Blinn Foundation Inc. Executive Director Joe Al Picone is retiring after almost 40 years of service to Blinn College.
A 1961 Blinn graduate, Picone spent 17 years on the Blinn College Board of Trustees, then left his seat on the board to become dean of business services, where he ran Blinn’s business office and managed the budget until he was asked to take over the Blinn Foundation in 2007.
Picone will continue to work with the Foundation on a part-time basis.
“I am very proud and thankful to have been a member of the Blinn College family for the past 39 years,” Picone said. “My wonderful friendships with many students, administration, faculty and staff are among my most cherished possessions.”
Under Picone’s guidance, the Foundation has raised almost $10 million for the College—averaging $2 million in donations each year of his leadership. Those funds have been used to help launch major construction projects across Blinn’s campuses, including the A.W. Hodde, Jr. Technical Education Center, the J. Hal and Allyne Machat Music Facility, the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex and the Bert and Mae Dean Wheeler Residence Hall. An additional $1 million has been spent purchasing classroom equipment and supplies requested by Blinn faculty, including simulation equipment in the Blinn College Allied Health facilities at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. The Foundation has also established $4.5 million in new endowed scholarships.
“Joe Al will continue to be a dear friend to Blinn College,” said Dr. Harold Nolte, district president. “Throughout the many roles he has served for the College and in the community, he has always been an ambassador of the dignity and values Blinn stands for.”
Among Picone’s many accolades, he has been named to the Blinn College Hall of Honor, the Brenham Maifest Hall of Fame, the Brenham High School Hall of Honor and was named Washington County Man of the Year. He continues to serve as the international director of Lion’s Club International and in 2007 he received the Ambassador of Goodwill Award, the organization’s highest honor.
His wife Merle and sons Kyle and Kevin all attended Blinn. Picone said he looks forward to spending more time with his granddaughter Landry as well as continuing to serve Blinn and the community.