Page 1



Hardy’s Pic

Sarah Caldwell, a 2009 SFA graduate from Houston, performs with the SFA Repertory Dance Company in Turner Auditorium.

“I’ve always admired the grace and beauty of the SFA Repertory Dance Company. This photo says a lot about the demanding work that goes into what they do, and I appreciate the quality of the dances they perform.” -- University Photographer Hardy Meredith


Summer 2010 • Volume 37, No. 2 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Jeff Davis ’02, Executive Director of Alumni Affairs


EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93, Editorial Coordinator, SFA Public Affairs ARTISTIC DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim-Tumelson, Communication Coordinator, SFA Alumni Association ADVERTISING DIRECTOR Rhonda Minton ’90 & ’99, Director of Marketing and Membership, SFA Alumni Association STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY is a comprehensive institution dedicated to excellence in teaching, research, scholarship, creative work and service. Through the personal attention of our faculty and staff, we engage our students in a learner-centered environment and offer opportunities to prepare for the challenges of living in the global community. The SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION is a non-profit organization dedicated to serving the alumni, friends and current students of Stephen F. Austin State University through programs, scholarships and activities that create an attitude of continued loyalty and support.

FEATURES 5 Bear Tracks

Grad student studies black bears in Michigan

10 Exit Stage Left

Theatre professor retires after 44 years behind the scenes


New York Times Coffman brings experience to The Garden

24 Opening Doors

Murphy provides opportunities for Lumberjacks

10 CAMPUS NEWS 2 3 4 8 9

Cheerleading Awards New Basketball Coach President’s Message Forestry Conclave Vista Viewpoint

ALUMNI NEWS 5 1 16 28 29 32 35 40

SFA Connect From the Association Scholarships Chapters Class Notes In Memoriam All Hail to SFA

SAWDUST is a joint publication of the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. It is published four times a year in the winter, spring, summer and fall. Subscriptions are included in SFA Alumni Association memberships. ON THE COVER Casey Coffman ’89, outside Madison Square Garden. Cover photo courtesy of Angela Cranford/MSG Photos. Additional photos of Coffman courtesy of George Kalinsky for Madison Square Garden.


Campus News

Cheer Champs

By Kayli Steger

Squads win big at nationals

THE LARGE CO-ED cheerleading squad at Stephen F. Austin State University recently secured its 11th first-place victory in the Division I National Cheerleaders Association championship in Daytona Beach, Fla. The SFA pom squad and the small co-ed team each placed third in the Division I competition. This year marks the 18th national victory overall for the SFA spirit program. “We’ve had a remarkable run, putting us on par with the top athletic teams in the nation,” said Michael Preston, director of student affairs and adviser of SFA spirit programs. In the partner-stunt competition, Junior Alec Heffron of Emporia, Kan., and sophomore Alli Pagnotta of Canyon Country, Ca-


lif., placed second, and sophomore Dustin Moore of Hoover, Ala., and junior Kaci Wade of Hickory Creek, Texas, placed fifth. After last year’s first place loss by a slim margin of five onehundredths of a point, the team was determined to reclaim its victory, Preston said. “From the tryouts to the camps and throughout the entire year, they have been working hard with the idea of not only making up those five one-hundredths of a point but also blowing away the competition, and that’s exactly what they did.” ✯


We’ve had a remarkable run, putting us on par with the top athletic teams in the nation.


The SFA spirit program recently earned its 18th national victory at the Division I National Cheerleaders Association championship in Daytona Beach, Fla.

Summer 2010

New Ladyjacks coach hired By James Dixon

BRANDON SCHNEIDER HAS been named head coach of the SFA Ladyjack basketball program. “We exceeded our expectations for a head coach with Brandon,” said SFA director of athletics Robert Hill. “Hiring a coach who has just won a national title is huge. His record SCHNEIDER proves his ability to coach, and we expect him to reignite the community in support of our women’s program. His Texas ties will only strengthen our recruiting in signing players who can keep us on top of the Southland Conference.” The Canyon, Texas, native is the second alltime winningest head coach at the NCAA Division II level. Schneider comes to Nacogdoches from Emporia State University where he guided the Lady Hornets to a 306-72 (.810) record, and the 2010 NCAA Division II National Championship. The school’s all-time leader in wins and winning percentage, Schneider ranks among the all-time top 10 in fastest coaches to 100 victories and third fastest among women’s basketball coaches. Schneider was the first Mid-America Intercollegiate Athletics Association rookie head coach to win both the MIAA regular-season and tournament titles. Schneider has spent the previous 12 seasons at ESU guiding the Lady Hornets to 11 NCAA tournament appearances. During that stretch, Schneider’s teams recorded two 30-win seasons and nine 20-win campaigns. Along with the 2010 national championship, Schneider coached ESU to four NCAA Division II South Central Regional Championships, two Final Four appearances, six regular-season conference titles and three league tournament titles. The 2010 Bulletin Women’s Basketball National Coach of the Year and the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association South Central Region Coach of the Year, Schneider’s players have reaped the rewards of his guidance. He has coached seven All-Americans, including two NCAA Division II Player of the Year selections, 13 first-team All-MIAA honorees, eight conference MVPs and seven players have gone on to play professionally, including one in the Women’s National Basketball Association. Schneider is well respected for being able to attract some of the nation’s top talent on the recruiting trail. During his time at Emporia State, Schneider signed six NJCAA All-Americans and four high school All-Americans to play for the Lady Hornets. ✯


President’s Message


Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 President, Stephen F. Austin State University

S ANOTHER ACADEMIC year of record student enrollment at Stephen F. Austin State University draws to a close, our faculty, staff, students and alumni have much to be proud of. The university recently had the honor of welcoming legendary boxer and iconic businessman George Foreman to campus as the first guest in the new Archie McDonald Speaker Series sponsored by the College of Liberal and Applied Arts. The event was very well attended, and the audience was treated to a rare insider’s view of the extraordinary life of the larger-than-life figure. In May, the largest graduating class in the history of SFA received their diplomas to the proud ovations of their friends and families. I, too, would like to congratulate them on their achievement, and I’m hopeful the connection they have with SFA will remain strong as they leave their alma mater to pursue their dreams. Visitors to SFA this summer will notice the main entrance to the university at North Street and Vista Drive is undergoing a transformation. The streets and traffic signals are being reconfigured to make the main entrance safer for both drivers and pedestrians. Across campus, where Garner Tower once stood, a new 1,000-car parking garage is almost complete. The structure will provide much-needed additional parking spaces as we look forward to the completion of an adjacent four-story, state-of-the-art freshman residence hall scheduled to open its doors one year from now.

In May, the largest graduating class in the history of SFA received their diplomas to the proud ovations of their friends and families. The upcoming SFA football season promises to hold much excitement for Lumberjack fans. On Sept. 4 the Southland Conference Championship team will take on Texas A&M in College Station. And on Oct. 23 the Lumberjacks will face conference rival Sam Houston State University in the firstever Battle of the Piney Woods to be held at Reliant Stadium in Houston. I hope you will mark your calendar to join me in cheering on the Lumberjacks at these special events. Lastly, if you haven’t visited SFA in a while, I want to encourage you to do so. You’ll find that while much on our campus has changed, the Lumberjack spirit you remember remains strong and true. Axe ’em ’Jacks!

BOARD OF REGENTS Melvin R. White, chair, Pflugerville John R. “Bob” Garrett, vice chair, Tyler Richard B. Boyer, secretary, The Colony Carlos Z. Amaral, Plano Scott H. Coleman, Houston James H. Dickerson, New Braunfels Valerie E. Ertz, Dallas Steve D. McCarty, Alto James A. Thompson, Sugar Land Sydni Mitchell, student regent, Spring


UNIVERSITY ADMINISTRATION Dr. Baker Pattillo, president Dr. Richard Berry, provost/vice president for academic affairs Steve Westbrook, vice president for university affairs Danny Gallant, vice president for finance and administration Sid Walker, vice president for development OFFICE OF PUBLIC AFFAIRS Bob Wright, executive director of marketing and public affairs Shirley Luna, associate director of public affairs/media relations Hardy Meredith, university photographer Amy Roquemore, editorial coordinator Sawdust

Bear Tracks Grad student studies black bears in Michigan By Amy Roquemore

MY BRAIG SPENDS a lot of her time these days in Black Bear Country. The 2008 graduate of SFA’s renowned Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture is now working on her master’s degree and recently spent seven months studying the intriguing and elusive predators in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. Braig is conducting a study of the local black bear to estimate population abundance and describe its habitat. During the live trapping phase of the project, she captured and marked 57 dif-


ferent bears, the largest of which weighed more than 400 pounds. “The experience of getting up close and personal with these animals has been amazing and something I will never forget,” she said. Once the animals were safely sedated, their weight, heart rate, temperature and respiration were recorded, and they were tagged and tattooed for later identification. Radio collars were placed on a handful of the bears, so their movements could be monitored. She also collected almost 200 samples from hair snares that provided DNA information for the bears, which are legal to hunt in

Michigan. And trail cameras were used to capture hundreds of images of the animals for the study. “The undergraduate education I received at SFA prepared me extremely well for this project, as well as my future career,” Braig said. “All of the professors in the College of Forestry and Agriculture strongly encourage their students to get involved in various research projects, so I was already very familiar with these research techniques when I received my bachelor’s degree.” Braig’s close relationships with SFA professors who are wellrespected in the field led to the invitation to conduct her study on the


isolated tract of privately owned hunting land in Michigan. “Being a graduate of SFA’s forestry program gives students a foot in the door when it comes to being considered for these types of wildlife studies,” she said. “When people see an SFA degree on your résumé, they know you are going to do a professional job because you have received the best education possible.” Braig said both her present and former professors continue to be a sounding board for her as she works toward her graduate degree. “They want you to accomplish it on your own, but they make sure Summer 2010

you know they are there for support if you ever need it.” Braig will be returning to Michigan soon to complete her study and conduct habitat samplings. Once she earns her master’s degree, she plans to pursue a career in wildlife research, consulting or taxidermy. ✯

Amy Braig ‘08, a graduate student in the College of Forestry and Agriculture, is pictured with a sedated black bear in Michigan where she is working on her master’s thesis. Also pictured is Dr. Daniel Scognamillo, SFA assistant professor of forestry.

“The experience of getting up close and personal with these animals has been amazing and something I will never forget.” 7

Mitchell named Student Regent By Kayli Steger SYDNI MITCHELL OF Spring has been appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to serve as Student Regent for SFA for 2010-2011. Mitchell will graduate from SFA in May 2010 with a bachelor's degree in child and family development and plans to pursue a master's degree in public administration at SFA. She serves as president of the SFA Circle of Omicron Delta Kappa Leadership Honor Society and is a member of the Lumberjack Leadership Academy and Society for the Advancement of Management. Mitchell works as a student assistant in the student affairs office and recently interned for The BIG Event, a service-learning project benefitting the Nacogdoches community. "This is such an amazing opportunity to have the privilege of serving with the Board of Regents MITCHELL and being a voice for the students," Mitchell said. Mitchell replaces Morgan Tomberlain of Longview. ✯

SFA students place second at annual forestry conclave By Amy Roquemore A TEAM OF forestry students from Stephen F. Austin State University recently placed second at the 2010 Association of Southern Forestry Clubs Forestry Conclave at the University of Arkansas at Monticello. The SFA Sylvans Forestry Club competed in events such as axe and knife throwing, pole felling and climbing, crosscut sawing, log chopping, timber estimation, and wood and wildlife identification. A total of 15 universities accredited by the Society of American Foresters participated in the event. “As always, the Sylvans did an excellent job of representing SFA at the ASFC Forestry Conclave,” said Dr. Michael Fountain, who has served as the team’s adviser for the past 30 years. “Our students take the competition very seriously and practice and prepare vigorously throughout the year.” In order to be successful at the annual competition, teams must do well in both the physical timber sports and the technical events. SFA’s team has placed first or second 23 times during the past 25 years, including eight firstplace finishes. “SFA has a long and proud tradition of success at the conclave, which has helped solidify the reputation of our forestry program as one of the very best in the nation,” Fountain said. For more information about the forestry, agriculture, environmental science or spatial science programs offered by the College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA, call (936) 468-3301 or visit http://forestry.sfasu.edu. ✯

Computer camps offered

THE DEPARTMENT OF Computer Science at SFA will host a series of summer youth camps and professional development workshops for teachers designed to enhance their technology skills. The Computer Science Summer Program day camps are designed to provide fifth- through ninth-grade students with a broad exposure to a variety of computing topics. Camp sessions will run from June 14 to July 15. The Summer Teacher Workshop Programs include a variety of basic computing topics, plus topics in robotics and storytelling using virtual worlds. Workshops will run June 1 to 10. For more information and a complete listing of class topics and schedules, call (936) 468-2508 or visit www.cob.sfasu.edu/camps. ✯



Vista Viewpoint By Nicole Hall

College, love and free T-shirts SFA HAS CHANGED my life. Well, maybe “changed” isn’t the right word since I didn’t have an established life to be changed yet. SFA has made my life. Professionally, I have been given many opportunities at SFA I would not have had at a larger university. I worked at The Pine Log, the AARC, Public Affairs, the Alumni Association and Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. Not only did all of these jobs “beef up” my résumé, but they also gave me valuable experience in the public relations field I wish to pursue. This semester, I enrolled in the Ad Design III class, which gave me more real-world experience by way of designing an entire advertising campaign for a corporate sponsor from scratch for the National Student Advertising Competition. This competition is known throughout the advertising industry, and participation in it is very valuable both for experience and name recognition. I was so proud of our team; we got first runner-up, the best SFA has ever ranked in the competition. We placed higher than the larger universities such as Texas Tech and A&M, and the University of Texas didn’t even participate. So for whoever says SFA does not have the same academic reputation as the large state schools, look at the scores from this competition. SFA has a great reputation in the advertising and marketing industry. Aside from the academic aspect of college, SFA has also impacted my personal life. Through a simple fraternity party, I met the love of my life. Since then, I have been thrust into a new and exciting part of my life. He recently graduated from boot camp as a Marine, and we will get the opportunity to live in different parts of the country and the world. Never did I expect my life to end up like this, although I did always say I was going to marry a Marine. But that was just me having crushes on the recruiters who used to visit during my high school lunches. Because of SFA, I have met many friends I will have for a lifetime. They were my bridesmaids, my phone calls when I was at every extreme emotion and everything in between. Summer 2010

At SFA, I learned to conquer my fear of heights when I jumped off the tree branch at Tonkawa Springs and figured out that it is indeed possible to stay up the entire night, but not very pleasant the next day. I also discovered you can have too many t-shirts, even if they are free. So to conclude the final piece I will ever write for The Pine Log, I want to thank everyone at SFA who has gotten me to where I am now, both personally and professionally. Shirley Luna, Amy Roquemore, Kayli Steger, Hardy Meredith, Robin Johnson and everyone else in Public Affairs–thank you so much for the opportunity to work with you all. I can honestly say it is the best job I have ever had. Rhonda Minton and Rhonda CrimTumelson–thank you for the opportunity to work with you in the Alumni Association. Thank you, Kim Barton and Julie Akers, for all you have taught me about public relations at the hospital. Thank you to the AARC supervisors and tutors with whom I have spent nearly my entire college career. Thank you, Pat Spence, for all you have done for me throughout my time on The Pine Log. Thank you to all of my communication and art professors who have taught me the tools of the trade and for the experience you helped me gain. To all of my friends I have met throughout my time here, thank you so much for all of the great memories. My college experience surely would not have been what it was without you. Thank you to God, my entire family and my wonderful husband who have all supported me through my academic and personal endeavors. And finally, thank you, SFA, for helping make me who I am and for giving me all the opportunities that got me here. I’m going to miss you! ✯ Nicole Hall ’10

Nicole Hall is a May 2010 graduate from McKinney. Her farewell letter was reprinted with permission from The Pine Log.





Stage Left

Theatre professor retires after 44 years behind the scenes By Amy Roquemore

Summer 2010


With little fanfare,

the curtains closed recently on a remarkable teaching career that spanned more than four decades at SFA, impacting the lives and careers of thousands of theatre students and bearing witness to historic growth and change at the university. Tomy Matthys, associate professor of design in the School of Theatre, retired after a 48-year career in education. During his 44 years at SFA, he designed more than 250 theatrical productions and supervised several hundred student productions. He served eight SFA presidents, all nine deans of fine arts, and all five theatre department chairs and school directors. But, as one former student attests, his greatest contribution to SFA was in helping his students believe in themselves as much as he believed in them. “Tomy’s door was always open – day or night – anytime I needed something,” said Christopher Ward of Dallas, who graduated from SFA in 2007 with two Bachelor of Art degrees, one in drawing from the School of Art and a second in scenic design from the School of Theatre. Since graduation, Ward has done professional design work for ESPN, NBC, Nickelodeon and Starbuck’s, as well as various professional theatre projects. “Once he was satisfied that I was committed to where I was going professionally and how hard I was willing to work to get there, Tomy was always there to foster and

grow that ambition into something beyond being a student,” Ward said. “He certainly wasn’t the sole mentor I had at SFA, but he really was the inspiration, the starting point for everything. And I still depend on him for professional advice to this day.” Although Matthys is humble about his own accomplishments, he has no problem bragging on the successes of his former students, whom he keeps in contact with via the online social network Facebook. “I have had the most wonderful students in the world,” he said. “Every single one of them has been fine and unique, and some of them have been outstanding, truly outstanding. They have kept me young, and teaching them has been one of the greatest joys of my life.” In his mind, the students have changed little since he first came to Nacogdoches in 1965 to join SFA’s fledgling theatre program. For the most part, they remained curious, respectful and as eager to learn from him as he was to share his

future might hold. “I was just a 25-year-old kid at the time, and it was just exhilarating to have my own theatre and my own classroom and my own design and work areas,” he recalled. “I was so fortunate, so lucky to step in at

Matthys remembers stepping over the pine trees that now tower over Turner Auditorium on the way to his car after work when they were newly planted saplings.


wealth of experience with younger generations. However, SFA now bears little resemblance to the small institution he arrived at as a young teacher more than 44 years ago, anxious and excited about what the

that time. What we had was a theatre about to happen – it hadn’t happened yet. A lot of things have changed, but it’s just as exciting now as it was back in those days.” Matthys remembers stepping


over the pine trees that now tower over Turner Auditorium on the way to his car after work when they were newly planted saplings. Over the

“I don’t think there is any possible way we can ever truly replace him. Tomy Matthys is one of a kind.” years, he has witnessed explosive growth, both in the student population and in the size of the SFA faculty, and watched new buildings spring up all across the campus. But for Matthys, the most exciting changes at SFA have taken place within the theatre program itself. Originally an adjunct area of speech, it evolved into a standalone department and eventually into the School of Theatre within the College of Fine Arts. Technological advances also have drastically changed the way theatre is both taught and produced at SFA, although Matthys never stopped insisting his students learn to draft by hand before learning computerized techniques. For his part, Matthys went from teaching every aspect of theatre, from costumes to lighting to acting to scene painting – even debate, speech, and freshman and sophomore English in the early days – to specializing in his first love, design and technical theatre. “I’ve been so fortunate to have had a wonderful career, most of which was right here, and it’s be-

Summer 2010

cause SFA has always continued to grow, continued to expand. It has never been content to remain stagnant, and I don’t expect it ever will.” Dr. Richard Berry, SFA provost and vice president for academic affairs, said Matthys earned a reputation at SFA for his imagination and creativity, for continuously seeking new challenges and, most importantly, for always putting the needs of his students ahead of anything else. “He is also just a very memorable personality who added a distinctive touch to the School of Theatre for quite a long time, and it’s very difficult to imagine it without him there,” Berry said. “I don’t think there is any possible way we can ever truly replace him. Tomy Matthys is one of a kind.”

Now that he has left the university behind, the retired professor says he is enjoying attending SFA fine arts productions as a spectator rather than a participant. His own creative energies are now focused on small painting and sculpting projects that he works on at home, purely for the joy of it. Much of his newfound free time also is spent boating on area lakes, gardening and tinkering with an old wooden grandfather clock. “After 44 years, there’s no way leaving SFA could not be emotional for me. But I’ve done good. And it has been a wonderful time, and I have no regrets, so I can move on and let someone else take it from here.”


Helping make dreams come true For many future students, working toward their college degree at Stephen F. Austin State University would not be possible without financial support. Currently, nearly 10,000 students are pursuing their education at SFA with more than $110 million in financial aid. Now, thanks to the generosity of our alumni and friends, future students like Bryce will have the chance to reach for their dreams. Private support to the SFA Alumni Scholarship Fund has helped make possible the $510,000 in scholarships and assistance recently awarded to SFA students through the SFA Alumni Foundation’s scholarship endowment.

Help promising students like Bryce, a future firefighter, by supporting the SFA Alumni Scholarship Fund today! Interested in establishing or donating to a scholarship? Call the SFA Alumni Association to learn how you can make a difference in the lives of students.

Bryce, Class of 2028

SFA Alumni Scholarship Fund SFA Alumni Association • PO Box 6096-SFA Station • Nacogdoches, TX 75962 1-800-765-1534 • www.sfaalumni.com/donations



Alumni News

ALUMNI CAN CREATE a personalized @sfaalumni.net SFA e-mail address by signing up for SFA Connect, an e-mail forwarding service. Registration is easy. Visit the SFA Alumni Association’s Web site at www.sfaalumni.com, and click the SFA Connect logo on the home page. Alumni must activate their profile on the association’s Web site before creating a personalized SFA e-mail address. Approval of a Web site profile account takes about one business day, depending on when individuals submit their information. Each person’s registration is reviewed by Alicia Chatman, gifts and records specialist for the SFA Alumni Association, to verify his or her relationship to SFA. Once their Web site memberships have been approved, alumni can return to the SFA Connect page

and proceed to the SFA Connect registration page. Since SFA Connect is a forwarding service, not an actual email account provider, users will need an established, active e-mail account. For example, if John Q. Alum has a personal Yahoo e-mail account as JohnQAlum@yahoo.com, he can create a JohnQAlum@sfaalumni.net e-mail address on SFA Connect and share that personalized SFA e-mail address with whomever he chooses. He will set his @sfaalumni.net address preferences to have all e-mail sent to JohnQAlum@sfaalumni.net forwarded or re-directed to his Yahoo e-mail account. SFA Connect users will need to make sure they keep their SFA Connect preferences current in order for the service to work properly. Using the earlier example of John Q Alum,

if John deletes his Yahoo e-mail account or switches to another account (Gmail, AOL, etc.) but doesn’t update his @sfaalumni.net address preferences to reflect forwarding to his new address, e-mail will not be re-directed. SFA Connect is a joint project of the SFA Alumni Association and SFA Office of Development and was developed by the SFA Office of Information Technology Services. The project has been in development for several years, and the association is happy to unveil it as a great way for alumni to show pride with each e-mail they send. ✯

What’s your story? Sawdust is seeking stories about SFA alumni doing great things. Contact us to share your bright idea. alumni@sfasu.edu

800.765.1534 Summer 2010

Moved? Changed jobs? New e-mail? Recently married? Update your alumni record! www.sfaalumni.com


From the Association


Chuck Tomberlain ’84 President, SFA Alumni Association

EAR LUMBERJACKS, I hope all of you are having a great summer and getting to spend some quality time with your family. Make sure you wear your SFA clothing on all of your summer trips so it will be easy for fellow Lumberjacks to spot you during your travels. Alumni are the best ambassadors for our great university, so keep a lookout for all of those opportunities to tell people about SFA. Tickets are on sale now for the Lumberjack/Aggie football game on Sept. 4, 2010. Contact the SFA ticket office as soon as possible to secure your seat and to show our football players we are behind them 100 percent. Please contact the alumni office if we can be of any service to you or your family. Have a great summer! Here to serve my fellow Lumberjacks, Chuck Tomberlain ’84 903.445.2943

Alumni are the best ambassadors for our great university, so keep a lookout for all of those opportunities to tell people about SFA.

SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Chuck Tomberlain ’84 - president Curtis Sparks ’85 - president-elect Mike Harbordt ’63 - past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Wendy Buchanan ’85 Don Cox ’71 & ’76 Robin Dawley ’77 Ryan Emmons ’03 Karen Gantt ’95 Doris Havard Ron Hunt ’91 & ’94 Kent Hutchison ’92 Don Keasler ’61 Katie Nelms ’05 Susan Roberds ’75 Roger Robinson ’92 Phillip Scherrer ’99 Steve Whitbeck ’75 Chris Woelfel ’95 Student Government Association Courtney Harvey ’10 Student Foundation Association Cole Tomberlain ’11 SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Mike Harbordt ’63 - Chairman Brad Bays ’91 Lewie Byers ’68 Ford Cartwright ’69 Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70 James Hamilton ’77 Andy Mills ’91 Bill Roberds ’75 Chuck Tomberlain ’84 SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION STAFF Jeff Davis ’02 executive director of alumni affairs (Fundraising) Rhonda Minton ’90 & ’99 director of marketing & membership (Legislative Affairs & Public Relations) Mitzi Blackburn director of alumni activities (Activities & Events) Katy Crawford assistant to the executive director of alumni affairs (Operations) Rhonda Crim-Tumelson communication coordinator Emily Payne ’99 & ’01 chapter coordinator Beverly Smith ’96 accountant (Finance) Alicia Roland Chatman gifts & records specialist Mo Davis ’09 scholarship coordinator



SFA alumni may purchase discounted tickets for select games during the 2010 baseball season at the Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Purchase tickets online: http://www.texasrangers.com/sfa (password is rangers)

GRADUATING FROM SFA is quite an accomplishment. To honor our hard-working students, the SFA Alumni Association hosted a party for the Spring 2010 graduating class. Students were treated to food, fun and door prizes. We wish our soon-to-be alums many successes. Axe ’em ’Jacks! ✯

Summer 2010


A TRUE TEXAS RANGER By Kathleen Holton


E’S NOT LIKE the guys in the movies. Actually, he’s better. Maurice Cook has achieved more than most lawmen in his career, and he’s still growing and going strong. It’s hard to know which event in his life is the most exciting, for he certainly has had many. The 66-year-old can recall even the smallest detail about the time the Texas Rangers were called to the Huntsville Unit of the Department of Criminal Justice prison when three inmates took hostages. The “Huntsville Siege,” which involved inmates Fred Gomez Carrasco, Rudy S. Dominguez and Ignacio Cuevas, ended when two female hostages and two of the three inmates were killed by law enforcement. “I was a brand new Ranger, and Rangers get exposed to very few situations with that much involvement,” said Cook. “There were five Rangers on the assault team, and that set the tempo for my career.” He moved up the ranks of the Texas Rangers after starting out as a police officer in Clute and later becoming a Department of Public Safety officer. He had worked in criminal intelligence and auto theft while with the DPS and became a Ranger in 1973. He later moved up to become the assistant commander of the Rangers, and in 1992 became chief with 100 Rangers working under him. It is rare for Rangers to be involved in shooting incidents, but instead they are more focused on investigating corruption of public officials. Today, their roles have ex-

panded to include Homeland Security, and two locations are now set up within the state. During the Branch Davidian siege in 1993 in Waco, Cook and his team were involved–not in the incident, but in preparing the case for prosecution. Cook also was involved in the Johnny Paul Penry case, in which the question of whether to put to death a mentally retarded man was not resolved until his fourth trial. The result was that Penry was finally given a life sentence without parole. It started in 1980 and ended in 2008. Today, Cook is a Special Texas Ranger, commissioned following his retirement in 1996. He doesn’t dwell on the past, using it instead to teach students in his law enforcement classes at Alvin Community College, where he is the director of criminal justice training. In 2005, Cook passed the Texas Bar examination and earned a law degree, which has allowed him to practice law and use his knowledge to help his students. He finished law school in two and a half years without missing one class. “I do better and enjoy things when I am challenged,” said Cook. His résumé is filled with impressive accomplishments. He graduated from the FBI National Academy, earned a B.S. from Sam Houston State University and an M.A. from Stephen F. Austin State University. He served four years in the U.S. Air Force and is a Vietnam veteran. His wife, Sherry, is the assistant administrator of the Texas Alcohol and Beverage Commission. ✯ Reprinted with permission from the Alpine Sun Advertiser



Upcoming Events CAMPUS


JUNE 1 Alumni Awards deadline for Distinguished Professor, Outstanding Young Alumnus and Distinguished Alumnus

JUNE 5 San Antonio Chapter at Missions baseball game, San Antonio

JUNE 7 Tyler Alumni Golf Tournament, Holly Tree Golf Club, Tyler

AUGUST 6 San Antonio Chapter Freshman Send-Off Party, University Bowl, San Antonio

12 SFA Lumberjack Golf Team Golf Tournament, Forest Creek Golf Club, Round Rock

10-11 SFA Orientation 11 Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting


25 Cally Belcher Memorial Golf Tournament, Blake Tree Golf Course, Montgomery

17-18, 24-25 SFA Orientation

10 Longview Chapter Freshman Send-Off Party, Papacita’s, Longview

JULY 22-23 SFA Orientation

15 Dallas Alumni Chapter Freshman Send-off Party, Dallas

28 SFA Alumni Foundation Board of Governors meeting

15 Houston Chapter Freshman SendOff Party, Home of Sean and Katy Guerre, Houston

30 SFA Alumni Coaches Luncheon, Nacogdoches

Find more chapter events online at www.sfaalumni.com

AUGUST 6 Longview Chapter/East Texas Exes Golf Tournament, Wood Hollow Golf Club, Longview

29-30 SFA Orientation 30 SFA Alumni Coaches Luncheon, Nacogdoches AUGUST 5-6 SFA Orientation 13 Alumni Association Board of Directors meeting 14 SFA Commencement 31 Welcome Week Cookout, Pearman Alumni Center


Lumberjack Football

JULY 16 Houston Alumni Golf Tournament, Wildcat Golf Club, Houston

Registration information online at www. sfaalumni.com/events


Saturday September 4, 2010 @ Texas A&M

Saturday October 23, 2010 @ Reliant Stadium


*Times and dates are subject to change. Visit www. sfaalumni.com for the most recent information.

Summer 2010


Coffman brings experience to The Garden



Summer 2010

By Amy Roquemore



DEALLY, WHEN A student goes off to college, the new school serves as a home away from home. But in some circumstances, the campus becomes simply: home. Such was the case for Casey Coffman ’89, whose parents moved out of state shortly after she came to SFA in 1986. The physical separation from her family made the bonds she formed with the university that much tighter, and the connection remains strong today. “Most weekends and long holidays I stayed at college, and the faculty and staff were like a surrogate family to me,” she said. “I will always be grateful to SFA and Nacogdoches for providing me with the educational foundation I needed to be successful.” After graduating Summa Cum Laude from SFA in 1989 with a Bachelor of Arts in political science and communications, Coffman went on to earn her Juris Doctorate with Honors from the University of Texas School of Law in 1992. Her successful career as an attorney and sports executive has since taken her around the world, back to Texas, and, most recently, on to the Big Apple. In March, Coffman was named executive vice president for business development and operations for Madison Square Garden Sports in New York City. Madison Square Garden, known as the world’s most famous sports arena, is home to the NBA’s New York


In March, Coffman was named executive vice president for business development and operations for Madison Square Garden Sports in New York City. Knicks, the NHL’s New York Rangers and the WNBA’s New York Liberty. Coffman also works with MSG’s Sports Properties area, which includes college basketball, boxing, tennis and all other sports events held at The Garden and other Madison Square Garden-owned venues. If that weren’t enough to keep her busy, an $800 million renovation to The Garden is under way. “With three professional sports teams that represent some of the top brands in their leagues, and an exciting planned renovation, I know I am joining Madison Square Garden during a time of great momentum,” Coffman said of her new position. “This job is truly a dream come true for me.” Coffman spent the past decade at Hicks Holdings and Hicks Sports Group in Dallas. Most recently she was chief operating officer of Hicks Sports Group, overseeing the dayto-day operations of professional sports organizations, including the NHL’s Dallas Stars and MLB’s Texas Rangers. She also served as director of the Center Operating Company, which operates the American Airlines Center, and supervised the Hicks family’s sports-related real estate developments. Previously, Coffman was senior division counsel to The Minute Maid Company at The Coca-Cola Company, and she played a key role in the company’s involvement in Minute Maid Park in Houston.

During her nine-year tenure as an attorney at Coca-Cola, she also spent time living and working overseas in Oslo, Bangkok and Singapore and was involved in several key sports-related transactions involving professional sports teams and the Olympics. Coffman says even with her lifelong love of sports and aspirations of becoming an attorney, the career she now enjoys is not exactly the one she envisioned for herself, although it is certainly in the ballpark. “I went to law school to be, A, a sports agent or, B, a politician, and I am not either of those. But I still think there is potential for that one day in the future–at least the politician part,” said Coffman. “I always played sports growing up, and it was a big part of my family life. So it is great being able to work inside this exciting industry.” Coffman said a sports agent she met by chance at a Fellowship of Christian Athletes event while a sophomore in high school was responsible for first putting the idea of law school into her head. “I asked him how I could become a sports agent, and he said, ‘I


think you should go to law school.’ I realized rather quickly after starting law school that I probably wasn’t going to be a sports agent, but now that I am in the sports industry, things have kind of come full circle for me.” Coffman said another key piece of encouragement she received during her formative years was from legendary Ladyjacks basketball coach Gary Blair after she attended an open tryout for women interested in walking onto the team. “After one practice (Blair) said to me, ‘I think you would really be better in intramurals.’ That was good advice.” Blair was just one in a long line of SFA faculty and staff members Coffman said helped guide her through her years at the university. She fondly remembers her suCoffman was the pervisors in the recipient of the 2008 SFA university Post Office, where Alumni Association’s Outshe worked standing Young Alumnus all three years “ T h e she attended Award. She currently serves n e x t SFA, as well thing I on the advisory council for as her politiknew Dr. the SFA College of Liberal cal science and Johnson communication and Applied Arts. had lined professors. up a summer Even the SFA job for me dopresident at the time, ing research in the Dr. William R. Johnson, general counsel’s office. played a role in her future success, (Then general counsel) Robert Proshe said. To make extra money van took me under his wing and reduring the summer between her ally prepared me for what the first graduation from SFA and the start months of law school would be like. of law school, Coffman picked up I will always be grateful to both men a job in a local fast-food restaufor that opportunity.” rant. Johnson happened to walk Coffman also credits her inin during her first week on the job volvement in many SFA student and was “mortified” to see one of organizations with giving her the his top graduates standing behind confidence and leadership skills she the counter.

Summer 2010

needed to succeed in law school and in life. She participated heavily in the Student Government Association and was named Miss SFA in 1989. “I was certainly very interested in politics and government, and being involved in SGA and my sorority and intramural sports was very important in giving me ideas about what I wanted to be when I grew up,” she said. “Having those experiences at SFA and being able to serve as a leader in those organizations helped me tremendously in the career path I ultimately chose.” ✯


Jimmy Murphy ‘56 is a consistent and loyal supporter of SFA. He headed the drive to raise $600,000 for the Tracie Pearman Alumni Center. In 1989 he established a $1 million endowment, and recently pledged $300,000 to the SFA Alumni Association. The positive financial impact Murphy has made on Stephen F. Austin State University totals more than $2 million.

An unlikely candidate for college, Murphy credits caring mentors for opening doors to his future. >



Summer 2010


The SFA Board of Regents honored Murphy’s dedication to the university with the naming of the Jimmy Murphy Wellness Center in 1998.

“I am indebted to the people who helped me with my education.” A SURPRISE REQUEST Murphy, a former SFA Regent, presents a $25,000 check to Jeff Davis, executive director of the SFA Alumni Association.


“MEET ME AT the end of the road at 5 o’clock in the morning. You’re going to go to college.” D. T. Craver, Chapel Hill School superintendent, saw something special in Jimmy Murphy. But Murphy wasn’t sure that Craver had the right guy. He was an unlikely student to receive Craver’s assistance. M u r phy’s father was not on the school board and the family was not influential in town. The seventh of 10 children, Murphy grew up poor like many other people in Chapel Hill. He and his siblings walked to catch the bus to school, and each had two pairs of shoes

– one pair reserved for Sunday. No one in the family had attended college, his parents only having completed the fifth grade. They were a strict, traditional family. “We grew up a lot quicker than kids do now. We had to mature in a hurry. We had to have a job and responsibilities. I carried a paper route in Tyler, worked at the grocery store and mowed yards. We all worked,” Murphy said. He was not sure what his parents would think about him going away to school. When Murphy told his mother Craver’s plan, she said, “If he told you to meet him out there, you be out there.” On the way to Denton that Saturday morning, Craver convinced Murphy to apply for college. “You might amount to something,” Craver encouraged.Despite his doubts about higher education, Murphy was accepted by North Texas State University on a football scholarship. “I never forgot him,” Murphy said about Craver. “He really cared about his students. He could look at someone and see potential, even if they didn’t know they had it.”


Jeffries’s kindness left an indelible impression on Murphy’s life. “Coach Jeffries was one of the greatest people I ever met,” said Murphy, “and I am indebted to the people who helped me with my education. The people here were extra good to me.” After graduation Murphy was drafted to play professional football for the Chicago Cardinals. “Chicago was OK, but I got hurt and the pay was terrible. I got a $500 signing bonus and earned $5,750 per year. So I only stayed for one season.”



Murphy played football at the school one semester before transferring to Tyler Junior College. TJC football coach Floyd Wagstaff became a mentor and lifelong friend to Murphy and, later, his younger brothers. Murphy later transferred to SFA in 1954. Although Murphy was successful in sports, he had not applied himself academically. His plan was simple. He would take a few summer classes at SFA and bring his grades up before the fall semester began. The only problem with his plan was finances. Murphy didn’t have the $20 enrollment fee. Ted Jeffries, SFA head football coach, made sure Murphy could attend summer school. “Coach Jeffries actually loaned me $20 out of his own pocket. If he had given me the money, that would have broken NCAA rules. But it was a loan, and I paid him back,” recalls Murphy. Jeffries’ loan paid off for SFA, as Murphy became a successful player, starting his first year as tackle. Captain of the 1955 football team, Murphy received All Lone Star Conference honors.

Summer 2010

Murphy moved back to Texas and coached high school football for five years. His three younger brothers followed in his footsteps by attending college, playing football and coaching. “My brothers were very successful in the school business, but I got out of the school business,” he explains. Leaving the football field for the office, Murphy founded The Murphy Company, Inc., a financial services firm specializing in insurance, business, tax and estate planning. Although he doesn’t c o a c h anymore, he never forgot his roots. “I’m very pro athletics. A successful athletic program does more than anything to promote

enthusiasm on a college campus,” said Murphy, explaining his support of the Lumberjack football and basketball teams. Each summer Murphy hosts a party on his ranch for SFA coaches, administrators and supporters of the football team. “The food is great. Some say it’s the best bar-be-que they’ve ever had,” said Murphy. He acquired the 1,500 acre ranch much the same way he gained success– hard work. “I grew up on a farm and always wanted to have a farm of my own. I started with four acres, then bought a few acres next to those, then a few after that. It eventually became more than a hobby.” Some of his friends from college attend the party, too. “My classmates at SFA became life-long friends. We’ve attended weddings and been pall bearers at funerals. SFA has always been like another family to me.” ✯

Murphy was the recipient of the 1987 SFA Distinguished Alumnus Award 27

The Louise Grimes Simmons Memorial Scholarship The Louise Grimes Simmons Memorial Scholarship benefits qualified SFA students with a gradepoint average of at least 2.0. Simmons was born Nov. 9, 1921, in Nacogdoches, the daughter of the late William Dennis and Nancy Ella Ward Grimes. She graduated from Nacogdoches High School and attended SFA. Simmons was a member of Calvary Baptist Church in Nacogdoches. She was employed as a telephone operator at Southwestern Bell and retired in 1966. Her hobbies included the garden club, Sunday school and church activities. She enjoyed playing dominoes with her friends and family and gardening. Simmons spent time at the Nacogdoches Treatment Center, the Senior Citizens Center and previously taught a Sunday school class at Calvary Baptist Church.


urs is most truly and emphatically the cause of liberty, which is the cause of philanthropy, of religion, of mankind; for in its train follow freedom of conscience, pure morality, enterprise, the arts and sciences, all that is dear to the noble minded and the free, all that renders life precious.” ~Stephen F. Austin, 1836

THE CAUSE OF LIBERTY Stephen F. Austin was a man of great vision. Tempered with diplomacy, his relentless pursuit of liberty for early Texas colonists transformed an unsettled badlands into a thriving state. He made a difference in the lives of many by way of his philanthropy, ambition and hard work. Austin’s legacy embodies the cornerstone ideals for his namesake – Stephen F. Austin State University. As SFA moves toward a century of opportunity for young scholars, a keystone of much-needed financial aid is in place. The SFA Alumni Association and SFA Alumni Foundation have provided millions of dollars in scholarships and awards for deserving students. These funds help diminish financial obligations, giving students the freedom to learn. Much like the early Texas settlers, bright scholars need a place to develop and flourish. But each year, many worthy applicants are turned down due to lack of funds. By helping a student experience the intellectual environment at SFA, you can liberate a great mind. CREATING YOUR LEGACY As a scholarship donor through the SFA Alumni Foundation, you will ensure your name lives on through your endowed scholarship. The endowment will be held in perpetuity; only the endowment earnings will be used, securing educational opportunities for generations of future SFA students. SFA Alumni Association endowed scholarships may be created with various charitable giving vehicles, including: •Cash Gifts •Gifts of Property/Minerals •Corporate Matching Gifts •Charitable Trusts •Gifts of Stock/Bonds •Bequests & Estate Gifts •Life Insurance Policies •Memorial Contributions Make the decision to help secure educational opportunities for generations of future SFA students. Contact us to find out how to start creating your legacy today. Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962-6096 Phone: 936.468.3407 Toll Free: 800.765.1534 Fax: 936.468.1007 E-mail: alumni@sfasu.edu Web site: www.sfaalumni.com



Alumni Chapters

The SFA African American Chapter hosted a reunion April 30 through May 2. More than 150 attendees enjoyed socializing during events on campus and around Nacogdoches.

Stay connected. Get involved. Have fun. Join a chapter! Happy Hours Networking Tailgating Freshman Send-Offs Service Projects Luncheons Family Picnics Golf Tournaments Visit our Web site to find chapter events. www.sfaalumni.com REGIONAL CHAPTERS Austin Oklahoma Coastal Bend Oregon Dallas San Antonio Denver SE Texas Houston Tarrant County Longview Tyler Nacogdoches Victoria Ohio SPECIAL INTEREST CHAPTERS African American Nursing Agriculture ROTC Interior Design Rugby Tau Kappa Epsilon To find your local SFA chapter, visit www.sfaalumni.com and click on chapters, or contact Emily Payne, chapter coordinator, at emilypayne816@yahoo.com or call (800) 765-1534.

Summer 2010


“It’s never too late to do it again if you don’t do it the first time.” 30

-Kathryn Taubert Sawdust

Since moving to Florida in 2004, Galveston native and 1968 SFA graduate Kathryn McDonald Taubert has recorded two internationally recognized CDs as a jazz vocalist. Still performing special events with her band, All That Jazz, she also teaches swimming lessons, is a PADI-certified SCUBA divemaster, coaches computer learning for seniors, is a long distance swimmer and volunteered for five weeks last summer, living with the Ewe Tribe in Ghana, West Africa, for an African economic development program. “Life in the Slow Lane,” her popular blog for the Naples Daily News, consists of Taubert’s observations on just about everything. Sawdust recently spoke with Taubert about her career as a musician. SAWDUST: Your jazz career started at SFA as a singer for the dance band. Tell us about that experience. TAUBERT: I was just 18 or 19, and I had never sung professionally before. In the school newspaper, I saw a little blurb by the music department, and they were looking for somebody to sing with their dance band. So, I went over there and tried, and they selected me for it. SAWDUST: What did you do after you graduated? TAUBERT: I’ve had a rather checkered career. Most people that know me as a singer don’t realize that I was a professional fundraiser for the March of Dimes Birth Defects Foundation, and then I ended up in management for them. Then I went to work in the insurance industry. SAWDUST: How did you get back into singing? TAUBERT: It’s really serendipity. I never expected to be doing this again. To make a long story short, the late Claude Rhea, a piano player, convinced me to do a few tunes with him, and he hired me on the spot. And it sort of took off from there. It was like right out of a novel. This is the man who also convinced me to do my first CD. SAWDUST: Are you surprised to be singing again? TAUBERT: Yes! I’ve been actually singing in the shower for some 30 years. But I found that it is something like riding a bicycle. You have to practice a little to get your pipes back in order, but Claude helped me do that. SAWDUST: Do you perform live now? Photo courtesy of Vanessa Rogers Summer 2010

TAUBERT: Yes, I do, and I have been since that fateful night that Claude convinced me to sing. But I do it part time because at my particular stage in life, it’s even harder now for me to stay up past 10 at night. SAWDUST: You were nominated for an international jazz award. Which category? TAUBERT: In the Latin Afro-Cuban Jazz category. And it blew me away. I just never expected this. I just wanted to sing once in a while when I started this. When I saw my name on the list with people like Tony Bennett, Nancy Wilson, Michael Buble and others, I was just floored. SAWDUST: One of our favorite songs on your latest album is “Brazil.” It’s beautiful. TAUBERT: That’s a great song, and I’m glad you like that because we did that arrangement which is as close to the original that was written in 1937 as you’ll hear. Normally, you don’t hear that recorded. Many artists aren’t recording that song anymore because I think they’ve lost track of the original arrangement. SAWDUST: Are you fluent in Portuguese and Spanish? TAUBERT: Not really. I can understand if somebody speaks to me. I grew up in South Texas where Spanish is very often heard, and my older sister who is also a jazz musician speaks it fluently. Once you can speak Spanish, the romance languages like French and Italian and Portuguese come more naturally to you because they have very similar sounds. SAWDUST: The songs on your most recent album are somewhat biographical. Did you pick these songs, or did they pick you?

TAUBERT: I think it’s a combination of things. I asked my fans on my Web site to give me their favorite tunes, and I would choose at least a third of the songs on my CD directly from that list. People ask me, “Well how do you write lyrics?” I say the lyrics kind of write themselves. The songs tell me what they want to say; sometimes the songs choose me, and sometimes I choose them. SAWDUST: Who are your biggest fans? TAUBERT: You would think it would be an older demographic, and that certainly is true, but I’m finding that there are an awful lot of younger people now. I’d say anybody who likes great music with lyrics that tell a story that you can identify with and that you can quite simply understand. SAWDUST: What advice do you have for SFA music students? TAUBERT: I’d say get your degree. And if you decide to take on another career, keep your music handy. That is something you can always do. It’s never too late to do it again if you don’t do it the first time. And secondly, I’d say that for those of you who decide to make music a career, you really want to push. An unknown like me would never have achieved the recognition she did without the Internet. Don’t quit. Just decide where you want to put it in your list of priorities. SAWDUST: Are you going to make another album? TAUBERT: Well, I’ve been asked that question a lot lately, and I haven’t decided against it. I do have something cooking in the back of my mind. ✯


Class Notes 1950

C.L. Nix ’56 of Whitehouse and his wife P e g g y NIX were chosen to serve as Mr. and Mrs. YesterYear.


Stephen Horlander ’77 of Kilgore is senior vice president for Kilgore National Bank.


ers Bank.

Neilson Davis ’74 of Center is executive vice president for Farm-

Jean Jostes Bryant ’76 of Beaumont was a recipient of the Reaud Excellence in Education Award presented by the Beaumont Foundation. Fourteen other recipients also received the prestigious award at the ceremony


at the John Gray Library on the Lamar University –Beaumont campus.

Dr. Karen Guenther recently received two awards from Mansfield University, where she is a professor of history. She received an award as Outstanding Senior Mentor, nominated by one of the university’s outstanding senior


Jacquelyn Cleverdon ’88 of Nacogdoches is an RN at Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital. Renee Berchey ’87 of Nacogdoches is an MCT at Woodland Heights Medical Center. Kay Waggoner ’81 & ’84 of Grapevine is the GrapeWAGGONER vine-Colleyville ISD superintendent. Stuart Stanley ’88 of Center is the media and broadcast director for Carthage ISD. Paul and Kimberly Capers Kucherka ’88 & ’02 of Houston announce the Feb. 7 birth of son McCoy Andrew.

students, and was commended for her efforts in helping the student achieve her goal--to become a history teacher. In addition, Dr. Guenther received a North Hall Faculty Scholarship Award for her book, Sports in Pennsylvania.


David A. Reed ’95 of Nacogdoches is a youth minister at First Baptist Church.


Jeff Jeffers ’99 of Frederi c k s b u rg serves as a city councilman.

Angela Shannon ’95 of Nacogdoches is the regional president for AgriLand. Terry Allen ’94 of Center is senior vice president for Farmers Bank. Dot Golding ’96 of Center is retiring from Green Acres. Chris Davis ’91 & ’01 of Rusk is serving a second term as Cherokee County judge.


Denny Autrey ’76 Angela Autrey attended SFA ’74 - ’76 Richard Stovall ’02 Amber Autrey Stovall ’03 Julie Autrey Welch ’04 Stephen Welch ’06 Jack Denny Stovall, future Lumberjack

• Haley Autrey, sophomore at Blinn College in Bryan. (The whole family almost disowned her–she wants to be an Aggie.)



R o b i n Johnson ’99 of Nacogdoches is the internal comJOHNSON munications specialist for the SFA Office of Public Affairs. Lea Ann Gilbert ’94 of Irving has been named to the Texas Library Association’s Maverick Graphic Novels Committee to select exemplary graphic novels for students in grades 6 through 12. Doug Parker ’94 of Windsor, Calif., is a deputy district attorney for Mendocino County, Calif. He will head the Elder Abuse, Environmental and Consumer Fraud prosecutions for the office. Deana Patterson S h e p pard ’92 of Houston is the SHEPPARD associate vice president of Centers at Lone Star College-CyFair, providing leadership for one off-site campus and another in the construction phase.


Kevin Martin ’09 of Nacogdoches is a sales associate at AT&T. Arturo P. Rios ’03 of Albuquerque, N.M., is a forestry technician with the U.S. Forest Service. Alicia Lacy ’09 of Nacogdoches is a GN at Summer 2010

Nacogdoches Hospital.



Mary Anderson ’09 of Nacogdoches is an assistant manANDERSON ager at Chevy Chase Apartments. Alyse Emerson ’09 of Nacogdoches is employed by Grant Thornton. Kevin Cota ’09 of Lufkin is an agent for Farm Bureau Insurance. Larry Brooks ’01 of Houston is a real estate broker at Brooks and Davis real estate BROOKS firm. Michael Johnson ’01 of Irving is a sergeant for the Texas Department of Public Safety. Logan Fountain ’09 of Houston is a sales executive FOUNTAIN for Vice Runner, responsible for commercial accounts in the Conroe and Woodlands area. Kimberly Conway ’06 of Pennington is county horticulturist for Cherokee County Commissioners. Mark Leach ’03 of Center is vice president for Farmers Bank.

Dr. Gregory S. Powell, president of Panola College, has been selected as the 2010 recipient of the National Council for Learning Resources’ Administrative Leadership Award. The NCLR, one of the affiliated councils of the American Association of Community Colleges, presents the award each year to one community college administrator in the nation whose efforts have resulted in significant support for a learning resources program. “I am truly humbled to be named the 2010 recipient of the National Council for Learning Resources Administrative Leadership Award,” said Powell. “The M.P. Baker Library is the heart of Panola College, and it has been my privilege to work with many talented people championing the expansion and renovation of this vital asset. Within months of its completion, Zeny Jett, our library director, reported that visits to the Library climbed from 500 each month to more than 6,000 each month. Our library is viewed by our community and our students, faculty, and staff as the place to be on campus.” The award was announced April 18 at the NCLR program during the AACC Convention in Seattle, Wash. As the 2010 recipient, Powell received a commemorative award and a scholarship in his name in the amount of $500, which will be awarded to a Panola College student. Powell is a member of the East Texas Workforce Development Board, Carthage Rotary Club and the Panola County Chamber of Commerce. He is the immediate past chairman of the East Texas Higher Education Regional Council and serves on the Executive Board of the Texas Association of Community Colleges. Nationally, he serves as a Commissioner for the AACC and as an evaluator for the Commission on Colleges of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools. Powell also has served as president of several organizations, including the Region XIV National Junior College Athletic Association, the Panola County Economic Development Foundation and the Northeast Texas Consortium of Distance Learning.


Richard and Kristin Paradis ’03 of Nacogdoches anPARADIS nounce the Jan. 8 birth of son Jay Alexander. Miguel A. Hernandez ’08 of Kingwood joined the U.S. Marine Corps. Lisa Spencer ’06 of Nacogdoches is a fifth-grade teacher at Nacogdoches ISD. Robert Smith ’07 of Nacogdoches is a teacher at Raguet Child Care. Andrea Tate ’07 of Montgomery is an athletic trainer at North Magnolia High School. Scott O. Stephens ’03 & ’04 of Houston is a teacher and coach at Houston ISD. Katie Snyder ’03 of Jacksonville will lead a new agriculture program at Lon Morris College.

Brittany Green ’09 of Quinlan is an admissions counselor for SFA. Chris James ’08 of Kingwood is the senior account executive for the Dallas Cowboys. Amy K. Anderson ’05 of Albuquerque, N.M., was recognized by the New Mexico Music Educators Association with the 2010 John M. Batcheller Award for Excellence in Elementary Music Teaching. Amyjo Measles ’00 of Fort Worth received a Master of Science in Strategic Communications from Texas Christian University in May. Estrella “Star” Munoz ’09 of Nacogdoches is a pre-k teacher for Nacogdoches ISD. Brian ’06 and Laura Mahoney ’04 & ’06 of Spring announce MAHONEY the Jan. 14 birth of son Liam Neal.

STEVE STAGNER ’91 Leading specialty bedding retailer Mattress Firm announced changes to the company’s management team, which included the promotion of five SFA graduates, including the elevation of Steve Stagner to the position of president and chief executive officer. “Our company’s success depends on our people, so I am incredibly thankful to have this talented team during this transitional period to help support the growth of the Mattress Firm brand,” said Stagner. “The strategic promotions of our sales, merchandising and advertising talent will help facilitate Mattress Firm’s growth in brand awareness and market share.” Stagner has been with Mattress Firm since 2005 when his franchise group, Mattress Firm Elite, merged with Mattress Firm corporate. Named president in 2006, Stagner’s leadership role has included operations, merchandising, sales, marketing and training. In the last three years, Mattress Firm has made six acquisitions, opened five new markets and opened more than 200 stores under the Mattress Firm banner. Under Stagner’s expanded role, he will oversee the day-to-day operations of Mattress Firm and maintain an aggressive growth strategy. “Currently, we have approximately 70 SFA graduates who are part of the Mattress Firm team across the country. We have a long-standing relationship with Stephen F. Austin State University, and we enjoy visiting campus several times a year to recruit for our sales and management program,” said Stagner.


The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support. 7587 – Joseph A. Eaglin ’02, BS BIO, Houston 7588 – Lisa L. Lowe ’87 BBA OAD /’88 MED SCED, Nacogdoches 7589 – Jerry A. Mullins ’92 BA HIST/’08 MED SCEC, Crockett 7590 – William A. Boozer, Friend, Nacogdoches 7591 – Kymber B. Boozer ’86 BBA MKT, Nacogdoches 7592 – Laura A. Bovo ’94 BSIS INST, Rosharon 7593 – Stephanie G. Hayman ’07 BSIS INST, Dayton



In Memoriam Neal Barton Sr. ’53 & ’54 of Lumberton, March 11. Blanch C. Biggar ’77 & ’79 of Center, March 5. Lt. Col. Richard G. Courtney of Nacogdoches, March 20. Pamela E. Davidson ’81 of Nacogdoches, Feb. 7. Rev. Donald Carter Dodge ’68 of Marshall, March 7. Virginia D. Evans ’72 & ’73 of Longview, Feb. 16. Barbara Hamilton ’73 of Lufkin, Feb. 1. Jason D. Huffman ’95 of Dallas, April 7. Charles S. Medley Jr. ’74 of Nacogdoches, March 2. William S. Mercer ’63 of Seguin, April 4. Scott W. Owens ’84 of Joaquin, Feb. 25. Nancy M. Paul ’68 & ’69 of Troup, April 8. Donald J. Peters ’62 of Longview, March 2. Robert “Budgie” Romines ’71 of Longview, March 29. Jerry P. Seilhan ’66 of Dubach, May 3. Grace A. Shore ’73 of Longview, March 9. Ila Mae Hancock Simon of Nacogdoches, Feb. 11. Cathy Lee Streetman of Jacksonville, Nov. 29 Marie A. Westerman ’54 of Lufkin, March 23. The In Memoriam section in the spring issue incorrectly listed John Streetman ’71 as deceased. Sawdust regrets the error. Summer 2010

L. Bruntze Boudro of Nacogdoches died March 11. He was born Oct. 5, 1926, in Batson to Erly Jane Spillers and Joseph Sylvester Boudro. He was honorably discharged from the U.S. Navy in 1945 and retired from Exxon where he worked for more than 30 years. Boudro was past master of Utopia Masonic Lodge and a member of Milam Lodge No. 2. Boudro was a 32nd degree Scottish Rite Mason. Being a faithful Christian, he loved his Sunday school class and leaves behind many beloved friends. The Bruntze and Lorine Boudro Scholarship Fund is endowed through the SFA Alumni Association. Barbara J. Arwood ’58 & ’60, of Huntsville died March 23. She was born Oct. 19, 1918, in Rusk to Grace Guinn Cross and Robert Eggleston Cross, Sr. Arwood lived in Dallas as a child and later in central Texas in the town of Lott where her father was a bank officer. She and her family performed with the community band in Waco. Her parents moved to Troup, enrolling her in the demonstration junior high and high school at SFA where she performed as principal clarinet in the college band. Following her marriage to Aaron Smith and the birth of her two children, Robert Aaron Smith and Barbara Carol Smith, Arwood completed two degrees in English grammar and literature with a special emphasis in mythology at SFA. Arwood was a member of First United Methodist Church, the FUMC Sanctuary Choir, the FUMC Women’s Circle of Nacogdoches, Cum Concilio Club and the Newcomer’s Club. The Aaron E. and Barbara Cross Smith (Arwood) Music Scholarship is endowed through the SFA Alumni Association. Lauren Alston ’10 of Lufkin died March 7. She graduated with honors from Lufkin High School in 2006. Alston was pursuing a degree in hospitality management at SFA. She was a member and officer of the Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society and volunteered with numerous charitable organizations in Lufkin and Nacogdoches. She grew up attending First United Methodist Church of Lufkin. One of her favorite quotations comes from C.S. Lewis, “If I find in myself a desire which nothing in this world can satisfy, the only probable explanation is that I was made for another world.” Alston knew Jesus and through her actions shared His love. The Lauren Alston Scholarship Fund is endowed through the SFA Alumni Association.


Join us for a pre-game tailgate at Reliant Stadium.

Reserve your room at the J.W. Marriott – Galleria Area $99 per night (SFA Fan Rate) Call (713) 961-1500 or book online at http://tiny.cc/reliant



Summer 2010





Place your business in front of thousands of SFA alumni. Call to find out more about advertising opportunities in Sawdust magazine.


caps | gifts | drinkware | tote bags clothing | auto accessories | and more!


A portion of the proceeds from ShopSFA goes to support the SFA Alumni Association


Power of ONE

Join the SFA Alumni Association today and make a difference in the life of an SFA student! Are you the one?

Association Membership • $25 Current Student Annual • $25 First-Year Grad Annual • $50 Annual Member • $75 Joint Annual (Husband/Wife)

ONE Scholarship

• $400 Student Life Membership

ONE New Member

• $750 Life Membership

ONE Donation

• $500 Senior Life (65 years+)

ONE Proud Family of Lumberjacks The Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association understands how the power of one can make a difference at SFA.

Summer 2010

(for students & first-year grads) • $1,000 Joint Life (Husband/Wife) • $750 Joint Senior Life Membership Visit www.sfaalumni.com for the list of membership advantages SFA Alumni Association PO Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962 1-800-765-1534 • (936) 468-3407 Fax (936) 468-1007 • alumni@sfasu.edu


All Hail to SFA

Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo. If you can help, please contact: alumni@sfasu.edu 800.765.1534

{ 40

We received many calls and e-mails about the All Hail photo in the spring issue of Sawdust. We will share the details in the upcoming fall 2010 issue.





orld-renowned artists and superb university talent are showcased throughout the year in our art galleries and on our concert and theatre stages.

Summer 2010

Check out our full line-up at www.finearts.sfasu.edu or call 888.240.ARTS

Follow us on Twitter @SFAFineArts


Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, Texas 75962

Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Stephen F. Austin State University

Profile for SFA Alumni Association

Sawdust Summer 2010  

The magazine of the SFA Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State Unviersity

Sawdust Summer 2010  

The magazine of the SFA Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State Unviersity


Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded