Before launching CivilCorp LLC, a Texas-based civil engineering and land surveying company, Ben Galvan was a first-generation college student chasing his dream to some day own his own business.
“My professors at UHV were extremely flexible, and going to class always was an enjoyable experience,” said Galvan, who graduated in 1994 with a Master of Business Administration from the University of Houston-Victoria while working full time. “I knew the end goal I was working toward, and it’s a
blessing to see it come to fruition.”
Galvan will receive the 2019 Distinguished Alumnus Award at the March 1 UHV Alumni Banquet. The Distinguished Alumnus Award is presented to a UHV graduate whose accomplishments, character and service are exceptional and represent the ideals and values of his or her alma mater.
Michele Rohde, president and founder of the financial advisory practice Rohde Financial Group, will be recognized as the Young Alumna of the Year. The award is presented annually to a UHV graduate who is younger than 40 and is distinctly accomplished professionally or in service to others.
“There are few alumni who have been as supportive to their alma mater as Ben has been with UHV, and Michelle is a great example of what young alumni can do when they put their hearts and minds to something,” said Jesse Pisors, UHV vice president for advancement and external relations. “We couldn’t be more grateful for these UHV alumni who exemplify excellence in their professions and who have positively impacted our university and community.”
The banquet, which is part of UHV Homecoming week from Feb. 25 to March 2, will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the UHV University North Multi-Purpose Room, 3007 N. Ben Wilson St. Alumni, their friends and family, and community supporters are encouraged to attend.
The event will include a beer and wine reception, catered dinner, door prizes, an awards presentation and entertainment featuring magician and comedian Robby Bennett.
“This is the biggest event of the year for our alumni,” said Kira Mudd, UHV director of alumni relations and annual giving. “To see alumni from different graduation years and walks of life, including community supporters, is just such a special night. It’s a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our alma mater, supporters and the award recipients all in one festive night.”
Alumni Relations works to increase university engagement and support among alumni. This has been made possible through alumni events and activities hosted by the university throughout the year. Some of these events include alumni road trips, the School of Business Administration Alumni Week, panel and volunteer roles, and other alumni speaking opportunities. Rohde has participated in several.
Rohde is a 2006 graduate of UHV with a Bachelor of Business Administration. Since graduation, she has launched a business and been voted the Best Financial Advisor in the Victoria Advocate’s Best of the Best Contest for seven years.
While working full time, Rohde said she chose to pursue an education at UHV because of its convenience and affordability.
“My experience at UHV was great, flexible when I needed it, and enhanced the management and people skills I found I needed fundamentally in my career,” Rohde said. “I took UHV courses such as marketing, management, business writing and psychology, and what I learned in each are essential in my day-to-day routine.”
Both Rohde and Galvan have served on numerous community organizations. Galvan has served as a board member of Citizens Medical Center, the Victoria College Foundation and the Victoria Independent School District Education Foundation. He also is a member of the UHV Here, We Go Campaign Leadership Committee, a member and past president of the Victoria Kiwanis Club, and chairman of the Transportation Committee of the Victoria Chamber of Commerce.
In addition to serving the community, Galvan said he’s always looking for other projects to develop. His second company, Tierra Linda, which means beautiful land in Spanish, is a property development company that built CivilCorp Plaza in Victoria, which houses CivilCorp LLC and allows community members the option to lease offices or work spaces.
Rohde was a founding member and the past president of the Victoria Professional Express Network, a Victoria Chamber of Commerce ambassador and a member of the Business Women’s Association, among other organizations. Her latest venture is Morning Glory Helpers, a Bible study group which has a mission of teaching others how to pray, encouraging people to find their personal talents and gifts, and expanding the minds and hearts of those in the community.
“I was humbled to find out I would be receiving this award at the banquet because it recognizes alumni service to our community, and I believe our local organizations are vital to our community and our future,” Rohde said. “I’m passionate about coaching others to achieve their biggest dreams, and I hope to continue making an impact at UHV and in the community.”
For more information about the UHV Alumni Banquet, contact Mudd at 361-570-4869 or firstname.lastname@example.org. The cost for the evening is $15 a person, which includes the banquet and comedy and magician show. To register, visit www.uhvconnect.org/events.
The banquet is part of the 2019 UHV Homecoming week, which has a theme of Keepin’ it Fresh at UHV. A complete schedule of events can be found at www.uhv.edu/homecoming.