By Tamas Mondovics
Prompted by hard work and commitment to his community, longtime Brandon area resident and Jefferson High School (JHS) graduate, Donald Pate, has enjoyed plenty of recognition and accolades over the years.
Upon learning of his selection into the Jefferson Hall of Fame earlier this summer, Pate did not hesitate to share his excitement and genuine surprise.
“Having my name listed alongside an amazing roster of notable, former JHS graduates and inductees, is truly an honor,” he said.
Pate, 80, is privileged to be listed among such outstanding JHS Alumni as Florida’s 40th Governor Bob Martinez, NY Yankee First Baseman Tino Martinez, Baseball Hall of Fame Tony Larussa, Chicago Bears Running Back Rick Casares, Judge Elvin Martinez George Anello and Tony Saladino.
The Jefferson Alumni Hall of Fame was established in 1998 to honor its inductees as well as present role models for local area youth. Those selected for induction stand out locally as well as nationally in a variety of fields, such as communication, sports, education, art, medicine, law and politics and science.
Following his graduation from JHS in 1953, Pate went on to be a graduate and fellow of the National Tax Institute of American University, Washington, D.C. He served on the Board of Directors of the National Accreditation Board for four years, and received the National Society of Public Accountants National Editorial Award for writing a series of articles on the Florida Accountancy Laws. In 1984 he was Member of the Year of the Florida Accountants Association and in 1994 elected President.
Locally, he served as president of the Emergency Care Help Organization, was a frequent participant in the Great American Teach-in, and a graduate of Leadership Brandon. In 1995 he was awarded Brandon’s Small Business Leader of the Year. He has also served in the Brandon Rotary Club for 17 years and was the Brandon Roundtable Charities Treasurer for several years.
For three years Pate also served as president of the JHS Alumni Association. “I particularly loved this assignment as it offers opportunities for alumni to get together socially and provide support to the high school by funding scholarships to academically talented graduates who want to continue their education on the college level,” Pate said.
Pate’s induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, November 14, at the Double Tree Hotel, across from Jefferson High School, located at 4401 W. Cypress St. in Tampa. Visit the Jefferson High School Alumni Association on Facebook.