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Presidents @ COM

The Presidents of College of the Mainland with brief biographies, accomplishments and photos.

President Herbert Stallworth, 1967-1971

click for full sizeDr. Herbert Stallworth was born in Consul, Alabama in 1923.  After graduating highs school he enlisted in the Coast Guard and served during World War II. After the war he attended college using the GI Bill. He received a B. A. degree in political science with honors in 1948; the Master of Arts degree in political science in 1949; and the Doctor of Education degree in 1951. 

Early in his career, Dr. Stallworth taught political science and history at Jacksonville University in Florida, was supervising principal of public schools in Nassau County, Florida, and worked several years in industry, industrial relations and personnel management and later served as President of Western Piedmont Community College. 

In the spring of 1967, Mr. H. K. "Griz" Eckert invited Dr. Stallworth to Texas City to discuss the development of a new college. After discussion and consideration, the Board of College of the Mainland asked Dr. Stallworth to accept the presidency and the responsibility for the development of the institution. He accepted their invitation, and the next four years were a labor of love for him.

Dr. Stallworth later served as Vice President for Academic affairs of Austin Peay University State University in Tennessee. And finally, developed the project for the desegregation of Texas public higher education institutions in the Office of the Commissioner of Higher Education of Texas.

At his request, Dr. Stallworth's ashes were scattered over Lake Eckert in 2015 

Dr. Stallworth served as President of College of the Mainland from 1967 to 1971

Top Accomplishments

  • The Board of Trustees selects Dr. Herbert F. Stallworth, an educator with experience in establishing new colleges, to serve as the first president of the college.
  • A permanent site for the college is selected, 122 acres are purchased for approximately $296,000.
  • On September 14, 1967, College of the Mainland open its doors to 414 students at the Booker T. Washington campus in Texas City, TX (a Texas City ISD elementary school).   In a collection of 14 classrooms, approximately 94 courses were offered.  A realization of a 32-year dream. 
  • President and Trustees prepare prospectus outlining mission of the College
  • A groundbreaking ceremony is held on the COM campus on September 12. The first phase of the campus consists of four buildings: the Administration Building, the Learning Resources Center, the Technical-Vocational Building, and the Math and Science Building.
  • COM launches the Comets. COM’s basketball team, with Ron Ummel as coach.
  • COM Foundation is established as an independent nonprofit by a volunteer board of directors to assist friends of COM in supporting students.
  • Jan Llewellyn and Karen Watson, first graduates of COM in May 1968, receive degrees.
  • Enrollment reaches 1,812 students – 914 in credit courses, 659 in noncredit courses, plus 239 in apprenticeship training programs.
  • Continuing Education program enrolls 700 in first classes (ten years later, the enrollment reaches 24,674).
  • Library begins service with 10,000 volumes.
  • Secretary of State approves charter for College of the Mainland foundation.
  • Board approves architectural plans for Learning Resources Center, Administration Building and Math-Science Building.
  • COM receives $500,000 federal building program grant from office of Health, Education and Welfare.
  • COM receives $500,000 from Texas Education Association toward construction of new Technical-Vocation Building.
  • COM breaks ground for first phase of new construction.
  • COM receives approval for membership in the Southern Association of Junior Colleges.
  • COM receives official status of “candidate” for membership in the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools.
  • College moves to its modern campus on Palmer Highway upon completion of first phase of construction.
  • College receives full accreditation from Southern Association from of Colleges and Schools in shortest time possible.
  • Citizens approve second bond issue of $4,750,000 for second phase of construction.
  • Houston-Galveston Area Council designates College of the Mainland as the institution to develop and operate a Law Enforcement Academy. 
  • Division of Business implements first interdisciplinary Cooperative Education Program in Texas community colleges.
  • Financial Aid office begins Emergency Loan Fund for students.
  • COM offers Adult Education at five sites.