George E. “Buddy” West Elementary School
George Edward West – better known as Buddy – was born in Ballinger, Texas in 1936. He moved to Odessa with his family in 1944. He graduated from Odessa High School, attended Odessa College and – after stints at Howard Payne University and Hardin-Simmons University – he completed a Bachelor of Science degree in business management from University of Texas of the Permian Basin. In fact, Buddy was a member of the first graduating class at UTPB.
Buddy worked for thirty years for Amoco as a corporate safety engineer, and during that time was elected to the Ector County ISD Board of Trustees.
In 1992, he stepped into the state political arena winning the election for District 81 state representative. West ended up serving nearly sixteen years as the District 81 rep, a tenure longer than anyone else in the history of the district.
His impact is still on display here; he convinced fellow legislators to fund the UTPB Presidential Museum and Leadership Library, which opened in 2002-2003 and added the title “Buddy & Shirley West Building” a couple of years ago. West lobbied for the funding of a performing arts center and a new student services building at UTPB. In 2003, West helped to gain appropriations for a new Odessa-Midland National Guard Armory near Midland International Airport. He was chairman of the House Committee on Energy Resources and the legislative point man on energy policies.
When Buddy passed away in June 2008, Governor Rick Perry ordered the lowering of flags in the state capitol complex in Austin. The Governor said the state “lost a great public servant when Buddy West passed away…a dedicated champion for the people of West Texas.”
Speaker of the House Tom Craddick said Buddy looked after his constituents saying “it was his friends, it wasn't [just] somebody he was representing."