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The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2010


f all the rewards that come with being a university president, few are as gratifying as the time I spend with alumni. Texas A&M University-Commerce has graduated many generations of Lions, and each one has made a lasting impact on the world. I recently had the opportunity to visit with an alumna who received her degree from “Old ET” in the seventies. She grew up in rural East Texas, and came to the university as a young mother, driving 90 miles from her home to campus each day to attend class. During our conversation, she became tearful as she recalled how her advisor steered her toward graduate school, helping her secure a fellowship that eventually led to three advanced degrees and a wonderfully successful career. It is by the achievements of alumni such as her, and their steadfast support of our mission, that we measure our success as a university.

Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

Stories like this increase my gratitude for the vision of one man, Professor Mayo, who decided 121 years ago to make a difference in the lives of others. The people of Texas – and the world – continue to benefit from his foresight. While Mayo’s focus on teacher training is still an important element of our university, it is now part of a much broader mission to transform the lives of students through higher education. Students come to the university from all walks of life, and the paths they follow after graduation lead them to all corners of the globe. Yet underlying the diversity of their dreams is a common thread:

A&M-Commerce is the place where the map of their future unfolded. I challenge you to think about how your life would be different if A&M-Commerce hadn’t been part of it. As you do so, I hope you’ll consider how your involvement can help your university secure its future. After all, our university began with the vision of one man. Our future can be fulfilled by the dreams of another. Dr. Dan R. Jones President



Spring 2010; Vol. 9 Pride Magazine

is published two times a year by the Texas A&M University-Commerce alumni relations 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.

Home Sweet Home


Hoss & Boss


The Power of Innovation


Perpetual Potential


Editor in Chief

Generational Generosity



Making Changes


A Fresh Perspective


Randy Jolly

Ashley Johnson

Assignment Editor Brent Lyday

Creative Director


Nathan Pieratt

Creative Manager Paul Bryan































children donated the lion statue near



James G. Gee Library during the 2005



stands in memory of Hall, class of



1940, and his accomplishments as



attorneys in Texas.

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. See more and read more at

About the cover: The late Ford Hall, Sr.’s three

homecoming festivities. The statue

one of the most respected corporate

Spring 2010 1


By Brent Lyday S Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

Success Coaches guide students to graduation by assisting in academic, financial, personal, and career counseling.

THE PATH TO SUCCESS University College is making a difference in the lives of undergraduate students at Texas A&M University-Commerce by helping them forge a connection with the university. Whether it’s through visits about scheduling or everyday struggles, University College is providing access to students for guidance into a successful path to graduation. “Students come to us for advice about their schedule, or sometimes just to talk,” said Dr. Ricky Dobbs, University College dean. “Students are more likely to stay at A&M-Commerce if they have a connection with the place. That’s why University College is here, to help students succeed without sacrificing rigorous academic standards.” One of University College’s keys to reaching students is the success coaches who ease the transition, and play a major role in the communication process from semester to semester. Success coaches are also integral to enrollment, helping almost 1,400 of their 1,500 students register for spring classes. “The university had a 91 percent fall to spring retention rate, the highest in at least six years,” Dobbs said. “A&M-Commerce has a great history of enabling students to succeed and to achieve their dreams of earning a diploma. University College is making a big difference by guiding and steering students from all backgrounds, helping them early in the process toward successful degree completion.” University College, located in the Student Access and Success Center, averages about 30 visits per day from first-time freshmen with less than 24 credit hours, students that need to take entry-level English and math, and undecided students. “The university has a reputation for being a place where folks from all backgrounds, regardless of means, can get a leg up and make a start in the world because of a degree,” Dobbs said. “Programs like University College are what keep us very firmly grounded in our identity as a university.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

A&M-Commerce will offer an excellent nursing school created by Dr. Larry Lemanski beginning in 2012.

A HEALTHY ADDITION Healthcare hopefuls will soon be able to obtain a nursing degree from Texas A&M University-Commerce with the addition of a nursing degree program targeted to open in time for fall 2012. “The A&M-Commerce School of Nursing will be a tremendous addition to the university, the region, the state, and the nation,” said Dr. Larry Lemanski, provost and vice president of academic and student affairs. “It will provide professional training on campus for students interested in one of the fastest growing occupations in the U.S.” A shortage of faculty, facilities and funds are prohibiting many students from currently obtaining nursing degrees. Having this program at A&M-Commerce will create nurses and educators to help alleviate the projected shortage of one million nurses by 2020. One of the nursing school’s main goals will be to continue the university’s legacy by producing excellent teachers that can help teach other nurses. “Part of the overall plan for the nursing program is to train and produce nursing educators that will become professors and teachers in nursing schools,” Lemanski said. “In addition to producing well qualified nurses, the university will add to our already strong programs that create top quality educators.” Students enrolling in nursing at A&M-Commerce will have the opportunity to complete a bachelor’s and master’s degree with the possibility of a future doctoral program. The master’s degree path will be comprised of three tracks: nurse practitioner, nurse educator and nurse administrator. Portions of the program will be available online as well. “The next step is to secure funding for the nursing program so we can get the proposal put together and into the state budget,” Lemanski said. “We are very excited about the program and what it means for the future of this university and the health of our region. It should attract a number of students to A&M-Commerce.”


STEPPING UP! Lion athletic fans are receiving an enhanced game experience at the Texas A&M University-Commerce Field House after a new gym floor, two LED scoreboards and new basketball goals were recently installed on the main court. “The renovations to the Field House should be something the entire university is proud of, as well as our alumni,” said Carlton Cooper, A&M-Commerce athletic director. “I think with a new 94 x 50 feet gym floor, we can compete with anyone around.” Memorial Stadium will also take on a new look this fall as 3,000 seats, a concession stand, restrooms, and a press box are being built on the east side of the stadium in preparation for the upcoming season. As the Field House and Memorial Stadium transform into authentic athletic arenas, the university maintains its overall commitment of making A&M-Commerce the place to be for a great education, and a place that makes students and fans proud.


The Texas A&M University-Commerce Lions host the 2010 Harvey Martin Classic on Sept. 11 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas. A&M-Commerce will battle Lone Star Conference foe Angelo State at 5 p.m. in the 68,252 seat stadium. The annual matchup honors the former East Texas State and Dallas Cowboys standout, Harvey Martin, who was recently inducted into the Texas Sports Hall of Fame. Events are being scheduled throughout the week leading up to the game, so check out for the latest information.

Fall 2009 5

CAMPUS NOTES By Ashley Johnson & Brent Lyday S Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

I’M A BRIDGE BUILDER BUILDING BRIDGES Ten years ago, Hayley Jobe was a single mom facing a difficult decision-fix her car, or pay for classes at Texas A&M University-Commerce. “When I was an undergraduate here, I was in a car wreck and had to pay the car repair shop before I could get my car out,” Hayley said. “I had no family in the area and a young daughter at home. I was not sure what I was going to do.” She was reaching a pointof hopelessness when she found out she had been awarded a scholarship. Most importantly, the money would be awarded that week. “It was the exact amount I needed to get my car finished and out of the shop,” Hayley said. “I realize now that it is because others gave back to the university that I was able to move forward. I could continue with my degree and take care of my daughter.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

I give becau se I know th at my donati combined w on, ith others, is an in students that may bec investment ome our future leader s. S Russe ll Shetler


The generosity of others fueled more than Hayley’s future; it sparked a spirit of philanthropy that remains with her today. As both an alumna and staff member at A&M-Commerce, she feels honored to provide opportunities for other students in need, and does so regularly through Bridge Builders, a group of faculty and staff that choose to invest in the future of the university. “Bridge Builders is a committed group of faculty and staff that support the university not only in their day-to-day duties, but also financially,” said Alicia Wittkopf, A&M-Commerce annual fund coordinator. “Financial support from our faculty and staff provides the university with the means to respond to immediate needs within each college, as well as meet the need for additional scholarship support. Last year, that support totaled more than $65,000.” According to Alicia, each Bridge Builders gift, no matter what size, funds scholarships and professional opportunities for A&M-Commerce students. For Hayley, that means her contributions go directly where she wants them, towards deserving students who need help like she did as a student.

I value the education I received at A&M-Commerce, and appreciate the opportunities and experiences I’ve gained here,” Hayley said. “I want to continue to make a difference everyday in students’ lives and being a Bridge Builder is another way for me to do that.


A HEAD ABOVE As a senior at Sherman High School, Brad Hambrick had Division 1 basketball programs knocking at his door. Listed by as one of the top high school players in Texas, Hambrick was ready to move to the next level. Standing a modest basketball height of 5’11” however, many of the opportunities came with a caveat-coaches thought he was too small, and wanted him to sit out a year. “I actually didn’t know how small I really was,” said Hambrick, who finished third in scoring for the Lions with 11 points per game in 2009-10. “I still don’t to be honest. It drives me. I just try to go out and be as tough as I can and hold my own.” Wanting the opportunity to prove his critics wrong, Hambrick chose to play at A&M-Commerce for the chance to make an immediate impact, and felt head coach Sam Walker was the most honest about his situation.

Brad is a super student on the court and in the classroom,” said Sam Walker, A&M-Commerce men’s basketball head coach. “He is the epitome of the student-athletes that the university is trying to recruit.

After Hambrick established himself on the court with the Lone Star Conference Freshman of the Year award, he took advantage of his academic options in the classroom as a human performance major with a motor behavior/biomechanical concentration. “I want to be a physical therapist,” Hambrick said. “I like being around people and helping them. I want to help people through the recovery process after an injury.” With two years remaining on the court and in the classroom, those bigger obstacles ahead are just another challenge Hambrick plans to rise above.

“I expect big things from my team on the

court if we keep working hard,” Hambrick said. “However, these next few years also are critical for my future as a successful physical therapist. I’m definitely going to buckle down in the classroom.”

Spring 2010 5

This scholarship gives me the resources I need to finish my degree in marketing. Without it, I would not be able to afford to go to college.

AndrĂŠ Miller, Class of 2010

Seeing the difference the scholarship has made in André‘s life inspires me, and gives me a fresh perspective on the value of education, and the importance of giving.

Mack Doster

The Donny David Doster Memorial Endowment opens the door to success for André Miller. GIVE BACK


CAMPUS NOTES By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Jason Flowers

AT THE HELM For four years, Bob Brown, vice president of business administration, has stood at the financial helm of Texas A&M University-Commerce, like a captain calmly steering his ship through a storm. “The university has a strong history of conservative financial management that began long before my tenure,” Brown said. “It is a legacy of stewardship that began more than 100 years ago, and continues today as we consciously manage money so it goes where it’s needed most.” 8

Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

With nearly thirty years of experience in financial management and higher education, Brown has led the university through a myriad of construction projects like the Sam Rayburn Student Center and Music Building, and the creation of programs and resources that benefit A&M-Commerce students. “The gifts we receive do more than build buildings,” he said. “The new facilities allowed us to grow our research programs, and the number of research awards. The investment in infrastructure and university capital improvements has led to more costefficient ways to deliver knowledge, the attainment of federal money and the ability to improve other programs campus-wide.”



ccording to Brown, these projects are emblematic of how the university multiplies the gifts it receives. “Take the music building as an example,” he said. “Those who donated towards its construction invested in more than a classroom or beautiful performance hall, they invested in the lives of future music teachers that will teach generations of children.” Projects that produce tangible results like constructing new, energy-efficient buildings and demolishing old ones are what Brown enjoys most about his work. His team builds and tears down. In the process, they have also helped the university build a solid reputation for wise investments and conservative stewardship.

“We constantly evaluate how we spend our money, and if there is a better, smarter and more efficient way to do something, we will invest accordingly.” For example, the Student Access and Success Center went from idea to completion in five months for less than $1 million. While other schools invested upwards of $20 million for similar facilities, Brown’s team recognized that with some modifications, the building housing the print shop would be a great location for students to come for all their student services-related questions. “The university is growing. We need money now more than ever,” Brown said. “In a bad economy, people pursue education at a higher rate. That means there’s a higher need for scholarships,

student services, faculty, etc. There are so many needs that deserve to be met.” Brown is adamant about investing money according to the needs set forth in the university’s strategic plan, and meeting student needs are at the top of the list. “Gifts, regardless of size, make a statement to others outside the university that our alumni care and believe enough in our mission to give back,” Brown said. “That in itself motivates those not directly associated with the university to give, because they want to be a part of something that is changing lives.” S

One of Bob Brown’s proudest moments at A&M-Commerce was watching his son, Robert, walk across the stage at graduation, and personally handing him his diploma. Spring 2010 9

CAMPUS NOTES By Brent Lyday S Photography by Jared Horn

CENTERSTAGE The highly acclaimed music department at Texas A&M University-Commerce is on the verge of something grand with the new $29 million music building to be completed this fall thanks to the contributions from numerous alumni and friends of the university. 10

Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

“The new music building will be the most efficient music building I have ever worked in, visited, toured, or performed in,” said Dr. Chris White, A&M-Commerce music department head and professor. “It is a visible celebration of the university’s legacy in music performance and education and will stand as a testament to everyone who enters the campus gate that we are serious about music education and our students fulfilling their dreams.” From the exterior wall resembling piano keys to a spectacularly beautiful granite floor in the front lobby, the innovative building will add a beauty and elegance to a campus that is transforming the former East Texas State University property into a modern college landscape.


Having a new music building is really exciting,” said Aran Kim, second year graduate student studying piano performance. “It will be one of the best in the state. I think the new building will be a great resource to recruit new students and it will attract people from all around.” Enrollment has already skyrocketed for the music department as incoming students realize the opportunity to earn a degree and perform in one of the finest buildings in the nation. “The building’s effect on recruiting has been substantial,” said Phillip Clements, A&M-Commerce instrumental activities director. “This year the music department enjoyed one of the largest and most talented incoming classes in over a decade. In the fall of 2010, our freshman class is expected to be even larger.” Students were the motivation behind the building’s metrics, as the department calculated enough space for labs, classes,

studios, practice rooms and a concert and recital hall for the goal of having 250 majors by 2020. High ceilings, wide hallways and slanted walls were built with musicians in mind, allowing them to easily navigate their practice rooms and performance areas. Environmental stewardship also played a role in the way the building is constructed. Sunlight is maximized with multiple windows and skylights to offset electrical uses elsewhere. “The way the building is laid out with the adjacencies and the use of square footage, it’s extremely efficient,” White said. “Music buildings can’t be as efficient due to acoustics and sound-proofing, so we focused on the way we use the space and utilize natural light during the day. It gives our students a sense of openness.” After beginning the design process in 2006 and breaking ground in February 2009 the music building will be completed after

just 38 months. Funding was secured with assistance from Texas State Sen. Dr. Bob Deuell, Texas State Rep. Dan Flynn, and the late Jack Finney, who claimed naming rights to the concert hall. Overall, alumni have contributed nearly $1 million. “This project was only possible because of the support of our senators, representatives, friends, and alumni,” White said. “We are extremely thankful for their foresight and generosity.” S

Dr. Ted Hansen, A&M-Commerce music professor, was inducted into an elite group within The Texas A&M University System in 2009 when he was named a Regents Professor. Spring 2010 11

Our desire is to give back to the university that gave us the opportunity to earn a college degree. We want to help give others a start not unlike our own.

W.C. and Margaret Ferrell

Receiving this scholarship let me know that someone believes in me and has faith that I will go and do great things with my education.

Kayli Davis, Class of 2010

The Ferrell/Freeman Scholarship opens a curtain of opportunity for Kayli Davis. GIVE BACK


Harry and Rheba Icenhower are to the city of Commerce what football is to Texas-inseparable icons. Together, Harry and Rheba have more than 50 years of service to Texas A&M University-Commerce. They have served on committees, traveled across the country with the football team and served in leadership roles-and that’s just their involvement since graduation. For Rheba, her involvement with the university began as a child. She grew up in Commerce, and attended high school on campus at the University Training School. As an undergraduate, she was a cheerleader and joined the Tooanoowe Social Club, now Gamma Phi Beta Sorority. She currently serves as an adjunct professor in the curriculum and instruction department working with the field-based student teacher program.


Rheba said. “We consider ourselves fully devoted to this university.”

I always knew I would return to Commerce,” Rheba said. “This has always been home for me.

Since they’ve returned, Harry and Rheba’s gifts to the university have only increased, as evidenced by their recognition as Gold Blazers in 1987 and 1990 respectively.

It is that involvement that inspired Harry and Rheba to take their giving a step further by donating towards the construction of the Alumni Center. They were recognized at the building’s grand opening with naming rights to one of the offices.

‘‘We love this campus, ‘‘

After graduation, Harry and Rheba left Commerce to pursue careers in public education, Rheba as a teacher, and Harry as a school administrator. After more than 20 years serving the students of Grand Prairie, however, Harry decided it was time to retire, and the desire to move back to Commerce was strong.

“I haven’t missed homecoming in 60 years,” Rheba said. “Harry might have a golf or hunting trip, but I’m always there.”


Harry found his way to campus after serving three years in the South Pacific with the U.S. Army in World War II. His brother James attended A&M-Commerce, and the Tejas Club, his brother’s social club, provided similar camaraderie to what Harry enjoyed in the military.

They have devoted their resources and energy to fundraising and recruiting for athletics. They have served fellow alumni as members of the Alumni Association, with Rheba also serving on the board. Their unquenchable spirit also led them to organize the purchase of the larger-than-life Lion that remains a staple at university home football games. Of all their activities, however, Rheba retains a particular fondness for one-homecoming.

Harry and Rheba are careful to invest not only in the structures that make learning possible, but also in the students. Their scholarship endowment targets students pursuing the same dreams they did- degrees in elementary education. “This university opened up so many doors for Harry and me,” Rheba said. “Now we cannot help but give back whenever possible, and stay involved with our alma mater that we hold dear.”

In 1952, the Lions football team gained national recognition during the regular season, and was one of two Texas teams invited to a national New Year’s Day Bowl game, the Tangerine Bowl. The Lions won 26-7.

By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan


1950 Harry Icenhower ~ 1951, 1955 Rheba Icenhower ~ 1950, 1952

Pride Magazine S Spring 2010 15

ace and Susan Carrington love Texas A&M University-Commerce, their friendships and memories and most of all the bonds they have formed through Tejas.

“The Tejas are a band of men who became brothers,” said Jace, a 2005 Gold Blazer and chair of the A&M-Commerce scholarship committee. “Today, we are known for our Hoss and Boss reunions and our generosity to the university that gave us all an advantage in life after graduation.” Like many Tejas before him, Jace’s ability to attend school came through the G.I. Bill. Thanks to the education he received at A&M-Commerce, and the support of his Tejas brothers, Jace went on to pursue a 31-year career at Texas Instruments. Nearly 40 years after graduation, Jace and Susan decided it was time to reconnect with the men who contributed so much to Jace’s life, a decision that was met with excitement and anticipation by his Tejas brothers. “Jace and Susan Carrington exemplify the excellent values and valuable experience that a member receives from being a part of a college social club, fraternity or sorority,” said Kendall Wright, A&MCommerce alumnus and Tejas member from 1951-1955. “They demonstrate these values in their everyday life with everyone they know. They continue to carry out the spirit of the Tejas’ founding fathers.” After a myriad of phone calls, e-mails, small group gatherings, and newsletters, the Carringtons successfully managed

“One of the richest blessings that Rosalie and I have in our lives,” said Frank Turner, “is the very special friendship of so many Tejas/Sig Ep brothers and their families. These special friendships continue through the years because of the care, kindness, love and hard work of Jace and Susan Carrington. As a result of this very special bond that Jace and Susan brought about was the founding of the Tejas/Sig Ep Scholarship Endowment

which is now over $250,000.”

to schedule the inaugural Hoss and Boss Blast in 2001. For Susan, an Oklahoma State University alumna, it was her final indoctrination into the Lion family. “These reunions wouldn’t be possible without Susan’s help,” Jace said. “She maintains our database, writes letters, plans the events, and anything else she can think of to make each event a success. She and the other wives of Tejas, affectionately known as the ‘bosses’ are an invaluable part of our group.” Jace credits a suggestion by Frank Turner for the establishment of a scholarship endowment in memory of deceased Tejas. The initial goal of $10,000 was met within a year. But keeping the Tejas/Sig Ep members together is about more than just money. According to Turner, “one thing that has developed because of Jace and Susan’s hard work has been a real support system when our brothers and families are in need.” Jace and Susan are hopeful that the culture of giving Tejas has created will catch on within the university and other alumni. “It is with gratefulness and pride that we pursue our goal of providing hard-working students with the opportunity to pursue an education at A&MCommerce,” Jace said. “To paraphrase Winston Churchill’s speech about never giving in, I assure you, we will never give up.” S

The Co-ed Handbook of the 1960s outlined appropriate behavior and dress for both male and female students, requiring men to wear “sports wear” or “dress suits” and for girls to wear “sports wear or tailored clothes” to class.

By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan



Pride Magazine S Spring 2010 17




Pride Magazine S Spring 2010

s Dr. Jai Nagarkatti worked alongside his coworkers in a lab, a father he would never meet was caring for a daughter Nagarkatti would later help save. “One day, we received a letter from a man whose daughter had been diagnosed with terminal cancer,” Nagarkatti said. “She received an experimental cancer drug my team worked on as a final effort to keep the disease at bay. The drug worked, and the child got better. It was a miracle.” Nagarkatti knew in that moment that science was his calling. If his work could touch the life of another, like this father and child, then he was in the right place.

time, motivating us and teaching us to believe in the power of innovation. They taught me lessons that extended beyond the laboratory, and have helped me succeed as a leader in management.” In addition to the life-changing lessons in the classroom, Nagarkatti found some equally life-changing opportunities outside the classroom when he met his wife Susan at James G. Gee Library. “It was a bit of fairy tale, coming to the United States from India, meeting my wife at A&M-Commerce, and working my way up the ranks at Sigma Aldrich. I’ve been given so much, and now I feel honored to give back and help others achieve the same.” For thousands of A&M-Commerce students, Nagarkatti’s commitment to give back has taken

That place is Sigma Aldrich, a life science and high technology company, where Nagarkatti currently serves as CEO and chairman of the board.

shape in relevant, inspiring ways. From donations

“Sigma Aldrich is a wonderful company to work for,” Nagarkatti said. “Our 8,000 employees from 38 different countries, consistently come together to bring innovative ideas from concept to customer. The camaraderie makes it feel as if you are a citizen of Sigma Aldrich first, and your own country second.”

the resources necessary for students to pursue

On his way to achieving the top leadership spot at Sigma, however, Nagarkatti had to prove himself in the lab as a doctoral student at A&M-Commerce. “The chemistry department at A&M-Commerce was a great environment that fostered entrepreneurial spirit,” he said. “The faculty brought out the best in their students by encouraging us at just the right

toward the new science building to scholarships for high-achieving students, these gifts are providing scientific research, and catch a sense of Nagarkatti’s enthusiasm for life in the lab. “I want to inspire the next generation of scientists and chemists, and giving back is a great way to accomplish that goal. Just imagine the things we could do if even more alumni gave back,” Nagarkatti said. “Think of the innovation that could be developed, and the leaders that would spring forth for future generations to follow. When I think about it, it gives me goose bumps.”

By 1972, $16 million of new construction was completed under the leadership of former university president Dr. D. Whitney Halladay. One of the 17 buildings and additions was an earth sciences wing for the Hall of Sciences. By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan




Pride Magazine S Spring 2010


‘‘ T I A L POTEN “It’s important to use the gifts God provides in the best way possible,” Goddard said. “I’ve been blessed to be in a position to accomplish just that.” Goddard’s heart for fundraising and stewardship is evident across the A&M-Commerce campus from the building projects he pursued to the lives he changed through scholarships. As associate vice president of development at A&M-Commerce, his efforts to invest in and renovate the Heritage House transformed it from a falling down heap of wood and brick, into a crown jewel that reflects the rich history of the university. Goddard’s propensity for giving back was multiplied each time he found the opportunity to provide a deserving student with a scholarship. For many of those students, it was the difference-maker that allowed them to remain in school, and give back after graduation.




After growing up in Commerce and watching the campus change, he knew A&M-Commerce was his home. It was an ideal place for him to develop personally and prepare professionally as a leader in student government, as a member of Sigma Chi and through a stint as Lucky Lion. Goddard’s pride extends to his pocketbook where he has included the university in his planned giving, and funded a scholarship endowment in honor of his parents. “The thing I love most about endowments is their perpetual nature. One hundred years from now, when I am long gone, students will continue to reap the benefits.”

“One of my greatest achievements has been to award hard-working students with scholarships. I have had students, years later, tell me that they were going to drop out because they could no longer afford to go to school,” Goddard said. “Then they found out they received a scholarship, and could continue. They always thanked me, but I always turned it around on them. They earned it.”

Today, Goddard has transitioned into a new fundraising role as the executive director of the Tyler ISD Foundation. While he spends most of his time funding innovative educational opportunities for the hard-working teachers, students and families in Tyler, his passion for funding innovation at A&M-Commerce continues to grow.

Goddard’s roots at “Old ET” began in 1969 when his family moved to Commerce so his father could start up the computer science department, the first of its kind in Texas.

“We need to ask ourselves, ‘what can we do to make a difference?’” Goddard said. “Then we need to put our money where our heart leads.”

Ernest Hawkins, the winningest head football coach in school history, was inducted into the university’s Athletic Hall of Fame in 1988. Hawkins coached the Lions from 1964-1985, and led the school to a national championship in 1972.

By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan




Pride Magazine S Spring 2010





rowing up in Stamford, Texas, Jandy Thompson had two role models, her mom and dad.

“From a young age, my parents instilled in me a strong work ethic, a ‘can do’ attitude and the importance of servant leadership,” Jandy said. “They approached everything they did with the attitude of ‘what can I do to help?’ They have always focused on what they can do to make their community a better place.” That hard work, ambition and appreciation for community followed Jandy when her family moved from Stamford to Commerce, and eventually to A&M-Commerce.

“I wanted my college experience to be at a great university full of great people,” Jandy said. “After touring other schools, the choice became clear; my ‘new home’ would be at A&M-Commerce.” Jandy found more than a home at A&M-Commerce; she found family when she became a member of the Alpha Phi sorority. “Joining Alpha Phi was one of the best decisions I have made,” Jandy said. “As an only child, I welcomed the opportunity to have 49 sisters. The girls valued sisterhood, leadership and service, and their enthusiasm for the university was contagious. Sixteen years later I still cherish those friendships I developed, and remain proud to be part of this organization.”

As the vice president of property management for the John Bowles Company, Jandy credits much of her knowledge and confidence in the business world to the opportunities she had to interface with key leaders and administrators on campus. Jandy’s interactions with alumni leaders as a Golden Leo also increased her affinity for A&M-Commerce. As she served alumni at donor events, she was in awe of their outpouring of support and commitment to the university’s growth. Their generosity made a permanent impression on Jandy, and solidified her decision to show her love and affection for the university in a similar way. “It is important for alumni, especially young alumni not to lose their sense of gratitude for everything the university has given them,” Jandy said. “You can’t fully appreciate the opportunities that lie ahead until you acknowledge those that have already been given to you.” Her opportunity to say thank you came a few years ago when the Alumni Board announced its vision to build an Alumni Center. As a seasoned member of the board, Jandy knew this venture would be the Alumni Association’s most significant contribution to the university to date. She also knew that the dream would require more than support and enthusiasm; it would require donors like her to show their support through financial contributions. “Making the choice to come back and give to A&M-Commerce has allowed me to show my gratitude,” Jandy said. “Now I stay involved in hopes of providing other students the same experience I received.”

In 1996, East Texas State University became a member of The Texas A&M University System, and changed its name to Texas A&M University-Commerce. A&M-Commerce is currently the second largest member of the A&M System.

By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan

energetically displays his affection for the school that transformed his life. Since his arrival at Texas A&M University-Commerce as a football student-athlete in 2004, through earning a degree and joining the university as one of its most successful admission counselors, he has chosen to give back just two years after graduation.


“A&M-Commerce offered me the best combination of scholarship and opportunity for my college education,” Baker said. “It wasn’t too far away from my family. When I look back on my decision I’m glad I chose A&M-Commerce.” While football drew him to the university, he left the team as a sophomore to concentrate on academics and become involved with campus organizations such as Alpha Phi Alpha Inc. and the Student Government Association. “Stepping away from the football field changed my life because people didn’t see me as just a jock anymore,” Baker said, “they saw me as a whole person.” Adding to this transition was the unfortunate news that his mom was diagnosed with cancer. “It really was a transformative experience in my life. I was going through a lot.”

I came up with a quote that says, ‘to see the difference, you have to be the difference,’” Baker said. “As a student, if I wanted to see a change, I was going to be the change that made it happen.



He fought through the adjustments and thrived as a leader around the university. He was voted president of Alpha Phi Alpha in 2005, joined a group of top leaders on campus called “The Team of Pride Leaders,” and was named student homecoming vice chair in May 2007 when he was the main force behind the homecoming parade’s return to campus.

Baker began to contribute to the change happening on campus after graduating with a bachelor’s degree in business administration in 2008. He noticed athletic director Carlton Cooper’s plan for athletics, and became a member of the Lion Athletic Club, which is the athletic booster organization that supports all 11 athletic programs, cheerleading and athletics. “I see Carlton’s vision for Lion athletics,” Baker said. “He wants our university to receive national recognition and our athletic program to be a Division I recognized program. To get to that point you need donations. You have to have the resources in place to get to that point, and that’s really why I wanted to give back. In just two years I can already see the changes he has made to the program. It makes me proud that I’ve given back.”

In 2009, after years of planning and many generous donations, A&M-Commerce alumni found themselves with a new place to call home on campus, the 6,504 sq. ft. Alumni Center.

By Brent Lyday S Photography by Paul Bryan



Pride Magazine S Spring 2010 25




Pride Magazine S Spring 2010



“I’m an old soul I guess,” Anthony said. “I love listening to their old stories, and playing Bingo. The residents look forward to seeing me now. It keeps me going.” For Anthony, a junior business major from Dallas, his work at the nursing home is spurred by his desire to serve others by giving back on campus and in the community. “I see my work at the nursing home as a building block between the city and A&M-Commerce,” Anthony said. “After interning in a hospital setting, I developed a heart for those in need. Each day I volunteer at Oak Manor is an opportunity to meet those needs by showing the residents that I am here for them.”

Anthony’s path to A&M-Commerce began with his close friends who graduated from the university, and encouraged Anthony to do the same. A Blue and Gold scholarship sealed his decision to attend, and since that decision, neither he nor the university has been the same. “Getting involved on campus was always my goal,” Anthony said. “I have served as R.H.A. president, as an R.A. and now I am also a senator in the Student Government Association. More important than my leadership roles, however, is the development of new student leaders. If they succeed, I will have done my job well.” With graduation approaching, Anthony’s opportunities to learn and lead on campus will play an important role as he prepares for his next pursuit, an M.B.A. at A&M-Commerce followed by a career in health administration. “I’ve been able to get to know campus administrators and forge connections between them and student leaders, as well as between the university and the Commerce community,” Anthony said. “If these relationships continue, the possibilities are endless.” If Anthony has his way, his influence also will be felt through the work he and the other members of the Campus Traditions committee are doing to create and reinstate traditions that can be passed down for years to come. “I loved my time at A&M-Commerce, and all the friends I made here,” Anthony said. “I want to make sure other students have the same great experience I did, and help them create new memories. If we work together, we can instill a school spirit that students need and desire.” Anthony is quick to give credit where he feels it is due, however, and for him, that means thanking the A&M-Commerce faculty and staff. “The things I have done here are because of the people who have worked with me, and cared about me on a personal level,” he said. “It’s because of their constant support that I want to give back and influence other students to do great things long after I graduate.”

A&M-Commerce continues to grow and expand both on campus and online. Stay up-to-date with your alma mater by following us on facebook: Texas A&M University-Commerce Alumni Association.

By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan

This scholarship honors both the memory of my brother Joe, and my parents’ long legacy of teaching. They would be so proud of the students who have received this scholarship, and gone on to succeed in their own classrooms.

Paula Harbour

Receiving this scholarship enabled me to graduate early and find a job that I absolutely love. I hope each day that I can pay it forward through my teaching.

Kristen Karaffa, Class of 2009

The Joe Max Harbour Scholarship provided an opening for Kristen Karaffa’s teaching career. GIVE BACK


FACULTY FOCUS By Brent Lyday S Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

“Receiving the Regents Professor award is a great honor,” Anderson said. “So much of the credit goes to my parents for the many ways they educated us. My mother once told someone she taught her children to be well-behaved so she wouldn’t have to live with a bunch of idiots.” ~Dr. Stuart Anderson


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine



rowing up on a farm in Chico, Texas, Dr. Stuart Anderson, A&M-Commerce Regents Professor of mathematics, didn’t envision a career in math. His parents never went to college, and with six siblings at home, a bachelor’s degree, let alone a master’s and a doctorate, didn’t immediately factor into the equation. “I decided to attend college rather than work at the local stone quarry after high school,” said Anderson. “Neither of my parents had completed high school, but they were very supportive of my education. When I decided to attend college they always helped with tuition, which was good because I didn’t make much money hauling hay and grading papers.” When Anderson enrolled at the University of North Texas, he majored in journalism, but quickly changed degrees as the logic in mathematics became more attractive than the guesswork involved in writing. It was well after graduation, however, that Anderson realized that he was better suited to life as a math professor, rather than as a geophysical engineer. “At the University of North Texas, I taught several classes as a graduate assistant,” Anderson said. “I also was adopted into a grant as a result of the Education Professions Development Act. The combination of these experiences inspired me to teach mathematics.” Anderson soon found a home doing just that at Texas A&M University-Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) as a math instructor from 1973-77. After a three year hiatus to complete a doctorate degree at the University of Oklahoma, Anderson returned to Commerce in 1980 and has spent 34 years at the university.

“My background makes me feel right at home at A&M-Commerce,” Anderson said. “The university has historically served first-generation college students, and since I am a part that group, I feel I am in the right place, and I am fortunate to be working here.” Throughout his tenure, Anderson has been selected for numerous teaching awards, including being named a 2008-09 Regents Professor by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents, the highest award a full-time faculty deg ree, y ma ster’s member may receive. b uy finished m “Receiving the Regents Professor award is a great honor,” Anderson said. “So much of the credit goes to my parents for the many ways they educated us. My mother once told someone she taught her children to be well-behaved so she wouldn’t have to live with a bunch of idiots.”

to “W hen I s decision . impetuou glad I did m I’ I ma d e an . p o sh n w a p d a by, an a banjo in is my hob y ing banjo st o Now, pla ym m a ny o f m I have met of it.” se u a ec b s iend valued fr

“I am also grateful for all my colleagues that have been examples to me and encouraged me to maintain good teaching. Some of them are more deserving of this award than I,” he said. “My students are also important to this award, as they have taught me many extra things. They are optimistic about their future, excited to do things that will make them successful, and interested in investing the effort to achieve. The students make teaching lots of fun.”


Spring 2010 31


By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

Cultivating Opportunity Before Dick Rothwell made his fortune in the oil industry, he was a young man from Talco, Texas preparing to pick up his A&M-Commerce roots, and move to Austin in pursuit of a college degree and the chance to start his own oil company. “I didn’t grow up around doctors, lawyers or businessmen,” Rothwell said. “I grew up around men like my Dad who were blue collar oil field workers. A degree in chemical engineering got me a seat at the table, although it was at the far end of the table.” His degree did more than provide him an entry to the industry; it opened doors for his entrepreneurship that allowed him to start his own company, Horizon Resources, in 1976. The Houston based company specializes in oil and gas exploration, futures trading and ranching. “After working for other companies for 14 years, I thought I was ready to start my own company,” Rothwell said.

Looking back over his hard earned success, Rothwell is quick to acknowledge what got him where he is today, his education.



Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

After solid preparation in pre-engineering courses at A&M-Commerce, Rothwell transferred to UT’s chemical engineering program where he received a scholarship to help pay his way through school. The scholarship allowed him to focus more on his work in the classroom and his studies. “At UT, I was a small town boy trying to pay my bills, and have enough money left over to have some semblance of a social life. My scholarship made that possible,” Rothwell said. Proud of his heritage, Rothwell maintains his A&M-Commerce roots thanks in large part to his involvement with the Tejas Club and the A&M-Commerce Foundation Board. He is a true friend of the university. “Jace Carrington called me in 2001 about an upcoming Tejas Blast,” Rothwell said. “It was great to attend the Blast and visit with my Tejas friends and later come back to the campus and see how much the university had grown since the late 1950’s. I’ve been on campus a number of times since then, and my wife Veronica and I always enjoy coming back to see everyone, including embellishing old stories and sharing new ones.” Rothwell’s involvement with Tejas inspired his decision to generously give back to the university through the Tejas scholarship endowment. “Contributing to students who need money for college is one of the most valuable ways I can use my money,” Rothwell said. “You don’t have to give a lot because every contribution helps. Giving back is a way to pay back the university for the role it played in my success. That and the personal satisfaction from helping others make it worthwhile.”



“You don’t have to give a lot because every contribution helps. Giving back is a way to pay back the university for the role it played in my success. That and the personal satisfaction from helping others make it worthwhile.”

Spring 2010 33


By Ashley Johnson & Bent Lyday S Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

Cops & Rodders

Constructing The Future

Left to Right: Joe Hinton, Buddie Barnes, Dr. Dan R. Jones, Chip Harper, Dr. Hal Langford, and Dr. Brent Donham

Photo: Dr. Dan R. Jones, A&M-Commerce president; Devon Herrman, A&M-Commerce sophomore; Donna Spinato, UPD chief of police; Sgt. Jeff Hunley, UPD.



Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

Local construction firms were instrumental in getting construction engineering on campus, and provided evidence of the program’s need with letters of support during the application process.

“The Texas Workforce Commission forecasts an overall growth rate of 22 percent for construction/civil engineers in Texas, with the east Texas and Dallas labor markets predicted to increase at a rate of 22.2 percent and 23 percent respectively over the next decade,” said Dr. Brent Donham, department head and associate professor of industrial engineering and technology at A&M-Commerce. “We anticipate a strong demand for the program.”

Industrial and construction

engineering are vital to the local economy,” Donham said. “This program will provide a

The Sixth Annual Cops and Rodders Auto Show was held May 1 outside the Texas A&M University-Commerce Morris Recreation Center. Portions of the proceeds went to the Cops and Rodders scholarship for university students. Sophomore Devon Herrman, a member of the A&M-Commerce soccer team, was a recent recipient of the $1200 Cops and Rodders scholarship. S

Texas A&M University-Commerce is helping offset the concern for a shortage of engineers in the United States. Beginning in fall 2010, construction engineering will be added to the university’s curriculum to provide students with an opportunity to earn the degree in a growing field.

necessary source of qualified engineers to support and grow the regional high tech industry.

Buddie Barnes, Chip Harper and Joe Hinton are matching passion with dollars to ensure Texas A&M University-Commerce students are equipped with the skills necessary to succeed in the high-need industries of construction engineering and nursing. Doing business the old-fashioned way, the three men solidified their financial commitment to the university’s programs on the back of a business card.


2010 HOSS & BOSS BLAST On April 10, 170 Tejas/Sig Ep alumni and their guests descended on the Sam Rayburn Student Center for the 2010 Hoss & Boss Blast, a reunion full of dinner, laughter and embellished memories. The Tejas Club began with a group of serious young men who shared the dream of making something of themselves. They were men of respect, and appreciated the opportunity afforded them. Many came by way of the G.I. Bill, and most from humble means. Their common bond of brotherhood shaped the social aspects of their college life. This organization thrived as a campus entity from 1946 until the male social clubs chose to merge with the Greek fraternities in 1960. Their proud legacy lingers on in the hearts and minds of surviving Tejas today. S


The men of Tejas shaped my attitude and the way I view friendship, and that is why Susan and I started the Tejas-Sig Ep Hoss and Boss Blast. With each reunion, the memories get better, and our bond grows stronger. Our 2010 reunion, Deep in the Heart of Tejas, was no different. S Jace Carrington


Spring 2010 35



2009 w


ALUMNI RECOGNITION By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers





Being selected as a Gold Blazer was an unexpected honor and recognition for Beverly Pirkey, class of 1963. “It’s great to be recognized for doing something you love,” Pirkey said. “This award is shared with my husband, Jack, who also is a Gold Blazer recipient.” After growing up in Commerce with a family history full of Lions, Beverly never considered going anywhere else other than A&M-Commerce. “My aunts, uncles, brothers, sisters, children, and grandchildren have attended this school, or are on their way,” Beverly said. “What can I say? This clan knows how to take advantage of a good deal!” Beverly’s involvement in the classroom and in campus organizations like the “Original Kalir Club” contributed to a well-rounded college career.

For Lee McCasland being selected as a 2009 Gold Blazer was a humbling experience, especially because his service alongside his friends for the First Last Dinner Dance felt more like fun than sacrifice. “Giving back, whether in time or money builds a better situation for the present and the future,” Lee said. “It’s an act that enriches both the life of the recipient and the giver.” While Lee came to A&M-Commerce for the affordability, friends and the large men’s gymnasium, the challenging coursework in the classroom and the camaraderie he found in the Paragon Social Club, now the Kappa Alpha Fraternity, confirmed he made the right choice. “We have a real jewel of a university here,” Lee said. “The campus has grown beyond anything my peers and I could have conceived in 1956. I’m sure a lot of high school graduates are impressed by more than the large gymnasium.”

John McCasland has a history of following his brother, Lee’s, footsteps. He followed him to A&M-Commerce and into the Paragon Social Club. Now, however, he’s come alongside his brother as a 2009 Gold Blazer. John carried on his family’s Lion legacy at A&M-Commerce, and like his brother before him, he joined the Paragon Social Club. “This was a very close group of men – and they still are,” John said. “The work we had to do to secure the granting of the Kappa Alpha charter brought us even closer together.” John carries more than social memories of “Old ET.” Thanks to an attentive professor, John overcame a stuttering problem he’d struggled with for years. “Thanks to my professor’s help, I have been able to teach classes in my profession for years on a local, state and national basis,” he said. “It’s among the many reasons I continue to talk up my alma mater.”






De La Garza is currently an associate professor at the Baylor College of Medicine, University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Research Center, Michael E. DeBakey Veterans Affairs Medical Center, and the University of Texas Medical Branch. He has been teaching in the departments of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, neuroscience, pharmacology, and research services since 2008. After graduating with a bachelor’s degree from A&M-Commerce, De La Garza went on to earn a master’s degree in 1989 from the University of North Texas, a Ph.D in neuroscience from the University of Texas Medical Branch in 1996, and post-doctoral fellowships from Harvard Medical School and Yale University School of Medicine in 1999 and 2000.

Lyon completed his bachelor’s degree in political science from A&M-Commerce, before obtaining his juris doctorate from Southern Methodist University in 1975. He specializes in complex litigation and has spent the past 34 years representing clients in more than 150 jury trials. He has received verdicts ranked in the top ten in the nation on three occasions, and has been named a Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly magazine six times. A former police officer, Lyon also spent 15 years in the legislature, serving four years in the Texas House of Representatives and 11 years in the Texas Senate respectively. He has dedicated his life to helping improve the quality of life for others.

McKown obtained her master’s degree in secondary and higher education from A&M-Commerce and a doctorate in curriculum and instruction. She began her teaching career and moved up the ranks through Little Elm High School and Paris Junior College before finding at home at McLennan Community College in Waco. She was named vice president of business services in 1989, executive vice president in 2002 and president on September 1, 2009 after 20 years with the institution. Throughout her tenure, McKown has developed business and finance courses offered to doctoral students at Baylor University as well as a master plan for capital projects that support college and community initiatives.

The Distinguished Alumni Chapter formed on November 5, 1983 with the purpose of maintaining a medium for serving A&M-Commerce, to further the interest and well-being of the university, and to foster an appreciation for the rich heritage left to the university by its students, faculty and administration. Spring 2010 37

STUDENTS IN ACTION By Brent Lyday S Photography by Paul Bryan, Jason Flowers & Jared Horn





KIM CHOSEN FOR PRESTIGIOUS MUSIC FESTIVAL Aran Kim’s piano skills have earned her one of 30 invitations to the Chautauqua Music Festival Piano Program in Chautauqua, New York. Kim, a graduate piano performance student, will attend the program from June 26-August 12, and will participate in a mixture of traditional and innovative classes, concerts and an artist certification program. Kim also will have access to new Steinway pianos for practice, and will compete in the SAI Concerto Competition for a $1,000 prize, and the annual Chautauqua Piano Competition for a $7,500 prize.

CBT SCHOLARSHIP BANQUET A&M-Commerce students are honored for achieving a 4.0 GPA and being named to the president’s list.

DEREK HEINZE, a senior art/communication major, claimed a Student Silver ADDY Award in Consumer or Trade Publication and Sales Promotion, and a Student Bronze ADDY Award in Powerful Attraction.

LINA M. PUENTES, a senior art/communication major, won a Student Bronze Addy Award in Consumer or Trade Publication.

ELLEN TERRILL, a senior art/communication major, won a Student Silver ADDY Award in Elements of Advertising and a Student Bronze ADDY Award in Editorial Design.

JAIME G. VILLALVA, a senior art/communication major, received a Student Gold ADDY Award in Consumer or Trade Publication, a Student Silver ADDY Award in Collateral Material, Elements of Advertising, a Student Bronze ADDY Award in Elements of Advertising, and two bronze awards in Consumer or Trade Publication.

VILLALVA AND JOHN BAKER, a freshman art/communication major, won a Student Silver ADDY Award in Mixed Media and Consumer or Trade Publication.


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

From left to right, top row: Brianne St. Maria, Borge Klungerbo, Jason Allen, Kush Joshi, Bibhu Tamrakar, and Ashley Ringo. Bottom row: Kayla Kidwell, Christina McCann, Laren Sanders, Stephanie Solomon, Taylor Culberson, Autumn Kitchens, and Krisha Shrestha.

BUSINESS ETIQUETTE Young professionals are interviewed over a six-course meal at the A&M-Commerce career development business etiquette dinner to learn proper dining etiquette. Students, alumni and members of the community are trained to represent themselves or their future company in a professional manner.


GREEK LIFE Greek Life on campus celebrated its 50th year on campus in 2010. In addition to its anniversary, the Greek Community recently achieved its GPA goal with the men and women’s collective organizations surpassing the all-campus undergraduate GPA’s, for their respective groups.

CELEBRATING DIVERSITY Students participated in theMulticultural Festival on April 9. The celebration of the university’s diverse student population included ethnic food sampling and cultural activities from a variety of countries.

TRACK The men’s track and field team competed in its second meet of the season at the Bobby Lane Invitational, hosted by the University of Texas at Arlington. Junior Brandon Womack led the way in ninth place (third among Division II competitors).


GET CONNECTED 2010 CALENDAR OF EVENTS Tyler/Smith County Alumni Gathering @ Tyler Rose Garden - June 3, 2010 East Texas Old School Event @ Tyler - June 11-12 , 2010 Alumni Golf Classic @ Stone River Golf Club, Royse City June 18, 2010 Harvey Martin Classic @ Dallas - September 7-11, 2010 Homecoming Golf Tournament @ Webb Hill, Wolfe City October 22, 2010 Homecoming October 23, 2010 ROTC Reunion/Veterans’ Vigil November 5-6, 2010 Music Hall Grand Opening Fall 2010 TELL US WHY YOU’RE PROUD TO BE A LION AT


The Second Annual Athletic Director’s Breakfast of Champions-recognized student-athletes, student trainers and cheerleaders who have achieved a 3.0 GPA or higher during the fall semester or cumulative throughout their academic career. More than 100 individuals were honored for their efforts in the classroom.

Members of the A&M-Commerce soccer team pose with Carlton Cooper, athletic director, after receiving their academic honors at the breakfast.

Spring 2010 39

BRANCHING OUT By Brent Lyday~Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers


Texas A&M University-Commerce and the University of North Texas signed an agreement on March 26th that will allow A&M-Commerce students to participate in the Air Force Reserve Officer Training Corps (AFROTC) program on the UNT campus.

This is a significant moment in the history of this institution,” said Dr. Dan Jones, A&M-Commerce president. “We are taking our first step in reestablishing our own ROTC program with this agreement.

Lt. Col. Richard Elkins and Capt. Steve Drotos from UNT and ROTC alumni Dale Bedgood, Forest Kennedy and Lloyd Basham attended the ceremony along with A&M-Commerce officials at the AFROTC marker on campus.

“As one of the oldest institutions in the U.S., this not only ties into our legacy, but also our future,” Jones said. According to Elkins, the AFROTC program’s mission is to train college students to become officers during an exciting time for the Air Force where officers will be working on new systems like the F-22, F-35, unmanned piloted vehicles, and space systems. A&M-Commerce (formerly East Texas State University) hosted the nation’s first AFROTC program on campus from 1949-1991. Throughout that period, the Air Force commissioned more than 880 officers while hundreds of others participated in the program. “Our program has a long history,” said Ted Oats, A&M-Commerce director of veterans and military services and retired Lt. Col. in the U.S. Air Force Reserve. “We’re hoping we can generate enough interest from students to create another ROTC program at A&M-Commerce.” S For more information on the AFROTC at A&M-Commerce, contact Ted Oats at or at 903-468-8664.

Left to Right-Retired Lt. Col. Ted Oats, U.S.A.F.R. and A&M-Commerce director of veterans’ and military services; Lt. Col. Richard Elkins, U.S.A.F. and University of North Texas; Dr. Dan R. Jones, A&M-Commerce, president; Forest Kennedy, AFROTC alumnus; Dale Bedgood, AFROTC alumnus and retired A&M-Commerce mathematics professor and former department head; Lloyd Basham, interim head and senior marketing and management professor at A&M-Commerce.


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine


A&M-COMMERCE RECEIVES TEXAS HIGHER EDUCATION STAR AWARD Texas A&M University-Commerce and Mesquite Independent School District received a Texas Higher Education Star Award Dec. 5 at the 9th Annual Star Awards Ceremony at the Westin City Center Dallas. The award recognized the schools’ partnership geared towards providing quality educational opportunities for all students. “We are ecstatic that this long-standing partnership has received this recognition,” said Dr. Mary Hendrix, vice president for student access and success at A&M-Commerce. A&M-Commerce and Mesquite ISD began its partnership in 1991 with a focus on addressing the need for quality teachers in Texas, increasing the number of minority graduates with teaching certificates and increasing the number of students graduating with a bilingual or English as a second language teaching certificate. The collaboration also focuses on increasing the participation rate in higher education among Hispanic students. S

Dr. Brent Mangus, A&M-Commerce dean of education and human services; Judy Pardun, Mesquite ISD senior director of staff development; Dr. Jeannie Stone, Mesquite ISD administrative officer of executive services; Dr. Karen Nix, Mesquite ISD administrative officer of staff development; Dr. Linda Henrie, Mesquite ISD superintendent; Dr. Susan Weaver, director of A&M-Commerce/ Mesquite ISD partnership; Dr. Mary Hendrix, vice president for student access and success at A&M-Commerce; Dr. Martha Foote, A&M-Commerce department head of curriculum and instruction; Dr. Sharon Johnson, associate vice president for student access and success at A&M-Commerce; Lanny Frasier, Mesquite ISD assistant superintendent of personnel services.


L-3 gave us an equipment grant in the amount of $25,000

Texas A&M University-Commerce recently acquired a 1920 core Nvidia Tesla personal GPU supercomputer this spring thanks to a partnership with L-3 Communications Integrated Systems Group in Greenville. The computer will be used for scientific research and modeling problems.

last fall,” said Dr. Sang Suh, head of computer science and

information systems at A&M-Commerce. “The Nvidia GPU

computer has a theoretical peak performance of 616 gigaflops double precision, or up to 7.5 teraflops single precision. A&M-Commerce and L-3 are also working on collaborative research and are expected to continue working on a five year vision and plan for a computational science consortium.

From left: Eddie Payne, L-3 vice president and chief of operations; Jack Cooke, L-3 senior vice president; Frank Brandon, L-3 director of research and development.

“This consortium will also help us with our new Ph.D program in computational science which is being proposed this semester,” Suh said. “We strongly hope this new proposal for the Ph.D program will be approved by the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board in early fall.” S

Spring 2010 41

NOTEWORTHY By Ashley Johnson and Brent Lyday~Photography by Jared Horn

COLLEGE OF ARTS & SCIENCES Dr. Stuart Anderson, mathematics professor, was named a 2008-09 Regents Professor. Dr. Carlos Bertulani, associate professor of physics, was selected for the H.M. Lafferty Distinguished Faculty Award by Texas A&M University-Commerce. Dr. Richard Fulkerson, retired and emeriti faculty of literature and languages, was named Professor Emeritus of Literature and Languages by the Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. Dr. Kent Montgomery, planetarium director, claimed the Paul W. Barrus Distinguished Faculty Award from Texas A&M University-Commerce. Melinda Schlager, assistant professor of sociology and criminal justice, and Dr. Brenda Moore, social work department head, received a three year federal grant to develop and implement a mentoring program for children of incarcerated parents. It is in collaboration with Big Brothers/Big Sisters and a variety of community-based organizations in Fannin County. William Thompson, professor of sociology and criminal justice, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. Dr. KaSai Un, mathematics professor, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award.

Dr. Kent Montgomery

Dr. Carlos Bertulani

Planetarium Director

Associate Professor of Physics

BEGINNING IN FALL 2010, A&M-Commerce students will have the option of pursuing a degree in the growing field of construction engineering. “Industrial and construction engineering are vital to the local economy, providing a necessary source of qualified engineers to support and grow the regional high tech industry,” Dr. Brent Donham said. “ We anticipate a strong demand for the program.”


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

Vaughn Wascovich, assistant art professor, won three honors for his art and images this year. His image, “End of Louisiana One,” was named one of the four shortlisted images in the landscape category at the Renaissance 2010 exhibition in London. He will also have art displayed at the 2010 Texas International from April 10-May 23 in Nacogdoches.

COLLEGE OF BUSINESS & TECHNOLOGY *The Texas A&M University System Teaching Excellence Awards is a program based on student evaluations completed at semester’s end, with awards ranging from $2,500-10,000 depending on class size. Augustine Arize, professor of business administration and MIS, earned a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. Matthew Elam, associate professor of industrial engineering and technology, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. This is his second award. Robert Folden, assistant professor of business administration and MIS, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award.


COLLEGE OF EDUCATION & HUMAN SERVICES The Educational Administration Program will start a new doctoral cohort with Texarkana this summer.

AWARDS & ACHIEVEMENTS Texas A&M University-Commerce and Mesquite Independent School District officials signed an agreement to continue their 19-year partnership.

Rhonda Clark, clinical instructor of curriculum and instruction, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. This is her second award. Harry Fullwood, professor of psychology and special education, earned a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. Margaret Garcia, an interim clinical instructor of curriculum and instruction, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. Jim Page, assistant professor of curriculum and instruction, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. Rebecca Stephens, clinical instructor of psychology and special education, claimed a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. This is her second award. Karin Tochkov, assistant professor of psychology and special education, received a fall 2009 Teaching Excellence Award. This is her second award. Dr. Rusty Waller led the way in the articulation agreements with Baptist University of the Americas and Hallmark College. “Texas A&M University-Commerce has a formidable, 121-year reputation in Texas for producing high quality teachers in every subject,” said Dr. Brent Mangus, dean of education and human services. “We are steadfast in our commitment to prepare Texas teachers to the best of our ability as evidenced by the college’s partnerships with area ISDs, educational organizations and the number of alumni selected annually as educators of the year.”

Texas A&M University-Commerce signed an enrollment agreement with Texas A&M University and the Texas A&M University System that will allow students to transfer from A&M-Commerce into certain degree plans at Texas A&M University in College Station after two years. Gail Johnston, associate library director, was appointed to the Texas Library Association Leadership Development Committee for a three-year term. Travis Ball, director of purchasing and HUB coordinator, was selected for the Young Professional in Procurement Award by the National Association of Education Procurement. Texas A&M University-Commerce’s TRiO Program was awarded the Ronald E. McNair Scholars Grant by the United States Department of Education, which assists low income and first-generation students. Texas A&M University-Commerce signed an articulation agreement with Remington College-Dallas that permits Remington College students to transfer their credit hours into specific programs at A&M-Commerce. Cereal Crops Research Incorporated (CCRI) recently established a $10,000 endowment at Texas A&M University-Commerce to provide scholarships for plant science majors with an emphasis in agronomy.

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NOTEWORTHY By Ashley Johnson and Brent Lyday~Photography by Jared Horn


KETR is getting back into the groove of award-winning practices as a news source,” said Jerrod Knight, KETR program director. “We’re pleased that, after a few years of reorganization, we’re able to receive recognition for our day-to-day efforts.

KETR-FM 88.9, Texas A&M University-Commerce’s public radio station, has new hardware on its walls after receiving six 2009-2010 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters awards at the TAPB convention in Austin.

Matt Meinke, “Notably Texan” host, claimed two first place awards for Best Feature/Light News and Best Interview, and Scott Harvey, KETR news director, placed first in Best Special Series and second in Best Feature/Light News.

Matt Meinke, KETR producer/announcer; Kevin Jefferies, KETR operations manager; Jerrod Knight, KETR program director; Scott Harvey, KETR news director.

“I’m honored that my entries were chosen above the others,” Meinke said. “I’m very proud to represent KETR and A&M-Commerce in this statewide contest. Bringing home a stack of TAPB awards is a great way to represent the quality of what listeners hear on KETR.” KETR also picked up honorable mentions in Best Sports Play-by-Play and Best Web Site. “The Texas Associated Press is held in very high regard among broadcasters throughout the state,” Harvey said. “These awards help justify the hard work our staff puts into every aspect of our operation here.” S

FULKERSON RECEIVES PROFESSOR EMERITUS CERTIFICATE FROM A&M SYSTEM BOARD OF REGENTS Dr. Richard Fulkerson (left) was named a Professor Emeritus of Literature and Languages this spring by The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. The honor recognizes Fulkerson for his 44 years of service at Texas A&M University-Commerce. “This honor recognizes the stellar career of one of the faculty who helped shape the department,” said Salvatore Attardo, assistant dean of the College of Arts and Sciences.. “It is also a source of pride and recognition for the department because transformative research took place within its walls. We are both proud and thankful to have Dr. Fulkerson as part of the department.” S


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine




Neill Humfeld Distinguished Faculty Award for Service

This award recognizes individuals who have performed an outstanding service to A&M-Commerce in his/her particular college or department.


Dr. Linda Openshaw, (left) associate professor of social work, with Irene Humfeld, widow of Dr. Neill Humfeld for whom the award was named.


Dr. R.N. Singh, (left) professor of sociology and criminal justice, with Dr. Larry Lemanski, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Paul W. Barrus Distinguished Faculty Award for Training

Back row left to right-Dr. Augustine Arize, professor of business administration and MIS; Dr. Jiaming Sun, associate professor of sociology and criminal justice; Dr. William Thompson, professor of sociology and criminal justice; Dr. Harry Fullwood, professor of psychology and special education; Dr. Karin Tochkov, assistant professor of psychology and special education. Front row, left to right: Dr. Alma Mintu-Wimsatt, professor of marketing; Dr. Robert Folden, assistant professor of business administration and MIS; Dr. Ka Sai Un, mathematics lecturer; Rhonda Clark, clinical instructor of curriculum and instruction; Margaret Garcia, ad interim clinical instructor of curriculum and instruction.


This award recognizes individuals who have performed in an outstanding manner in the area of teaching.


Dr. Jeffrey Herndon, (left) assistant professor of political science, with Dr. Larry Lemanski, provost and vice president of academic affairs.


Dr. Philippe Seminet, (left) associate professor of Spanish/French, with Dr. Larry Lemanski, provost and vice president of academic affairs.

Back row left to right-Dr. Vaughn Wascovich, assistant professor of art; Dr. Karin Tochkov, assistant professor of psychology and special education; Dr. Mary Druhan, associate professor of music; Dr. Jennifer Oyler, assistant professor of marketing and management; Dr. Larry Lemanski, provost and vice president of academic affairs. Front row left to right-Dr. Tracy Henley, department head and professor of psychology and special education; Dr. Kathryn Jacobs, professor of literature and languages; Dr. Sri Nipanni, professor of accounting, economics and finance; Dr. Linda Openshaw, associate professor of social work. Not pictured: Dr. Matthew Elam, Industrial Engineering & Technology

Spring 2010 45



Patsy Spurrier Hallman (B.S. ’55) was named Citizen of the

Sylvia A. Dart Allen (M.A. ’70)

Year from the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce.

Billie M. Holloway (B.A. ’59, M.A. ’59) received the 2009 East Texas Senior Citizen of the Year award at Senior Citizens Day at the East Texas Fair in Tyler.

Dr. Arnold D. Oates, Jr. (B.S. ’58, M.Ed. ’60, Ph.D. ’66) and Dr. Martha H. Oates (B.A. ’58, M.Ed. ’63, Ed.D. ’81) served as delegates to the 36th Invitational International Seminar on Schooling (IISA).

John C. Price (B.S. ’56) was a guest speaker at the Dallas Baptist University kinesiology department. He is the owner of The Throw Center in Athens.

Bob C. Ross (M.B.A. ’59) was awarded the Wally Stabbert Award by the Institute of Certified Business Counselors.

1960’s Jim H. Ainsworth (B.B.A. ’65) has recently published his fourth novel, “Home Light Burning.”

Ron McNeill (B.S. ’61, M.Ed. ’81) was inducted into the Plano ISD Athletic Hall of Honor.

Dr. Cliff L. Wood (B.S. ’66, M.S. ’67, Ph.D. ’73) president

of Rockland Community College, State University of New York (SUNY), was chosen by the Association of Community College Trustees as the recipient of the 2009 Northeast Regional Chief Executive Officer Award.


is working as a part-time photographer at Western College after retiring from teaching high school in 2003.

Llewellyn A. Blackburn (B.A. ’78, M.Ed. ’89) is currently the

vice president of business services for Texans Can!, a major charter school operator in Texas. He has served as a school board trustee for the Dallas ISD since 2002. He is married to Donna S. Freeling

(B.S. ’78).

Dr. Bradley S. Chilton (B.S. ’75, M.S. ’77, Ed.D. ’81) was appointed as vice president for enrollment and information management at Tarleton State University in July 2009. He is also a professor of computer information systems.

Lindley A. Huggins (B.S. ’70)

is the president of JPCH Construction, Inc., a new corporation that is taking over ownership of Huggins Custom Building, which previously won outstanding awards for their pre-engineered metal buildings.

Governor E. Jackson (B.S. ’73)

was honored as a staff role model for his success in helping minority students attend college. He received the award at the 10th Minority Access Annual Role Models Conference in Washington, D.C. He is currently the director of financial aid at Texas Woman’s University.

Pamela Littleton (B.S. ’72, M.S. ’73, M.S. ’83, Ed.D. ’88) is a professor of mathematics at Tarleton State University and was recently honored as a Regents Professor by The Texas A&M University System.

Dr. Morris V. Maniscalco (Ed.D. ’75) recently published

his novel, “An Eternal Love.” Morris and his wife, Willena, reside in Weatherford.

Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

Dr. Ron Meek (B.S. ’70, M.Ed. ’71, Ed.D. ’75) has retired

as provost of the Henderson Campus of the Community College of Southern Nevada. He is a former president of Colorado Community College and Oklahoma Panhandle State University.

Debbie A. Hatton (B.S. ’87)

was named University Educator of the Year by the Texas Speech Communication Association. Debbie currently teaches at Sam Houston State University.

James A. (Jim) Larimore (B.S.C.J. ’82) will be the founding

Alan E. Merritt (B.S. ’75, M.S. ’80) is currently working as a senior scientist at the Naval Reactors Facility located at the Idaho National Laboratory.

president of NYU Abu Dhabi, a new liberal arts and sciences campus to open in fall 2010. He will serve as the associate vice chancellor and dean of students.

Randy G. Pennington (B.S. ’75, M.S. ’78) has just released his latest

Kia Jane Richmond (B.A. ’89, M.A. ’97) is president-elect of

book, “On My Honor I Will: The Journey to Integrity-Driven Leadership. ”

Eric K. Steger (M.S. ’70)

has retired after 38 years as professor of economics and business administration at East Central University in Ada, Okla.

the Michigan Council of Teachers of English. Dr. Richmond is an associate professor of English at Northern Michigan University.

Michael C. Smith ( B.A. ’86)


received the Cy Pres: Impact on Justice Award from the Texas Access to Justice Foundation and Commission in recognition of a recent award of funds to help bolster legal aid in Texas.

Judy L. Barnes (B.S. ’80) was

Toby C. Stevenson (B.S. ’83)

appointed by the University of Texas at Dallas as its new director of university events.

Mona Brigman Campbell (B.B.A. ’89) is a broker associate

with Bryan County Properties, Inc. in Durant, Okla. She has been a top producer since 2004 and was named Realtor of the Year for the Texoma Board of Realtors in 2005 and 2009.

Kita D. Pickrell Cathey (B.S. ’89) was recently promoted to research compliance consultant for Baylor Health Care Systems, Dallas.

William (Bill) R. Harp (B.S. ’87, M.Ed. ’01) was recently appointed

principal at Pleasant Grove High School in Texarkana. His wife Kathy A. Harp (B.A. ’85, M.Ed. ’97) is the counselor at Pleasant Grove Middle School. They have two children.

recently won the third annual J. Jill Nature of Compassion T-shirt contest.

Paul G. Weaver (B.S. ’86, M.S. ’90, M.S. ’92) was selected as

Supervisor of the Year for the Texas School Counselor Association. He is the director of guidance and counseling for Plano ISD.

Kyle G. Wilkison (B.A. ’83, M.A. ’85) is the 2009 winner of the East Texas Historical Association’s Ottis Lock Best Book on East Texas History award.

David L. Zvanut (B.F.A. ’79, M.F.A. ’86) was present for

the unveiling of his mural, “Music on Parade,” at the public dedication ceremony at the new AT&T Performing Arts Center where the mural will be enlarged and displayed for a year.


Eva K. Beles (B.S.I.S. ’04)

Alisa G. Jones (B.S.C.J. ’94, M.S. ’96) was recently named director

Sylvia Faz (B.S. ’06, M.Ed.’08)

of continuing education director for Tarrant County College. She was previously assistant dean of continuing education at Richland College in Dallas.

Kay E. Loehr (M.S. ’94) was

named Secondary Teacher of the Year by the Texas Teacher of the Year Competition.

Debra DeAnn Tate (B.S. ’97, M.Ed.’00) married Roberto J.

Espinosa on Dec. 22. They reside in Austin. Debra is the HR director for Del Valle ISD.

Amy Rebecca Tucker (B.S. ’93)

accepted a position as a lighting technical assistant at PDI/DreamWorks Animation in Redwood City, Calif. She will be working on the upcoming DreamWorks animated feature “Megamind,” set for release in November 2010.

Vivian L. Freeman (B.S. ’90) retired as director of printing services after 29 years at Texas A&M University-Commerce.

Bridgette D. Holloway (B.B.A. ’96) and husband John, welcomed the arrival of their third child, Luke Andrew on September 18.

2000’s Paul M. Armstrong (B.S. ’09)

has joined the City of Forney as a neighborhood services specialist.

Amy M. Ball (B.S.I.S. ’02) was named Chisum ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. She teaches second- grade. Amy and her husband Travis A. (B.B.A. ’04) reside in Paris.

is the 2009 Mount Pleasant ISD Elementary Teacher of the Year. and fiancé, Santos Leal, welcomed the birth of their first child on Oct. 23. Sylvia is an academic advisor at Mountain View College in Dallas.

Jennifer T. Flanagan (B.S. ’09, Ph.D. ’09) earned her doctorate

in educational psychology from Texas A&M University-Commerce in December 2009 and is now an instructor at the university. Jennifer and her husband, Cleon, and son, Bryan, welcomed the birth of Brayden in July 2009.

Patrick J. Hodapp (B.B.A. ’01)

and his wife, Meaghan, welcomed the birth of Collin Patrick Hodapp on Feb. 2.

Tanya L. Nott (B.S.C.I. ’02, M.S. ’03) was recently certified by the Six Sigma Decision Board in December, and is the first black belt to be certified by The Linde Group in the Engineering North America Six Sigma Organization.

Dr. Robert K. Riza (M.S. ’00, Ed.D. ’03) has been named the vice president of student services for Hill College.

Caroline A. Vornberg (Ed.D. ’03) is the proud nana of Emma

Riley McIntire from Spring. She was born on Aug. 7, 2009.

Coretta Williams (B.S. ’03)

produces Good Morning East Texas on KLTV-Tyler and recently won a second Emmy award.

Stephanie Peebles (B.S. ‘05) and Brian Fiorisi (M.B.A. ’10) announced their engagement in December 2009. Their wedding date is set for August 1, 2010.

Jessica Lynn Stringfellow (B.A. ’08) and Jerrod Edelhauser (B.A. ’05) celebrated their one-year anniversary in September 2009. Jerrod now works on campus.

In Memory


Helen Connelly Adams (B.A. ’39) 10-21-09 Sammie R. Walley (B.A. ’35) 12-13-09


Dorothy Cloud (B.S. ’43) 9-22-09 Charlcie Johnson (B.S. ’41) 2-12-10 Dr. Beatrice Murphy (B.S. ’40, M.S. ’50) 12-25-09 Johnny M. Scoggins (B.S. ’49, M.Ed. ’54) 12-23-09 James A. Shulze (B.S. ’46, M.S. ’46) 12-26-09


Joseph T. Beane, Jr. (B.S. ’59) 12-14-09 Marvin C. Brown (B.S. ’53) 12-7-09 Robert S. Clements (B.S. ’59) 2-06-10 Oneida K. Clifton (B.S. ’51, M.Ed ’53) 2-13-10 Emma J. Combs (B.S. ’56) 5-26-09 Carl Dees, Jr. (B.S. ’54, M.Ed. ’63) 2-1-09 Elizabeth M. Longshore (B.S. ’58) 10-3-09 Viva E. Meadows (M.Ed. ’56) 6-17-08 Robert W. Nations (B.S. ’51, M.S. ’55) 7-9-09 Ronnie P. Rabb (B.S. ’54) 10-22-09 Lt. Col. Rudolph (RD) Rochelle (B.S. ’53) 9-11-09 Oscar H. Smith (M.Ed. ’51) 4-14-09 Leonard L. Trapp (B.S. ’53, M.Ed. ’58) 11-27-09 Martha R. Truax (M.S. ’54) 12-15-09 Thadus E. Watson (B.S. ’56) 12-18-09


Kenneth R. Adkins (B.B.A. ’67) 2-17-10 Edward Dean Bell (B.S. ’67) 1-29-10 Dr. James S. Buchanan (M.S. ’68) 5-8-09 Harold D. Doyle (B.S. ’68) 12-7-09 Larry J. Gayler (B.B.A. ’62) 10-30-09 Bobby B. Greaves (B.A. ’68, M.B.A. ’71) 1-28-09 Murrel E. Hogue (B.S. ’63) 2-03-10 Robert T. Peek (B.S. ’63) 12-3-09

1970’s Lyndal B. Burnett (B.S. ’77) 11-13-09 Suzanne A. Jennings (B.A. ’74) 10-22-09 Peter J. Roguz (B.S. ’78) 2-16-09 Jerry W. Taylor (B.S. ’72) 11-22-09 Roger M. Timberlake (B.S. ’70) 5-4-09


Venita C. Hickman (B.S. ’86, M.Ed. ’09) 10-11-09 Margaret Kirkpatrick Timberlake (B.S. ’83) 12-04-09 Paul E. Weeks (B.S. ’80) 9-28-09


Gamaliel Fonseca (B.A. ’95) 10-22-09


Malorie Elise Bullock (’12) 4-8-10

Mal or ie Elise


MAKING A DIFFERENCE By Ashley Johnson S Photography by Paul Bryan & Jason Flowers

A Friendly Investment The A&M-Commerce equine program recently welcomed two high quality Thoroughbreds, “Tricky Prospect” and “Directs Unique One,” thanks to the generosity of Mary Bonham. Bonham recently donated the horses in an effort to enhance educational opportunities for deserving students at A&M-Commerce. Both horses are known for their prowess on the racetrack, with one being a very rare white stallion. According to Lindsey Walton, equine sciences lecturer at A&M-Commerce, the gift will allow the university to improve the quality of its equine program and will bring in additional funds by breeding outside mares.

“Mary Bonham is a true friend of the university,” said Randy VanDeven, A&M-Commerce vice president for advancement. “Her generous gifts to the university, both through the Rhonda Adair Scholarship Endowment and these fine stallions, prove you do not have to be an alumna to recognize the importance of giving back to higher education.” S

Lindsey Walton, A&M-Commerce equine instructor; Rhonda Adair, Bonham’s daughter; Mary Bonham; and Randy Van Deven, A&M-Commerce vice president of institutional advancement.


Texas A&M University–Commerce S Pride Magazine

Team Development

The advancement division proudly announces Wyman Williams, B.S. ’69, and Wayne Davenport, B.S. ’03 and M.S. ’05, as the new directors of development at A&M-Commerce. Wayne and Wyman bring a wealth of experience in fundraising and community involvement to the advancement team. Look for them at your next alumni event.

Wyman Williams Wyman has lived 59 of his 62 years in Commerce, and had the rare privilege to attended first grade through college, and then own a long time family business in the same town. After working in many support roles for the university including the Foundation Board of Directors, Wyman finds it an honor to serve as a director of development. “I look forward to networking with alumni to provide advantages for our current and future students,” Wyman said. “Alumni can refer new students and offer internships to our current students. As people reconnect with the school, there is a greater chance they will choose to invest in our future.”

Wayne Davenport Wayne returned to the university as a director of development to help high school students have the same opportunity to attend A&M-Commerce. As a student, he enjoyed being a part of the agriculture department, the closeness of the students and faculty, and all the memories from his fraternity, Alpha Gamma Rho. “As alumni, we have so many reasons to be proud of our alma mater, and I look forward to showing our alumni the great things going on here,” Wayne said. “I also would like to work with alumni to increase the number and size of the scholarships available so more students can come here and have access to the life-changing experiences that I did.”

hen is the last time you reflected on your experience here in Commerce? Perhaps it was the last time you received PRIDE magazine. Maybe, it was the other night as you connected with a sorority sister or fraternity brother on facebook. Whatever causes you to think back about your time here, I hope that you, like the alumni featured in this issue, look back with fond memories. I hope you take great pride in the fact that you are a part of this Lion family. While much has changed in our 120-year history, much remains the same. We are the same caring university, we still educate students like you and we produce the same high-quality graduates. Our campus maintains a vibrant look that reflects the progressiveness and determination of our founder Professor Mayo, and his basic principles of ceaseless industry, fearless investigation, unfettered thought and unselfish service to others. What has changed, however, is our financial ability to provide educational opportunities for deserving students throughout Texas and beyond. Contrary to what you may think, our university is “state–assisted,” not state funded. Only one-third of Texas A&M University-Commerce’s annual operating budget comes from state appropriations. That means students must pay the difference (approximately $2,700 for one semester).

I imagine that’s quite a difference compared to what many of you likely paid back in the “good old days.” If you think paying for a college education was tough when you were here, it’s even more daunting now. Like you, I can appreciate that times have changed since we were in college, and what a burden it is to pay for school, hold down a job and be a part of a family. We appreciate the support of alumni and friends like you who help us provide life-changing opportunities to our students.

Together, we can help our students attain the college education they deserve. Thank you in advance for choosing to invest in the future of our students. Please remember that your financial support, at any level, truly does make a difference .



Randy VanDeven Vice President, Institutional Advancement

Photography by Paul Bryan Spring 2010

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

Pride Magazine Spring 2010  

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