L.J. “Johnny” Lacina, Jr. will announce his resignation from the Blinn College Board of Trustees at Tuesday’s regularly scheduled meeting. Also on Tuesday, trustees will consider and may name replacements for Lacina’s seat on the board, along with the at-large position previously held by Steve Westbrook. When named and approved, the interim replacements will serve the remainder of both terms, respectively. Regular elections will be held at that time to fill the seats for full, six-year terms.
Lacina has practiced law in Brenham for 39 years and been the Precinct 1 at-large member of Blinn’s board since 1994. After nearly 18 years of service, Lacina decided to step aside and encourage others to serve and inject new ideas and energy into Blinn’s leadership. Lacina’s resignation also allows for a family member to accept a teaching position at the college. By policy, board members cannot serve while a spouse or blood relative is employed at Blinn.
“This College has been great to me and to my family throughout the years,” Lacina said. “I sincerely appreciate the voters of Washington County allowing me the opportunity to give back to this great institution of higher learning as a member of the board of trustees.”
Lacina won his first election in 1994 followed by two unopposed elections in 2000 and 2006. He served as president from 2000-2004.
“We truly appreciate the leadership and guidance Mr. Lacina has provided the board and Blinn College during his three terms,” said Atwood Kenjura, Blinn board president. “His experience and background in the area of law made him an invaluable member of this board.”
In the years Lacina served, Blinn added a number of educational programs, including the alternative teacher certification program and three technical education programs: emergency medical services (1995), dental hygiene (1997), and physical therapist assistant (1998). Overall enrollment nearly doubled, from 9,017 in 1994, to more than 17,000 students today. Blinn established the Schulenburg campus in 1996 and the Sealy campus in 2005.
Construction projects boomed, including the W.W. O’Donnell Performing Arts Center, the W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex, Blinn’s new Administration Building, renovations to the J. Hal and Allyne Machat Music Facility, student apartments and a new residence hall on the Brenham campus.
With oversight on the board, Lacina helped usher in construction of Blinn’s six-building campus in Bryan (1997), followed by the acquisition of other campus facilities. This Fall, most of Blinn’s Allied Health programs will begin classes in a new 53,000 square foot home at the Texas A&M Health Science Center.
On the courts and fields, Blinn added two new women’s sports, volleyball and softball, both in 1995. The volleyball program went on to win a national championship in 2008, while the football program won national championships in 1995, 1996, 2006 and 2009.
Lacina, a 1967 graduate of Brenham High School, graduated from Blinn College before earning business and law degrees from Baylor University.