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The Alumni Magazine

Fall 2009

Ferguson Social S

ciences Building 20 09

From the President his year Texas A&M University-Commerce celebrates 120 years of service to the people of Northeast Texas, the nation and the world. Since its founding in 1889, the university has awarded nearly 110,000 degrees.

That’s a lot of proud Lions. But in addition to all of these proud alumni, think of the many more whose lives have been enriched because one of their relatives – a mother, an uncle, a great-great-grandparent took that courageous step to become the first member of their family to attend and graduate from college. And in doing so, they changed the course of family history for generations to come. It’s a step that my father took many years ago when, upon returning home from military service in World War II, he took advantage of the GI Bill and became the first member of his family to earn a college degree. His brave decision led to a better life for my family, and opened the door of opportunity for my brother and me to earn advanced degrees of our own. In this issue of Pride, we look at the stories of five families whose lives have been bettered by their connections to Texas A&M University-Commerce. For some, such as the extended family of Ray Price, the connections stretch back decades and include scores of people. For others, such as the Quinones family, the journey is just beginning, with the oldest two of their six children enrolling at A&M-Commerce this fall. I suspect that most of us have similar stories to share, drawn from our own family chronicles, that speak to the power of educational opportunity to transform lives and shape futures. I hope that the stories of these five families will awaken within you the same deep appreciation I feel for the mission of our great university.

Dr. Dan Jones President First Class Richard L. Jones, { Private U.S. Army, circa 1941.


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


Family Pride Lion Pride Building Community Sibling Revelry Alpha Pride For The Good Times

10 16 22 24 32

Departments Campus Notes:

New Faces Just Ask Ted Living by Example Access and Success

4 6 7 8

Volleyball’s Leading Lady 9

Giving Back: A Well-Connected Life 30

Faculty Focus: Awarding Excellence 38

Branching Out: Partnerships 42

Noteworthy 44 Class Notes 46

Fall 2009; Vol. 8 Pride Magazine is published two times a year by the Texas A&M University-Commerce marketing communications department. Non-profit postage paid at Addison, Texas. Pride is distributed without charge to alumni, faculty, staff, and friends of Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Editor in Chief Randy Jolly


Ashley Johnson

Assignment Editor Brent Lyday

Creative Director Nathan Pieratt

Photography Paul Bryan Jason Flowers Jared Horn

Illustrations Crystal Britton

Administrative Assistant Christan Hilbrand

Web Manager Ken Dickinson Address changes, inquiries and contributions of information may be made to Alumni Relations at 903.886.5765, via e-mail to or to Texas A&M University-Commerce, Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 3011 Commerce, TX 75429.

About the cover: Continuing a tradition started under Professor Mayo, President Whitley arranged for a photographer to take a panorama of the entire student body, faculty and administration in 1927. In the background is the Education Building, now known as Ferguson Social Sciences. (Photo courtesy of James Gee Library)

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New Faces By Ashley Johnson


Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

Dr. Larry Lemanski, Provost, Vice President of Academic Affairs & Research Scientist Dr. Larry Lemanski has charmed snakes, toured countries on the back of an elephant and explored the inner workings of what makes a salamander’s heart beat. Now he has a new adventure-turning A&M-Commerce into a world-class teaching and research institution. “After having served as provost for six months, I am fully convinced that we will be moving to new heights as a university,” Lemanski said. “I am very excited and look forward to being a part of it.” Lemanski’s goals as provost are as diverse as they are numerous including an increased emphasis on globalization, the creation of a nursing school and an expansion of research opportunities and funding at both the graduate and undergraduate levels.


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

“Research is the discovery of new ways to do something,” Lemanski said. “It’s the creation of knowledge and scholarship, and it’s exciting.” Lemanski’s interest in research extends to his own lab on campus where his work with salamanders and genetic mutations may someday provide a way to turn damaged heart tissue into healthy cardiac tissue in humans. In the meantime, however, Lemanski is simply glad to be back in Texas, and closer to his children and grandchildren. “My wife and I were impressed with the friendly small town atmosphere here,” he said. “We’re glad to be living back in Texas, and especially in Commerce.”


Randy VanDeven, Vice President of Institutional Advancement

Dr. Chris Evans, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences

When Randy VanDeven was young, he didn’t dream of being a fundraiser. He dreamed of being an engineer. “I liked being outside and doing things no one else had ever attempted,” VanDeven said.

The College of Arts and Sciences combines disciplines most consider entirely unrelated like biology and Spanish, or computer science and ceramics. However, thanks to the vision of a new dean, Dr. Chris Evans, these opposites will collaborate to provide innovative new interdisciplinary opportunities for faculty and students alike.

His engineering career ended abruptly, however, when his daughter asked him to be home more often so he could go to her soccer games. “I loved my job,” he said, “but I love my kids more.” After a successful attempt at fundraising for a local church, Randy found his niche. He transitioned to fundraising fulltime at Tennessee Tech University where he secured a $1 million gift for the university, and asked for $20 million to name the college of engineering during his nine-year tenure.

Now VanDeven looks to draw upon his past successes as the new vice president for institutional advancement at A&M-Commerce. “I enjoy motivating people to give back,” he said. “It’s about listening to people, developing trust and getting others to believe in the mission of higher education. I look forward to instilling a spirit of philanthropy within the university community, and proving we can be good stewards of the gifts we receive.”

“I am excited for the enthusiasm I’ve witnessed among faculty members to work together,” Evans said. “These collaborative projects will pave the way for additional federal funding, and improve student-learner outcomes by building bridges between a student’s core curriculum courses.”

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Campus Notes

By Ashley Johnson & Brent Lyday w Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

Just Ask Ted For student veterans at A&M-Commerce, Ted Oats is known as a friend, an advisor and a fellow veteran who can relate to them in ways few others can. He’s helping them transition from life in the military to the civilian world with a college education. As the new director of veterans’ affairs on campus, Ted also is the face of the A&M System-wide military initiative geared towards welcoming student veterans to campus, helping them work through and understand their G.I. benefits and ensuring they walk across the stage with diploma in hand, ready for their next step in life. “There are so many things that go into being a student vet from determining educational benefits, to working with professors when you get called as a reservist,” he said. “I’m here to help with all of that.” As a retired lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Air Force Reserve Ted’s resume includes more than 3,000 hours of flight time in the F-4 Phantom and 1,500 hours in the F-105 Thunderchief. He also has more than 17,000 hours as an airline captain with Southwest Airlines. Ted knows the difficulties of serving his country, raising a family and getting a college degree. “I remember what it was like trying to transition from military to civilian life on a college campus. It can be hard,” Ted said. “I want students to know that I understand what they are going through. My office is always open if they need to talk about anything from a tough class schedule, to serving overseas or even family issues. I’m here to listen and help as best I can.” One of Ted’s first orders of business on campus was assisting with the 2009 Veterans’ Vigil on campus Nov. 9-11.

“As a university employee, an alumnus and a veteran, it was so rewarding to be a part of the Vigil and see everything the university does to support the event, including the missing man formation flyby performed by my old squadron, the 301st Fighter Squadron,” Ted said. “The experience reinforced the decision I made many years ago to attend A&M-Commerce.” If you are a veteran and want a degree, just ask Ted: or visit the Veterans’ Affairs Web site


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

A military-friendly university that is changing the world.


Living By Example Luis Franco’s journey to Texas A&M University-Commerce began 17 years ago, when his family moved to the United States from Mexico to provide a better future for their family. Luis took advantage of his parents’ ambitious decision by earning his bachelor’s degree from A&M-Commerce in 2005. “Graduating from college was a goal I set for myself at a very young age,” said Luis, director of Hispanic outreach at A&M-Commerce. “As I walked across the stage and was handed my diploma, I was filled with a sense of accomplishment. I knew I was setting an example for my two younger siblings.” Now, Luis is working to make higher education a reality for other Hispanic students as A&M-Commerce works to increase its Hispanic enrollment from 8.7 percent to 25 percent as part of the Hispanic service initiative. “As a Hispanic individual, alumnus and staff member of Texas A&M University-Commerce, I feel extremely proud of our new initiative,” Luis said. “As a state institution, it is our duty to educate and serve Hispanic families, a segment of the

population that grows more and more every day, but is underrepresented in higher education. This initiative will help us accomplish that.” The university’s first step towards achieving the goal was to put together a Hispanic Serving Institutional Advisory Council. The council advised the university to take several steps towards making the campus more Hispanic-friendly, like creating English-Spanish Web pages and marketing materials, as well as hiring recruiters, faculty and staff that speak and write Spanish fluently. “Our initiative to raise Hispanic enrollment is not just about numbers,” Luis said. “A&M-Commerce wants to build a relationship and a presence in the Hispanic/Latino community. As Professor Mayo stated, ‘no industrious youth shall be denied an education if I can prevent it.’ Our initiative supports that idea; it’s something that would make our founder proud.”

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Campus Notes By Brent Lyday


Photography by Jason Flowers

Access & Success When students returned to campus this fall, they didn’t have to hunt down the registrar’s office in the Business Administration building. They didn’t have to ask for directions to visit a financial aid advisor or a career counselor across campus. Instead, they went to the new Student Access and Success Center, former home of the university’s print shop, for nearly all of their needs. “We have everything in one place now-financial aid and scholarships, the registrar’s office, enrollment management, Hispanic Outreach, veterans’ affairs, and our summer camps and conferences coordination,” said Dr. Mary Hendrix, vice president for student access and success. The center also houses University College, recruiters, testing services, and career counseling and development. The Admissions team benefits from the center as well, which allows students and their families to access multiple services in one facility. “Having our entire department in the Student Access and Success Center allows us to properly direct students and their families through the enrollment steps,” said Stephanie Holley, dean of the enrollment and retention division. “We eliminate runaround when we don’t have to send a student back and forth across campus to access the information they need.” Success coaches are another welcome addition this semester. Similar to advisors, success coaches are cross-trained in admissions and financial aid so they can assist with enrollment, scheduling and helping students choose a major and develop a degree plan. “So many of our students have no idea what they want to major in,” Hendrix said. “Our success coaches help them narrow down their choices with a career assessment so they have a focus and a goal to achieve.” Every space in the building was created with students in mind, including the lobby’s array of colored chairs, couches and computers for student access. “We were very conscious of the fact that we have many non-traditional students who bring children with them, as well as students with disabilities,” Hendrix said. “It was important that the building be appealing and accessible to all students. That’s why it’s here. Students love it.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


Volleyball’s Leading Lady Consistent. Solid. Professional. Leader. These are just a few words that describe Texas A&M University-Commerce senior Lauren Flynn. A four-year starter for the Lions volleyball team, Flynn has built a reputation on her play-making abilities, diving to save the ball and piling up digs. “That’s just my way of playing,” Flynn said. “I like to make the whole team look good, not just myself. I want to fit in with the team and do my job. That’s just part of my position.” Despite her loud play on the court, Flynn is known for her quiet demeanor and unmatched work ethic. “I really want to work hard,” she said. “I want to be the captain on the team at all times. I think my team looks up to me as a leader, just not in a loud kind of way.” She arrived at A&M-Commerce in 2006 after an all-state campaign at Deer Park High School in Houston. With a family full of teachers and coaches, Flynn wanted to continue her volleyball career at an institution that would prepare her for a career off the court. “A&M-Commerce is known for its education program, and I truly believe I was born to teach,” Flynn said. “It’s in my blood and I feel that I can make a difference as a teacher. I am getting the best education and experience that will set me up for my teaching future.” Finding a balance for the senior has been strenuous with practice, traveling, games, and class, but her teammates have helped as they share the same goals for success. “We are all very hardworking and know what it takes to manage our time between what we love to do and what is going to make us successful in the future.” Throughout her career, Flynn has shattered many records, and led A&M-Commerce to back-to-back Lone Star Conference tournament bids for the first time since 2001-02. While the Lions put together one of the best seasons in school history, Flynn has kept her education a priority, and hopes to remain a consistent, solid, and professional leader in the classroom after graduation. “I definitely want to teach fourth through eighth grade math, and I hope to coach eventually,” Flynn said. “It doesn’t matter if it’s just volleyball; I just love being around sports.”

Fall 2009 9

This endowment celebrates and honors my daughter, Star’s, life. It’s my way to carry on her memory in a lasting way that helps others achieve their goals. I’m thrilled that it was able to impact the life of someone from another country. Kari King Smith

As an international student, I rely entirely on scholarships to pay for my education. This money means so much to me. I’m so thankful that Kari decided to give back. Farai, Class of 2010

Kari King Smith (and daughter Saylor) provides Farai Mashongamehende

with a scholarship and the lift to get through school. GIVE BACK



Lion pride runs deep in the Power family. Each is a power player in their respective industry, from Harry and Georgia Power totheir sons Craig and Kyle and daughter-in-law Morgan. Each attributes much of their success to the time they each spent at A&M-Commerce. “I bleed blue and gold,” said Harry Power.” I spent four of the greatest years of my life on this campus. If you take in all that is offered to you and fully participate in the college experience, you will have the time of your life.


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


Fall 2009 13

As the marketing director of Sleep Therapy Associates of Texas, Harry feels fortunate o have learned the basics of business on a personable campus like A&M-Commerce. “I enjoyed the atmosphere and culture of the campus from my first visit,” Harry said. “Going to ET gave me the confidence along with a degree to go out and build my career. I’ve always been proud of my university and how it helped mold me for life.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

Georgia, an educational consultant for Wireless Generation, echoes Harry’s sentiments about her beloved alma mater. “ET prepared me for life after college in many aspects,” she said. “It gave me the knowledge I needed to work in public education as a teacher, counselor, principal and district-wide administrator. Organizations like the Gold Jackets also taught me leadership skills which have been very valuable as a consultant.”

Morgan and Craig credit their organizations for teaching them valuable life lessons including how to be accountable, how to manage their time and how to keep their goals in sight. These lessons paid dividends after graduation, with Morgan securing a third-grade teaching position at Davis Elementary in the Royse City ISD, and Craig going to work with his dad as a sales associate after graduating with his master’s degree in business administration. “A&M Commerce gave us the social skills and strong educational background we needed to be successful in our society and place of business,” Morgan said. She also credits Dr. John Koldus, the former vice president of student affairs at A&M-Commerce, for teaching her how to be a professional and handle difficult situations with poise and grace when she was a student worker in his office. He was a good role model.

The university also served as a welcoming home away from home for Craig and Morgan where everyone knew just about everyone else. The close-knit environment helped them each become more involved on campus, and in return, more independent and responsible.

Today, Harry and Georgia remain active on campus, attending Parents’ Day when their sons were attending, and regularly attending Homecoming and events with the Alumni Board, of which Harry is a member.

“A&M-Commerce is small enough that the college is its own small town,” she said. “It is also big enough, however, to give the eager 18 or 40-year-old a real college experience.”

“I always vowed that somehow I would give back to ETSU in some form or fashion,” Harry said. “I’ve remained a loyal alum, and Georgia and I are dedicated to the betterment of our university.” The second-generation Powers, Craig, Kyle and Morgan, found their niche at A&M-Commerce through their involvement in Greek life. “Greek life had a huge impact on our lives,” Morgan said. “We would not have the wonderful friends we do todayif it had not been for our fraternities, Chi Omega and Kappa Alpha Order.”

For Kyle, the youngest Power, going to A&M-Commerce never required a second thought. He came to campus with fresh memories of attending East Texas State football and basketball games with his dad. “Craig was going to A&M-Commerce. He is my best friend and he would never steer me wrong,” Kyle said. “When he told me that he wanted me to go to school with him I knew that I was going to Commerce.” After graduating with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and a minor in biology in 2007, Kyle enrolled in physical therapy school at Texas Tech University; an accomplishment largely due to the personal attention he received from his professors at A&M-Commerce.

“A&M-Commerce is one big family. People really care about you,” Kyle said. “You can’t find that at a big COLLEGE when you are just a number.” Looking back, the Power family has a multitude of memories from their time on campus from meeting spouses and the 1972 national championship in football, to Greek life and gaining acceptance to physical therapy school. For the Power parents, however, their greatest highlight was seeing Kyle, Craig and Morgan walk across the stage with diplomas in hand. “The most awesome moments have been our sons and daughter-in-law graduating,” Georgia said. “We are very proud of all of them and their accomplishments.” And they are all very proud to call themselves Lions. o

“A&M-Commerce gave us the social skills and strong educational background we needed to be successful in our society and place of business.”

Fall 2009 15

Nancy and I worked hard to get through school. We had three kids, and it was challenging. We want to help students struggling with the same things-family, work and school. It just feels right to give back. Dr. Keith & Nancy McFarland

As a working mom with three young kids, this scholarship means the world to me. When I found out I won, I screamed ‘We won, we won.’ Then my kids got up, and started yelling, ‘we won, we won’ with me. They didn’t know what we won; they just knew it made their mommy very happy. Katherine, Class of 2009

Dr. Keith & Nancy McFarland provide Katherine Ashby with the lift a working mother could only hope for. GIVE BACK


BUILDING community By Ashley Johnson


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

In the Oglesby family Mike and Ann learned early on that college was not an option; it was a requirement. Mike Oglesby and Ann (Oglesby) Julian’s father was a carpenter with a fourth-grade education. Their mother had only a year of college. Determined their children would receive the education they did not, Mike and Ann’s parents moved their family from Arkansas to Commerce, Texas. All six children graduated from East Texas State College.

e on the land “We actually used to liv Student Center that the Sam Ray bu rn id. “It’s fun sits on today,” Mike sa used to to go inside and say, ‘I live he re.’” Mike and Ann both credit the university for their professional success, personal growth and their respective spouses, Jeanenne and Hoyle, who also are alums of the university. After graduating in 1964, Mike set out to make a name for himself in the insurance industry. After the death of his 21-year-old son, however, he decided he needed to invest more in his family than his business. So began Mike’s journey into construction, the trade of his father, and his quest to beautify the Commerce community one building at a time. “I love Commerce,” Oglesby said. “I grew up here, and I want to give back in a way that betters the community.”

Fall 2009 19

“Now it’s lawns and well lit entrances, to their brick work and craftsman-style. Mike hopes his work will help to create a “main drag” for A&M-Commerce, a step that would both strengthen the area’s standing as a college town and entice future students to become Lions.

“I love Commerce. Mike’s wife Jeanenne, class of 1966, took on an integral role in the management of Oglesby & Associates, Inc. after teaching for a few years in the Dallas ISD. Now she works alongside Mike, helping him select new projects and manage other rental properties in Commerce. “I have enjoyed returning to Commerce,” Jeanenne said. “I love seeing the university’s growth and the diversity of students. The campus has never looked so good as the result of all the new buildings, landscaping and maintenance.” As winners of the Commerce Beautification Award, Mike and Jeanenne have contributed greatly to the university aesthetics with an array of newly built and renovated rental properties that have improved the neighborhoods and have added to the overall beauty of the campus. With an eye for green building practices, Mike works to include energy-efficient “low-e” windows, insulation and HVAC units into every new project and renovation he takes on.


“Jeanenne and I build homes we would be proud to live in,” Oglesby said. “We’re happy to contribute in a way that makes Commerce a more attractive place for people to work, live and study.” For Hoyle and Ann (Oglesby) Julian, however, giving back to the university involves less brick and mortar, and more books and tutoring; gifts they feel will pay dividends for generations. “The tutoring started with one of the football players, Dan DeVega,” Hoyle said. “He needed some help with math, so I started meeting with him a few days a week. Eventually, the coach asked me to take on a few more of his players. I think I’ve had a lot of success working with them because they know I’m there because I want to help, not for money.” For both Ann and Hoyle, having the ability to meet one-on-one with students for tutoring or advising, and seeing the lights go on is one of the highlights they believe makes A&M-Commerce so unique. It’s that love and respect for the university’s heritage that also brings the Julians back to campus for nearly every university theater production, concert and athletic event. For Hoyle, however, it’s a love for a university he never thought he’d attend. “I never planned to go to college,” Hoyle said. “I thought I’d be a welder, but when I fractured a bone in my hand, I knew I had to try for something else. Then my dad had a stroke, so I had to stay close to home and tend our dairy farm in Sulphur Springs. A&M-Commerce was close by, so it made the most sense.”

Their latest project on Monroe Street, Oglesby Plaza, was completed this summer and included a 2400 square foot mixed-use development across from Prairie Crossing with both retail space and apartments. He also constructed a new 1300-square-foot home across the street.

A lot has changed since the Julians attended, but they embrace it nonetheless. “Every building on campus has air-conditioning now,” Ann said. “The only air-conditioned building we had was the student center. Every Monday night we had square dancing at the SUB. Everyone showed up and had a fun time.”

“Ideally we will fill the space with a restaurant that caters to college students,” Mike said. “I’d like to see a restaurant move in that has a bistro feel, something that will take advantage of the outdoor seating in front of and alongside the building.”

“We have so many fond memories of this university,” she said. “Now it’s just an honor for us to give back.” w

Each of the Oglesby’s properties adds a welcome charm to the neighborhoods surrounding campus, from their nicely manicured

Learn more about the Oglesby’s and other distinguished alumni at

Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

an honor for us to give back.”

“Jeanenne and I build homes we would be proud to live in.”

Fall 2009 21

Scholarship King-Smith

Those of us who have received a college education are richly blessed. We started our endowment because we want other students to have the same opportunity we did to experience college life. That’s also why our scholarship requires the recipient to get involved in a campus activity. Getting involved is what truly makes your college experience. Arlan & Bobbie Purdy



I remember sitting at the scholarship banquet and hearing them call my name. It was such a good feeling. I knew they had faith in me; they knew I could succeed. Sage, Class of 2013

Arlan & Bobbie Purdy scholarship lifts Sage Sullivan to new heights. GIVE BACK


For two hours and forty minutes a day, Nancy and Flaviano Quinones commute to and from A&M-Commerce. For this brother and sister duo, it is a journey they wouldn’t make any other way.

By Ashley Johnson Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

Nancy and Flaviano support each other. They add and drop classes to make the other’s schedule easier. They often spend 12 hours a day on campus, waiting for the other to finish up classes for the day. Most importantly, they work together to set an example for their four younger siblings.

“Being the oldest, I know if I show my brothers and sisters that I can go to college and do well, then they can do it too,” Flaviano said. So far, they have succeeded in their efforts. One sister attends El Centro Community College, their twin brothers are seniors in high school planning to attend community college next year and their youngest sister, a middle school student, already has her eye on going to college. “I didn’t know what I was doing my first year out of high school,” Flaviano said.


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

“I took classes I didn’t need to take. I had to figure everything out on my own-how to apply for scholarships, study skills, everything. Now I can show my siblings how to do it, too.” While Nancy and Flaviano are happy to be Lions this semester, finding their way to A&M-Commerce took time. “Two years ago, we came to Mane Event, and felt comfortable in the small town environment,” Nancy said. “We also met Dr. Fred Fuentes who showed our dad around, and made him feel comfortable on campus.” The transition from Eastfield College to A&M-Commerce was made possible by a scholarship from the Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. “Yolanda, our advisor at Eastfield, put us in touch with Luis Franco at A&M-Commerce, and he told us about the scholarships available,” Nancy said. “Hopefully we’ll get resident advisor positions soon too, so we can live on campus and enjoy the whole college experience.” While they do not live in Commerce yet, they have found a home in their respective departments. Flaviano is following his love for cattle and horses in the animal science program, and Nancy is thriving in the education program, with hopes of inspiring kids as a bilingual second grade teacher.

“The professors are wonderful and are willing to work with you one-on-one, especially Margie Garcia. She and I connected right away, and she’s always available to give me advice,” Nancy said. “We are really glad we came to A&M-Commerce.”

The professors are wonderful and are willing to work with you one-on-one... We are really glad we came to A&M-Commerce.

Being the oldest, I know if I show my brothers and sisters that I can go to college and do well, then they can do it too,

Fall 2009 25

By Ashley Johnson


Alpha PRI

Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

The Crutchfield family embodies

the spirit of leadership, a trait learned early on from parents, fraternities and civic leaders.

“I remember watching Dr. Martin Luther King on television when I was a child,” Zola Crutchfield said. “He had the qualities of a strong leader, and influenced me to do the right and positive things with my life, to strive to become educated and fight for justice in our society.” For Ken and Brandon Crutchfield, that leadership was fostered by Alpha Phi Alpha, a fraternity that has left an indelible mark and strengthened the bond between father and son. “I have observed the tie that exists between Ken, Brandon and the fraternity,” Zola said. “The relationships they developed and the loyalty it created is very evident.” With pride, integrity and professionalism, the Alphas were a group of men Ken grew up admiring. “I grew up in a small town in Oklahoma,” Ken said, “and nearly every man in town was an Alpha. I knew I would be one too someday. All of my favorite memories from A&M-Commerce are from my experiences in Greek life and pledging my fraternity.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


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When Brandon transferred to A&M-Commerce his sophomore year, he knew pledging his father’s fraternity was more than a choice to join Greek life, it was a life decision to be part of a bigger family; it was a decision to be an Alpaha brother for life. “My fraternity brothers had a positive impact on my time at A&M-Commerce,” Ken said. “They stressed service and discipline as a path to success and provided me with good examples. I was very happy and proud that Brandon chose to pursue the same path I traveled.” Brandon is equally proud of his decision to follow in his father’s footsteps. “Being part of a fraternity was a great experience,” Brandon said. “I was held to the highest standards and had to carry myself in public a certain way. My life in the fraternity prepared me for the real world so that I was prepared to interact with business men and women on a professional basis.” Although Brandon started out as “Little Crutch” on campus, thanks to his striking resemblance of his father, Brandon quickly gained his own identity and charted his own path. He became a student leader, and found opportunities to make a difference. “One of the things I like most about A&M-Commerce is that it’s small enough to get involved from day one,” he said. “Where else can you work directly with the provost and vice president as a student?” Brandon’s outgoing demeanor, knack for talking with people and willingness to volunteer eventually led him to a career of working with students. “I worked in Upward Bound for a year at A&M-Commerce, mentoring and tutoring high school students. It was the first time I was doing a job that was helping others,” he said. “ I knew I wanted to work with college bound students from the first day I met those students.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

The confidence Brandon gained from being involved with the Alphas and working with Upward Bound spurred him to seek a career in higher education, first as an admissions recruiter for A&M-Commerce, and now as transfer enrollment advisor for The University of Texas at Dallas. “Higher education is a fun place to be,” Brandon said. “It’s a way to impact students, and give them a chance to succeed.” A&M-Commerce has also led Ken and Zola into the world of education, with Ken taking on a new role as the director of human resources outreach at Texas A&M University in College Station after seven years at A&M-Commerce. Zola teaches in the Mesquite ISD. For Zola, walking across the stage in 2006 to receive her bachelor’s degree in health education was the realization of a dream that began while working in corporate America. “My former boss encouraged me to start going to college and take night classes, so I enrolled at a junior college in Dallas. From there, I continued to pursue my education at A&M-Commerce. The small town atmosphere was a perfect setting for me as I was able to know my professors in a more personal environment and I enjoyed that.” Ken credits many of his accomplishments to the strong role model his mother provided. “My father passed away when I was young, so my mother played both roles-and she played

She was a wise woman indeed, inspiring Ken to pursue his degree and become a man his family and friends respect and admire. “A&M-Commerce gave me a great college education and the concepts presented to me as a pledge in my fraternity instilled in me that in life you will be knocked down,” Ken said. “When that happens you must get up, brush yourself off and persevere because the prize is not given to the fastest or the bigger man; but to the man who thinks he can.” o

great college education and the concepts presented to me as a pledge in my fraternity instilled in me that in life you will be knocked down...When that happens you must get up, brush yourself off and persevere because the prize is not given to the fastest or the bigger man;

them well,” Ken said. “My mother taught me to treat people with respect no matter who they are and no matter what life brings, to stay positive because every day is a gift and everyday that you wake up is always a good reason to be hopeful and thankful. Now, whenever I am confronted with major decisions, I ask myself ‘what would my mother say?’ She was a very wise person.”

A&M-Commerce gave me a

but to the man who thinks he can.

Fall 2009 29

This scholarship is in honor of my wife and her love for theater. Hundreds of people have chosen to give in her memory. Now, each year, some talented and deserving students will find their way made easier because of this scholarship. Jan would be so proud to see what these students have accomplished, and the success they’ve found in the A&M-Commerce theater department. Jim Swart



I’m so thankful to have worked alongside Janet in the theater department, and now to receive a scholarship in her memory. This will go a long way in helping me achieve my goals as an actress and as a playwright. Angelica, Class of 2009

Jim Swart honors senior Angelica Jackson

with scholarship that provides lift as graduation nears. GIVE BACK



By Ashley Johnson


Photography by Paul Bryan

Sandra Doyle (‘75) with Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert at Dallas City Hall.


Walk into Sandra Doyle’s office at Atmos Energy, and one of the first things you’ll notice are the photos that line every wall, bookshelf and ledge. They are more than photos of friends and family. The photos represent connections with senators, congressmen, Gov. Rick Perry, and former Vice President Dick Cheney. They represent who Sandra is, and what she loves to do-network with and for others. “I tell people these photos prove how much work I really do outside of the office. I like to connect people.” Sandra’s gift for relationship building is essential to her role as director of public affairs for Atmos Energy in Dallas, and as a decision maker on the A&M-Commerce foundation board. “Sandra Doyle is all about relationships,” said Dr. Dan Jones, Texas A&M University-Commerce president.“She has opened many doors for her alma mater, introducing us to key leaders in business, education and public service throughout the Metroplex.”

One such introduction between Jones and Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert led to a $3.2 million partnership between A&M-Commerce and Education is Freedom in September, a connection Sandra was happy to make given her positive experience on campus. “A&M-Commerce was small enough that I could get to know people, and take on leadership positions with my sorority, Alpha Phi,” she said. “I was encouraged to grow and learn new things by professors who challenged me.” The leadership and confidence Sandra gained on campus proved to be some of her greatest assets as she came into her own in the predominantly male oil and gas industry. “As a female in the industry, I wasn’t always taken seriously,” she said. “For every ‘good old boy,’ however, there was always one or two men who would show me respect, take time to mentor me and teach me the ropes.” The tenacity that brought Sandra success also brought her recognition recently when her employees nominated her as one of the

Dallas Business Journal’s most influential women in Dallas. Out of 400 nominees, Sandra was one of the top 25 selected. “Receiving the award, knowing it was based on nominations from my team, was definitely one of the most influential moments of my career,” Sandra said. For Sandra, the award means she’s leaving a positive legacy for those around her to follow.

“My path has led me in so many different directions, and taught me so many things,” Sandra said. “Most importantly, I’ve learned that whatever your job, work hard and with humility. If you are sweeping floors, be the best floor sweeper you can. For me, that means doing my best to connect people’s needs with resources.” w

Fall 2009 33

For the Before

By Ashley Johnson



Photography by Paul Bryan

became a household name in country music, he wanted to be a veterinarian. Higher education was something he had always aspired to; two generations of his family had already received college degrees, many from Texas A&M University-Commerce. He planned to follow in their footsteps.

In 1943, Price did just that when he

enrolled at the North Texas Agricultural College, now known as the University of Texas-Arlington. When World War II broke out however, he was called to leave school and serve in the Pacific with the U.S. Marine Corps.

Life changed quickly for Price when he

returned. He began singing at local night clubs before joining Abilene’s KRBC “Hillbilly Circus” and appearing on Dallas’ “Big D Jamboree” in 1949 where a music representative heard him sing and pitched his talents to Columbia Records executive Don Law. Price was signed on March 15, 1951. Later that year, Price appeared on the Grand Ole Opry’s “Friday Night Frolics” radio show where he met Hank Williams.


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

Williams helped Price secure a place on the cast of the Grand Ole Opry in January 1952, and the two soon began touring together until Williams’ death in 1953. With a sound similar to Williams’, Price dug into his Texas roots for fresh, new sounds and formed the band, “Cherokee Cowboys.” He

Ray Price’s music has touched the lives of generations of people around the world...

began using twin fiddles, acoustic and steel guitars,

“Ray Price’s music has touched

stand-up bass and electric bass on the successful

the lives of generations of people

“Crazy Arms,” which became known as the “Ray

around the world,” said Jim Anderson,

Price Beat.” The song spent 20 weeks at No. 1 and

department head of the mass media,

became one of the longest-running hits in country

communications and theatre department

music history.

at A&M-Commerce. “He is generous

with his time and talent, going out of

Price’s multitude of country classics

in the late 1950s helped country music during

his way to help young people.” For his

a time when rock and roll was king. He worked

contributions to the state, region and

with country legends Willie Nelson, Roger Miller

country, as well as his accomplishments

and many others on his way to producing eight

throughout his career, Price will be

No. 1 hits and another top-10 hit from 1960-82.

receiving an honorary doctorate from

His musical accomplishments are numerous

A&M-Commerce on Dec. 19, 2009.

including 62 albums as well as Academy of

Country Music, Country Music Association

university can bestow on an individual,”

and Grammy Awards.

Anderson said. “There have been only a

handful of honorary doctorates given by

His latest release entitled “Last of the

“This is the highest honor a

Breed” came out in March 2007. In 1996, Price

the entire Texas A&M University System.

was inducted into the Country Music Hall

I can think of no other person more

of Fame, a testament to the lasting impact

deserving of this honor than

of his talent.

Ray Price.” n

Fall 2009 35

Scholarsh My wife and I have always enjoyed working with young people. Giving back to the university in the form of a scholarship was our way of staying involved when we could no longer give back physically. Charles Goodall, former A&M-Commerce football coach

hip Purdy It feels good knowing that I have alumni and community members supporting me in my education. This scholarship also motivated me to give back after I graduate, because I’ve seen how much this has meant to me. I want to do the same for future students. Leticia, Class of 2010

Charles Goodall scholarship assists senior Leticiaon herMcCullar rise to success. GIVE BACK


Faculty Focus

By Ashley Johnson & Breny Lyday w Photography by Paul Bryan w Illustrations by Crystal Britton

AWARDING EXCELLENCE Members of the A&M-Commerce faculty were recognized for their dedication in the classroom last spring as a part of the Texas A&M University System’s Spring 2009 Teaching Excellence Awards. The voluntary program was based on student evaluations completed at semester’s end, with awards ranging from $2,500-10,000 depending on class size. Seventeen A&M-Commerce faculty members received awards, with six in the top 5 percent, and another eleven in the top 20 percent. A&M-Commerce faculty received $60,500 in awards, second only to faculty at Texas A&M in College Station.

Dr. Ray Green Honors College dean and associate professor, psychology and special education “I have my dream job right now,” he said. “I never thought I’d move to Texas, or have the opportunity to start a college. That is certainly something that doesn’t always come your way.” Green has a crystal-clear view of his role within the classroom. “I want to push students past easy; I have to make them uncomfortable,” he said. “I need to help them realize what they don’t know, and at the same time share how much fun and exciting the subject is.” “Dr. Green was definitely one of the most influential professors in my academic career,” said Louise Daniels, one of Green’s former students. “He taught me to recognize my worth as a student, and to always pursue my dreams.”

“He taught me to recognize my worth as a student, and to always pursue my dreams.” 38

Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


Rhonda Clark Clinical instructor, curriculum and instruction Rhonda Clark uses her passion as a motivation tool to help her students achieve their goals of teaching after graduation. “I am here because I have a passion for students. By teaching at a university, I can pass on those skills and passion, and inspire those going into education,” Clark said. “I bond with my students by helping them build confidence, designing lessons they can connect with and including lots of laughter.” Clark hopes by being “real” with her students, that she can help them better relate and understand what she is teaching. “I want to help them achieve their dreams,” she said. “I want to help them become leaders in the schools that they will teach in, and most importantly, impact the children they teach in a positive way.”

“I want to help them achieve their dreams...”

Dr. Jennifer Schroeder Assistant professor, psychology and special education Dr. Jennifer Schroeder teaches a subject that has always been of interest to her-psychology. “It is an area of great significance to me because I love to learn about assisting students and teachers in the public school system,” Schroeder said. “There is also always something new and exciting to learn.” Schroeder’s excitement for teaching also was recognized in 2008, when she received the A&M-Commerce Neill Humfeld Distinguished Faculty Award for Service. “I enjoy working closely with students at A&M-Commerce, which is possible because of smaller class sizes,” Schroeder said. Schroeder attributes much of the program’s success to the camaraderie within the department. “The university’s close knit atmosphere and the flexibility allow students to pursue an advanced degree,” she said. “Our commitment to each other and to the program is what makes our students successful.”

“Our commitment to each other and to the program is what makes our students successful.” Fall 2009 39

Faculty Focus


Dr. Jason Wicke

Rebecca Stephens

Assistant professor, health & human performance professor

Clinical instructor, psychology and special education

For Jason Wicke, teaching is about more than disseminating information. It’s about imparting life skills to his students. “The most satisfying thing about teaching is knowing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life,” he said. Wicke is thankful to the Texas A&M University System for establishing the Teaching Excellence Awards, and he is humbled by the student response. “It’s one thing for another faculty or staff member to give you an award, but it’s really amazing to receive an award that’s student driven.” While this award celebrates Wicke’s commitment to excellence, he knows there’s still room for improvement. “You can always build upon your success, and student feedback is big part of that,” he said. “I want to be recognized as a professor who impacted students, and as a role model they want to emulate.”

When Rebecca Stephens transitioned from being a high school counselor to a clinical instructor, she brought with her invaluable experience. “I know what it’s like to be on the frontlines, so I can help students understand what they’ll do with their degrees,” she said. “I’m very flattered to receive the award. As a clinical instructor, there are a limited number of awards that I can win, so this was a humbling experience. This is the most meaningful award of my career.” Stevens takes her role as a leader in the classroom seriously. “Every teacher has an opportunity for transformational leadership,” she said. “Students come to college motivated to develop their skills. It’s my job to be a guide for them, teaching and empowering them to see themselves as teachers.”

“The most satisfying thing about teaching is knowaing you’ve made a difference in someone’s life.”

“Students come to college motivated to develop their skills. It’s my job to be a guide for them...”

Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


TOP 20 PERCENT TEACHING AWARD The Texas A&M University System awards outstanding faculty with Teaching Excellence Awards, a voluntary program based on student recommendations. The top five percent of faculty are awarded $5,000 to $10,000, and the next 5 to 15 percent receive $2,500 to $5,000.

Dr. Karin Tochkov Assistant professor, psychology and special education

“I have three goals for my teaching and instruction: teach students what I deem necessary information in order to be well-educated citizens of the world; help

Dr. Jiaming Sun–Associate professor, sociology and criminal justice

“I see teaching as a reciprocal relationship between teacher and student. I cherish the responsibility of providing clear explanations and guidance for students, while always stressing to them that they have a responsibility for learning in class.”

Omar Brown–Instructor, marketing and management

“As a humanitarian, I evaluated and realized that the best way to give back to society is by being an educator. I want to positively impact learners by providing them with high quality level of education.”

Dr. Eileen Faulkenberry Assistant professor, mathematics

“Since I predominantly teach those who will be teachers, it is important that my students not only know how to do something, but why that process works. The journey to the solution is often more informative than the solution.”

Dr. Laurene Fausett Associate professor, mathematics

students gain critical thinking

“The variety of classes that I teach and the areas of mathematics that I use in my research cannot be equaled in any other setting. I like the interactions with students both in and out of the classroom, and sharing the excitement of new mathematical results I have developed.”

skills, especially about psycho-

Dr. Gregory Wilson–Assistant professor, industrial engineering and technology

written communication skills.

“After 30+ years in engineering education, I most enjoy watching students mature, accept academic challenges far beyond what they would normally expect and execute the problem as directed with the tools they have learned.”

Dr. Laverne Raine–Assitant professor, curriculum and instruction

“I will always believe it was the Lord who planted the idea in me to teach and guided my path with great mentors. I am still committed to doing a good job and getting as much experience as I can. It is a noble profession and I feel blessed to be a part of it and A&M-Commerce.”

logical research and research in general; and improve their It has been my experience that students’ goals are often congruent with these goals and they are appreciative of my educational efforts.”

Dr. Mark Reid-Assistant professor, secondary education

“I love introducing new ideas and concepts to people. What a rush to help someone see the world in a way they had not considered. I also believe in challenging students beyond what they think they can do. I want them to think for themselves and realize that it is okay to challenge the ‘experts.’”

Dr. Pamela Webster-Director of Math Skill Center; Instructor

“Working with future teachers is extremely rewarding because my students will impact their future students. It’s a great example of a “rippling” effect; my work touches lives and those lives touch other lives.”

Fall 2009 41


By Ashley Johnson & Taylor Mayad w Photography by Paul Bryan

Relationship-building is an integral part of the A&M-Commerce mission. By partnering with groups like Education is Freedom, Dallas Community College District and Collin College, A&M-Commerce extends its ability to provide a unique college experience to greater numbers of students.



Prepares Dallas ISD Students for College

Texas A&M University-Commerce and Dallasbased Education is Freedom (EIF) embarked on a five-year, $3.2-million partnership this fall that focuses on preparing Dallas ISD youth for college, and providing the scholarship money to get them there. “This partnership with EIF is a way of extending our mission to bright, ambitious and highly capable students who might otherwise not have the chance to pursue their dream of a college degree,” said Dr. Jones, A&M-Commerce president. “By joining forces with EIF, we can offer even more students the tools they need to transform their lives through education.” The partnership benefits students participating in the rigorous EIF college-readiness programs offered at three high schools and five middle schools, and aims to recruit 50 students to A&M-Commerce every year for the next five years. The three-part program begins at the middle-school level where A&M-Commerce will participate in EIF roundtables and celebration events honoring high-achieving students. During the high school years, A&M-Commerce will step

up their involvement by hosting SAT/ACT prep sessions, assisting with financial aid and scholarship applications, and conducting a variety of informational sessions in Spanish for parents and students at select schools. Students also can earn up to $1,500 in scholarships by participating in a variety of on-campus activities, like athletic events and Mane Event, the university’s recruitment day. Select students will be invited to attend a Camp College overnight experience where they can experience college life first hand. Once enrolled at A&M-Commerce, the university will continue to mentor and provide academic support for students to make certain they reach their fullest potential and graduate from college. “The extra effort A&M-Commerce is making, from working with students as young as sixth graders, to continuing the connection with prep courses, on site campus visits and scholarships demonstrates their extraordinary commitment to Dallas youth,” said Dr. Marcus Martin, president/CEO of EIF. Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert has also offered his support to the program. “A&M-Commerce and EIF understand that the most important investment we can make is in our young people,” Mayor Leppert said. “I praise them for their commitment.”

From left: Dr. Michael Hinojosa, Dallas Independent School District superintendent; Dallas Mayor Tom Leppert; Dr. Dan Jones, A&M-Commerce president; Dr. Marcus Martin, president/CEO of Education is Freedom.


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine


Engineering the Future with DCCCD Texas A&M University-Commerce signed an articulation agreement with the Dallas County Community College District this fall signifying a partnership that will open the door for students throughout the Metroplex to pursue a degree in industrial engineering. The partnership, one of several coordinated efforts between the two schools, will allow students at DCCCD’s seven campuses to transfer easily into the industrial engineering program at A&M-Commerce.

From left: Dr. Wright Lassiter, chancellor of Dallas County Community College District; Dr. Dan Jones, A&M-Commerce president.

“This is an exciting moment in our relationship with DCCCD,” said Dr. Dan Jones, president of A&M-Commerce. “Cooperation is the key to closing the educational gap, and ensuring every student has a chance to obtain a college education. The easier we can make it for students to complete their education, the brighter our future will be as educators, and as citizens of Texas.”

Expanding Access, Providing Scholarship A&M-Commerce leaders have partnered with the Greater Dallas Hispanic Chamber of Commerce in an effort to achieve the status of a Hispanic-Serving Institution in three years.

From left: Dr. Dan Jones, A&M-Commerce president; Dr. Larry Lemanski, A&M-Commerce provost and vice president for academic and student affairs; Jack Cooke, L-3 senior vice president; Dr. Hal Langford, A&M-Commerce dean of business and technology; Dr. Randy VanDeven, A&M-Commerce vice president for institutional advancement.

From left to right, first row: Gilbert Hernandez; Hector Flores; Diana Flores; Jorge Juarez, senior associate director of the Morris Recreation Center. Second row: Dr. Dan Jones, A&M-Commerce president; Rene Martinez; Luis Franco, A&M-Commerce orientations coordinator; Javier Olguin; Hope Young, A&M-Commerce director of undergraduate admissions; Dr. Mary Hendrix, A&M-Commerce vice president for student access and success. Third row: Stephanie Holley, A&M-Commerce dean of admission and retention division; Michele Bobadilla; Dr. Larry Lemanski, A&M-Commerce provost and vice president for academic and student affairs.

L-3 Vice President to Teach Master’s Program

L-3 Integrated Systems and Texas A&M University-Commerce are linking business and higher education with a master’s degree program tailored to the unique needs of L-3 allowing students to pursue a master’s-level management degree while developing their management skills. Jack Cooke, L-3 senior vice president and A&M-Commerce alumnus, will teach Managing at the Edge as well as Active Leadership at L-3’s Greenville, Texas facility.

Fall 2009 43

Faculty Notes Grants College of Arts & Sciences Dr. Carlos Bertulani, associate professor of physics, was awarded $144,000 over the period of the project for “Building a Universal Nuclear Energy Density Functional,” and $60,000 for “Reactions with Rare Isotopes.” Dr. James Cain, III, assistant professor of biological and environmental sciences, was awarded $6,732 for “Habitat Selection, Movements, and Conservation of Wildebeest in South Africa.” Dr. Eileen Durand Faulkenberry, assistant professor of mathematics, was awarded $240,000 over two years for “Algebraic Connections K-8,” and $685,000 through the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board for “Math and Science Teacher Academy (MASTA).” Dr. Vanessa Huse, instructor of mathematics, was awarded $170,000 over the period of the project for “Measurement in the Middle Grades,” and $150,000 for “Podcast Training for CTE Online.” Dr. Ben Jang, professor of chemistry, was awarded $105,000 over the period of the project for the “Welch Department Grant” and $219,000 over the period of the project for “Research Experience for 2-year Undergraduates in Chemistry.” Dr. Larry Lemanski, provost and professor of biological and environmental sciences, was awarded $166,922 for “Studies on a Novel RN that Promotes Heart Development.” Dr. Frank Miskevich, assistant professor of biological and environmental sciences, was awarded $24,000 for “Life at the Edge: Biology Beyond the Earth.” Drs. Robin Reid and Judy Ford, professors of literature and languages and history respectively, were awarded $175,395 for “Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings in History and Lit Classroom.”

College of Business & Technology Cheri Davis, assistant planetarium director, was awarded $25,314 for “Lunar Exploration.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

Dr. Brent Donham, associate professor and department head of industrial engineering and technology, was awarded $11,111 for the “Engineering Recruitment Program.”


Awards & Achievements This grant brings visibility to A&M-Commerce, strengthening its image as a reputable scientific institution. It benefits the whole nation, with applications for nuclear medicine, national security and astrophysics. ~ Dr. Carlos Bertulani

Dr. Casey Brown, assistant professor of educational leadership, was named president-elect of the Texas Council of Professors of Educational Administration. Dr. Sue Espinoza, professor of curriculum and instruction, was named vice president of the Society of Information Technology and Teacher Education. Dr. Rodger Pool, director of the Center for Community College Education, was honored by Eastfield College, and will have a campus street named after him. Dr. Rusty Waller, assistant professor of educational leadership, is directing the university in QEP, and was instrumental in helping Dr. Randy McBroom write an articulation agreement with Hallmark College in San Antonio. Dr. James Conrad, university archivist for the library, was awarded $74,000 for “HeirLoom.”

Publications Dr. James Vornberg, director of the Meadows Principal Improvement Program, is writing and publish the 11th edition of “Texas Public School Organization and Administration.”

College of Education & Human Resources The Texas A&M University System in conjunction with seven universities, including A&M-Commerce, was awarded $3.6 million for “LEAD (Leadership: Education and Development).” Dr. Shulan Lu, assistant professor of psychology and special education, was awarded $500,000 over the period of the project for “HCC: Small: Perceiving and Enacting Actions in Simulated Environments: The Role of Perceptual Motor Features and Individual Differences.” Dr. Gil Naizer, associate professor of curriculum and instruction, was awarded $992,663 over the period of the project for “ITEST-Commerce.” Donna Tavener, director of educator preparation, was awarded $1 million through the Texas Education Agency Target Tech in Texas Collaborative Grant – American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 for “Activ Classrooms.”

Presentations Margaret McLaughlin, presenter for the Meadows Foundation, presented “What Every Principal Needs to Know about Special Education,” on Nov. 18. The Community College Center held a press conference October 28 featuring Dr. Byron McClenney, project director for Achieving the Dream: Community Colleges Count. “Achieving the Dream” is a national initiative that is designed to help more students succeed, particularly those who must overcome the greatest barriers. The department of educational leadership sponsored Mark Taylor on October 28 to speak with faculty from colleges, the university and school districts charged with teaching and preparing “Generation NeXt.”

Fall 2009 45

Class Notes 1940’s


Mary W. Butler (B.S. ’42) celebrated her 90th birthday on January 20, 2009. Her family and friends honored her with a party at the Holiday Inn Express in Commerce.

Michael W. Anglin (B.S. ’69) was appointed by the Dallas City Council to a two-year term as Commissioner on the Dallas City Planning Commission.


Lannie Joe Burnett (B.S. ’68) recently entertained at the Red River Historical Museum in Sherman. Burnett is known as the Cowboy Poet and has won many awards for his poetry.

Jennie M. DeGenaro (B.S. ’56) recently retired after 30 years in education. Currently, she writes book reviews, is a writer of children’s books and is active in the Daughters of the American Revolution and colonial Dames of the 17th Century. Her husband recently retired as professor emeritus from Virginia Commonwealth University. Their daughter is Bureau Chief for Media General in Washington D.C. Bryant Langford (B.S. ’53, M.Ed. ’61) and his wife, Ann, were chosen as Mr. and Mrs. YesterYear for 2009. Gene E. Lenore Jr. (B.S. ’59) is listed as writer or co-writer on some of the documentaries being aired on the Smithsonian Channel. He has appeared as an extra in several episodes of “Walker, Texas Ranger” that were filmed in the Dallas area. Ronald M. Wade (B.A. ’54, M.B.A. ’74) has had five western novels published in the United Kingdom by Robert Hale Ltd Publishing. He is also the author of a collection of short stories titled “Personal Devils ~ Intimate Demons”, and a humorous collection of an atheist/ libertarian’s observations on religion, politics and human frailties titled “The Max Parallax: Things You Should Know.” His wife, the former Dionne Moore (B.A. ’54) taught in public schools in Commerce, Greenville and in Winter Haven, Fla. The couple, married for 55 years, resides in Rockwall.


Randell Leland Drum (B.B.A. ’67, M.Ed. ’70, Ed.D. ’73), a professor emeritus of mathematics education from Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi, has just completed his 10th aroundthe-world trip since retiring in 1999. Fred A. Haskett (B.S. ’66, M.S. ’73) has retired to San Miguel de Allende, Guanajuato, Mexico. Scott A. Reighard (B.A. ’66) was recently promoted to Chief Petty Officer in the U.S. Navy Reserve. His second novel, “The Reunion Reaper”, is set to be released this fall. He teaches at Northside High School in Roanoke, VA. Judy Castle Scott (B.S. ‘68, M.S. ‘97) was appointed to chair Governor Rick Perry’s Committee on People with Disabilities. Skipper T. Steely (B.S. ’68) recently discussed his new book “Pearl Harbor Countdown” at the Audie Murphy American Cotton Museum in Greenville, TX . Dr. Cliff L. Wood (B.S. ’66, M.S. ‘67, Ph.D. ’73) is the president of Rockland Community College State University of New York, and has been appointed president of the New York Community College Association of Presidents.

1970’s Jeff M. Bailey (B.S.’79) was chosen as the new Rockwall ISD superintendent. John W. Bell III (B.S. ’79) was elected president of the Singing Men of North Central Texas (a group comprised of music ministers) for 2009-2010.

Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

David M. Conway (B.S. ’74) has been appointed by Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry to the Oklahoma Aeronautic Commission.

Charles R. Richardson, retired director of media relations at Hardin-Simmons University was included in the 2009 edition of Who’s Who in America.

Cynthia S. Causey (B.S. ’74) released her first novel, “A Different Drum”, in May and her second novel, “A Hot Time in Texas”, in August. She enjoys public speaking and welcomes the opportunities to speak to groups regarding writing, whether commercial or creative.

Dr. Bob E. Riley (Ed.D. ’76) retired in July of 2009 as president of East Texas Baptist University after 17 years.

Rickey D. Cook (B.B.A. ’70) retired from teaching at Sulphur Springs High School where he taught for 19 years. James A. Larimore (B.S.C.J. ’72) has accepted the position of associate vice chancellor and dean of students at NYU Abu Dhabi, a new liberal arts and sciences campus to open in fall 2010. Rene De La Vina (B.S. ’78) has been teaching students with severe mental retardation for more than 30 years. He also is on the Board of Trustees for Laredo Community College. Lt. Col. David C. Mason (B.S. ’78) retired from the Air Force in November 2006 after 28 years, and in April of 2008 took a position at Langley AFB Virginia. Fred M. McCauley (B.B.A. ’70) was the 2008 Salesman of the Year for the Northern Division of Grocery Supply Company in Sulphur Springs, TX. Albert P. McCoin (B.S. ’74) was selected as the Outstanding Conservation Teacher for 2008 by the Red River County Soil and Water Conservation District Directors. He has taught at Detroit High School for 23 years. Dr. Johnette McKown (M.Ed. ’78, Ed.D. ’90) was appointed president effective September 1, 2009 of McLennan Community College in Waco. Lenard R. Miller (B.S. ’71, M.Ed. ’78) retired in June 2007 after 37 years in education. He served as superintendent at Harmony ISD and Aspermont ISD. He and his wife, Kristy, reside at Holly Lake Ranch with their children, Kolby and Lexie. Patricia J. Murrey (B.A. ’73) is now semi-retired and living in Savannah, Georgia with her husband, Winston.

Pamela J. Sanchez-Irby (B.S. ’72) received the Fort Worth ISD’s XTO Energy Chair for Teaching Excellence in Early Childhood Education. Linda S. Switzer (B.M.Ed. ’73, M.M. ‘75) recently spoke at the Bay Area Writers League and published her first book “Hit du Jour” in 2008. She is currently working on her next novel. Dr. Judy Traylor (B.S. ’72, M.Ed. ’74, Ed.D. ’83) has been appointed to the President’s Cabinet of Northeast Texas Community College. She will serve as vice president for student and outreach services. Dr. Joel D. Walls (B.S. ’75) was appointed as Vice President and Chief Petrophysicist for Object Reservoir Inc., a technology and services provider for the global upstream oil and gas industry. O.D. Evans, Sr. (B.S. ’70) was elected to the position of Grand Lecturing Knight for the Order of the Elks. This is the third highest office in the world and the first officer elected in Texas.

1980’s George W. Aldridge (M.A. ’80) has completed a three year tour as economics officer at the US Embassy in Nairobi. He will now be a labor counselor and deputy political counselor in Tunis, Tunisia. W. Todd Baldwin (B.S. ’87) is currently stationed at the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center as a civilian employee of the U.S. Army. Kelly Coley Bridgman (M.S. ’88) is currently the Executive Director of the Mt. Trashmore Family YMCA in Virginia Beach, Va. and her husband Reese Allen Bridgeman (M.S. ’86) has been hired as the first full-time strength and conditioning Coach at Norfolk State University.


Kenny R. Campbell (B.S. ’80, M.S. ’89, M.Ed. ’92) has become the principal of Kaufman High School. David W. Chapman (B.S. ’85) is serving as the Assistant Director of Field Service (Deputy Chief Operating Officer) for the Longhorn Council, Boy Scouts of America. Vicki Clark (B.S. ’81) is now the librarian of Quitman Elementary School. She is a 26-year veteran of Quitman ISD. Herbert L. Coleman (B.S. ’84) was awarded a Ph.D. in Curriculum & Instruction-Instructional Technology from the University of Texas at Austin on Aug. 17. Gayle A. D’Andrea (B.S. ’86, M.S. ’88) received her Ph.D. in Sociology from the University of Virginia. She is currently an Associate Professor of Sociology at JS Reynolds Community College in Richmond. William Charles Davis (Ed.D. ’82) was the 2009 recipient of the Chancellor’s Council Teaching Excellence Award. He is a professor at the University of Texas at Brownsville. David H. Gish (B.S. ’81, M.S. ’87) has been named the new principal of Greenville Middle School. Larry P. Goddard (B.S. ’80, M.S. ’91) recently received state and national awards for marketing, public relations and fundraising campaigns and events, including the Crystal Award, the highest award from the Texas Public Relations Association for any school district in Texas’ events. He also met the requirements for global certification for professionals in fundraising. Adrienne C. Gray Myers (M.Ed. ’86) is now assistant principal for Gladewater High School. She was recently awarded the Texas Lions Club District 2-XC2 Lions Jack Weich Fellowship Award for dedicated service. Mary Lou Hazel (M.P.A. ’80) won two first place prizes by the Press Women of Texas Communications in April. Janie M. Humphries (Ed.D. ’86) was recently honored by Weatherford College as Alumnus of the Year.

Connie R. Lott (B.S. ’80) was recently hired as the Huntsville Elementary School principal. She worked previously in Grand Saline. Dr. Nancy McClaran Oelklaus (Ed.D. ’84) is the author of the book titled, “Living and Working Authentically” and it won Book of the Year and first place in the spirituality category for 2008 by Reader Views Annual Literary Awards. Ronald L. Oliver (Ed.D ’86) recently published “The Bullying Prevention Handbook: A Guide for Principals, Teachers and Counselors.” Kelly D. Stretcher (B.S. ’85) was elected to board of directors of the Texas Bankers Association. He is president and chief operating officer of First National Bank of Gilmer. Kim Whitworth Page (B.B.A. ’80) is the vice president at Southside Bank in Tyler, Texas. She and her husband Mark have five children and three grandchildren. Marcus A. Pinzel (B.S. ’87, M.S. ’89) has a new position with the U.S. Department of Energy as deputy federal project director for the U.S. Department of Energy Transuranic Waste Remediation, Idaho Cleanup Project.

1990’s Sam D. Bell (M.Ed. ’93) was recently named lone finalist for the position of superintendent of Brenham Independent School District. Robert M. Boland (B.F.A. ’98) has accepted a prestigious Fulbright grant and will be researching pilgrimage rituals and engaging with the contemporary art community in Kyoto, Japan. Joe P. Castillo (B.S. ’97, M.S. ’99) was named Football Coach of the Year for 2008 by the Southside Reporter and 2008 Coach of the Year Finalist by the San Antonio Express. Joe and his wife Angie Nunez Castillo (B.S. ’99) also welcomed the birth of their son, Jacob Cole Castillo. Jacob was named after two former A&M-Commerce football players, Jake Burnett and Cole Cayce.

Lisa Troncoso Castillo (B.S. ’96, M.S. ’98) was hired by Venus ISD to serve as its high school principal beginning Fall 2009.

Jeffrey C. Shrode (B.S. ’93) will become the first full-time athletic trainer at Bullard High School.

Shirley Chenault (Ed.D. ’96) was recently honored by Weatherford College as a Distinguished Alumni.

Linda I. Sires (M.Ed. ’96) was named Principal of the Year by the Garland ISD council of PTA’s.

Kenneth L. Dority (B.S. ’99, M.B.A. ’08) was promoted to senior vice president at Guaranty Bond Bank in Paris.

Dale R. Reed (B.B.A. ’96) has just completed his 28th year with Merrill Lynch in Las Colinas. His daughter, Ashley, is in her final year at Dallas Theological Seminary and his son, Jason, has joined his group at Merrill Lynch after practicing law for several years in Dallas.

Gwendolyn Hancock Earnhart (B.S. ’99, M.S. ’02) welcomed her first child, Kierstyn Jean, on March 30. Jennifer Thurman Flanagan (B.S. ’98) welcomed the birth of her second son, Brayden, in July. Jennifer is an instructor for the College of Business and Technology at A&M-Commerce. Russell A. Graves (B.S. ‘93) recently hosted a photography seminar at Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Grapevine. Russell is a creative multimedia photographer whose day job is teaching agricultural science at Childress High School. Kalayah Fisher Hall (B.S.C.J. ’96) has started her own consulting business, KRH Consulting, and is working on her second book. Christopher T. Hill (B.S. ’98) was named controller of KERA in Dallas.

Lamont Smith (B.A. ’96, M.S. ’98) was named principal of Collins Middle School in Corsicana. William (Bill) A. Smith (B.S. ’91) natural resource specialist and park ranger for the U.S. Army Corp. of Engineers, recently spoke at Texarkana College. Billy J. Snow (B.S.I.S. ’96, M.Ed. ’99) was honored as the HEB Excellence in Education Award for Principal of the Year for the State of Texas. Billy is principal of Bowie Elementary in Corsicana. His wife Leslie (B.S. ’77) is a fifth grade teacher in Palmer. Debra D. Tate (B.S. ’97, M.Ed. ’00) has been promoted to director of human resources for the Del Valle Independent School District in Austin.

Jennifer L. Lacy (B.B.A. ’95) marketing coordinator for Robins & Morton, earned the designation of Certified Professional Services Marketer in August 2009.

Jimmy (Jim) D. Taylor (B.S.C.J. ’95) received his Ph.D. from Ohio State University and published his first book titled “American Gun Culture: Collectors, Shows and the Story of the Gun.”

Micah L. Lewis (B.S. ‘92) has accepted the position of deputy superintendent of campus accountability at Longview Independent School District.

Peggy E. Thigpen (B.S.I.S. ’96) was named teacher of the year at Rhinehardt Elementary School in Rockwall.

Dr. Wanda Simpson Munson (Ed.D. ’94) was recently appointed president of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers (AACRAO).

Dr. Cornell Thomas (Ed.D. ’90) has been named president of Jarvis Christian College. Joe M. Wardell (Ed.D. ’98) was named superintendent for Jacksonville ISD.

James (Jim) D. Richey (B.A. ’98, M.A. ’03) received the Thomas H. Shelby Jr. Endowed Chair award for Teaching Excellence at Tyler Junior College. He is currently an English professor at TJC.

Fall 2009 47

Class Notes 2000’s

Kevin D. Goodwin (M.S. ’00) was recently hired by Center ISD to be their athletic director and head football coach.

Sarah E. Eggleston Baker (M.B.A. ’06) and husband Luke F. Baker (B.S. 07) welcomed the birth of their first child, Logan Isaac, on July 22, 2009.

Trent D. Hamilton (B.S.’03, M.Ed. ’08) has accepted a position as assistant principal for Sherman ISD. He and his wife Dena Downum (B.B.A. ’04) welcomed their first child in September.

Christopher E. (B.S. ’03) and Amy Garrett Bassham (B.S. ’03) welcomed the birth of their daughter, Holly Addison, on March 21, 2009. Brock Callaway (B.B.A. ’01) and Schauna Callaway (B.B.S. ‘04) welcomed the birth of their daughter, Halle. She is now at home with her three big brothers. Brock is an agency producer at Callaway Insurance in Garland, and Schauna teaches 4th grade at Hays Elementary in Rockwall. Cheryl L. Childress (M.Ed. ’03) has resigned from teaching after 11 years and is now working full-time with her husband for Keller Williams Realty. Thomas (Tad) A. Davidson (B.B.A. ’04) and Kimberly House Davidson (B.S.I.S. ’05) welcomed the birth of their daughter, Madison Kelly, on July 3, 2005. Jarred D. Davis (B.S. ’07) has recently joined the staff at Rice University as an employee relations specialist. Dr. Jess Dowdy (Ed.D. ’05) received the Teaching Excellence Award for 2009 for his outstanding work at Northeast Texas Community College. Steve G. Drummond (M.Ed. ’02) is the new superintendent of Detroit ISD. Nancy Pace Duggan (B.S.I.S. ’06) and her husband, Tyler, announce the birth of their son, Tres, on December 1, 2009. Jason M. Ellis (B.S. ’06) married Tina De La Cruz on March 7, 2009 and was featured in the March issue of Fellowship of Christian Athletes. He currently is the youth pastor at International Church of Nacogdoches. Jolie B. Fralicks (M.Ed. ‘08) married Scott Fralicks in March in Tulsa, Okla. Kelly S. Gaudreau (B.S. ’00) is the new executive director of Greenville YMCA.


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

Heath W. Jarvis (M.Ed. ’03) was named the new principal at Greenville High School. John P. Johnson (B.S. ‘06, M.S. ’07) was accepted into the Management Development Associate Program with the city of Dallas.

Hillary R. Murray (B.S. ’02) has accepted the position of coordinator for Northeast Texas resource conservation and development area in Paris, Texas. She lives in Charleston with her husband and daughter. Robyn R. O’Neil (B.F.A. ‘00) was chosen from among 129 artists for the 2009 Hunting Art Prize, the most generous art prize presented annually in North America in the amount of $50,000. Valerie E. Plumlee (M.Ed. ’04) is the new principal of Akin Elementary of Wylie ISD. Abigail D. Rike (M.Ed. ’08) is competing in the 2009 Biggest Loser TV series.

Jason L. Johnston (M.Ed. ’06) has been named the principal of Maurine Cain Middle School of Rockwall ISD.

William K. Rojek (M.B.A. ’09) was recently promoted to director of asset management at Brooks Development Authority in San Antonio.

Donna Kay Upton Kincaid (M.S. ‘00, Ed.D. ’06) is completing her first year as director of teacher education at the Baptist College of Florida. Her spouse, Dan Kincaid (B.S.I.S. ’97), teaches English at Marianna High School.

Ben A. (B.S.C.I. ’04) and Cheryl K. Scott (M.B.A. ’04) welcomed the birth of their son, Tyler, on April 23, 2009.

Kelsey D. Lamar (B.S. ’00) earned certification as a professional in human resources by the HR Certification Institute in January 2009. She currently works for ConocoPhillips. Jennifer M. Locke (B.S. ’02) resides in Colorado Springs, and currently owns a pet-sitting business. Brandon J. Love (B.S. ’00) recently graduated from the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Training Academy. Trooper Love will be assigned to the Texas Highway Patrol in Gilmer. Gloria M. Markl (B.S.I.S. ’08) married Andrew Smith on Aug. 2, 2008. Penelope A. Mattson (M.S. ‘04) has been named the director of special programs of Italy Junior High & High School. Jason L. McCullough (M.Ed. ’03) has accepted the position of superintendent of China Springs ISD. Wanda C. Munson (Ed.D.’04) was elected president of the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers.

Jennifer D. Smith Sloan (B.S.I.S. ‘03, M.Ed. ’09) married Michael J. Sloane on April 4 and are now residing in Austin. John Thios, Jr. (M.S. ’03) has written “Hispanic Intermarriage Counseling: A Guidebook for Practitioners and Couples.” John works for Dept. of Veterans Affairs in Washington, D.C. Matthew J. Todd (B.S. ’05) was named District 10-A and All-Texomaland Coach of the Year after leading the Blue Ridge baseball team to the regional finals. Andrew T. Trampus (B.S. ’01) was recently named the new environmental code enforcement employee for the City of Mount Vernon. Mitzi J. White (B.S. ’07) has been named the executive director of the Children’s Advocacy Center of Paris serving Lamar and Red River Counties. Yolanda F. Williams (M.S. ’08) is CEO of Williams Paralegal & Advertising. She was recently appointed to the City of Dallas Mayor complete count 2010 Census by councilmember Mrs. Hill. Chassordee D. Willie (M.Ed. ’04) was named the new principal of Shaw Elementary School in Mesquite.


In Memory 1930’s


Dorothy M. Cody (B.A. ‘31) 1-13-09

Dr. Alvin R. Atwood (Ph.D. ‘70) 4-14-08

Frances I. Gardner (B.A. ‘33) 11-3-08

Ralph E. Campbell (B.B.A. ‘78, B.S.W. ‘98) 4-16-08

John D. Moseley, Sr. (B.S. ‘36) 3-11-09

James R. Carns (B.B.A. ‘70) 1-26-09 Cheryl L. Chastain (B.S. ‘73, M.S. ‘76) 5-06-09


Harvey W. Compton (M.S. ‘71) 8-7-08

Shirley Baldridge (B.S. ‘41) 3-3-09

Rosalind S. Jackson (B.S. ‘75) 6-23-09

Virginia F. Blasingame (B.S. ‘45, M.S. ‘48) 12-25-08 Anne Garber Bowen (B.S. ‘48) 3-24-09 Virginia Adams Briley (B.S. ‘42) 2-13-09 Frances A. Denham (B.S. ‘42) 5-24-09 Elizabeth Tarpley Foster (M.A. ‘46) 1-13-09 Jewell Fox (B.A. ‘40, M.S.L.S. ‘69) 9-23-08 Johnnie L. Henderson (B.S. ‘48, M.S. ‘50) 6-20-09 Robert E. Ingram (B.S. ‘47) 7-20-09 Zella M. Lewis (B.A. ‘48, M.A. ‘58) 2-26-09 Lowell C. Mosley (B.S. ‘47) 1-12-09 George C. Roach (B.S. ‘49, M.Ed. ‘51) 7-5-09 Lloyd J. Wilkins (B.S. ‘41) 9-15-09


Herman Furlough (M.Ed. ‘71) 4-06-09 Beverly H. Leach (B.S. ‘73, M.S. ‘79) 3-1-09 Flora S. Moorehead (M.Ed. ‘74) 1-31-09 Donald E. Park (B.S. ‘79, M.Ed. ‘83) 11-27-08 Brenda Rutherford-Ellis (B.S. ‘70) 8-29-09 Dr. Norma R. Slane (Ed.D. ‘75) 1-19-09 Hugh F. Stanaland (B.B.A. ‘72) 12-16-08 Edward L. Swinton (M.Ed. ‘75) 6-2-09 Janet C. Thomas (B.S. ‘71) 12-11-08 Diane Turner (M.A. ‘70) 6-1-09 Katie M. Watson (M.Ed. ‘72) 3-23-09 Bobby J. Wilkins (B.S. ‘72, M.S. ‘02) 7-3-09

1980’s Doris M. Gowans (M.Ed. ‘87) 9-20-09

Travis E. Bell (B.S. ‘50, M.Ed. ‘50) 6-12-08

Rubye P. Hampton (B.S. ‘81) 1-27-09

Virginia Dare Chancellor (B.S. ‘51, M.S. ‘67) 2-3-09

Jay L. Martine (B.S. ‘87) 3-18-08

Clifton Dudley Dearman (B.S. ‘51) 1-15-09

Dorothy Ann McElroy (B.S. ‘82) 3-22-09

Robert W. Gossett (B.S. ‘50, M.Ed. ‘51) 2-09

Thomas M. Ogletree (B.S. ‘85, B.S. ‘88) 1-11-09

Burl G. McClellan (B.S. ’50) 7-14-09

Dolores Salas (M.S. ‘86) 6-30-09

Robert W. Nations (B.S. ‘51, M.S. ‘55) 7-9-09

William E. (Bill) Taggart (B.B.A. ‘80) 4-13-09

Velma J. Pinson (B.A. ‘54, M.A. ‘66) 5-28-09 Charles A. Robertson (B.S. ‘54, M.Ed. ‘54) 5-2-09 John Stokes (B.S. ‘53) 7-25-09 Harless A. Wade (B.S. ‘50) 3-28-09 James W. Wallace (B.S. ‘58) 10-20-08

1960’s Harvey O. Boucher (B.S. ‘60) 3-08-09 Peter Collumb (B.S. ‘67) 9-9-09 Charles L. Head (M.S. ‘66) 10-30-08 Elbert L. Kirk (B.S. ‘63, M.Ed. ‘76) 6-9-09 Robert L. (Rainbo) Moore (B.S. ‘69, M.S. ‘71) 6-24-09 Dr. Sharon A. McGovern (B.S. ‘65, M.S. ‘70) 12-28-08 Marjorie O. Newman (M.S. ‘64) 3-27-09 Glendolyn K. Rhodes (B.S. ‘63) 8-12-09


The 18th Annual Veterans’ Vigil held Nov. 9-11 honored the U.S. Reserve Command. Dr. James Nicholson served

Ryland T. Felkel (B.S. ‘91) 8-29-09

as the keynote speaker at the opening

Dr. Donald C. Martin (Ed.D. ‘92) 10-15-08

ceremony, the U.S. Navy band, “Freedom,”

2000’s Darren D. Dummer (B.S. ‘03) 1-5-09

performed a free concert on campus, and a Vigil flame burned continuously on the North Lawn until the conclusion of all ceremonies. The 2009 Veterans’ Vigil culminated with a flyover of four F-16’s f the 301st Fighter Wing in a “missing man” formation, an aerial salute to those who have paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Learn more about veterans’ affairs at:

Fall 2009 49


Alumni-giving rates are one of the seven primary criteria U.S. News & World Report uses for its college rankings. By giving to Texas A&M University-Commerce, you ensure the value of your A&M-Commerce degree will continue to grow.

Lions for Life is the new identity of annual programs at A&M-Commerce, our year-round fundraising program. Our goal is to keep alumni and friends like you connected to campus, and keep you informed about university needs. The Circle of Pride is an elite group within Lions for Life. As a member, your annual giving record is commemorated on your membership card with a star for every consecutive year you give back.

Joining the Circle of Pride is easy, and it is a great way to show your school pride. Visit,

and make your gift today!


Texas A&M University–Commerce ~ Pride Magazine

we approach the holidays, we have found many reasons to be thankful. At A&M-Commerce, we are blessed to have alumni and friends who are proud of their education, and genuinely appreciate their overall experience attending school in Commerce, Texas. A&M-Commerce takes pride in its rich heritage of providing educational opportunities to the scientists, businessmen and women, engineers, and educators who help mold this country. I am especially thankful to our alumni who truly make a difference for future Lions by volunteering their time to serve on advisory boards, assist in career opportunities, attend special functions and athletic events, lobby for quality education in Northeast Texas,

and provide much needed financial support. Your investments of both time and money help to maintain a level of academic excellence at A&M-Commerce that is second to none. For you, we are most grateful.

For you, we are most grateful. Please take a moment to reflect on what this university has meant to you and your family. I’m certain you too will have another reason to be thankful this holiday season. Sincerely,

Randy VanDeven Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Fall 2009 51

The Alumni PO Box 3011 Commerce, TX 75429 CHANGE SERVICE REQUESTED

Profile for Nathan Pieratt

Pride Magazine - Fall 2009  

Pride Magazine is published for the alumni of Texas A&M University-Commerce

Pride Magazine - Fall 2009  

Pride Magazine is published for the alumni of Texas A&M University-Commerce


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