GUEST VIEW: A rising star in OdessaState Rep. Brooks Landgraf was elected in 2014 to House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward, and Winkler Counties.

This week, our own Odessa College earned a prestigious award in Washington D.C. from the Aspen Institute, an international nonprofit aimed at increasing the innovative nature of our world. While not a surprise to us, this recognition as a “Rising Star” is an absolute testament to the work of the leaders of Odessa College as well as the community at large.
This accomplishment is due largely to the work of the leaders of Odessa College, including Dr. Greg Williams and the Board of Trustees, along with community leaders like the Saulsbury, Wood and Eoff families, and many others. In fact, these efforts have led Odessa College to nearly double its graduation rate in the last five years alone.
Our local schools, businesses and chambers of commerce have worked so tirelessly to support this vital institution, and elected officials including my predecessors, Representatives Tryon Lewis and Buddy West in the Texas House and Texas Senators Kel Seliger, Robert Duncan, and the late Teel Bivens have long supported Odessa College.
Competing with hundreds of colleges from across the country and chosen as a finalist as one of the top ten community colleges in the nation, Odessa College has left its mark on a national level. This award will help set our community apart for companies looking to do business where there are clearly well-educated students to hire and where there is a community that embraces the institution that educates them.
Not only does this recognition grant prestige, it is also joined by a $100,000 award to help further the mission that Odessa College has in preparing its students and our community for the future.
For the thousands of students who attend Odessa College each year, the improvements that have been made have been life changing. Odessa College now offers more than forty-five associate degree programs and more than seventy professional certificates in a wide range of studies and can help students enter the workforce or enter a four-year institution.
For many years now, Odessa College has proven that they are valuable to our community, and I am proud of their recognition as one of the absolute best community colleges in the United States. I look forward to seeing even more recognition and will continue to work to support further success for Odessa College, its students, and our community during this legislative session and beyond.
God bless Texas!
State Rep. Brooks Landgraf serves Texas House District 81, which encompasses Andrews, Ector, Ward and Winkler counties. Landgraf lives in his hometown of Odessa with his wife, Shelby, and their daughter, Hollis Rose. He works as a fourth-generation West Texas cattle rancher and practices law at the firm of Todd, Barron, Thomason, Hudman & Bebout, P.C. in Odessa. An Eagle Scout, Landgraf is also active in several local nonprofits.