Corpus Christi Fire Chief Brandon Wade worked his way through the ranks as a member of the Austin Fire Department. That hard work has led him to now oversee Corpus Christi’s Fire Department beginning this past May. 

As Del Mar College’s December 2023 Commencement speaker, he shares a similar beginning with the “prospective” graduates who are participating during the Dec. 15 ceremony––Fire Chief Wade started his training at a community college and earned an associate’s degree before moving forward with his education and career as a first responder.

The ceremony begins this Friday at 7 p.m. at the American Bank Center (1901 N. Shoreline Blvd., 78401). Overall, the College will award a combined 644 associate’s degrees, certificates and occupational skills awards to 518 “prospective” graduates making up the Class of Fall 2023. Out of that number, 395 students are participating in the ceremony, along with approximately 30 Class of Summer 2023 graduates who will “walk the stage” with them.

But, before DMC’s newest graduates take the spotlight, Fire Chief Wade will provide his keynote address, providing words of wisdom, insight and encouragement to take with them as they move forward with their own education or careers.

For family and friends who cannot make the ceremony, DMC Digital Services will livestream December Commencement 2023 beginning at 6:45 p.m. Access the event online by using one of the links below:

Corpus Christi Fire Chief Brandon Wade

Prior to taking the helm of Corpus Christi’s Fire Department, Chief Wade served with the Austin Fire Department for over 24 years and rose through the ranks to become the Assistant Chief of Operations and Logistics. He also served in various roles ranging from Assistant Chief of Homeland Security and Special Operations to Airport Rescue and Firefighting to Communications while in Austin.

Additionally, Chief Wade oversaw the Austin Fire Department’s Training Division, Medical Operations, and Wildfire and Recruiting Divisions as a Chief Officer. As a Company Officer, he was assigned to the Special Operations Battalion where he served on the department’s HazMat and technical rescue teams.

From 2013 to 2023, Fire Chief Wade served as a member of the Texas A&M Task Force 1 FEMA USAR Team as a Rescue Specialist, Rescue Squad Officer and Safety Officer. He responded to numerous natural disasters across Texas as well as the southern region of the United States. 

Fire Chief Wade holds a bachelor’s degree in Emergency Management from West Texas A&M University and an associate’s degree in Fire Science from San Antonio College. He also has obtained numerous Texas Commission on Fire Protection and technical rescue certifications throughout his career.

Fire Chief Wade has spoken at conferences across the nation on topics such as leadership, strategies and tactics, along with lessons learned from critical incidents he has experienced. And, on Dec. 15, he will speak to Del Mar College’s newest graduates … the Class of Fall 2023.



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.