Thursday, May 24, 2012

Austin Women of Distinction Spotlight - Wilhelmina Delco

Wilhelmina Delco
As a PTA officer and Girl Scout leader, Wilhelmina Delco found it disturbing that AISD would not allow school facilities to be used for student activities.  She consequently ran for a position on AISD Board of Trustees, inaugurating a political career that would span nearly three decades and include six years as an AISD Trustee and ten terms in the Texas Legislature.  The first African-American elected to the Texas House of Representatives from Travis County in modern times, Delco focused on education and issues of special concern to women, children and minorities. As Chair of the House Committee on Higher Education, she spearheaded the effort to secure a share of the Permanent University Fund for Prairie View A&M, significantly enhancing its facilities.

Widely recognized as an expert on education legislation, the woman who says that the only thing she ever flunked is retirement continues to serve on state and national boards and is an adjunct professor at UT Austin. Additionally, she has head leadership positions with both the local and national Girl Scout Councils and continues to be active in the LINKS and her college sorority, Alpha Kappa Alpha. An AISD facility in northeast Austin, a Pflugerville Elementary School and a building at Prairie View A & M have all been named in her honor. She and her husband, retired Huston- Tillotson professor Exalton Delco, will celebrate their 60th wedding anniversary in August. They have four grown children, nine grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.

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