WI NTER 2 0 1 4 THE MAG AZINE OF T HE SFA A LUMNI ASSOCIATION & ST EPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY
THE TOWN THAT
BOOK SHOWCASES LOCAL ARCHITECTURE
GROWING A DREAM CAREER
Q&A: MARK HICKS ’02
GRAD REVITALIZING HOMETOWN WINTER 2014 i
one great university three ways to give
The foundation manages capital gifts for the sole benefit of the university.
The universityâ€™s Annual Fund raises monies to support academics, athletics and student activities.
Through annual memberships, the association promotes alumni engagement and scholarships.
F YOU HAVE done much traveling in the Dallas-Fort Worth, Houston or East Texas areas this fall, you have, no doubt, been seeing a lot more purple along the highways. SFA’s fall media campaign is in full swing and includes 25 billboards in key market locations, along with highprofile signage at the Love Field and Hobby airports, mall advertisements, and targeted online messages. The newest advertising continues to feature our popular “Lumberjacks Make Great … ” tagline and incorporates photography and videography into the campaign for the first time. The latest featured professions are based on responses to a survey completed by current and former students and the SFA faculty and staff. The marketing campaign is performing well for SFA, and we expect to soon see evidence of changes in perceptions about our university in the marketplace, hopefully beginning with a positive impact on enrollment in fall 2015. You can follow the latest marketing updates at www.sfasu.edu/branding. Of course, we already know Lumberjacks make great basketball players. We also make great basketball fans, and both were evident for a national television audience Nov. 18 when SFA had the honor of participating in ESPN’s 24-hour College Hoops Tip-Off Marathon. Despite the 8 a.m. game time against Northern Iowa, SFA fans showed up in purple and in force at William R. Johnson Coliseum to show their support for our alma mater and our Lumberjack basketball team. Whether or not you were able to watch that early contest in person or on television, I hope you will make plans to be in attendance for at least one home basketball game this season to support the ’Jacks as they work to build on last year’s unprecedented success. Another group of SFA students soon will be promoting our alma mater a little farther from home. The A Cappella Choir directed by Dr. Tim King is planning a trip to Italy where our students have been invited to perform at the Vatican in St. Peter’s Basilica, as well as St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, among other historic sites. If we are successful in convincing Pope Francis he should arrange his calendar to attend the Vatican performance, he likely will mistake our choir’s beautiful voices for those of the heavenly angels themselves. It is sure to be an SFA performance like no other, as well as a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for our talented students. Even as the SFA family celebrates our current endeavors, our focus continues to be trained on the university’s future. SFA currently is engaged in the data collection and engagement phase of our strategic planning process. During the past few months, members of the Envision SFA team have been meeting with individuals and groups across campus to discuss SFA’s core values and current and future challenges. Input also is being sought from stakeholders in the local community, as well as across the state. The common themes that emerge from this process will form the basis of our new strategic plan, which will continue to be refined by the Envision SFA team throughout the spring in anticipation of adoption by the Board of Regents later in 2015. I would like to thank all of those who have participated or will take part in this important work. Together we are planning for the future of SFA, and the future looks very bright.
Together we are planning for the future of SFA, and the future looks very bright.
Axe ’em, Jacks!
BOARD OF REGENTS Steve D. McCarty, Alto chair Dr. Scott H. Coleman, Houston vice chair Brigettee C. Henderson, Lufkin secretary David R. Alders, Nacogdoches John R. “Bob” Garrett, Tyler Barry E. Nelson, Dallas Kenton E. Schaefer, Brownsville Ralph C. Todd, Carthage Connie M. Ware, Marshall Kelsey Brown, Flower Mound student regent ADMINISTRATION Dr. Baker Pattillo president Dr. Richard Berry provost/vice president for academic affairs Danny Gallant vice president for finance and administration Jill Still vice president for university advancement Dr. Steve Westbrook vice president for university affairs MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Shirley Luna executive director
Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 President, Stephen F. Austin State University
Donna Parish assistant director–creative Amy Roquemore assistant director–editorial Hardy Meredith university photographer
WINTER 2014 1
Winter 2014 • Volume 41, No. 4 EXECUTIVE EDITOR Craig Turnage ’00 & ’05 Executive Director of Alumni Relations EDITOR Amy Roquemore ’93 & ’12 Assistant Director-Editorial, University Marketing Communications ART DIRECTOR Rhonda Crim 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 nonprofit 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. SAWDUST is published four times a year by the Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University. Full subscriptions are included in Alumni Association memberships. SFA alumni and friends receive complimentary issues twice a year.
SFA quarterback Zach Conque drops back for a pass during the ’Jacks’ Nov. 8 road victory against sixth-ranked McNeese State. Following that performance, Conque was named National Offensive Player of the Week by College Football Performance Awards and College Sports Madness, while being named the Weekly All-Star at quarterback by College Sporting News. The awards came on the heels of being named the Southland Conference Offensive Player of the Week.
On the Cover
CONTACT Sawdust P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962 (936) 468-3407 • (800) 765-1534 firstname.lastname@example.org • sfaalumni.com SAWDUST ONLINE Read past issues, watch video extras, submit Class Notes and preview upcoming features: sfasu.edu/sawdust facebook.com/sfasawdust
Photos by Christopher Talbot
The balcony of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Nacogdoches, one of the most interesting structures designed by Diedrich Rulfs. A new book published by the SFA University Press explores the work of the famous German-born architect. See story on Page 14.
FEATURES 14 Diedrich Rulfs
DESIGNING MODERN NACOGDOCHES
18 Growing a Dream Career FARMERS FIND SUCCESS IN THE ART OF GETTING LOST
22 Alumni Q & A
MARK HICKS ’02 LEADING REVITALIZATION OF DOWNTOWN LUFKIN
27 ’Jacks of All Trades Photo by Cody Derouen
FORMER LADYJACK SOCCER PLAYER TEACHES AND CREATES ART
4 Kiwi Crop
17 Association Letter
5 Faculty Advising
28 Alumni Awards
7 Brazil Initiative
8 Jaguar Conservation
32 Class Notes
9 Vista Viewpoint
35 In Memoriam
40 From the Archives
WINTER 2014 3
SFA Gardens produces Texas’ first successful kiwifruit crop SFA GARDENS HAS produced and harvested what is believed to be Texas’ first kiwifruit crop. This is the first field trial conducted outside of Auburn University to test the performance of two patented kiwi varieties that are the result of collaboration between Auburn and Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Institute of Fruit and Tea in China. According to Dr. David Creech, professor emeritus of agriculture and associate director of SFA Gardens, kiwifruit vines are relatively easy to grow, but producing fruit proves more difficult. He points out this is the first successful crop produced since the trial began at SFA three years ago. Much of this struggle lies in the successful transfer of pollen from male to female kiwifruit plants. Creech explained that even if the female plants are fertilized, the success and size of the fruit produced rely on the amount of pollen transferred. “Sure enough, this past spring when they leafed out, we had a heck of a crop of flowers on our pollinators, and it happened to coincide with the time of the flowers on the female variety, Golden Dragon,” said Creech. “We ended up with a pretty good crop, about 140 pounds from eight vines.” Creech’s friend Dr. Jay Spiers, associate professor of horticulture at Auburn University, has worked with these varieties for more than
10 years. The fruit produced do not share the appearance of the typical fuzzy-skinned, green-fleshed kiwi purchased at a supermarket. These varieties, known as golden kiwis, have a smooth skin and golden colored flesh. According to Auburn University, the varieties trialed at SFA, including the AU Golden Dragon and AU Golden Sunshine, contain antioxidants that provide higher levels of cellular protection than those found in green-fleshed varieties. While this first crop is promising, Creech said further research is needed to resolve certain production issues. Namely, he is focused on determining why certain male plants suddenly wilt and die to the ground, only to emerge again several months later with vigorous new shoots. These challenges only seem to invigorate Creech, however. He is focused on the next steps to expand the superior variety AU Golden Dragon, as well as its pollinator, in order to have more plants to trial. He says he is confident that, through the continued partnership with Spiers, they can fine-tune kiwifruit production in the coming years. Though the SFA trial varieties are currently not available for sale, Creech said they will likely be available by mail order next year, providing enthusiastic residents with the opportunity to grow their own. On a larger scale, he also believes kiwifruit have the potential to be a successful cash crop for the state. “With a little bit of work and some additional research, I think we can have a brand-new fruit crop for Texas,” Creech said. – SARAH FULLER
CAMPUS NEWS The varieties trialed at SFA Gardens, known as golden kiwis, have a smooth skin and golden colored flesh, a departure from the fuzzy-skinned, green-fleshed variety typically found at grocery stores.
FACULTY ADVISING At the dawn of each New Year, millions of Americans reflect on their goals, accomplishments, successes and regrets, and with sincere commitment resolve to: lose weight, get fit, spend less, save more, relax, get organized . . . the list goes on and on. But most people (researchers say up to 90 percent) abandon their resolutions soon after the holidays. Dr. Sylvia Middlebrook, assistant professor of psychology at SFA, is a licensed psychologist and board certified behavior analyst, and she offers these tips for helping us stick to our resolutions this year:
KEEP IT SIMPLE: Make only one clearly
Dr. David Creech, professor emeritus of agriculture and associate director of SFA Gardens, holds a selection of what is believed to be Texas’ first kiwifruit crop. The fruit are the result of the first field trial conducted outside of Auburn University to test the performance of two patented kiwi varieties that are the result of collaboration between Auburn and Hubei Academy of Agricultural Sciences’ Institute of Fruit and Tea in China.
defined resolution, and break the overall goal into a series of smaller steps. Global, non-specific goals such as the ones listed above are often illfated because they lack measurable parameters. Create sub-goals that are concrete, measurable and have a designated time limit. Even a modest weight-loss goal of one pound per week will total 20 pounds lighter in five months!
SHARE YOUR GOAL: Tell supportive friends and family about your plan, and solicit their encouragement.
KEEP YOUR EYE ON THE PRIZE: Use
visual reminders and/or encouraging affirmations about the benefits of accomplishing your resolution. SFA Gardens student workers show off the approximately 140 pounds of golden kiwis harvested on campus.
STAY ON COURSE: Tracking your progress
is a crucial step. A notepad and pencil will work, or better yet, if you have a smart phone – you guessed it – there’s an app for that! My Fitness Pal, Calorie Counter Pro, Moneywiz, Strides, Evernote (to get and stay organized), Breathe2Relax (for stress management) and other phone apps are available. Many are free and can be tailored to track target behaviors, graph progress, and adjust and refine sub-goals. Use visual reminders and/ or encouraging affirmations regarding steps to success and the benefits of persevering and accomplishing your resolution.
CELEBRATE SUCCESS: Believe in yourself, and grant yourself at least small, celebratory rewards for accomplishments on the way to achieving your ultimate goal.
Photos by Sarah Fuller
WINTER 2014 5
The Big Switch TONY NAPOLILLO, SUN Club program manager for Green Mountain Energy Company, ceremoniously “flips the switch” during an October dedication event celebrating the solar array installation on the roof of the recently opened Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building at SFA. Pictured, from left, are Dr. Dale Perritt, chair of the SFA Department of Agriculture; Dr. Baker Pattillo, university president; Dr. Steve Bullard, dean of the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture; Lauren Grace Ashley, SFA Charter School student; Napolillo; Dr. Dave Creech, professor emeritus of agriculture and associate director of SFA Gardens; and Zy’Keis Fields, Charter School student. The solar array on the new building located in the Pineywoods Native Plant Center was made possible by a $30,000 grant from the Green Mountain Energy Sun Club program of Green Mountain Energy, the longest-serving renewable energy retailer in the U.S. It is expected to offset as much as 80 percent of the building’s energy usage, as well as help educate the facility’s thousands of annual visitors about solar energy. The Sun Club is a unique program that enables Green Mountain Energy Company’s residential customers, employees and supporters to donate solar technology to nonprofit organizations, including colleges and universities.
Workers install a solar array on the roof of the recently opened Ina Brundrett Conservation Education Building located in the Pineywoods Native Plant Center at SFA.
SUPPORTING FACULTY ON THEIR OWN INITIATIVES – THAT’S IMPORTANT. BUT WHEN YOU FIND PROJECTS THAT OVERLAP WITH OTHER DISCIPLINES, IT CAN BE TWICE AS REWARDING.”
– DR. JEANA PAUL-UREÑA
Photos by Dr. Jeana Paul-Ureña
Multidisciplinary Project Sees Early Success WHEN DR. JEANA PAUL-UREÑA, a dozen other faculty members and six graduate students set out for the airport last May, they were taking the first steps in an unprecedented SFA effort that had been in the making for a long time. The team, headed to the sprawling metropolitan capital of the state of Bahia in Brazil, represented a wide range of disciplines: history, public administration, social work, art, archeology, modern languages and communication studies. Each member was prepared to delve into the study of Brazil, focusing on his or her own unique interest and study. The group spent months preparing for research projects that would only be possible on the ground inside one of the world’s fastest-growing countries. But as much as the Brazil Initiative offered a chance for individual work, it also was a sweeping interdisciplinary project aimed at getting SFA involved in something larger than the sum of its parts.
“Supporting faculty on their own initiatives – that’s important. But when you find projects that overlap with other disciplines, it can be twice as rewarding,” said PaulUreña, chair of the Department of Languages, Cultures and Communication, who came up with the idea for the initiative. The project was aimed at laying the foundation for long-term relationships between SFA, the Federal University of Bahia, the Brazil – U.S. Cultural Association, and other important cultural and social institutions in Salvador, a city of more than 2.6 million people located more than 900 miles north of Rio de Janeiro. Brazil is a booming economic powerhouse, boasting the largest economy in Latin America and the sixth largest in the world. It’s considered on track to becoming a superpower in coming decades, and Paul-Ureña said that’s a big reason it was chosen as the location for this initiative. “With the potential that Brazil has and the economic predictions, it will be increasingly important for our students to study, and offering courses on Brazil will create a unique niche for SFA,” she said. The faculty members who laid the foundation for a relationship between SFA and Salvador already are realizing benefits. For example, at Salvador’s Museum of Archeology and Ethnology, Dr. Robert Z. Selden’s use of 3-D scanning technology on burial urns will create a
joint digital repository between SFA and the museum. A research associate at the SFA Center for Regional Heritage Research, Selden was granted access to artifacts rarely studied by American archeologists. He used 3-D scanning technology, which he’s used to research Caddo culture at SFA to create digital renderings of the urns. His work will be part of a permanent display within the museum. Dr. Freddie Avant and Wilma Córdova from the SFA School of Social Work said they would like to return to Brazil to continue working with community social welfare programs, including those targeting HIV and AIDS patients in the country. “We believe the study abroad opportunity in Brazil is an excellent avenue to strengthen our academic programs and make our faculty more globally competent,” Avant said. Paul-Ureña said the trip was successful in laying the groundwork for a lasting relationship with institutions in Salvador and building a body of international work by SFA researchers. “Every single person who went is very enthusiastic about going back, and they want to take students, as well,” she said. “Our goal is to create an ongoing connection to provide SFA students from any discipline the opportunity to study or complete internships in Brazil.” – TIM MONZINGO
WINTER 2014 7
Jaguar Conservation TWO PROFESSORS FROM SFA’s Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture are addressing the drastically dwindling jaguar population in Argentina and the socio-economic issues faced by landowners in the province of Misiones. Dr. Daniel Scognamillo, associate professor of wildlife ecology, and Dr. Gary Kronrad, Bone Hill Distinguished Professor and forest economist, are providing landowners with incentives to conserve and improve the habitat of the jaguar, a species that once ranged from southeastern Argentina to the southern United States. Scognamillo said the project evolved as they became increasingly aware of the challenges facing landowners in the region. The professors realized their work would need to be much broader than initially planned. If conservation efforts disproportionately focus on preserving the habitat for the jaguar, Scognamillo said, landowners who rely on the forests for agriculturebased jobs will suffer. The same can be said of jaguars if the emphasis is placed solely on ensuring a thriving forest-based economy. The key is finding a location along the spectrum in which ecological and economic issues find equilibrium, he said. “We decided if we were going to try to tackle the problem, we had to come up with a new idea – something that has not been tried before,” Kronrad said. From this research, the Jaguar Credits Initiative was born. Through this program, corporations can pay landowners to invest in the implementation of management plans that will improve their land and foster the development of wildlife habitat. In return, the investing businesses can feature a Jaguar Credits logo on their products, informing consumers of their conservation efforts. In 2013, the SFA professors presented their ideas to Argentina’s minister of ecology and secretary of forest development. This subsequently led to the professors
Photos courtesy of the SFA Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
meeting with legislators, as well as the province’s largest timber company. Recently, Scognamillo and Kronrad spent two weeks in Argentina with top jaguar scientists from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. The group developed a matrix to assess the quality of existing habitat as a baseline for assigning future credits. Both professors emphasize the importance of collaboration with local scientists, saying the partnership not only provides a deeper, more nuanced understanding of regional factors that must be addressed but also establishes confidence among the citizenry. The long-range goal is to implement the initiative throughout the jaguar’s native range. The professors said the initiative’s role as a conservation program and economic development project has the potential to improve the lives of many rural landowners. When speaking about the project, Scognamillo, a native Argentinian, maintains a cautious enthusiasm. “When I was working in this area 20 years ago, the number of jaguars estimated for this area was close to 150. Now it’s 35,” he said. “This might not be the answer, but we feel confident that it will help.” – SARAH FULLER
Biologists from Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay met in Misiones, Argentina, recently to assess the correlation between the existing habitat and the need for the Jaguar Credits program.
S I LOOK from the abundance of purple shirts hanging in my closet to the photos of me smiling and proudly throwing up my “axe” to the SFA diploma hanging on the wall next to the decorated axe handle given to me by my dear friend and fellow Lumberjack Dr. Hollie Smith, I can’t help but think back to my time at SFA and how it has impacted my life. I was still a student when I first fell in love with this community and came to appreciate the close connection between Nacogdoches and SFA. This relationship is one of the main reasons my husband, also an SFA grad, and I have chosen to call Nacogdoches our home. I come from a small, rural East Texas town in Shelby County, and SFA Alumni Association scholarships played a role in making my dream of attending college and pursuing a career in social work possible. While on campus, I had the privilege of working at the University Police Department, where I developed some great friendships that remain strong. I was part of the Student Association of Social Workers and had many great professors who mentored me and molded me into the person I am today. It also was here that I developed strong bonds with other social work students, and those connections have impacted my life in ways I never could have imagined. One of those former students is now a faculty member at SFA with whom I work closely in my current position at The Hospice of East Texas. I often am called upon to speak to her classes about community involvement and other social work topics, and I enjoy those opportunities very much. Another former classmate stepped in to help during one of the toughest times of my life when my husband and I were having trouble having children and faced many unanswered questions about where to turn next. I made a call to an adoption agency in Houston and was overjoyed when the voice on the other end of the line was familiar; it belonged to an old friend from SFA. She put me in contact with another classmate who was in Lufkin, and that connection eventually led us to the adoption of our three beautiful children. Having the support and resources of other SFA alumni during that time provided a sense of peace and comfort that I can’t explain. It was my fortuitous field placement as an SFA senior that led me to the professional career I enjoy today. I have been working for a nonprofit Hospice ever since that time. That opportunity made such a lasting impression on my life that it led me to give back and become a field instructor for the SFA School of Social Work from 2001 to 2008. In 2006 and 2007 I was honored with Field Instructor of the Year recognition,
By Jessica Henderson
one of my most prized accomplishments. As a student, I could not have imagined I would one day be able to give back the gift that was given to me by helping mentor young SFA students. I have been so blessed to have found a home working for The Hospice of East Texas. It has allowed me to partner with many different departments at the university and find unique ways for students to serve the community through volunteer work for our organization. The Phi Upsilon Omicron Honor Society has helped provide hospitality services and support, thanks to Dr. Mitzi Perritt and her students. SFA’s Collegiate FFA chapter and Dr. Dale Perritt have partnered with The Hospice of East Texas in constructing cedar benches at our Walk of Friends at University Drive and Main Street. In October, we finished our first Children’s Grief Camp where we were partners with SFA’s Student Recreation Center. Numerous students from the fashion merchandising and interior design programs, along with various other SFA departments, have volunteered countless hours at our Hospice of East Texas Resale Shop. It is truly a blessing to partner with these SFA volunteers, who are a key part of our organization’s success in the community. I believe it is our duty as Lumberjacks to become involved in the place we live so that we can have a hand in molding the future of our alma mater and our community. I strive to stay connected through numerous volunteer organizations, as well as with our business community. This year I have the great honor of serving as chair of the Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce, and I am enjoying serving the community in this way. I would like to say thank you to my family and the many people of Nacogdoches and SFA who continue to support me through my career. It has truly been an honor and blessing. I especially want to thank God who has been there for me each step of the way. JESSICA HENDERSON ’01 Chair, Nacogdoches County Chamber of Commerce
WINTER 2014 9
TO INFORM SFA’S ongoing “Lumberjacks Make Great … ” marketing campaign, our off-campus research partners at SimpsonScarborough gathered information from numerous individuals whose lives are touched by SFA in any aspect: students, prospective students, employees, alumni, community neighbors, high school counselors and potential employers of SFA graduates. Regardless of the audience questioned, campus beauty was mentioned time and time again as being one of the most positive attributes of the university.
At a recent meeting of the Board of Regents, members of the university’s grounds crew were recognized for the hard work they do every day to ensure the campus always looks “beautiful.” The word cloud below is a visual representation of the data gathered by SimpsonScarborough regarding the positive attributes of SFA, showing the relative importance of “beautiful” in the minds of all audiences who participated in the marketing research.
WORK SPACE 2 11
10 12 7
What you’ll find in . . . Associate Athletic Director for Compliance Matt Fenley’s office: 1. A beloved sketch of the Ladyjack soccer team by former player turned professional artist Rachel (Schwind) Gardner ’09. (See her story on Page 27 of this issue.) 2. Assorted souvenirs from Fenley’s wife’s travels to Japan with her middle school students, including a quilted wallhanging and a T-shirt modeled after The Beatles’ Abbey Road album advertising a Japanese snake removal company called “The Habutles,” which does business in the Amami Islands. (Poisonous snakes are rampant there.) 3. Collectable plates featuring the likenesses of National Hockey League Hall of Famer Gordie Howe (generally regarded as one of the best hockey players of all time) and “Iron Horse” Lou Gehrig, the legendary New York Yankees first baseman. 4. A snapshot of Fenley’s 7-month-old twin grandsons, Brooks and Holden. 5. Fenley’s college diplomas, namely a
Bachelor of Arts in physical education from Benedictine College in Atchison, Kansas, (1978) and a Master of Science in physical education from Pittsburg State University in Pittsburg, Kansas (1980). 6. An unopened package of Lay’s potato chips with a picture of “The Iron Man” Cal Ripken Jr., who holds the record of playing in 2,632 consecutive games over more than 16 years with the Baltimore Orioles. 7. A soccer ball with fading signatures of one of the championship Ladyjack soccer teams in the early 2000s. (He’s not sure now which year it was.) 8. A Spam cookbook, a gift from a former SFA student-athlete who liked to joke with him about his affinity for the classic canned meat product. 9. A goalie helmet, also a gift from a former SFA student-athlete whose father was serving as commissioner of the Western Hockey League at the time.
10. A Willie Nelson pot holder. 11. A hand-held “big head” placard representing famous Nacogdoches native Clint Dempsey, professional soccer player and captain of the U.S. National Team. 12. A collection of Kansas City Royals bobble heads that belonged to Fenley’s late father, a huge fan of the team who used to decorate the rear dashboard of his car with these souvenirs from the games. 13. Well-worn rules books, compliance manuals and SFA team rosters, which Fenley refers to regularly in his work for the Department of Athletics, where he has served (in the same office) since 1990.
Matt Fenley Associate Athletic Director for Compliance
WINTER 2014 11
SFA NURSES MAKE they
ZOMBIES! Practicing triage for Halloween! SFA @SFASU / TWITTER
ALL YOUR HARD WORK HAS PAID OFF; welcome to the Lumberjack Alumni family!
SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION FACEBOOK
There aren’t too many better ways TO CELEBRATE #SFAHOMECOMING than to have our football team win.
Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies
THE PINE LOG / FACEBOOK
SHOUT OUT TO TRADITIONS COUNCIL for dyeing the fountain
PURPLE FOR HOMECOMING! #SFAIRYTALE #SFA18 DEAN OF STUDENTS ADAM PECK @DRADAMPECK / TWITTER
It’s before 8 a.m.,
and our cadets are preparing to run
new freshmen through paintball.
It’s going to be a HOOAH day!
Axe ’Em, Jacks! SFA ARMY ROTC / FACEBOOK
IN CASE YOU MISSED IT, SFA’s game-winning goal to clinch the
outright was featured on SPORTS CENTER AND FOX SPORTS LIVE LAST NIGHT! SFA ATHLETICS / FACEBOOK
A DRUMSTICK AND mallet company has made a generous donation to the SFA School of Music and its percussion program, providing a valuable resource for students. Vic Firth Inc. has donated several thousand dollars’ worth of sticks, mallets, brushes and timpani sticks to the SFA Percussion Studio, making it possible for students in the percussion program to try different types of mallets and sticks at any time, according to Brad Meyer, director of percussion studies at SFA. The donation allows students to experiment using a variety of mallets in class and during lessons and practice sessions instead of having to wait until February when their traditional opportunity for such experimentation occurs in the vendor area at the Texas Music Educators Association’s annual conference in San Antonio, Meyer explained. “Being able to make musical choices regarding the implements students use in solo and ensemble compositions is crucial in developing their personal, musical voice,” Meyer said. “Now, students have this new resource – the SFA Percussion Studio Mallet Library – to help them achieve their full potential as musicians and music educators.” Vic Firth’s donation amounted to more than 200 pairs of sticks and mallets. Founded in 1963 and headquartered in Boston, the company bills itself as the world’s largest manufacturer of drum sticks and mallets, which are made in Newport, Maine. “No other university in the United States has such a wide selection of implements at its programs’ or students’ disposal,” Meyer said. – ROBBIE GOODRICH
SFA SOCCER CONTINUED its dominance of the Southland Conference, capturing its fourth-straight SLC title with a perfect 110-0 record in league play. The Ladyjacks swept the conference’s major awards, earning Player of the Year (Zuri Prince,) Newcomer of the Year (Christa Robinson,) Freshman of the Year (Hanna Barker) and Coach of the Year (Wally Crittenden.) The Ladyjacks made it to the championship game of the SLC tournament in Beaumont, riding a 14-game winning streak, the longest in the nation, but fell to Houston Baptist 2-0 in the championship game, coming up just short of an NCAA tournament bid.
BUILDING OFF THE successes of last season, SFA is the preseason favorite to repeat as Southland Conference champions on both the men’s and women’s side. Both the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks were the overwhelming selection at No. 1 as each team landed a pair of players on the preseason all-conference teams. Seniors Jacob Parker and Porsha Roberts were both the top vote-getters and were named first-team preseason All-SLC selections with guards Thomas Walkup and Brittany Matthew named to their respective second teams.
SFA’S FIRST SEASON under head coach Clint Conque has been memorable as the Lumberjacks earned an at-large bid to the FCS Football Championship for the first time since 2010. SFA recorded a pair of victories against top-10 opponents in 2014, toppling eighth-ranked Southeastern Louisiana 27-17 on Oct. 25 at Homer Bryce Stadium, followed by a 31-16 upset of sixth-ranked McNeese State Nov. 8 in Lake Charles, Louisiana. It marks the first time since 2009 SFA has knocked off a pair of top-10 teams in the same season, as the Lumberjacks reappeared in the top-25 national polls for the first time since 2011.
THE LADYJACK VOLLEYBALL team emerged as one of the surprise stories of the 2014 athletic season. Picked to finish fifth in the preseason Southland Conference polls, the team finished the Southland Conference regular season with a perfect 16-0 record and earned the outright conference title. Of the Ladyjacks’ 16 conference victories, 13 of them were perfect 3-0 sweeps. Under head coach Debbie Humphreys, the SLC Coach of the Year, SFA had five players earn All-Southland Conference honors, including Paige Holland being named Setter of the Year, and the Ladyjacks clinched the top overall seed in the 2014 Southland Conference tournament.
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Designing Modern Nacogdoches DR. JERE JACKSON, SFA professor of history and university historian, is the author of a new book published by the SFA University Press exploring the life and work of the German-born architect who transformed Nacogdoches from a historic frontier town into a modern city. Diedrich Rulfs: Designing Modern Nacogdoches is now available in hardback and is the culmination of decades of research by the author, a work of historic preservation intended to evoke a new perspective on the “oldest town in Texas.” Jackson served for 43 years on the Nacogdoches County Historical Commission, 35 of those years as chairman. He is a recipient of the Texas Governor’s Special Service Award in the field of historic preservation. In 2013, the Texas House of Representatives honored his contributions to Texas and Nacogdoches with a special resolution. The book is beautifully illustrated with color photographs by Christopher Talbot, director of the SFA School of Art. Before joining the SFA faculty, Talbot worked in commercial architectural photography in the Washington, D.C., area. Since that time, his work has centered on history and place. He is currently working on a project documenting El Camino Real de los Tejas National Historic Trail with support from the National Park Service. Rulfs immigrated to Nacogdoches in 1880. His work and interaction with contemporaries permeates the town’s history in the crucial years at the turn of the century. Much of Rulfs’ work can still be enjoyed today with more than 75 of his creations still in existence, forming the core of the city’s extensive National Registry Districts. The book is available for online purchase from Barnes & Noble and Amazon.
ABOVE The entrance hall of the Roland Jones House was completed in 1897 and features Queen Anne style detailing that was immensely popular during the late 19th century. The historic home, preserved by the Mast family, now operates as a bed-and-breakfast. RIGHT The Charles Perkins “Steamboat” House, built in 1898, is one of Rulfs’ most popular creations. Originally built on North Street, it has been moved twice and now sits on Texas Street. The house once was home to Texas Woman of Letters Karle Wilson Baker, SFA’s first nationally prominent faculty member. FAR RIGHT Pictured is the staircase of the Sanders House, constructed after the turn of the 20th century, at the intersection of West Main and Sanders streets. The home was carefully restored to its former splendor by Barbara Stump and her late husband, Michael. Barbara is a research associate for SFA Gardens.
Photos by Christopher Talbot, SFA School of Art director
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SOWELL JOINS STAFF
JENNIFER SOWELL HAS recently joined the Alumni Association staff as assistant to the executive director. Originally from Baytown, Sowell moved to Nacogdoches in 2009 to attend SFA. Having recently worked for The Daily Sentinel and Rex Perry Autoplex, Sowell has worked heavily in marketing and advertising and is excited to bring her expertise to the Alumni Association. She is an active member of the Nacogdoches community, serving on various civic and volunteer organization committees and boards including Nacogdoches Junior Forum, Community Partners, Texas Blueberry Festival and American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life. She is married to Brian Sowell and has three dogs and two cats.
march 5–8, 2015
Texas music starts Here.
We have over 100,000 Alumni, and we want to know how YOU are!
Download the Nac 360 explore Nacogdoches app to find out.
Updating your information is simple!
Go to SFAAlumni.com
and click “Register,” “Join or Renew” or “Update your Alumni Record.”
Banita Creek Hall • The Liberty Bell • Mast Hall • The Mill Room Tickets and more information: BigNac.com /bignacfest
For more information, contact us.
P.O. Box 6096-SFA Station Nacogdoches, TX 75962
Phone (936) 468-3407 Fax (936) 468-1007
FROM THE ASSOCIATION
FRIEND ASKED me recently, “Why should I join the SFA Alumni Association?” The question seemed a bit odd, for this fellow is active at SFA and is much involved in association activities. I might better understand the question if it were to come from someone who does not keep in touch. I had perhaps mistakenly thought the answer is self-evident; what would he lose without the association? As years unfold, are there only “happy mem’ries” we’ll hold? Nothing more? Do we have a responsibility to help shape the SFA legacy? At a recent football game, an enthusiastic SFA fan wore a shirt that read, “Go Purple or Go Home.” He can be found at most SFA athletic events, cheering, mixing with the fans. He knows all the players and cheerleaders, and they know him. His pride shows daily with his purple SFA shirts and headbands. My granddaughter Elyse often wears an SFA shirt to her middle school, and her teacher puts an SFA sign on her classroom door – even though her school is located in a city of burnt orange. Pride like that is contagious. We – alumni, friends, faculty and staff – can accomplish so much if we are all ambassadors and use the opportunities and information that the association provides. We can all be boosters for SFA; we can energize others. It may be as simple as talking about our campus experiences. Maybe we recount a recent athletic effort or band performance, expound on SFA’s academic excellence, share information about Driving Jacks or give a tour of the campus. In the fall, I wrote that the association soon would be sharing the changes we are making for the future. I am pleased to report that in 2015, we will implement some revised programming for our events and increase emphasis on alumni contacts. We will be relying upon your participation in growing connections among the SFA family. We will provide expanded means of communication. Our finance and operations committees will consolidate internal functions. Four new committees will focus on external engagement, working to grow contacts and participation opportunities both on and off campus. Our board, staff and others brought creative ideas; they had the courage to suggest changes. In the past year we have added five new staff members as some members of our team moved away or changed jobs. These new members are equally dedicated to our cause. Alumni Corner for home football games was improved, and the changes were applauded. We introduced a new opportunity to join the association and a way to purchase SFA clothing at away football games. The university supported our efforts in all regards. We are of one purpose, to grow SFA and Lumberjacks. Our close working relationship will bring new successes and contribute to enhancing SFA connections and pride. I expect that, like many plans, there will be changes as we try out those drafted for next year. We will learn what works and what needs revision. Your support and constructive input will drive success for all of us. I am confident that 2015 will provide you with improved means to engage with the SFA family. Take advantage of that. Display SFA pride. Have a part of your legacy be that you helped create a “future bright ’neath the purple and white.”
Do we have a responsibility to help shape the SFA legacy?
SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Mike Harbordt ’63, Nacogdoches president Karen Gantt ’95, McKinney president-elect Curtis Sparks ’85, Tyler past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Charlotte Ashcraft ’80, Nacogdoches Don Cox ’71 & ’76, Nacogdoches Jeremy Cleverly ’98, Mansfield Robin Dawley ’77, Nacogdoches Bob Francis ’78, Bullard Doris Havard, Nacogdoches James Hawkins ’83, Silsbee Ron Hunt ’91 & ’94, McKinney David Madrid ’02, Bossier City, Louisiana Justin McFaul ’04, Gilmer Phillip Scherrer ’99, Frisco Erika Tolar ’02, Spring Steve Whitbeck ’75, Nacogdoches Bob Williams ’70, Dallas Chris Woelfel ’95, Kingwood SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS Curtis Sparks ’85, Tyler - chairman Lewie Byers ’68, Rusk Ford Cartwright ’69, Lufkin Rick Couvillon ’85, Houston Shirley Crawford ’58 & ’70, Henderson Stephen Greak ’92, Lufkin James Hamilton ’77, Porter Bill Roberds ’75, Dallas Mike Harbordt ’63, Nacogdoches ASSOCIATION STAFF Craig Turnage ’00 & ’05 executive director of alumni relations Jennifer Sowell assistant to the executive director Heather Hawkins ’00 assistant director of alumni relations Samantha Mora ’08 director of events and engagement Alicia Roland Chatman gifts and records specialist
Mike Harbordt President, SFA Alumni Association
Amie Morton ’09 & ’11 scholarship coordinator Derek Snyder ’01 communications and marketing coordinator Hannah Franks ’13 accountant
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“I may not have always appreciated it at the time, but all of that information the professors drilled into our heads during all those 8 a.m. classes was very important, and I use those skills every day here.” – Matt Norton ’04
MID THE FLAT,
industrialized landscape of oil-and gas-rich Midland/ Odessa, it’s common to see “nodding donkey” pump jacks making their mechanical dive toward the dirt or the fire of a gas flare stack blazing against the endless horizon. Matt Norton ’04 and his wife, Jessica, had other ideas for the backdrop of their Midland County home, one that would allow folks to reconnect to the heartland that the couple loves so much – to touch, feel and smell the workings of good, honest farm life and allow families to come together for an afternoon of fun. And, hey, if they happen to get hopelessly lost in the corn maze, so much the better for business. Welcome to Fiddlesticks Farms, 80 acres of old-fashioned fun just outside the boomtown of Midland, where milking demonstrations mixed with mega corn cannons are just a couple of examples
OPPOSITE Matt and Jessica Norton with their 2-year-old son, Trail
the Nortons use to entertain their visitors while educating them about farm life. “Matt and I started our life and business together with a vision of creating a place where we could share our knowledge and love of agriculture with the community,” Jessica says. “We wanted to provide a place that would bring families and friends together to create exciting traditions and make wonderful memories.” During October and November, Fiddlesticks welcomes between 300 and 350 schoolchildren every Tuesday through Friday. Mondays are reserved for special needs groups of all ages. “We really enjoy getting to share this place with special needs kids, and adults, as well,” Matt said. “They truly benefit from spending time outdoors and with our animals.” Before they even met, the Nortons were passionate about agriculture. Matt was active in the FFA and 4-H Club growing up, and then he headed to SFA for his
Welcome to Fiddlesticks Farms, 80 acres of old-fashioned fun just outside the boomtown of Midland, where milking demonstrations mixed with mega corn cannons are just a couple of examples the Nortons use to entertain their visitors while educating them about farm life. WINTER 2014 19
ag science degree. Jessica, meanwhile, grew up on her family’s farm in Midkiff, raising crops and animals. Matt attended Texas Tech for graduate school, and that’s when he met Jessica, then an undergrad studying ag communication. They were a perfect match, though little did they know a corn cannon, potato sack slide and hay rides to the pumpkin patch would be in their futures. After graduate school, Matt headed to North Texas for a job, but after a lifetime in small towns and in the great outdoors, he didn’t love city life. Around that time, Jessica’s parents were looking for a farm manager back in Midkiff. Matt jumped at the opportunity. On New Year’s Eve 2007, the couple married at Jessica’s family home. It’s all an incredibly sweet, very American pastoral story. So how did they end up building a corn maze in the middle of the Permian Basin? “Our friends, Ken and Laurie Graff, who own South Texas Maize in Hondo, Texas, were actually the ones who put this crazy idea in our heads,” Jessica says. The couple was intrigued. In the name of research, Matt and Jessica went on a Texas corn maze tour of sorts, visiting the Graff’s maze, Dewberry Farm in Brookshire and At’l Do Farm in Lubbock. Then they took their curiosity to the big leagues, attending the MAiZE Conference in Pennsylvania, then the regionally specific Lone Star Corn Maze Conference back home in Texas. After a year of research, they opened their doors in 2008. “We knew the first week of our first year that Fiddlesticks was something special,” Jessica said. The farm’s owners have continued to expand their operations each year and recently added Fiddlesticks Radio, a closed-circuit radio station. “It’s a whole-farm surround sound system, and it has been a big hit for us this year,” Matt said. “We play all kinds of music that visitors of all ages can enjoy, and it has been a great addition to the overall atmosphere of the farm. “Another new addition was this year we added a baby duck water slide. The ducklings needed an area to play, and we
VISIT FIDDLESTICKS FARMS
The farm’s season generally closes at the end of November, so make sure to check the website for updates before visiting. They are open Tuesday through Friday for educational school field trips only. Saturdays and Sundays in October and Saturdays in November are open to the public for families to come out and experience the farm. They also host birthday parties and group events. All reservations can be made on their website, www.fiddlesticksfarms. com. For additional questions, call (432) 687-MAZE or email email@example.com.
thought, ’What could be more fun for little ducks than a water slide?’ So, now they have one that they can climb up and slide down just for fun, and everyone has enjoyed watching them on their new slide.” Future plans include a climatecontrolled pavilion next to the food service area where summer birthday parties, weddings and other special events can be hosted, he said. There is even talk of eventually adding a restaurant. “Our doors are only open two months out of the year, so in our off-season we actually do a lot of brainstorming and research and make the necessary changes for expansion or improvement,” as well as doing the back-breaking work of growing cotton, wheat, grass hay, corn and pumpkins,” said Jessica. “We also have a few dairy nurse cows and a small herd of registered Dorper sheep.” Matt said the couple’s agritourism business helps ensure they can continue their commercial farming operations, despite the many challenges facing independent growers in today’s economy. “The margins are so tight when it comes to farming and ranching right now, especially with the very low price of cotton and other commodities, and diversifying in this way will hopefully allow us to keep farming for as long as we can,” he said. The undergraduate education Matt received from SFA is something he regularly relies on for his work, both on the family farm and with the corn maze. “I may not have always appreciated it at the time, but all of that information the professors drilled into our heads during all those 8 a.m. classes was very important, and I use those skills every day here. In addition, the time I spent with the SFA Rodeo Club and serving as president of that organization for two years – that is really where I gained a lot of experience organizing special events, raising money, serving in a leadership role and taking care of animals. All of that was an invaluable part of my education at SFA.”
Portions of this article reprinted with permission from Texas Heritage for Living magazine
Photos courtesy of Matt and Jessica Norton and Texas Heritage for Living magazine
Aerial photo of the 2013 Fiddlesticks Farms corn maze, which was a tribute to the veterans who died in a tragic train/parade float accident in November 2012 in Midland.
Mark Hicks ’02 walks through an upper floor of Hotel Angelina, the focal point of downtown Lufkin’s ongoing revitalization.
MARK HICKS ’02 Mark Hicks ’02 is a fifth-generation resident of Lufkin who has been a driving force behind the recent revitalization of his hometown, located just across the Angelina River from Nacogdoches and SFA. Since 2003, he has completed renovations to 15 historic downtown buildings, and several more projects are underway, including the restoration of the glamorous five-story 1922 Hotel Angelina to its former glory. Sawdust recently caught up with Hicks to find out more about what makes him tick.
I charged her a whopping $100. That was the beginning of my video production business. Throughout high school and college, I made sports highlight videos and picture collages, videotaped weddings, and made TV commercials. By the time I graduated, I decided to make a go of it full time. After college, through some SFA connections, I got a client who was producing an outdoor fishing show. This was a great experience for me. I had the opportunity to travel the country for a couple of years working as a camera operator and video editor. About this time, my business had outgrown the space I was in. I began to look for a new location, maybe something I could purchase and customize to my needs. That’s what brought me to downtown Lufkin and my first big renovation. My brother found a vacant building on Frank Street that happened to be one of the original locations of Lufkin’s Atkinson Candy Company, makers of the worldfamous “Chick-O-Stick.” That notion appealed to me. The building had been abandoned for some time and needed quite a bit of work. I’ve always loved a good challenge and decided this was the right place for me.
Why are you so invested, personally and financially, in the revitalization of downtown Lufkin?
First of all, how does a radio/tv major end up as a real estate developer specializing in downtown revitalization?
I guess you could say that I come from a long line of entrepreneurs. My father was a business owner as was my grandfather, and the same is true for my mom’s side of the family. Growing up, I watched my dad operate a few different businesses, so I was introduced to multi-tasking at a young age. My parents taught my older brother and me two things early in life – the value of a dollar and, “If you want something, you’ve got to work for it.” They always encouraged us to follow our dreams and do whatever made us happy. I think because my dad’s father compelled him to take over the family business, my dad never wanted us to feel obligated to go a certain direction on his account. As kids growing up, my cousin and I were infatuated with the television business. We would create elaborate sets and use my dad’s video camera to make movies, newscasts, etc. As youths, we volunteered at a local low-powered TV station, videotaping sporting events and making television shows. We also were involved in our church’s TV program and made videos for the youth group. One day a family friend asked me to make a video to promote a book she was writing, and
Downtown Lufkin is a special place to me. The history is fascinating, and five generations of my family on both sides had businesses in or lived near downtown Lufkin. My great-grandparents had the first air-conditioned home in Lufkin, and he created a successful business enterprise from it. Another of my great-grandfathers had a Buick dealership, and during the Great Depression most of his customers brought their cars back and parked them in his front yard. Preserving history is very important for future generations, and preserving some of our most historical buildings is paramount to me. It is a real honor to make a living preserving history and revitalizing a place that was once almost completely abandoned. It’s a great encouragement when people express their joy and excitement about what’s happening in the core of our city. It’s not about me; it’s about the fact that we’re bringing a town together and making it something we can all be proud of again. I have the feeling that I’ve gone back in time and am getting to see firsthand what people before me created and the town they built.
What do you think are the main reasons behind the recent renaissance in so many downtown areas?
During the ’70s and ’80s, many of our downtown businesses relocated to high-traffic areas of town or to the mall. This hurt downtowns everywhere – some more than others. Today we have a new generation with a different mindset. We are interested in old buildings and old things. Just think about all the TV shows that involve antiques and remodeling old homes and buildings or recent movies where people live in downtown lofts and work or own a business downtown.
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There are many unique downtowns across our state. “Downtown” is cool right now, and we are simply growing that mindset. We operate on the “if you build it, they will come” mentality, and it has not taken long for the people and businesses to show up. The people of Lufkin wanted this, and I’m just helping make it happen. People tell me I turned this place around, and I am always quick to respond that it never would have worked if people didn’t patronize the businesses and keep the money circulating. Strong commerce is the key to long-term success.
Do you have a favorite quote or personal philosophy that guides your business decisions?
I’ve had many mentors in my life, good people whom I’ve known for years, and a few quotes from them come to mind. One of my very first business partners had a favorite analogy, and I can remember him telling me about it like it was yesterday. We were sitting at a local diner, and he said, “Mark, it’s like this: I just want a piece of the pie. I don’t want the whole pie, and maybe sometimes I just want a little tiny piece. But just give me a piece, and I’m happy.” The moral of the story is to not be greedy, and in time, when you get enough pieces, you can create your own pie. Another friend would always tell me, “Some people say the sky’s the limit. I call them slackers.” I always liked that one because what he was saying is we shouldn’t limit ourselves. You can do or create whatever you want if you are driven to make it happen. Last but surely not least is something I learned from one of my favorite SFA professors, Dr. Tim Clipson. He would quote Ralph Waldo Emerson: “Nothing great was ever accomplished without enthusiasm.” The class would all repeat it in unison just about every day! That’s my guiding light, and it still rings true. We have to have enthusiasm for what we do every day, for it is, indeed, contagious.
What is the most unusual thing you have ever found in an old building?
As kids, my brother and I were cleaning out an old house and discovered a bag full of pre-World War I German currency. We truly thought our days of working were over and made plans to spend our fortune. To our dismay, we learned that major inflation hit Germany prior to the war,
and the money was essentially worthless with the exception of antiquity value. More recently we were demolishing the interior of a downtown building and found a mastodon tooth in the attic. I will probably never know how that got there! But probably the greatest find was uncovering a 100-year old Coca Cola advertisement painted on a brick wall of a building covered with plaster in downtown Lufkin. That was exciting, and we incorporated it into the décor.
Why do you prefer to focus your real-estate development efforts on old buildings rather than new construction? I love a good challenge, and renovating old buildings is far more challenging than new construction. I guess, for me, figuring out a new use for an old space is just more exciting. Working with an old space gives me more ideas than working from the ground up. You can also re-create great spaces in old buildings that would not be financially feasible to build today. In time, we’ll move to more new construction because we will have exhausted our supply of old structures.
Tell us about your family background.
I come from a long line of Lumberjacks! Both sides of my family are native to East Texas, and we span five generations who have lived in the area. My mom attended SFA, and all three of my siblings are SFA grads. My grandmother received her master’s degree from SFA. My wife, Callie, and I went to high school together and got more acquainted in college. She was a year behind me in school and was an education major. The semester before we started dating I would walk past her every day, and we would generally pass one another in front of the Boynton Building. I can remember getting to class five to 10 minutes early because I wanted to be sure I didn’t miss her. It is kind of a funny story because we would never actually say much. “Hi! How are you today,” was about all. I guess I was looking for an opportunity to ask her out. She says she never got to school early to pass me on the sidewalk, but I’m not so sure I believe her. Years later, I proposed to her on the same sidewalk in front of the Boynton Building. I told her I shouldn’t have waited so long to ask her out. Now we have three wonderful girls who are 7, 4 and almost a year. They bring lots of joy to our lives, and they keep us very busy.
How has your SFA education helped make you a successful businessman?
SFA opened many doors for me early on in my major. I had many opportunities through SFA connections I would otherwise never have had. I saw the importance my professors placed on working with each student and making sure everyone reached their full potential. SFA taught me a lot about communication with others in business and on a personal level. Those communication skills are critical in my career today.
What aspect of your work in downtown Lufkin has been most rewarding personally?
It’s a great feeling when lifelong Lufkin residents express their joy with the changes in the downtown area. I have people in their 70s and 80s often tell me how much they love what’s happening downtown. They tell me it makes them feel young again. That’s important to me because this is more of a preservation project than making the downtown something different than what it was. To me, it’s all about revitalizing a town to its 1950s glamour. My vision for downtown is to preserve what’s there and make it work with today’s economics. I’m not trying to change the feel of our downtown; I want people to be able to recapture happy memories from their youth. Just about any Saturday of the year, you can find someone showing downtown off to an out-of-town friend or relative. People around here are proud of what’s happening, and that means the world to me. I’ve never felt like I was the one calling the shots. I just had a vision for downtown, and it’s important to me that the vision aligns with the majority of Lufkin residents. My focus has always been taking something that needs some help and making it better.
Why did you feel it was so important to save Hotel Angelina, what has happened there so far, and what are the future plans for the historic building?
Saving Hotel Angelina was vital to the success of downtown. This is the flagship property and a real focal point. If the building was torn down, we would never have been able to bring back the downtown that was. So many people have memories of this building. A guy once told me he waited in the lobby of the hotel on Christmas Eve for his brother to return from World War II. Numerous people tell me about events they attended there or coffee they had with a close friend in the café. It’s a great aspect of downtown and will be a showplace once again when it is completed. Thus far, we’ve totally renovated the first floor and leased the space to retail shops and a wine bar. We are now working to restore the original ballroom and the upper floors of the building, converting them into loft apartments and condos. Downtown living is a big focus of our efforts at the moment.
downtown works because we focus on selling items you cannot buy elsewhere in the area. We consider ourselves a niche retail district.
Do you have any future goals or hopes for other types of businesses that you wish to share?
My goals at this point are to further build up our downtown and make it better. We have lots of ideas on how to do that. One in particular is the construction of a new hotel to serve guests and visitors utilizing the convention center and downtown. We have a great CVB working hard to promote Lufkin and bring visitors into downtown and the rest of the city. If you asked me what retailer we’re missing in downtown Lufkin, I would say Bass Pro Shops. We’re in East Texas, and people love spending time outdoors around here. We have great lakes nearby. Furthermore, downtown needs something big for men to enjoy. Bass Pro Shops does a great job of re-creating old spaces and building on history.
What is the best advice you can give to current SFA students who are hoping to graduate and be successful in their chosen field? This might sound cliché, but I would tell them to follow their dreams in business and in life. If you believe you can make it happen and you work hard enough, you’ll make it happen. When I first started working on downtown, people would tell me time and time again that it was never going to work. That was just fuel on my fire. I was determined to make this a success. I truly believe you can do anything you set your mind to. Many great business people failed over and over again before they ultimately attained great success. Failure and humiliation is a great road to becoming successful. Selfevaluate and learn something new every day.
To what do you credit the success of Lufkin’s downtown revitalization effort?
The support of the people is the reason downtown is successful. If we didn’t have buy-in from the community, then none of this would be possible. Lufkin’s downtown is a group effort, and we all work together to make the place better. People’s enjoyment of downtown is important to us. The city’s renovation of the Pines Theater and our work on the Hotel Angelina building was the linchpin in bringing back downtown. The reason for its continued success is that we have great retail establishments and eateries, along with unique shops and vendors of antiques. We all can agree that
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’JACKS OF ALL TRADES
Rachel (Schwind) Gardner ’09 Artist/Artist Affiliate, Houston Baptist University
T WAS NOT until the end of her sophomore year at SFA that Rachel Gardner decided to pursue a career in art; however, at the age of 10, her mother Debbie already knew she was destined to be a professional artist. “Between soccer practices and games, I was always doodling, drawing and painting,” Gardner said. She recalls having to complete a bio for one of her soccer teams. “I didn’t know what to write when they asked what I wanted to be when I grew up,” Gardner said. “I left the answer blank. When it was time to turn in the bio, I saw my mom write ‘artist’ in the blank.” Gardner said she was angry and embarrassed, but she didn’t know why. She soon realized she had a strong connection with art. “Art provided me with a sense of joy and calmness,” she said. Gardner attended SFA from 2005 to 2009 as a member of the soccer program. She played central midfielder and was the team captain her junior year. While at SFA, she began to develop an even deeper appreciation for art. “There are so many people who influenced me and got me to where I am today, including my parents, my soccer coaches and my SFA art professors,” she said. “More specifically, I credit Ron King, Gary Parker and Robert Kinsell. All three professors encouraged me along my artistic journey, teaching me about conceptual thinking and how to create pieces from within my soul,” she said. After obtaining a Bachelor of Fine Arts in painting, Gardner was an art educator for Fort Bend ISD for two years. Still, she wanted to pursue and teach art at a higher level. Gardner enrolled in the Master of Fine Arts program at Houston Baptist University in 2012. She obtained a master’s degree in 2014 and is currently serving as an artist affiliate for the university, working with graduate students.
Gardner meets weekly with her students to discuss their concepts and ideas. Aside from teaching, she also enjoys creating pieces at her home studio. “I have the windows open, natural lighting and I can hear the birds chirping; I am definitely in my zone,” she said. Gardner said she truly began to find her voice while attending graduate school at HBU. “Though you may see wild creatures in my work,” she said, “the wolf has become the primary voice concerning the concepts I am after involving humanity’s disconnect to nature in our modern world.” Much of Gardner’s work features animals and the natural world. Individual pieces utilize a variety of media, both sculpture and painting, which releases the viewer in an imagined world where animals witness cultural loss and encroachment and where the human is left suspended, she said. Currently, Gardner’s work is being exhibited in a show titled “Reflections on Nature” at the French Consul of River Oaks in Houston. She also is working on pieces for an upcoming solo show titled “Rewilding,” scheduled for April 2015 at Gallery M2, also in Houston. “My art is how I see the world,” she said. “It is my way of communicating my heart and connecting to people. I am proud to say I am an artist.” – RACHEL CLARK
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ALUMNI AWARD WINNERS DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA Lou Ann Richardson ’83 is the executive vice president of Wells Fargo - Dallas. Richardson, a lifetime member of the SFA Alumni Association, is co-chair of the International Group Women’s Network. She is involved with the Communities in Schools - Dallas Region, Wells Fargo Reputational Committee and Nacogdoches’ Beta Gamma Sigma, which selected her as the 2014 Chapter Honoree. The former Ladyjack mascot also is the president of Kessler Springs Homeowners’ Association and a member of the Nelson Rusche College of Business Executive Advisory Board and the SFA Touchdown Club, which supports various athletic programs. DISTINGUISHED ALUMNA Kathryn Robertson ’57 & ’83 is a retired educator and lifetime member of the SFA Alumni Association. She has served on SFA’s adjunct faculty and has been a member of the University Women’s Club since 1964, serving as president in 1969-70. A life member of the Girl Scouts, she also is involved with the Nacogdoches Federation of Women’s Clubs, serving as president in 2012-13, and she is the current president of the National Society Daughters of the American Revolution. Robertson was the 1998 Woman of the Year for the Nacogdoches American Association of University Women and was inducted into the Nacogdoches Heritage Festival Hall of Fame in 2004. DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS E. Russell “Rusty” Braziel ’72 & ’73 is the president and CEO of RBN Energy LLC in Houston. Braziel has been involved in the energy business for more than three decades as a consultant, author, speaker and contributor to numerous publications. A member of the North American Energy Standards Board, Braziel’s company provides energy market advisory services. In February 2013, he held the first RBN School of Energy - a two-day intensive course covering natural gas, crude oil and natural gas liquids. His school has graduated more than 500 students.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNA Amanda Williams Robbins ’05 is the director of talent acquisition and retention for Mattress Firm. She oversees staffing for more than 1,400 stores, 50 warehouses and more than 3,000 employees. She is a member of the Nelson Rusche College of Business Recent Alumni Business Advisory Council and was co-chair for the SFA Houston Alumni Chapter in 2009-10, earning Chapter of the Year honors in 2009. While at SFA, Robbins was student body president and vice president, as well as the 2004 Homecoming queen. She was an executive board member for Alpha Chi Omega, an Orientation leader for two years and a Jack Camp counselor. She also served on the Student Foundation board. DISTINGUISHED PROFESSOR Dr. Treba Marsh ’71 & ’83 has been an SFA professor for more than 20 years. She teaches in SFA’s Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy. Marsh has published approximately 40 articles and recently received the Outstanding Article of the Year award from the Journal of Government Financial Management. The Temple Inland Distinguished Professor received the Outstanding Alumni Award for Beta Alpha Psi, an accounting honor society. Marsh also won the 2014 Outstanding Manuscript Award from the National Association of Government Accountants and was named a Nelson Rusche College of Business Faculty Scholar for 2013 and 2014. She is a member of the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, Association of Government Accountants, American Accounting Association and many other professional organizations.
AWARD WINNERS Pictured, from left, are Lou Ann Richardson ’83, Kathryn Robertson ’57 & ’83, E. Russell “Rusty” Braziel ’72 & ’73, Amanda Williams Robbins ’05 and Dr. Treba Marsh ’71 & ’83.
LUFKIN SFA LUNCHEON Speaker: Coach Brad Underwood Noon, Crown Colony Country Club, Lufkin
NAPE – NORTH AMERICAN PROSPECT EXPO Houston
TEXAS MUSIC EDUCATORS ASSOCIATION NETWORK EVENT 9:30 – 11:30 p.m. Salon D, Marriott Riverwalk, San Antonio
TYLER SFA LUNCHEON Speaker: Coach Brad Underwood Noon, Traditions Restaurant 6205 S. Broadway Ave., Tyler
Sunday DEADLINE TO APPLY FOR ALUMNI SCHOLARSHIPS
SFA LEGISLATIVE DAY AUSTIN NETWORK SOCIAL 6 – 8 p.m. Moonshine Patio Bar and Grill 303 Red River St., Austin
BIG NAC MUSIC FEST Purchase discounted tickets at Alumni Association.
MR. AND MISS SFA RECEPTION 5 – 5:45 p.m. William R. Murray Shaw Room, Johnson Coliseum, Nacogdoches
SFA DAYS AT THE TEXAS STATE CAPITOL
SFA ALUMNI NIGHT Dallas Mavs vs. Houston Rockets, Dallas
SFA RING WEEK Tracie D. Pearman Alumni Center, SFA campus
SOUTHLAND CONFERENCE BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT Leonard E. Merrell Center, Katy
Times and dates are subject to change. Visit sfaalumni.com for the most recent information.
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Thanks to our sponsors for supporting the SFA Alumni Association. SPONSORS Lumberjack Spirit $1,000 The Daily Sentinel Little Jacks Pediatrics Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry Purple Haze - $500 Urgent Doc Nacogdoches Kiwanis Club R&K Distributors Inc. Timber - $250 Liquor Mart Simpson Real Estate, Olivia Kling Axe - $100 City of Nacogdoches Main Street The Donut Palace Nacogdoches Area United Way PineyWoods Media Works St. Mary’s Catholic Campus Ministry HOMECOMING PARTNERS The Liberty Bell Pineywoods Country Club Campus Rec Party ’N Things Hampton Inn & Suites ALUMNI CORNER PARTNERS Liberty Mutual Jack Backers College Bookstore/ShopSFA.com Perry-Ellis Kia Tutor Doctor University Rental Suddenlink America’s Self Storage and Mail Center Austin Bank Law Office of Tim James and Sean Hightower Citizens 1st Bank
WINNERS Duck Dash 1st Place – Jason Menefee - $1,000 cash 2nd Place – Patricia Martin - $500 cash 3rd Place – Andy Gibson - $250 cash Benefit Drawing Lewie Byers 5K Run Top Male – Shawn Fischer Top Female – Brittany Kuhl Race results can be found at http://nacendurance. com. Golf Low Gross – Team of Ford Cartwright, Mike Hopson, Carl Baker and Randy Lane and team of Randy Crawford, Bud Still, Donnie Barlow and Chad Henderson Tie for 1st Place Low Net – Robin Stanley, Gary Bass, Bryan Stevens, and Rick Wright – 1st Place Disc Golf
Beginner – Connor McAfee and Scott Davis Intermediate – Mark Sowell and Grayson Middlebrook Advanced – Ken Morton and Cody Kuykendall
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CLASS NOTES Dr. James Lumpkin ’74 of Tyler received the Academy of Marketing Science’s 2014 Harold W. Berkman Service Award. Mark Liepman ’75 of San Augustine is the owner of Liepman Restaurants Inc. Dr. Virginia Liepman ’75 is superintendent for San Augustine ISD. Michael E. Morgan ’75 of Lufkin retired as purchasing manager for Atkinson Candy and many years as systems coordinator for W&W Warehouse Foods. KAYLEE KEUTHAN ’12 is serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in Mahaicony, Guyana, and working to create the first library in the village. She is relying on her background in teacher education and special education, specifically, to help the school’s head master create the library, which will provide students, teachers and the community with access to resources to enhance the literacy rate within Mahaicony. The school is in need of English language books published since 2000 that fall within the following subjects at the primary/elementary level: storybooks, phonics-related material, encyclopedias, references and Guyanese history. Other resources needed include working computers, a photocopy machine, a printer and educational computer programs. All books, educational material or money donated will go toward building the library and enhancing the education of primary students within Mahaicony, Guyana. Donations can be made to the following address: Mahaicony Primary School, in Care of Kaylee Keuthan, L’Enterprise Mahaicony, East Coast Demerara, Guyana, South America.
(Ima) Christine Honeycutt ’57 of Crocket turned 100 years old Sept. 27. Van Ed Davison ’58 of Austin retired after 38 years as a Texas real estate broker. He and his wife, Evelyn, continue their 20-year publication of The Good News Journal newspaper and their 33 years of volunteer work with The Texas National Day of Prayer.
Don Lawler ’62 & ’73 of Longview received the Distinguished Faculty and Alumni Award at the annual Legacy Luncheon hosted by the Spring Hill ISD Education Foundation.
Joe White ’65 & ’68 of Kilgore retired as director of the East Texas Oil Museum, a position he held for 37 years.
Allen Owen ’70 has served as mayor of Missouri City for 20 years. Chester Juroska ’71 & ’80 retired as the superintendent of Alvarado ISD after serving the school district for 15 years. Marie Whitehead ’71 & ’74 of Rusk received the key to the city for her numerous contributions that span several decades, and July 10, 2014, was declared “Marie Whitehead Day.” E.G. “Gerry” Morris ’73 of Austin is president-elect of the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers.
Former kicker for the SFA Lumberjacks Scotty Bailess ’76 was honored at the Lufkin Pro Day Group Banquet. Gene King ’77 was an honored guest at the Spring Hill ISD alumni dinner for his significant contributions to the school district. John Westbrook ’79 is principal at Groesbeck High School.
Barrie Choate ’80 of Dallas is a pediatric dentist. Sam Parker ’80 of Arp is vice president and accounting manager for Texas Bank and Trust in Longview. Dr. Geralyn McClure Franklin ’82 & ’85 is dean of the College of Business and Economics at the United Arab Emirates University in Al Ain. Carolyn Mauck ’82, professor of kinesiology at Del Mar College, was the 2014 recipient of the Dr. Aileen Creighton Award for Teaching Excellence, the highest honor awarded at Del Mar College. Kathy Norwood ’82, chief financial manager and CPA at Colorado Valley in La Grange, is a 2014-15 Leadership Fayette County participant.
John Drake ’83 of Irving is dean of fundraising fundamentals for the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy’s annual Madison Institute. Paul Kisel ’83 retired as superintendent of Eisenhower State Park. Larry Adair ’84 is the principal at Mexia High School. Carlos Amaral ’84 of Plano was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Judicial Council. Mark Greenwalt ’84 displayed the art exhibit “Surface Time” at the Mary Matteson-Parrish Art Gallery. Paige Keitt ’84 owns Precision Twirl in Henderson. Keith Neumeier ’85 & ’89 and Lt. Col. Robin Neumeier ’92 of Fort Benning, Georgia, celebrated their 25th wedding anniversary. Robin is assistant deputy commander of nursing at Fort Benning. Andra Self ’85 & ’95 of Lufkin is the board secretary at Lufkin ISD and president of the Texas Association of School Boards. Tracy Adair ’86 is the offensive coordinator for Garrison High School. Michele Wheeler ’87 is president and chief operating officer for the Jackson-Shaw Company and is an officer for the Board of Directors for the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas. Chester R. Jourdan Jr. ’89 is executive director of the Beaumont and Orange County chapter of the American Red Cross.
Mark Davis ’91 was elected to the Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas Board of Directors.
Dr. Magen Bunyard ’00 & ’05 is vice president for student life and dean of students at Howard Payne University.
Sherry Durham ’90, ’96 & ’06 of Lufkin is headmaster at St. Cyprian’s Episcopal School.
Harry J. Hickey ’92 of Dallas is chief financial officer of CHAI Inc. Scott Wagoner ’93, ’04 & ’05 is principal at First Colony Middle School in Fort Bend ISD. Paul McNutt ’94 is managing director and co-head of U.S. power, utilities and infrastructure for RBC Capital Markets’ Investment Banking Division in New York City. Shane Adair ’95 is the offensive coordinator and head boys track coach at Hirschi High School in Wichita Falls.
Kristin Ali ’00 and Chris Ali of Spring announce the Oct. 3 birth of daughter Rachel Daneen.
Larry W. Brooks ’01 of Houston has been awarded the Houston Association of Realtors Annual 20 Under 40 Rising Stars in Real Estate Award present by NRG. Edd Trotter ’01 is the athletic director at Colmesneil ISD. Dr. Jacob Fitzgerald ’02 is the pastor at First Baptist Church in Rusk. Season Settle Caughlin ’03 is the head girls soccer coach at Jacksonville High School. Dr. Kelly Noe ’03, assistant professor of accounting at SFA, received the 2014 Texas Society of CPAs’ Outstanding Accounting Educator Award.
Rachel Stallard ’95 is a journalism instructor at Kilgore College. Sara Jane del Carmen ’96 is a judge for the combined regional municipal court in the Colleyville Justice Center. Heather Fleming ’97 serves as senior health and human services policy adviser to Texas House Speaker Joe Strauss. Quentin Adams ’99, vice president of Texas Refinery Corp., was inducted into the Friendswood High School Athletic Hall of Honor. Josh McLain ’99 is the head volleyball coach for Nacogdoches High School. Derek Ethan Ozuna ’99 married Julie Diane Andel on June 14.
Caitlin Dodson ’14 is attending graduate school at Texas Tech University for Landscape Architecture.
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Dr. Wesley Hickey ’04, UT-Tyler associate professor of educational leadership and interim dean and superintendent program coordinator for the College of Education and Psychology, received the Outstanding Distance Learning Faculty Award at the Northeast Texas Consortium of Colleges and Universities Distance Learning Conference. Dr. Brad Patterson ’04 & ’06 is the interim vice provost for student affairs and dean of students at the University of Arkansas – Little Rock. April Prince ’04 of Center is a lawyer at Mettauer Law Firm. Krystal Richardson Lucero ’05 of Austin, senior interior designer at Edwards + Mulhausen Interior Design was named director of IIDA Austin City Center.
Colin Hoch ’09 received his Master of Arts from the University of Chicago. Taylor ’09 and Megan Kovar of Lufkin announce the May 8 birth of daughter Kambry Elise. Dr. Chay Runnels ’09 is a 2015 state officer and board member for the Texas Forest Trail Region.
Joseph ’10 and Kathryn Darden ’07 & ’12 of Nacogdoches announce the Aug. 23 birth of daughter Kathryn Claire.
Air Force Sgt. Forrest N. Bradley ’06 completed his Master of Business Administration at Webster University in Webster Groves, Missouri.
Alexandra Gossett ’10 of Henderson and Arthur Medina ’10 of Kemp, wed Nov. 22 at Azul Beach Resort in Riviera Maya, Mexico.
Justin Michael Foust ’07 married Nicole Lea Pantel on April 12.
Cheyenne Riley Yandle ’10 and Cullen Lee Ashmore married Oct. 25.
Devin Greer ’07 of Houston received the 2014 Northwestern Mutual Top Producer Emerald Award. Stacey Marshall ’07 of Houston was awarded a Master of Occupational Therapy by University of Texas Medical Branch. Jaime Garcia ’08 of Houston is the head athletic trainer for the two-time Presidents’ Cup Champion Allen Americans hockey team. David Smith ’08 is the superintendent for Joshua Tree National Park in California.
April Floyd ’09 earned a master’s degree in education from Sam Houston State University. She is a technology manager at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson.
Jennifer Nicole Lout ’12 & ’12 and Richard Calan Pickard of San Augustine married on Oct. 4. Josh Aubrey ’13 of Tyler plays for the Seattle Seahawks of the NFL. Cambria Dotson ’13 of Melissa is the first former student to teach at Melissa ISD. Marshal White ’13 of Lufkin and Jenna Skinness married Aug. 23. Zach Zeilinger ’14 of Spring Hill is a video intern for the Dallas Cowboys.
Dustin Helton ’08 and wife Rachel Taylor ’08 of Galveston announce the July 23 birth of daughter, Adrienne.
LIFE MEMBERS The SFA Alumni Association would like to thank the following alumni who recently became life members. We appreciate your support.
7951. Dharti Patel ’13, Nacogdoches 7952. Matthew E. Hoatson ’13, Houston 7953. Russ Garner, Nacogdoches 7954. Lisa M. Garner ’04 & ’07, Nacogdoches 7957. Ray A. DeBlanc ’13, Nacogdoches 7958. Savannah B. Dobbs ’14, Pasadena 7959. Laura C. Slayton ’08, Woodway 7960. Thomas L. Smith ’03, Lufkin 7961. April L. Smith ’02 7962. Ronnie Comeaux, Pineland 7963. Lana Comeaux ’03 & ’04, Pineland 7964. Dr. Kimberly Childs ’88, Nacogdoches 7965. Christopher A. Bagley ’83, Tupelo, Miss. 7966. Dr. Judy A. Abbott, Nacogdoches 7967. Brent A. Hight ’13, Nacogdoches 7968. Charles A. Capel ’77, Garrison 7969. Elizabeth Capel, Garrison 7970. Peter R. Gardner ’84, Spring 7971. Kelli D. Gardner ’85, Spring 7972. April M. Floyd ’09, Richardson 7973. Ralph LaRue, Nacogdoches 7974. Jim Stacey, Katy 7975. Joanne Stacey ’75, Katy 7976. Hilary A. Tuel ’14, Spring 7977. Damon K. Lee ’00, Fort Worth
IN MEMORIAM Rodman Francis Allen Sr. of Nacogdoches, Aug. 2 Charles Edward Bobbitt ’74 of Weches, Aug. 8 Michael Lawrence Bourbon of Nacogdoches, Oct. 5 Jim Brosseau ’83 of San Antonio, Sept. 17 Phil Max Brakebill ’61 of Mineola, Sept. 24 Kathryn Dawn Chapman ’72 of Grapeland, Aug. 21 Retired Lt. Col. Thomas Crawford ’74 of Tyler, Oct. 7 George Edward Dewey ’76 of Dayton, Oct. 13 Peggy Eloise Knapp Drewery ’76 & ’92 of Nacogdoches, Sept. 13 Jimmy Mack Everett ’70 of Fort Worth, July 28 Terry Finn ’73 of Dallas, July 8 T.M. “Buddy” Hawkins ’47 of Alpine, Oct. 5 Dana Wright Herbert ’76 of Jamestown, Ohio, Sept. 22 Peggy Ann Penney Holland ’72 of Nacogdoches, July 30
R.A. Brookshire ’57 was born Oct. 10, 1934, in Lufkin to the late Winifred (Washburn) and Austin Brookshire. He passed away Oct. 22. Brookshire graduated from Lufkin High School and attended his beloved SFA, where he later served on the Board of Regents. He established scholarships at SFA, as well as Truitt Seminary at Baylor University. He served in the U.S. Army before beginning his career with Brookshire Brothers, which was started by his father and uncle in 1929. He, along with his brothers, Gene and Oscar, continued running the family business, taking turns being president. Brookshire was a member of Lufkin’s First Baptist Church, the Sunday school class of George Chandler and Burl Richardson, and the Tuesday morning men’s Bible study at Believers Bible Church. His vibrant personality and love of life were appreciated by all. Survivors include his wife, Barbara; daughter, Tammy Loftis of Ruidoso, New Mexico; son, Chris Cole of Marfa; daughter, Sally NeGron, and her husband, Larry, of Buffalo, New York; grandchildren, Lauren Loftis of Ruidoso and Allinee, Ryan and Logan NeGron, all of Buffalo; sister, Ann McCurry of Lufkin; brother, Gene Brookshire of Lufkin; sisters-in-law, Shirley Brookshire and Dot Brookshire, both of Lufkin; nephews and nieces, Paul and Jane McCurry, Carol and David Sinclair, Janet and Steven Stripling, Lee Ann Hale Brookshire, Joel Mark and Carla Brookshire, Barbara and Leonard Peterson, and Brent and Laura Brookshire. Brookshire was preceded in death by his parents; brother, Oscar; and nephews, Burt and David.
Joanne “Joe” E. Lake ’69 of Crockett, Aug. 1 Wade Lewis McClintock of Arlington, Aug. 5 Richard Maurice “Dick” Muckleroy ’49 of Nacogdoches, Aug. 31 Zachary Layne Napier ’14 of Colleyville, Sept. 12 Col. Ronald A. Nethery ’61 of Kerrville, Oct. 8 Michael Prim ’79 & ’83 of Dawson, Sept. 8 Ernest Wayne Rials ’70 of Evant, June 20 Veronica Russell ’92 of New Orleans, Aug. 6 Paul “Pablo” Swezey ’85 of Antigua, Guatemala, March 1 Keith Eugene Thompson ’79 of Fort Worth, July 19 Cason Westmoreland of Marshall, Feb. 7 W.M. “Buck” Williams Jr. ’51 of Center, Aug. 26 Jo Beth Parker Willoughby ’70 of Liberty, June 28 Gilbert R. “Gil” Wofford ’55 of New Braunfels, Aug. 14
Dr. George L. Hunt, passed away Oct. 1. He was born Nov. 25, 1950, in Texas City to parents George and Wilma Hunt. Hunt was a graduate of Parkway High School in Chesterfield, Missouri. Upon graduation, he joined the U.S. Air Force and served four years during the Vietnam War. Later he attended Texas A&M University and graduated with his first Bachelor of Accounting in 1978. Hunt earned a Bachelor of Science from Texas State University in 1990, a Master of Public Administration from Texas State in 1995 and a Ph.D. from Texas Tech University in 2006. At the time of his death, Hunt was interim director of the Gerald W. Schlief School of Accountancy at SFA. Hunt had a love for learning, teaching and people. Many of his peers and students admired him as a compassionate teacher. When he had free time he could be found outdoors fishing and tending to birds and animals or frequent travels to the beach in his RV. After their nest was empty, he and his wife, Dree Ann, traveled frequently, keeping tabs on their kids and enjoying their days together. Along with his wife, survivors include: daughter, Keli Lawrence and her husband, Boone; sons, Andrew Hunt and his wife, Kelly, and Orren Hunt and his wife, May; grandchildren, Langston and Linley Lawrence and Aiden and Skyleigh Hunt; and sisters, Shirley Carroll and her husband, Paul; Marynell Kaufman and her husband, Larry; and Linda Brown and her husband, Cliff. He is preceded in death by his grandparents and parents.
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FROM THE ARCHIVES
The East Texas Research Center and Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo, marked RPC Freshmen, Sept. ’56. If you know more about this photo, please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or (800) 765-1534. The ETRC at SFA collects, preserves and provides physical and virtual access to East Texas’ unique cultural history. It also is responsible for managing SFA’s Records Management Program and caring for the university’s archives. If you have SFA-related photographs, journals or memorabilia you would like to donate to the ETRC, please call (936) 468-4100.
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