Hard work paid off for local engineer, CivilCorp president

Galvan Ben Galvan took summer classes in his hometown of Victoria while attending Texas A&I University full time.

Ben Galvan was determined to finish what he started.

Inspired by his parents, the first-generation college student didn’t allow temporary failures to get between him and an engineering degree.

“I didn’t do as well as I would have liked in every class I took in college,” said Galvan, who is president of Victoria-based CivilCorp, an engineering and surveying company with offices in four Texas cities. “But that made me work harder, especially if I had to take a class a second time. I used that as motivation and a stepping stone to achieve success.” 

Galvan’s road to success included Victoria College, where he took classes during the summer while attending Texas A&I University in the spring and fall.  

“I went to Texas A&I, but I would come home and get a summer job and take classes at Victoria College,” Galvan said. “The instructors were great at VC. It was a win-win situation. I was able to save money and take classes that transferred to my university.”

Galvan’s wife, Diana, attended Victoria College full-time and graduated from VC’s Associate Degree Nursing Program before the two were married. After their marriage, the couple relied on Diana’s salary as a nurse while Ben completed his final year at Texas A&I.

“Her two-year degree from Victoria College was invaluable,” Galvan said. “She continued to help support our family as we were getting started. When we moved back to Victoria, she went on to get her bachelor’s degree and then obtained her master’s degree and is now a nurse practitioner.”

Galvan worked for the Texas Department of Transportation for 14 years before working at a Victoria consulting firm for eight years. He started CivilCorp in 2008.

“We have offices in Victoria, Corpus Christi, Round Rock and Houston,” Galvan said. “We mainly do surveying, engineering design and inspection for highway and city street projects. We are able to do work all across the state. In 10 years, we have been able to grow to the four offices and from 12 employees to about 90.”

Now a member of the Victoria College Foundation’s board of directors, Galvan enjoys helping award grants to VC faculty and staff. He often gets to see demonstrations of equipment funded by the foundation.

“Watching a demonstration of the nursing program’s birthing mannequin was a great experience,” Galvan said. “I stood well in the back of the room, though. I didn’t want to get too close.”

Galvan takes great pride in the foundation’s efforts to make education and training at Victoria College available for all. He can relate to students persevering through all obstacles to realize their career dreams.

“My mom and dad weren’t able to go to high school or even grade school,” Galvan said. “They came from very humble means, but they taught us how to really work hard and set goals. All five of their kids went on to college, including two at Victoria College. They told us if we worked hard, good things would happen. That’s kind of what made me who I am.”

by Coy Slavik, Communications Specialist, Victoria College