WI NTER 2 0 1 5
THE MAG AZINE OF T HE SFA A LUMNI ASSOCIATION & ST EPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY
S T E P H E N
A U S T I N
S T A T E
U N I V E R S I T Y
MOM’S LEGACY LIVES ON IN BUSY HOUSTON-AREA BAKERY JOURNALIST DISCUSSES HIS INDUCTION INTO THE TEXAS RADIO HALL OF FAME AND EVENTS SURROUNDING JFK’S ASSASSINATION
SFA ALUMNA RECALLS LIFETIME OF CHERISHED MEMORIES WINTER 2015 I
FUTURE IT’S EASIER THAN YOU THINK
The purpose of our foundation is to financially sustain the mission of Stephen F. Austin State University. You can make a significant contribution to endow our future … and it’s easier than you might think. Here are a number of charitable gift and estateplanning strategies that can benefit you and build SFA’s future. Charitable Bequests Beneficiary Designations Charitable Gift Annuity Endowed Professorships Endowed Scholarships Endowed Program Support
To learn more about how you can make a significant impact and help support our future, please contact us.
HELP MAKE GREAT LUMBERJACKS BY MAKING A CONTRIBUTION TODAY. Office of Development P.O. Box 6092, SFA Station Nacogdoches, Texas 75962-6092 (936) 468-5406 (800) 319-9517
CAMPUS NEWS PRESIDENT’S LETTER
HIS SPRING WILL mark my 50th year serving Stephen F. Austin State University, and in that time there have been many unforgettable moments. The most recent of these was shared by many other proud alumni, as well as 50 million television viewers—the Lumberjack Marching Band’s first-ever performance in the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City. Our LMB was one of only four university bands chosen to march the famed route this year, and the band members and directors planned, rehearsed and raised money for a year and a half to prepare for the once-in-a-lifetime performance. As one of SFA’s most visible groups, the LMB continuously represents our alma mater on campus and around the world with an unparalleled combination of talent and Lumberjack spirit that has provided the soundtrack for countless SFA memories for our alumni.
There were many other highlights this fall, including the recording of SFA’s highestever first-time, first-year retention rate. At 71 percent, the retention rate passed the previous record set in 2014.
There were many other highlights this fall, including the recording of SFA’s highest-ever first-time, first-year retention rate. At 71 percent, the retention rate passed the previous record set in 2014. During the past five years, the university’s retention rate has increased by 6 percentage points. This is a testament to the many innovative success initiatives our faculty and staff members have developed to ensure more of our students earn their SFA diplomas. Learning about other languages and cultures through international programs is now part of the academic experience for many SFA students, and the university recently was recognized for the study abroad opportunities it provides. The university was named a top provider in the fourth annual Study Abroad Rankings by the country’s largest study abroad review website, Abroad101. This award is especially meaningful because it is based on student reviews of their study abroad experiences. Our faculty members and the Office of International Programs devote many hours to developing study abroad opportunities to benefit our students, and their efforts are highly deserving of this recognition. For the second consecutive year, the Lumberjack basketball team was invited to participate in a featured game during ESPN’s 24-hour Tip-Off Marathon. Although the game was held at Northern Iowa rather than SFA this year, the high-profile match-up was an appropriate start to what should prove to be another exciting year for our basketball programs.
Alumni who are not able to be at William R. Johnson Coliseum to support the Lumberjacks and Ladyjacks in person this basketball season can now watch every home game on ESPN3. As part of ESPN’s college initiative, SFA is now live streaming all home football, soccer, volleyball and basketball games, enabling Lumberjack fans to keep up with our teams—whether they are just down the street or on the opposite side of the globe. Another possible change on the horizon for SFA would have many long-term benefits for our Lumberjack family. Recently, the Faculty Senate and the Student Government Association approved a joint resolution to establish SFA as a tobacco-free campus. I have accepted the resolution and asked the SFA Employee Wellness Advisory Board to make policy recommendations. I hope to carry a proposed policy to the January meeting of the Board of Regents. As fall gives way to the holiday season, I wish you many blessings in the coming year. Thank you for your continued support of SFA and its students and programs. Axe ’em, Jacks!
BOARD OF REGENTS Dr. Scott H. Coleman ’80, Houston chair Kenton E. Schaefer ’70, Brownsville vice chair Barry E. Nelson ’71, Dallas secretary David R. Alders, Nacogdoches Nelda Luce Blair, The Woodlands Alton L. Frailey ’83 & ’85, Katy John R. “Bob” Garrett ’75, Tyler Brigettee C. Henderson ’85 & ’95, Lufkin Ralph C. Todd ’74, Carthage Ryan Brown-Moreno, Plano student regent
ADMINISTRATION Dr. Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 president Dr. Steve Bullard interim provost/vice president for academic affairs Dr. Danny Gallant ’83 & ’86 vice president for finance and administration Jill Still ’00 vice president for university advancement Dr. Steve Westbrook ’81 & ’89 vice president for university affairs
MARKETING COMMUNICATIONS Dr. Shirley Luna ’85, ’06 & ’14 executive director Donna Parish ’99 & ’07 assistant director for creative services Jason Johnstone ’05 assistant director for Web services
Baker Pattillo ’65 & ’66 President, Stephen F. Austin State University
Hardy Meredith ’81 photo services coordinator
WINTER 2015 1
Winter 2015 • Volume 42, No. 3 EXECUTIVE EDITORS Craig Turnage ’00 & ’05 Executive Director Alumni Relations Dr. Shirley Luna ’85, ’06 & ’14 Executive Director University Marketing Communications EDITOR Donna Parish ’99 & ’07 Assistant Director for Creative Services University Marketing Communications ART DIRECTOR Robin Johnson ’99 Graphic Design Coordinator University Marketing Communications 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 members, 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. 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
Like our Facebook page: Facebook.com/sfasawdust 2 SAWDUST
ON THE COVER:
The smell of freshly baked goods fills the air at The Cake Lady Bakery in Friendswood. Owner Grant Girouard ’91 took over the bakery after his mother, Rose, passed away from ovarian cancer in 2006. Rose started the bakery in 1981 to help fund her sons’ college tuition. What started out as an in-home business has now grown into a thriving 5,000-squarefoot facility with 25 employees.
▲ MANY LUMBERJACK AND Ladyjack basketball fans got their first look at both teams and the new basketball court during Midnight Madness Oct. 16 at William R. Johnson Coliseum. The event, which was streamed live on ESPN3 and presented by Citizens 1st Bank, provided an opportunity for fans to win prizes, including T-shirts, iPads and cash. One lucky fan won $1,000 for hitting a half-court shot, and several others won hundreds of dollars during a cash scramble. Fans received free posters, which the players autographed at the event’s conclusion. The Tommie Jan and Elvin Lowery Court is named in honor of Elvin, who is the university’s first graduate to play in the NBA, and his wife, a former SFA history professor. The couple donated the funds to renovate the nearly 30-year-old court, and it was officially unveiled in August.
Pretty in Purple
History in the Making
MOM’S LEGACY LIVES ON IN BUSY HOUSTON-AREA BAKERY
SFA PALOMINO MARE WINS RESERVE WORLD TITLE
JOURNALIST DISCUSSES HIS INDUCTION INTO THE TEXAS RADIO HALL OF FAME AND EVENTS SURROUNDING JFK’S ASSASSINATION
SFA ALUMNA RECALLS LIFETIME OF CHERISHED MEMORIES
IN EVERY ISSUE
4 Fine Arts Signage
21 Association Letter
4 Faculty Advising
14 By the Numbers
27 Alumni Awards
9 Vista Viewpoint
20 ’Jacks of All Trades 29 Alumni Calendar
12 ’Jack Talk
32 Class Notes
13 Athletics Highlights
33 Life Members
34 In Memoriam
15 Work Space
36 From the Archives WINTER 2015 3
Holiday meal planning By Chef Todd Barrios « SFA chef clinical instructor WHEN PLANNING A holiday meal, think about how to ease the stress and burden of the event. Often, we get so caught up in preparing our guests’ favorite dishes that it becomes stressful. We sometimes think the kitchen is too small, the oven is too small, there’s not enough room in the refrigerator, there’s not enough seating for guests and everything is too expensive. However, holidays should be a time for fellowship, family and incredible food. If you are hosting and preparing this year’s feast, there’s more to planning a memorable event than the food that will be served. First, you need to know early in the process how many guests are coming. You want your guests to be comfortable. If your guest list begins to exceed capacity, plans must change. Don’t expect your guests to adjust. Once you have finalized your guest list, you’ll be able to plan for the food you’ll need. Next, make sure you have the equipment to prepare and store the food. The type and size of preparation equipment directly affects the quantity and quality of the food you’re serving. Menus should reflect a balance and progression of flavor, color, temperature, heaviness and nutrition. If menus reflect an even balance of cold- to hot-food options, oven and refrigerator requirements also will be more easily balanced. Temperature differences in food also enhance the enjoyment of the plated meal. Wisely utilize your equipment and cooking techniques to bring out the food’s best flavor. For instance, you may elect to bake some meats and vegetables and roast others. Grilling also is a wonderful option for meats as well as vegetables. In addition,
it’s important to remember to keep the meal balanced using salads and vegetables instead of heavy proteins and carbohydrates. At holiday meals, we typically serve buffet style. As you begin to plan for the event, consider where the food will be placed so it’s easy for guests to fix their plates, go back for seconds and leave the table. We also need to carefully consider where the children will dine. If the children are happy, the parents and grandparents also will be happy. You might consider planning a menu that caters to children and placing it on a table where they can serve themselves. This allows the parents and grandparents time to enjoy their own meals and more easily interact with guests. Once the meal is finished, leftovers should be immediately refrigerated. We often hear guests complain, “I ate too much!” Their stomachs hurt, and they may feel nauseated. This reaction may not be from eating too much—it may be the beginning stage of food poisoning. So, it’s important to run your kitchen with the same diligence you would expect at a fine restaurant and quickly store the leftovers. Holiday meals often are a tradition of enjoying that “special” stuffed turkey, casserole or dessert once a year. Or, they can be an opportunity to try new dishes and make additional memories. I love applying the combination of both. It’s great to enjoy our old favorites, but it makes special memories for the children when we add new items to the menu that become their favorites. I also suggest getting the kids in the kitchen. One day, they will be the hosts and hostesses, and we need to teach them how to entertain. Remember, it shouldn’t be stressful. It should be about fellowship, family and incredible food. «
College of Fine Arts launches massive digital signage array WHAT STARTED AS staff meeting discussions about how to attract larger audiences to the SFA College of Fine Arts’ University Series eventually evolved into a project that has put the college in the forefront of campus digital signage. The new larger-than-life video wall array in the lobby of the Griffith Fine Arts Building is wowing audiences of W.M. Turner Auditorium. But more than that, it is a visual testament to innovative SFA employees working across campus departmental lines toward a common goal. It is an example of what can happen when vision meets teamwork. The College of Fine Arts contributes to the mission of SFA in many ways, according to Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes, dean. “These contributions relate to projecting a refined, artistic, progressive and positive image of SFA to the community,” Himes said. “I’m always looking for new and better ways of doing this, from the quality of programs to the public service announcements we run on local television stations.” So, when college staff members Dr. Alan Scott, Web developer, and Steve Bacarisse, Turner Auditorium technical director, came up with the idea for a large digital signage array incorporating multiple screens in the Griffith lobby, Himes immediately started looking for funding to bring the idea to reality. “As it turned out, once the initiative was revealed, everyone who realized what we
Dr. A.C. “Buddy” Himes (left), College of Fine Arts dean, and Trey Turner, executive director of development, discuss the college’s digital signage in the Griffith Fine Arts Building lobby.
were trying to do was awestruck with the visual impact of the array and its potential,” Himes said. In particular, Trey Turner, executive director of development for SFA, became one of the biggest advocates and took on the task of helping find donors to convert the original twoby-two screen configuration into a much larger three-by-three display. “After hearing about this digital signage array and learning how it would impact students and patrons of the College of Fine Arts, I knew I could find SFA alumni who would be eager to fund an impactful project of this magnitude,” Turner said. “We are grateful for the generous contributions that made this array possible, as they demonstrate how alumni donations add prestige and excellence to SFA.” In developing the video wall, Bacarisse and Scott researched and experimented with a number of hardware and software solutions for digital signage, particularly in the video-wall realm. Because project decisions were closely tied to cost constraints, they took a “practical but uncompromising” approach to hardware, Scott explained, and hands-on testing allowed the designers to maximize their budget and provide high performance. The software that drives the signage system was created in-house, allowing the ability to integrate emerging technologies and other resources the college manages, as well
as to continue development without vendor restrictions or lock-in. “This kind of flexibility allows the project to be customizable,” Scott said. “We can be extremely granular in how we display and interact with content on the screen.” The project aligns with the “academic spirit” of the SFA campus, Scott explained. “Offering a richer experience for students and patrons has always been paramount to the project, and creating an end product capable of the impact we hoped to achieve required taking on new technologies and frameworks,” he said. “In this sense, there were a lot of risks taken during development that sometimes seemed to be points of failure. Those bumps led to many discussions that, through research and experimentation, evolved into the solutions we needed.” One of the most enjoyable aspects of the project was the collaborative nature of those involved, Scott said. From Himes and Turner working to secure financial sponsorship, to college staffer Lisa Rodrigues managing the administrative transactions for purchases, to Stephen Rasmussen and Tom Turner in the Office of Telecommunications making sure the right networking solutions were in place, teamwork was crucial to success. Within the college, Bacarisse’s technical experience was critical to installation, and he and Scott worked closely from concept to completion.
“Alan and Steve deserve most of the credit for the innovative idea,” Himes said. “My role was merely to provide a supportive and facilitative culture for their innovation. And, of course, the project would have just been the two-by-two without Trey Turner’s engagement and support.” In terms of impact, the digital signage array is so new its potential is still being determined. “But everyone has been fascinated by it,” Himes said. “It completely changes the way in which Turner Auditorium is perceived by the public and the way in which productions and events function in the auditorium. “Moreover, we have not even come close to envisaging all the ways in which the digital signage array may by used,” he said. “Filmmaking students are already wanting to utilize it for projects, both as a medium to display their work and as a tool in creating new work.” As a result of the original project’s evolution into a much larger digital signage array, the smaller two-by-two design was moved to The Cole Art Center @ The Old Opera House where local residents and downtown visitors can view information about the lineup of the College of Fine Arts’ events in a far-reaching, innovative and progressive format. « - STORY BY ROBBIE GOODRICH
WINTER 2015 5
Mom’s legacy lives on in busy Houston-area bakery Story by Donna Parish • Photography by Robin Johnson
RANT GIROUARD ’91 learned a valuable lesson about baking from his mother, Rose, who founded The Cake Lady Bakery in Friendswood in 1981. Every confection the bakery produces must contain the precise measurements of flour, sugar, eggs, milk and butter. In addition, there is a special ingredient that his mother blended in to each item that made it stand out from other bakeries—love. Although Rose passed away in 2006 from ovarian cancer, Grant has taken charge of his mother’s passion and kept the bakery thriving. What started out in his mother’s kitchen has now grown into a 5,000-square-foot facility that produces about 200 cakes on a busy weekend. “The local high school home economics teacher offered a course in cake decorating, and my mother enrolled,” Grant said. “The first decorated cake she made was for my youngest brother’s birthday. It was decorated with a parrot, and I remember several of the attendees’ mothers were so impressed that they asked mom to make cakes for their children’s birthdays.” Word-of-mouth quickly spread, and before she knew it, Rose had acquired the name The Cake Lady. “My father worked in construction, and he converted our carport into a large kitchen, which gave mom much more room that allowed for additional ovens and larger coolers and sinks,” Grant said.
Initially, Rose started the bakery to help pay for her three sons’ college tuition and expenses. “My brother Jeff and I both attended and graduated from SFA, and Brent attended the University of Texas,” Grant said. “Mom ran the bakery to support our education and make sure we got a good start in life.” After Grant graduated from SFA, he said he had about 90 days until the start of his first job, and his mother decided this would be a great time to take the bakery to the next level. “She set her mind on opening a retail business in a local commercial strip mall,” Grant recalled. So, Grant and fellow SFA alumnus Chris Hudman completed the build out on the new location, and the bakery was incorporated at that time. Grant said after working in the real estate business for a few years, he found himself looking for a career change. While he was exploring other opportunities, he started helping his mom at the bakery. “She was really growing the business and had three employees working alongside her,” Grant said. “She had her hands full just trying to keep up with the demand for her products.”
Shortly thereafter, the business next to the bakery closed, and that space became available for lease. “We jumped on the opportunity to expand the bakery once again and doubled its size,” Grant said. With a much larger space came the opportunity to purchase additional equipment. A new oven that held 18 sheet pans, a walk-in cooler and freezer, larger three-compartment sinks, several commercial mixers, bakers’ racks, and other items were purchased. “I traveled to various auctions and bought most of the items at a fraction of what they would have cost us new,” Grant said. Just a few years later, the business again began to outgrow its location, and the search was on to find a bigger storefront. In 2000, the company purchased a building in Friendswood that the business now calls home. Rose continued to run the bakery with Grant’s assistance. She was elected president of The Greater Southwest Retail Bakers Association in 2003, and shortly thereafter, she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. As the disease progressed, Grant took over the day-to-day management of the bakery. ➔
“Mom ran the bakery to support our education and make sure we got a good start in life.” WINTER 2015 7
“It was a challenge for me because up until that time, I wasn’t very involved in the creative side,” Grant said. “I handled the payroll, accounts payable, marketing, upkeep of the equipment and ordering supplies. I had to shift gears a little and hire bakers who could fill the void.” After Rose passed away, Grant purchased Brent’s shares in the bakery, and Grant has been the sole owner since 2014. A typical day begins around 5 a.m. Employing 25 full- and part-time employees who are all cross-trained, the bakers begin by measuring, mixing and baking the day’s pastries, cakes, cookies and pies. The decorators follow by adding their artistic touches to meet the customers’ specifications. “Our core business is party cakes,” Grant said. “Birthdays, showers, corporate events, weddings and groom’s cakes are our specialties, but we’re also well-known for our cutout cookies and homemade pies. We don’t make doughnuts, but we do offer kolaches and cinnamon rolls on Saturdays,” he said.
Of course, the holidays are an extremely busy time. Grant said the week of Thanksgiving, the bakery usually makes about 500 pies, and during the weeks leading up to Christmas, the staff will bake and decorate hundreds of custom-made gingerbread houses, as well as thousands of decorated cookies. Although owning a bakery and being around the delicious aromas could be tempting for most people, Grant said he actually lost 15 pounds when he initially started helping his mom. “The kitchen gets hot, and it’s hard work,” he said. “I do like cakes and cookies, but when you’re around the smell of freshly baked goods all day, you become a little numb to it.” For Grant, the recipe for success began with his mother’s love for her children and her desire to help put them through college while also doing something she loved. “We still use many of mom’s recipes,” Grant said. “Whenever I’m in the kitchen, I think of her.” «
“We still use many of mom’s recipes. Whenever I’m in the kitchen, I think of her.” 8 SAWDUST
VISTA VIEWPOINT WILLIAM ARSCOTT PROFESSOR OF ART
A fixture at SFA for more than half a century, William (Bill) Arscott, professor of art, has no intention of leaving anytime soon. SFA’s longest-tenured faculty member came to SFA in fall 1963 and planned to stay a couple of years. However, those intended two years have now exceeded 52. Arscott, who will be 81 in December 2015, still comes to work each day and looks forward to teaching filmmaking students. He said when his beloved wife of almost 50 years, JoAnn, passed away in 2008, he was glad he had not retired. Teaching has kept him busy, and he still enjoys the daily interaction with his colleagues and students. Sawdust recently visited with the legendary professor and discussed the changes he’s witnessed at the university during his tenure.
Trained as a painter and ceramist, Bill Arscott was originally hired as an art instructor at Stephen F. Austin State College at the age of 28. With an annual salary of $5,400, Arscott supported his wife and five (and later six) children. The family started its trip from Michigan to SFA by way of Arizona, where they traveled to visit relatives before making the 1,200-mile drive to East Texas. In an old Cadillac loaded to the brim with personal possessions, the family arrived with little else. Arscott recalls visiting a local bank, where he asked for a loan to purchase bunk beds for the children. With no credit history, he was denied. “I’d heard you could purchase items on credit at Johnson Furniture, so I decided to give it a try,” Arscott said. “Mr. Johnson agreed to sell me the beds and let me pay them out. He was the first businessman in Nacogdoches to have faith in me and my staying power.” When Arscott first arrived at SFA, Dr. Ralph W. Steen was president, and enrollment was 2,054. The campus also housed fewer structures. “There were fields then along East College Street. The lone building located on that end of campus was purchasing,” Arscott said. In 1964, Steen led the university toward a huge campus expansion, which progressed east of Raguet Street. Arscott said that by the mid-1970s, the campus was home to new dormitories and academic buildings. The coliseum was built, and the Ralph W. Steen Library opened. He also recalls the dress code being different. He said females could not wear pants, and men wore button-down shirts and slacks. During the 1960s, Arscott remembers seeing the college smoothly transition through integration and witnessing the shift from a mostlymale student body to more females. In the 1970s, Arscott said the College of Fine Arts began to contemplate offering a filmmaking program, and in 1976, he was asked to run it. “I didn’t know a lot about filmmaking,” Arscott said. “To help get me up to speed, I went to California during several summers and took classes from the American Society of Cinematography to learn professional techniques.” According to Arscott, careers in the film industry are unique. “There’s no on-the-job training in this field,” he said. “In order to break into the industry, you must know the language and have experience. There’s no standing around on set and waiting for someone to teach you what to do.” And Arscott’s students get plenty of experience. “We’re very hands-on. Our students use cameras and equipment within two weeks of starting the initial course,” he said. Many of Arscott’s former students remember him for the “legendary” art appreciation classes he taught starting in the late 1960s and into the
’90s. These classes routinely enrolled more than 500 students a semester and are referred to by many alumni as their favorite SFA course taught by their favorite SFA professor. Today, Arscott spends most of his time on campus in a former boarding house on East Starr Avenue that has been converted into the home of the School of Art’s filmmaking program. He shares an office with one of his most-famous former students, two-time Emmy-Award nominee Brad Maule, who portrayed Dr. Tony Jones on the daytime soap opera General Hospital for 20 years. Together, the two colleagues spend hundreds of hours a year working alongside undergraduate and graduate students teaching them filmmaking, cinematography and production design. For more than 14 years, the program has offered a summer course in which graduate students produce an independent full-length feature film. “The students are responsible for every detail of the process,” Arscott said. “They secure much of the finances to produce the film, cast the production, film it and handle the post production.” A testament to the program’s commitment to graduating “cameraready” professionals, Arscott said about 90 percent of the program’s graduates are employed in the industry. “They leave us with the skills they need to excel.” Arscott said his two favorite Hollywood films are Fried Green Tomatoes and Driving Miss Daisy because they are movies with a message. “Movies should showcase the preciousness, value and uniqueness of life,” he said. “Movies for me are an art form and not just entertainment. When they are approached with an artistic viewpoint, I believe they are more enjoyable to the audience.” As for his longevity at teaching, Arscott said one thing he’s always tried to do is adapt to changing technology. The professor’s teaching abilities are reflected in the awards he’s received at SFA throughout the years, including being named a Regents Professor in 1984 and the SFA Alumni Association’s Distinguished Professor in 1986. His proudest moment though came when Dr. Baker Pattillo, SFA president, recognized Arscott in August 2013 for his 50 years of service to SFA. “Dr. Pattillo presented me with a plaque proclaiming Aug. 22, 2013, ‘William E. Arscott Day’ at SFA,” Arscott recalled. Unbeknownst to Arscott, his children were on hand to share this special moment with their dad. “I was overjoyed to see my family in attendance, and the room was filled with my SFA colleagues and friends,” he said. “It was a very emotional moment for me as the crowd gave me a standing ovation.” «
WINTER 2015 9
Holly, SFAâ€™s prizewinning palomino mare and her trainer, Michaelle Coker, SFAâ€™s equine center supervisor and adjunct faculty member, smile for the camera.
SFA palomino mare wins reserve world title THLETES OFTEN SPEND years training to perfect their skills and preparing their bodies to compete at the highest level. And this SFA athlete’s training was no different, except she only had five months to prepare for one of the biggest competitions of her life, and she had two additional legs to get ready. Her registered name is Missbehavenhollywood, but to those at the SFA Equine Center, the four-legged phenomenon is simply known as Holly. The Colorado-raised mare was acquired by SFA just 10 months ago from former owner Nancy Batzloff, who decided to step away from the horse business, but not before she found the perfect home for the 10-year-old palomino. Luckily, she was directed to SFA’s Walter C. Todd Agricultural Center and Equine Center supervisor and adjunct faculty member, Michaelle Blake Coker. “I knew Holly would be well taken care of at SFA and by Michaelle. I also knew Holly would always have a job, because the students would be able to ride and keep her in shape,” Batzloff said. Holly, who is valued at $25,000, was registered to SFA’s equine donation program in February. The Palomino Horse Breeders of America World Championships was scheduled for July, and Coker hoped to showcase Holly’s athletic abilities in that arena. So, she wasted no time getting to work. It did not take long for the center’s supervisor to realize just how special the newest addition was to the barn. “Holly is one of the hardest-stopping, fastest-spinning horses I have ever had the privilege to ride, and she definitely knows the difference between the practice pen and the show arena,” Coker said. The dynamic duo worked meticulously and qualified for the world show in Tunica, Mississippi. Earning the right to exhibit at the World Championships was a lifetime achievement for both ladies. The team headed east to compete in two classes—open senior reining and open ranch riding. The day of the show, the two entered the arena proudly displaying their SFA purple pride. “I was experiencing a whole new stress level when we competed,” Coker admitted. “Yet, Holly knew what to do, and she did it well. I was extremely proud of her runs.”
During the awards presentation, which was held on horseback in the arena in front of spectators, the announcer worked his way up the placings list. As Coker waited patiently, she began to sense victory. Holly received reserve world champion honors in the open senior reining class and tied for top-10 honors in open ranch riding. The duo triumphed, securing a neck ribbon for Holly and distinguished ribbon for Coker, a plaque, a jacket and memories to last a lifetime. Coker said the trip to Mississippi was quite an experience, but admitted the recognition at the national level with an SFA athlete was worth the 13-hour haul. “This achievement brings our university to the forefront of the collegiate equine world. Being able to take on this project, work day in and day out, and then secure reserve world champion honors is validation that our equine program can be great,” Coker said. With this title, SFA now claims an honor many other university equine programs can’t—a reserve world champion that was owned by the university at the time of exhibition. “The improvement in SFA’s equine program in the past few years is amazing,” Batzloff said. “I would love to see this program continue to grow and prosper, and maybe even incorporate a breeding program that could utilize Holly.” The golden goddess, who has been jokingly nicknamed “sheep dog” due to her flowy forelock—the part of the horse’s mane that extends from the top of the head, between the ears, onto the face—has certainly earned her place of honor at SFA. Currently, she is enjoying a well-deserved rest but will again assist the program at the beginning of the year by being exhibited or bred. The donation program enrollment period is approximately three years. In February 2018, Coker and SFA’s Department of Agriculture will determine Holly’s educational value, as well as examine her continued significance to the equine program. As far as Coker is concerned, “Holly looks perfect in purple and will have a forever home at SFA as a forever Ladyjack.” « Nancy Batzloff, who donated Holly to SFA, looks on as Holly’s trainer, Michaelle Coker, prepares to ride.
WINTER 2015 11
’JACK TALK CAMPUS NEWS
I Facebook - SFASU L Instagram - sfa_jacks
J Twitter - @SFASU M Pinterest - SFAlumberjacks
I have lived many years, and the education I received at SFA has carried me to a place that larger universities never could. Carolyn Steinberg / Facebook
SFA has the cutest squirrels
Julia Mock / twitter
SFA is a school I looked at for a really long time. It was one of my top choices, and it seemed like a place I could call HOME. Davonte Witcher
@DemiPayne08 is a huge inspiration and showed the world that no matter what happens, you can still be the best. @TreyKristian / twitter
That’s a pretty great view if you ask us. @SFASU / Twitter #AxeEm #SFA19 Well, the schedule was a little weird, but I am in love with this place @SFASU #AxeEm #SFA19 Jacob Wood / twitter
Every day is a
day to be a LUMBERJACK! SFA is beautiful.
NikkiBeth / Twitter
Amanda Sessions Oldham / facebook
SFA’S #1 FAN!
Survived my first day of junior year! #AxeEm @ Stephen F. Austin State University
#A XE E M
@Shelton_25 / twitter
Livie Jane / Twitter
Super Freaking Awesome
#DescribeSFAIn3Words Lo Gilcrease / Twitter
@SFASU / twitter
Hahaha. Surfin’ Steve likes watermelons, too. Cathlp / instagram
We had a good stretch this morning thanks to our FEATURE TWIRLER. Found some new muscles we didn’t know we had. @LMB_SFA / twitter
CAMPUS NEWS ATHLETICS
SOCCER CLINCHES FIFTH-STRAIGHT SLC CROWN THIS IS THE fifth-straight year the Ladyjack soccer team has secured the Southland Conference championship, completing its “Drive to Five.” SFA posted an 8-1-2 record in SLC play, allowing just five goals in 11 games, as the Ladyjacks finished the regular season with a 9-7-2 overall record. The five-straight titles, dating back to the 2011 season, are the most consecutive in SLC history, and the Ladyjacks are second in the nation in consecutive regular-season titles, trailing Florida Gulf Coast University’s six. Coach Wally Crittenden was named Coach of the Year by the SLC, and No. 16 Amanda Doyle was named Player of the Year.
CROSS COUNTRY TAKES SECOND AT SLC CHAMPIONSHIPS SFA HAD ANOTHER strong showing at the 2015 SLC championships as both the men’s and women’s teams recorded runner-up finishes for the second-straight year. On the men’s side, SFA posted 27 total points, two points behind first-place Lamar University’s 29. Overall, five Lumberjacks finished in the top 11. The SFA women garnered 52 points, finishing nine points behind first-place Abilene Christian University. The Ladyjacks had five runners in the top 15 and three in the top 10.
MEN’S BASKETBALL PICKED AS PRESEASON CONFERENCE FAVORITE
FOOTBALL RACES PAST UNIVERSITY OF THE INCARNATE WORD ON HOMECOMING
THE LUMBERJACK BASKETBALL team is a favorite in preseason polls to repeat as SLC champions. The team will be seeking its fourth-straight regular-season SLC crown, as the Lumberjacks finished first in both the coaches’ and media preseason polls. No. 0 Thomas Walkup, the reigning SLC Player of the Year, and No. 4 Ty Charles were tabbed as preseason all-conference selections. The SFA women’s team was picked to finish second in the media poll and third in the coaches’ poll, as the Ladyjacks begin their quest for a third-straight SLC title.
SFA PUT TOGETHER its most complete game of the season on Homecoming, as the Lumberjacks recorded a victory against the University of the Incarnate Word 55-21. SFA scored 28 unanswered points in the second half to pull away from the Cardinals, and the Lumberjack defense limited its opponent to just 64 second-half yards and recorded two defensive touchdowns. Quarterback No. 2 Zach Conque threw for 256 yards and four touchdowns, while No. 88 Aaron Piper logged a career-best six catches for 139 yards and two touchdowns. No. 28 Mason Juhl hit a 48-yard field goal at the end of the first half, a new career-best and the longest SFA field goal since 2009.
I SFA ATHLETICS J @SFA_ATHLETICS L SFA_ATHLETICS WINTER 2015 13
NUMBER OF STUDENTS BY COLLEGE
n u m b e rs
F ROM 2015
FALL SEMES T
ENT AGE D U
For detailed information about SFA, visit sfasu.edu/ jackfacts.
James I. Perkins College of Education
College of Liberal and Applied Arts
College of Sciences and Mathematics
Nelson Rusche College of Business
College of Fine Arts
Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture
TOP FEEDER HIGH SCHOOLS
TOP FEEDER COMMUNITY COLLEGES
1. Nacogdoches High School - East Texas 2. Cypress Ranch High School - Houston area 3. Cypress Falls High School - Houston area 4. Lufkin High School - East Texas 5. Plano High School - Dallas area (tied) 5. Atascocita High School - Houston area (tied)
1. Angelina College - East Texas 2. Kilgore College - East Texas 3. Lone Star Community College - Houston area 4. Tyler Junior College - East Texas 5. Panola Junior College - East Texas
WHERE STUDENTS CALL HOME SPRING 2015
96% FROM TEXAS 43 OUT OF 50 STATES More than 11,000 students At least 25 students At least 10 students At least five students Fewer than five students
FROM 47 COUNTRIES
WORK SPACE 5 3
WHAT YOU’LL FIND IN . . . DR. DAVID KULHAVY’S (AKA DR. BUG’S) OFFICE: 1. Part of a 2,300-foot-long poster is displayed on a side table. The poster, created by fifth-grade students in Nacogdoches and New Hampshire along with members of the Entomological Society of America, illustrates the migration of the monarch butterfly and was exhibited at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. Dr. Eric Carle, author of The Very Hungry Caterpillar, drew and autographed the caterpillar on the poster. 2. The Carl Alvin Schenk 2010 award Kulhavy received for Excellence in Forestry Education from the Society of American Foresters rests against the filing cabinet. Among his accomplishments, Kulhavy also was awarded the Minnie Stephens Piper Foundation Piper Professor Award for outstanding scholarly and academic achievement. 3. A drone Kulhavy can control by using his iPad or smartphone sits atop the filing cabinet. He utilizes the aerial vehicle in his research and teaching. 4. The plaque Kulhavy proudly displays on his wall commemorates the 16 years he advised the SFA Chapter of the Alpha Phi Omega National Service Fraternity. Below
the plaque sits an APO mug from San Diego University, where Kulhavy received his bachelor’s degree in 1968. 5. In recognition of his service and positive impact on the Boy Scouts of America, Kulhavy received this Silver Beaver Award. 6. Two plaques sit side by side and honor Kulhavy’s service. The wooden plaque was presented to Kulhavy at the 40th anniversary of the East Texas Forest Entomology Seminar and commemorates his 37 years of service to the organization. The plaque to the right honors Kulhavy as a Distinguished Professor and was presented by the SFA Alumni Association. 7. The vivid drawing illustrated in the open book A Forest Insect Alphabet depicts Quedius laevigatus, or rove beetle, under bark. Retired SFA professor Charles Jones illustrated this limited edition book, which was distributed by LaNana Creek Press. Resting nearby is a trade-edition copy and a music CD with song lyrics written by Kulhavy, who also contributed his talents on the voiceovers. 8. Kulhavy’s 1996-97 Regents Professor medallion, which is the highest honor
the university bestows upon a faculty member, sits alongside a purple servicelearning stole, which he received for his participation in a forest management project with Collins Academy. 9. A photograph of Andrew Delmar Hopkins, known as the father of forest entomology, rests in front of the desk. Hopkins was an innovative scientist during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Positioned directly behind the photograph is Kulhavy’s A.D. Hopkins Award for Distinguished Achievement in Forest Entomology. 10. The clay ball is a work in progress. Each time Kulhavy takes his forest entomology class to view the habitat of the redcockaded woodpecker, Kulhavy takes this ball and adds more clay to it. 11. Unable to resist anything bug-related, Kulhavy purchased this vintage Raid advertising clock from Ebay. Dr. David Kulhavy Lawrence C. Walker Distinguished Professor
WINTER 2015 15
Story by Tim Monzingo Photography by Ryan Perry
Radio/TV journalist discusses his induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame and events surrounding JFKâ€™s assassination
IKE SO MUCH in history, Jerome Davis’ career as a broadcast journalist can be traced to one incident. In 1958, the 16-year-old Davis had no idea that dedicating songs on a Marshall radio station would lead to a storied career in more than one way. Davis was naturally gifted in broadcast, though he didn’t know it as a teenager, the Colleyville resident said. “My girlfriend had one of those radio programs where you call in and dedicate a song to your sweetie,” he recalled. “I was visiting her at the station one night, and she said, ‘Why don’t you announce a couple of the dedications?’” The station’s owner, Tony Bridge, heard Davis’ spot and thought he had a voice for radio. Bridge offered him a job. The rest is quite literally history, leading up to Davis’ induction into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in November 2015. After graduating high school and studying at Panola College, Davis transferred to SFA and worked at the AM radio station KEEE in Nacogdoches under the pseudonym Rockin’ Richard. He graduated from SFA in 1962. ➔
WINTER 2015 17 Mick49 / Shutterstock.com
Jerome Davis ’62 stands near the Dallas County Administration Building, formerly known as the Texas School Book Depository. Lee Harvey Oswald shot and killed President John F. Kennedy and wounded Texas Gov. John Connally from the southeast corner sixth-story window on Nov. 22, 1963.
The 1960s was arguably one of the most tumultuous decades in American history, and as a young journalist, Davis found himself in the middle of the events. As the civil rights movement gained traction, he covered protests and demonstrations in his East Texas backyard. It was in Tyler that his career began to build steam with the opportunity to appear not only on the radio but also on television. In August 1963, Davis was offered a job in Fort Worth. Two and a half months later, he was thrust into one of the nation’s saddest and most-memorable moments. “I was at Carswell Air Force Base the night President John F. Kennedy landed in Fort Worth,” he said. Kennedy arrived on Thursday, Nov. 21, with Vice President Lyndon B. Johnson and their wives to help raise funds for the Kennedy-Johnson re-election campaign and to help mend political fences among several leading Texas Democratic Party members who were at odds. Texas Gov. John Connally and his wife joined the group. Davis followed the Kennedy entourage the next morning in Fort Worth, and he saw the president leave later that morning for Dallas, where he was scheduled to speak at a luncheon. “I arrived back at the newsroom, and just after lunch, the newswire started to go crazy,” the veteran journalist recalled.
Around 12:30 p.m., shortly after Davis’ station finished the afternoon news segment, Kennedy was assassinated. “That started the whole weekend. For the next four days, we didn’t get much sleep.” Davis chased leads and reported stories following the president’s death, the wounding of Connally and the murder of Dallas police officer J.D. Tippit. Lee Harvey Oswald was arrested for the crimes, and a few days later, when Oswald was being transferred from the city to the county jail, he was shot and killed at Dallas Police Department headquarters by nightclub owner Jack Ruby. The next day, Oswald was buried in Dallas, and Davis covered the funeral. “If I’d been older, it probably would have been very depressing because there was almost no one there but his family, the police and the media,” he said. “Officials had a great deal of difficulty finding a minister to conduct the ceremony.” Davis said in all the turmoil surrounding the assassination, it was difficult to see the big picture, but in retrospect, there was a broad impact on the nation that began to solidify things he had heard rumblings about. “It changed us. It changed attitudes,” he said. “It really started the attitude that became the protests of the Vietnam War.” Davis continued working as a journalist for various broadcasting
companies covering significant events in Fort Worth, including the construction of the Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Airport. While the Kennedy assassination was certainly among his most memorable story assignments, Davis said it was a natural disaster in Lubbock that affected him the most. In 1970, Davis was working at a TV station when two tornadoes ripped through the West Texas city, killing 26 people and injuring approximately 1,500. “We flew in from Dallas as the sun was rising, and it was like viewing something out of a war movie,” he recalled. “We had to work quickly to get film of the damage and conduct interviews, and then get back on the plane and head to Dallas.” Two years later, Davis left the news business to work in public relations for the soon-to-open Dallas/Fort Worth airport. Davis oversaw the media relations aspect of the airport’s dedication ceremony in 1973, which included the first landing of the Concorde supersonic jet. The airport officially opened to commercial service in January 1974. Reporters from news outlets around the world attended the opening, and as a former journalist himself, Davis pulled out all the stops to coordinate the event. He continued working in public relations throughout his career,
serving as a coordinator for Texas Power and Light and working for the City of Dallas in the early 2000s. Though he is now retired, Davis hasn’t entirely left the broadcast business. He volunteers with KERA TV-13, the Dallas-area PBS affiliate. Davis said he sees volunteering as a way to continue serving the public. In 2010, Tony Bridge, Davis’ former boss and mentor, was inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. Bridge decided that some of the men he had helped bring up in the business deserved the same accolade. Inductees into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame must be nominated either by members of the organization or a previous inductee. Bridge brought Davis’ name to the table. At 3:30 a.m. on July 1, 2015, Davis found out that his nomination had officially been accepted with a wakeup call. “Tony Bridge called me and said, ‘Well, I just want to be the first to congratulate you. You’re in,’” Davis said. Among the broadcasters honored in the Texas Radio Hall of Fame are legends like Walter Cronkite and Bob Schieffer. Davis said it’s quite an honor to be in their company. However, the Davis family’s legacy in broadcast journalism isn’t necessarily capped by the Texas Hall of Fame honor Davis received. His grandson currently is studying broadcast journalism and hopes to someday pursue his own career as a sports reporter. «
WINTER 2015 19
’JACKS OF ALL TRADES
Devonte Hill ’14 — Media Operations Specialist for KHOU-TV
WAKING UP EARLY to watch the news before your daily commute means something a little different to Devonte Hill ’14. His day begins at 2:30 a.m., and his daily commute is to the KHOU-TV station in Houston. As media operations specialist for KHOU-TV, Hill arrives at work at 4 a.m. prepping for the morning news followed by Great Day Houston, a one-hour daily program broadcast live in front of a studio audience featuring information on topics ranging from food and fashion to fitness and celebrity interviews. According to Hill, the program provides a great platform to celebrate and promote Houston. “It’s a fast-paced show that focuses exclusively on the city’s happenings. With Houston being in a top-10 market, a lot is occurring here, and the set can be very chaotic at times,” he said. As with most live television productions, there is a host of behind-the-scenes responsibilities that must be met in order for everything to run smoothly. In Hill’s case, there are about 200 items that he oversees. During the live program and commercial breaks, Hill is constantly in motion - preparing sets, moving props and cameras, and adjusting lights. “I work the light board that controls approximately 200 fixtures that are strategically placed on the set,” Hill said. “Depending on the guest, script or segment, I ensure all the lights are correctly positioned and trouble shoot to keep everything on track.” With his SFA graduation occurring only 19 months ago, Hill said he’s been blessed to have the opportunity to showcase his skills, and he is enjoying the learning experiences he’s been given. “Initially, I operated cameras for the morning news casts, managed the main set of Great Day Houston and worked in the master control room prepping media,” he said. Today, he is tasked with doing all of these duties and more. “I create stories for the show, assist in producing segments, write teasers and tags for segments, and cut voiceover footage.” Aside from his daily tasks on set, Hill also enjoys shooting remote packages. “They are hard work, and usually, they make for long after-hour projects, but I’ve learned so much from them. I’ve built confidence in my abilities and skills after meeting strict deadlines with few resources,” he said. Independent of his work at KHOU, Hill is producing The D.Hill Report, an online program that discusses social issues and showcases local events and talent. A native of Wisconsin, Hill wasn’t focused on attending classes in the East Texas piney woods until he completed an SFA campus tour. “After I arrived at SFA, I became comfortable with the campus and community environment. SFA was where I wanted to be, and Texas became my home.” Hill studied radio and television production at SFA and credits the leadership of faculty members Al Gruele, Casey Hart, Linda Bond, Sherry Williford and Michael Tubbs, along with the mentors he had while working at
SFA’s Department of Campus Recreation, for helping him establish a strong foundation on which to build his career. Hill said his future goals include producing documentaries and TV shows about adventure, culture and society. “The trend is to focus on being the first to release a story; it’s a race against the Internet,” he explained. “But people want to know how news stories ultimately affect them. That type of storytelling is what made television great, but it takes time to develop. Eventually, I’d like to have my own network and produce high-quality content that puts learning, thought and curiosity back into television viewing.” - STORY BY RACHEL CLARK - PHOTOGRAPHY BY ROBIN JOHNSON
CAMPUS FROM THENEWS ASSOCIATION
OU MAY HAVE already picked up on the theme, “Great things are happening at SFA,” through reading my most recent letters in Sawdust. In the spring issue, I encouraged you to return to campus and see the fantastic renovations to our already beautiful campus. In the fall issue, I urged you to come to Homecoming 2015 and show your purple pride. In this issue, I want to talk to you about the great SFA happenings outside of Nacogdoches through participation in the Lumberjack Business Network. The SFA Alumni Association successfully launched the Lumberjack Business Network breakfast program in the fall. The program is designed to give SFA alumni and friends the opportunity to gather before their busy workdays and network with fellow Lumberjacks.
Join us in Dallas and Houston for the Lumberjack Business Network
The breakfasts are held from 7 to 8 a.m. in locations in Dallas and Houston. Before each event, there is time allotted for mixing and mingling followed by breakfast, during which a speaker presents on a local business topic. Then there is an additional opportunity to visit with your Lumberjack family. The Lumberjack Business Network will serve as a centerpiece of the Alumni Association’s programing in 2016. The Dallas 2016 breakfasts are scheduled Jan. 19, April 19, July 12 and Oct. 11 at Maggiano’s Little Italy at NorthPark Center. The Alumni Association will host the Lumberjack Business Network in Houston on March 8, May 10, Aug. 16 and Nov. 15 at Maggiano’s Little Italy near the Galleria.
Plans are underway to expand the breakfasts into other cities, and we also hope to offer similar networking events tailored to other professions, including teaching, nursing and forestry. We look forward to seeing you at a Lumberjack Business Network breakfast in the coming months. If you were unable to return to Nacogdoches for Homecoming, let me to give you a quick recap. Homecoming weekend was held Oct. 30 and 31, and we celebrated with “A Haunted Homecoming” theme. Alumni Corner had “Jack-O-Ween” fun for kids of all ages, including games, giveaways, face painting, photo booths and more. The only damper on the weekend (pun intended) was a little Saturday morning precipitation. For the first time in as long as I can remember, the Homecoming parade was rained out. However, the weekend was still a purple-pumpkin-smashing success. It’s finally basketball season, Jack Fans! SFA has had many memorable basketball seasons, and we are excited to see what the Ladyjacks and Lumberjacks do this spring. Fingers are crossed that SFA will participate in more tournaments, including March Madness. Be on the lookout for Alumni Association watch parties hosted in your area. Great things continue to happen at SFA! If you are in East Texas, stop by the campus and see for yourself. If you cannot make it to Nacogdoches but live in the Dallas or Houston areas, come to a Lumberjack Business Network breakfast. And, wherever you are, you can keep up with our great university on social media. “Like” the SFA Alumni Association on Facebook, and follow SFA Alumni on Twitter. Axe ’em, Jacks!
SFA ALUMNI ASSOCIATION OFFICERS Karen Gantt ’95, McKinney president David Madrid ’02, Bossier City, Louisiana president-elect Mike Harbordt ’63, Nacogdoches past president ASSOCIATION BOARD Charlotte Ashcraft ’80, Nacogdoches Tony Both ’98, Katy Reuben Brown ’07, Grand Prairie Jeremy Cleverly ’98, Mansfield Robin Dawley ’77, Nacogdoches Brian Dawson ’03, The Woodlands Bob Francis ’78, Bullard Doris Havard, Nacogdoches Ron Hunt ’91 & ’94, McKinney Bruce Mayberry II ’08, Nacogdoches Erika Tolar ’02, Spring Steve Whitbeck ’75, Nacogdoches Bob Williams ’70, Dallas Chris Woelfel ’95, Kingwood SFA ALUMNI FOUNDATION GOVERNORS James Hamilton ’77, Porter - chairman Rick Couvillon ’85, Houston - vice chairman Stephen Greak ’92, Lufkin - recording secretary Wendy Buchanan ’85, Nacogdoches Cody Corley ’01, Houston Bob Francis ’78, Bullard Karen Gantt ’95, McKinney Mark Layton ’74, Dallas 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 Amie Morton ’09 & ’11 scholarship coordinator
Karen Gregory Gantt ’95 – McKinney, Texas President, SFA Alumni Association
Derek Snyder ’01 communications and marketing coordinator Hannah Franks ’13 accountant
WINTER 2015 21 WINTER 2015 21
MAJOR TRIUMPHS SFA alumna recalls lifetime of cherished memories
Story by Kasi Dickerson Photography by Hardy Meredith
OLDING THE VINTAGE whistle to her lips, she blows it with gusto as if revisiting the days when she dressed in her drum major uniform and directed the 1939-40 Lumberjack Band on SFA’s Birdwell Field.
A born leader and performer, Arnodean “Deana” Bolton Covin’s ’72 drive for perfection pushed her to excel in everything she attempted. “As a child, she entered a singing contest and won second place. That wasn’t good enough,” Covin’s daughter, Jadean Roberts, said. “She wanted to do something she could be the best at, so she taught herself to twirl a baton.” Covin’s dedication to twirling did not waver as she grew. Roberts said as a teenager, her mom’s cousin would try to get Covin to engage in social activities, but Covin refused. “Mom would say, ‘No, I have to practice twirling,’” Roberts said. Covin (née Selden), who was the first drum major for Henderson High School, was not only talented on the field but also in the classroom. When she graduated, she held the honor of being the female with the highest GPA. After her high school graduation, Covin was highly recruited by colleges and received multiple scholarship offers. J.T. Cox, SFA’s band director at the time, convinced Covin to enroll at SFA and become its first female drum major, a position she held until her senior year. “Mr. Cox was very persuasive,” Covin recalled. “I was offered the same scholarship at Southern Methodist University and Texas Christian University, but I chose SFA and couldn’t have been happier with my decision.”
While living on campus, Gibbs Hall became Covin’s home. She involved herself in multiple campus organizations and social clubs. As a freshman, Covin was a Gibbs Hall council member, a Woman’s Council member and member of the Pine Burr social club. In addition, Covin was selected freshman class favorite. As one of the most popular students on campus, Covin’s peers described her as talented and a good sport. During her sophomore year, Covin remained a Pine Burr, a Woman’s Council member and drum major. She was named to Who’s Who Among Colleges and Universities for three years, and she also was elected class secretary and treasurer. During her junior year, she became a member of the Alpha Chi national honor society. World War II interrupted Covin’s senior year. In 1943, she put her degree on hold and began teaching at Henderson High School. It is evident to anyone looking through Stone Fort yearbooks that Covin was recognized on campus because of her “expert handling of the band” and “wonderful personality and friendly spirit.” “I performed all my life,” Covin said. “I loved the SFA uniform. It was the last uniform I wore.” She earned the reputation of an all-around popular girl and a leader in everything she undertook. In fact, she received distinction for winning the National Baton Twirling championship twice. ➔
WINTER 2015 23
Deana Selden and friends welcome Larry Covin home while on leave from the armed forces.
From 1942 Stone Fort yearbook: Deana Selden, Bobbie Sue Pritchett and Ozella McRae wearing SFA Pine Burr sweaters
J.W. “Cotton” Bolton SFA Quarterback, 1941-42
Deana Selden Miss SFA, 1940-42
Larry Covin Mr. SFA, 1942
SFA is a university renowned for its traditions. Covin is connected to one tradition that began during her tenure—she was named the first Miss SFA in 1940. Back then, each freshman, sophomore, junior and senior class nominated four women and four men to run for the title. The student body later voted for its favorites. Covin won the title three years in a row: 1940, 1941 and 1942. “I think after the third time I won they decided Miss SFA should be a senior,” Covin said as she laughed. Each year, the SFA Alumni Association still presents the Mr. and Miss SFA awards to an exemplary male and female student who well represents and promotes the university. The Miss SFA award is officially named the Arnodean Covin Miss SFA Award in her honor. Covin returned to SFA in the late ’60s to finish her Bachelor of Science in kinesiology. By 1972, she had graduated SFA with her undergraduate degree and her Master of Education. She married J.W. “Cotton” Bolton, also an SFA graduate and former Kilgore College coach, who died in 1976. She married the late Dr. Larry Covin in 1991. Larry was Cotton’s SFA roommate and later an SFA professor. Deana and Larry also shared another connection: Larry was named Mr. SFA in 1942 alongside Deana. Both Cotton and Larry were SFA athletes and cocaptains of the football team. Covin’s career sparkled with success while earning her national recognition. She created the Tops in Twirling camp in 1956 and later the Tops in Twirling and Drill Team summer camp. From 1960 to 1963, Covin was the director of the Dallas Tex-Anns, a baton line comprising talented twirlers, who traveled with the Dallas Texans professional football team. Her legacy at Kilgore College began in 1966 when she became the cheerleader sponsor and part-time instructor teaching golf and bowling. By 1967, Covin taught physical
education full time at Kilgore College. She served under the world-famous Kilgore Rangerettes’ founder Gussie Nell Davis as assistant director of the Rangerettes for seven years before becoming their second director in 1979. Current Rangerette Director Dana Blair can attest to Covin’s leadership and talents. Blair worked alongside Covin as assistant director and choreographer. “Mrs. Covin directed the team for 14 years and took over for Gussie Nell Davis, who had been the originator and the only director for 39 years. These were very big shoes to fill,” Blair said. “Mrs. Covin brought the Rangerettes to new heights of perfection and performance.” Blair said Covin pushed the Rangerettes to not only do their best, but to be the best. “Mrs. Covin also is a perfectionist through and through. She believes in practicing every detail and then practicing more,” Blair said. “She has an unbelievable work ethic and was always willing to give 150 percent.” While with the Rangerettes, Covin met four U.S. presidents and traveled the world. She retired in 1993, but she continues to be influential to the Rangerette culture. The gym where the Rangerettes practice was renamed the Deana Bolton Covin Rangerette Gymnasium and dedicated in her honor in September 2001. “The gym is where Miss Davis created the art form known as dance drill team. The Rangerettes have only practiced here in their 75-year history,” Blair said. “It is the ‘Rangerette’ gym, and it is named after Mrs. Covin because of her many contributions to the organization.” Whether Covin was leading the Henderson band, directing the SFA band or instructing the Rangerettes, she carried herself with an unmatched level of perfection and passion. Today, Covin still resides in Kilgore, and at the age of 93, she fondly recalls her time as a student on SFA’s campus. Until 2009, she made it her mission to annually attend the university’s Homecoming. While trips to visit the campus are now difficult for Covin, she is surrounded by mementos from her days as the first female drum major at SFA, the trio of Miss SFA honors she received and the legacy she’s left behind as a former director of the world’s most-famous drill team. “Mrs. Covin was an amazing director who touched many lives,” Blair said. “She will forever be a part of Rangerette history. Her favorite saying was, ‘Just one more time.’ She always wanted the Rangerettes to practice until they were perfect. She is a legend and an amazing woman.” «
WINTER 2015 25
STEPHEN F. AUSTIN STATE UNIVERSITY ALUMNI ASSOCIATION 26 SAWDUST
HALL OF FAME BOB SITTON
Bob Sitton ’60 was a longtime director of the SFA Alumni Association. Under his leadership, the Alumni Association endowed more than 530 scholarships that generated more than $13 million. His family and friends have endowed two Sitton Scholarships at SFA in his honor. Sitton continues to serve as an SFA ambassador in his retirement through his work on alumni-related projects.
DR. BRIAN OSWALD Dr. Brian Oswald is a professor of fire ecology, silviculture and agroforestry in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture at SFA. He was the recipient of the SFASU Foundation Faculty Achievement Award for Research in 2013 and selected as Regents Professor in 2012. Oswald has served as author or co-author of dozens of refereed publications, books, book chapters, and oral and poster presentations. He is a member of the Society of American Foresters, the Society for Range Management and the Torrey Botanical Society.
LUMBERJACK PRIDE JIM DRENNAN JACLYN PARTIN
Jim Drennan ’73 is a charter member of the SFA North Texas Alumni Association Chapter and has been a tireless university advocate since his graduation. He regularly works with his employer to recruit SFA students to fill internships, and he devotes his time to pursuing the establishment of SFA scholarships to help promote these programs. Drennan also volunteers his time to reach out to initiates and members of Tau Kappa Epsilon to promote SFA campus and regional events. Jaclyn Partin ’08 & ’14 is an assistant marketing coordinator for Commercial Bank of Texas in Nacogdoches. A dedicated Lumberjack and Ladyjack fan, Partin supports SFA Athletics and its student-athletes by attending almost every home game as well as many away competitions. She served on the steering committee of the SFA Alumni Association’s Nacogdoches Chapter and was a driving force behind establishing the group.
The SFA Alumni Association bestows its highest honors on individuals who have made outstanding contributions to their professions and community, committed themselves to advancing the values and goals of SFA, and ensured a better quality of life for future generations.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI SUSAN ROBERDS RON COLLINS
Susan Roberds ’75 served on SFA’s Board of Regents from 1997 to 2003, including terms as vice chair and finance chair. The former Miss SFA also has served on the SFA Alumni Association Board of Directors, including appointments as president and vice president. She is currently a field supervisor for SFA’s James I. Perkins College of Education, a licensed real estate agent for Roberds Realty Advisors, and a sales representative for Brad Hughes and Associates. Roberds is active in many community service organizations, including the Junior League of Dallas and the Dallas Women’s Club. Ron Collins ’79 is the senior vice president of BancorpSouth. He serves as the immediate past president and board member of the Rotary Club of Nacogdoches and as finance chair and board member of the SFASU Foundation, and board member of the Nacogdoches Economic Development Corporation and Friends of Millard’s Crossing. Collins also serves on the boards of the Blood Center of East Texas, Volunteer Service Council of the Lufkin State School and the East Texas Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNI TRAVIS TURNER NICK PESINA
Travis Turner ’05 & ’11 serves as the athletics marketing coordinator for SFA Athletics. He is the senior graphic designer and creates promotional materials for SFA Athletics to distribute to media and a variety of audiences. Turner also coordinates athletic events to help promote the university and SFA Athletics. Turner is a member of the National Association of Collegiate Marketing Administrators. Nick Pesina ’04 & ’06 is an attorney for Roberts & Roberts in Tyler. He was named a partner in the firm after practicing law for three years. Pesina earned a bachelor’s degree in political science in 2004 and a master’s degree in public administration in 2006 from SFA before receiving his juris doctorate in 2012 from the University of Texas. Pesina serves on the board of directors of CASA for Kids of East Texas and People Attempting to Help in Tyler.
WINTER 2015 27
DR. JAMES H. LANGSTON MEMORIAL SCHOLARSHIP THE DR. JAMES H. Langston Memorial Scholarship supports SFA students pursuing any major. Langston spent much of his youth in Nacogdoches and Garrison and in Shreveport, Louisiana. He received his bachelorâ€™s degree in chemistry from SFA in 1937 and his advanced degrees from the University of North Carolina. He taught chemistry for 12 years at Clemson University and 26 years at Samford University. In the 1960s, he was awarded two Fulbright Fellowships, traveling to Quito,
Ecuador, and Tegucigalpa, Honduras, and sharing his knowledge by participating in the international academic exchange program. Langston was an excellent conversationalist and wonderful teacher and storyteller who enjoyed sharing his knowledge and interests with others. While on a Baptist mission trip to Nigeria, Langston met his wife, Edith. They married in 1984 and enjoyed 23 years together until her death in 2007. Langston passed away in January 2015.
HOW TO ENDOW A SCHOLARSHIP A minimum of $20,000 is required to endow a scholarship and may be accomplished over a 10-year period. Scholarships are endowed by cash, gifts, corporate matching gifts, gifts of stock, bonds, life insurance, memorial contributions and wills.
1 2 3 4
Make the decision to help.
Name your scholarship.
Determine eligibility criteria.
Complete an endowment packet.
Future SFA alumni need your financial assistance. Plan your contribution.
You may name your scholarship after yourself or in memory or in honor of someone.
You may include college major or GPA or restrict the scholarship to certain types of recipients.
You may download and submit documents online at sfaalumni.com or request documents via U.S. mail.
Your gift to support SFA students secures educational opportunities for generations of future Lumberjacks. Contact us to create your legacy today. SFA Alumni Association / P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station / Nacogdoches, Texas 75962-6096 Phone: (936) 468-3407 / Toll Free: (800) 765-1534 / Fax: (936) 468-1007 / Website: sfaalumni.com / Email: email@example.com
ALUMNI CALENDAR DECEMBER 4
Big Dip Ring Ceremonies
9:30 a.m. - James I. Perkins College of Education and College of Fine Arts 2 p.m. - Nelson Rusche College of Business, College of Liberal and Applied Arts, Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, and College of Sciences and Mathematics
Times and dates are subject to change. Visit sfaalumni.com/events for the most recent information.
Texas Music Educators Association Conference: SFA Alumni Reception 9:30 to 11:30 p.m. Marriott Riverwalk – San Antonio, Texas
11:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Baker Pattillo Student Center
5:30 to 7 p.m.
Reception at 6 p.m., Dinner at 7 p.m. Grand Ballroom
Mr. and Miss SFA Awards
The annual Mr. and Miss SFA Awards will be presented during the Lumberjack and Ladyjack basketball games intermission. William R. Johnson Coliseum
SFA Ring Week
Tracie D. Pearman Alumni Center
William R. Johnson Coliseum
Campus Closes for Winter Break
SFA Ring Week Continues
Tracie D. Pearman Alumni Center
7 to 8 a.m. Maggiano’s Little Italy - Galleria Houston, Texas
SFA Business Lumberjack Network Breakfast - Dallas
7 to 8 a.m. Maggiano’s Little Italy - NorthPark Dallas, Texas
SFA Business Lumberjack Network Breakfast – Houston
Southland Conference Basketball Championship Tournament Leonard E. Merrell Center Katy, Texas
WINTER 2015 29
Special thanks to Betty Ford for allowing Sawdust to photograph her memory quilt made from SFA T-shirts she collected during her 30 years of service to SFA. Ford retired in 2005 from the Alumni Association.
HOMECOMING 2015 MOMENTS
Thanks to our sponsors for supporting the SFA Alumni Association. Premier Kia of Lufkin Liberty Mutual Insurance Jack Backers College Bookstore Suddenlink KTRE Party ’N Things University Rental SFA Lettermen’s Association The Liberty Bell America’s Self-Storage & Mail Center SFA Campus Recreation Citizens 1st Bank First Bank & Trust East Texas Kiwanis Club of Nacogdoches LittleJacks Pediatrics Olivia Kling - Simpson Real Estate The Daily Sentinel/Nac360 Nacogdoches Pediatric Dentistry Rex Perry Autoplex ShopSFA.com
Homecoming winners HOMECOMING GOLF TOURNAMENT Gross Winners: Ford Cartwright, Carl Baker and Randy Lance Net Winners: Eric Appel, Steve Cooper, Paul Van Bentem and Barrett Appel Long Drive Winner: Randy Lance Closest to the Hole Winner: Curtis Sparks HOMECOMING 5K Overall Female: Amie Ford Overall Male: Robert Allison DUCK DASH First Place: Lynn Montes Second Place: Mark Allen Third Place: Susan Gwin BENEFIT DRAWING Lewie Byers
WINTER 2015 31
Melanie Johnson ’90 is the principal for Troup Elementary School.
Howard E. (Gene) Branum ’61 of Tyler, recipient of the 2015 Tyler Junior College Alumni Special Recognition Award, retired after 45 years of service as the department chair of engineering and physical sciences and a physics professor. Former educator, newspaper editor and legislative staffer Linda Winder ’64 of Angleton, an Interscholastic League Press Conference Texas Legend in Scholastic Journalism, was inducted into the Center High School Alumni Hall of Honor.
1970s Bill Hinds ’72 of Spring is illustrator of the sports comic strip Tank McNamara. Dr. Rick Krustchinsky ’73 & ’74 of Katy is associate dean of undergraduate programs and professor in the School of Education and Human Services at the University of St. Thomas in Houston. Mary Ann Whiteker ’73 & ’77 of Hudson is the Texas Association of School Boards’ 2015 Superintendent of the Year. Kim Taylor ’77 of Nacogdoches, gardener for SFA’s physical plant department’s ground division, retired after 10 years of service. President and owner of Breen’s Florist Marcia Wilson ’77 of Houston was inducted into The Society of American Florists. Former SFA Student Government President Mark Burroughs ’79 is the mayor of Denton and a partner at Sawko & Burroughs Attorneys at Law.
1980s Scott L. Thompson ’80 of Lexington, Kentucky, is chairman, president and CEO of Tempur Sealy International. Joe Tate ’82 of Houston, owner of Let Them Eat Cake! By Joe, has 20 years of service in the baking industry.
LUMBERJACKS MAKE GREAT FRIENDS Tri Delta sorority sisters and SFA alumnae attended the SFA vs. Texas Christian University football game in Fort Worth in September. Left to right, Teresa McKay Menard ’86, Jill Wells Hurlbut ’86, Paula Woodard Ong ’85, Christie Hansen Blevins ’84 and Rebecca Jackson ’96 enjoyed the day’s events while sharing memories and supporting the Lumberjacks. Jed Whitaker ’82, former Harmony ISD superintendent for 33 years, is the defensive coordinator at Second Baptist High School in Houston. J.J. Lambert ’83 of Haymarket, Virginia, is a senior program manager at Customer Value Partners in Fairfax. Regional urban forester with the Texas A&M Forest Service Oscar Mestas ’84 of El Paso is the 2015 Arborist of the Year for the International Society of Arboriculture’s Texas chapter. Mary Ellingson ’85 of The Woodlands is an accountant and office manager at LJF Marketing. Craig Goodman ’86 is chief of police for the Brenham Police Department. Shannon Ebarb ’87 of Carthage is a driver for the Women’s House for Mission Carthage.
Rhonda Minton ’90 & ’99 of Nashville, Tennessee, director of alumni programs at Lipscomb University, was appointed to the Council for Advancement and Support of Education’s District III board of directors, overseeing operations, programming and services in nine states. Gabrielle Mathis ’91 and Fred Baggett Jr. ’97 of Houston married July 4. John McCullough ’91 of Paris, Texas, is superintendent of North Lamar ISD. Rebecca Cordell Grant ’92 of Plano, a Math 8-Honors teacher at Haggard Middle School, was a top-10 Texas finalist for the 2015 Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Chris Hartman ’92 of Addison is sales manager of wholesale and correspondent operations for Mid America Mortgage. Michael Zane Bode ’93 is the head football coach at Florence High School. Troy Bush ’93 of Houston is the community engagement officer for the Episcopal Health Foundation. Andy Gresham ’93 of Garrison is the secondary principal for Cushing ISD. Vivien Bond ’95 of Houston, director of community relations and marketing at Memorial Hermann Northeast Hospital, is the 2015 Health Care Professional of the Year for the Lake Houston Area Chamber of Commerce.
Gene Harrison ’87 of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is the Greater Desert Region manager for investment and fiduciary services for Wells Fargo Private Bank.
Former SFA All-Southland Conference running back and football coach Curtis Luper ’96 & ’98 is the running back coach for Texas Christian University.
Terry Riley ’87 is assistant principal at Mesquite ISD’s Judge Frank Berry Middle School.
Christopher Walker ’97 of Jacksonville, a 17year firefighting veteran, is chief of the Bullard Fire Department.
1990s David Batson ’90 of Spring is market executive for Bank of America Merrill Lynch’s global commercial banking division.
Jason Drake ’98 & ’14 of Woodville, 2015 Reaud Award recipient, received $10,000 for Teacher Excellence from the Beaumont Foundation.
CLASS NOTES Kinnie Douglas ’99 and Jason Reina ’03 of Nacogdoches were married May 30.
2010s Mitchell McCoy ’11 of Longview is a senior associate certified public accountant at Curtis Blakely & Co., specializing in audit, consulting and tax services. Janette Bauer ’12, managing director of Red Theater in Chicago, produced the play Romeo + Juliet: The Vineyard: Let Hands Do What Lips Do.
2000s Travis Teichelman ’00 of Pasadena is assistant principal of Thompson Intermediate School. Dayton High School principal Travis Young ’00 of Humble is the Liberty County Vindicator’s 2015 Principal of the Year. Russell Boyd ’01 of Round Rock wrote the science fiction novel The Chorus Effect. George Hooker ’01 of Nacogdoches, owner of GHM Media Group, is filming a year-long joint project for the City of Nacogdoches, which includes a partnership with Nacogdoches’ Main Street Association, Chamber of Commerce, Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Economic Development Corporation, highlighting the city’s services, corporations, landmarks and historic attractions. Jerry Miller ’02 of Longview is athletic director and head football coach at Trinity School of Texas.
Mikayla Elliott Hart ’12 of Fort Worth is a nurse at Harris Methodist Fort Worth Hospital. Auditing and internal controls consultant Hunter Throckmorton ’12 of Lufkin is a certified public accountant at Gollob Morgan Peddy PC in Tyler.
A U S T I N
S T A T E
U N I V E R S I T Y
SFA POLE VAULTER ON TRACK FOR 2016 OLYMPICS
A Matter of Life and Breath
ALUMNA COMMITS CAREER TO HELPING SAVE INFANTS AND CHILDREN
The Greatest Race
SFA ALUMNUS RUNS MARATHONS FOR CHARITY FALL 2015 I
8029. Jorge Cuarenta ’08, Nacogdoches 8031. Kinnie M. Reina ’99, Nacogdoches 8032. Megan M. Brown ’15, Missouri City
8037. Madhavi Pillai ’14, Murphy
8035. Stephanie K. Fuentes ’05 &’14, Richmond 8038. Marianne Bracken ’75, Richmond 8039. Kathlyne A. Bracken ’14, Richmond 8040. Michael L. Halls ’81 & ’04, Nacogdoches 8041. Janice S. Halls ’81, Nacogdoches 8042. Peter M. Loudis ’06, Dallas
Shalie Day ’15, former SFA All-Southland Conference softball player, is assistant softball coach for the Kilgore College Rangers.
8048. Anthony D. May ’82, Houston
With the first pick of the 27th round, the Arizona Diamondbacks Major League Baseball team drafted right-handed pitcher Cameron Gann ’15, a native of Crandall. «
8034. Nicole L. Cordova ’00, Nacogdoches
Kendrick Perkins ’14, third-grade English teacher at the KIPP Un Mundo Dual Language Academy in San Antonio, was accepted into Teach for America’s 2015 Teaching Corps.
As part of our continuous effort to improve Sawdust, we are conducting an online survey to gain information about the magazine and its readers. Thank you for helping make Sawdust a better publication. House of Payne
8028. Emily E. Tacquard ’08 & ’11, Nacogdoches
Nathan Moore ’13, assistant band director at Handley Middle School and Eastern Hills High School in Fort Worth, and Amber Garduno ’13, associate director of bands at Rice Middle School in Plano, married July 11 and reside in Grapevine.
TELL US WHAT YOU THINK.
FAL L TH E MAGA ZINE OF TH E S FA A LUM NI AS SOC IATION & S TEPH EN F. AUS TIN S TATE UNIVERS ITY Sawdust_fall2015.indd 1
8027. Walter I. Tacquard ’10, Nacogdoches
8033. Tommy J. Cordova ’99, Nacogdoches
Stephanie ’09 and Wes Funderburg of Houston welcomed baby boy Ryan Nicholas May 2.
S T E P H E N
8026. Carol Annette Lee, Friend, Lufkin
Former SFA Phonejack Crystal Cortes ’13 of Plano is the donor engagement manager for the Children’s Advocacy Center of Collin County.
The Rev. Benjamin West ’08 of Tyler is pastor at Fairwood United Methodist Church.
The SFA Alumni Association thanks the following alumni who recently became life members. 8025. Lester Eugene Lee Jr. ’77, Lufkin
Christina Upshaw ’04 of Conroe is principal of Sam Houston Elementary.
Drew and Amanda McGuire ’09 of Spring welcomed baby girl Reese Ann Marie May 17.
8043. Michael N. Liebrum ’74, Nacogdoches 8044. Kelly W. Wagnon ’04 & ’08, Lufkin 8045. Amber E. Wagnon ’04 & ’10, Lufkin 8046. Ginny E. Love ’09 & ’12, Nacogdoches 8047. Ignacio J. Mendoza ’15, Nacogdoches 8049. Felecia G. May ’86, Houston 8050. Joseph B. Gray ’83, Midland, Michigan 8051. Kelsey E. Eason ’15, Alvin 8052. Kirby D. Dickins ’15, Alvin 8053. Tammi D. Thompson ’90, Nacogdoches 8056. Stephen Ford, Friend, Nacogdoches 8057. Michael A. Griffin ’91, Seattle 8058. Tracy L. Littleton ’98, Nacogdoches 8059. Maury Littleton ’96, Nacogdoches 8060. Sarah O’Brien, Friend, Marshall 8061. Larry D. Malone ’93, Nacogdoches 8062. Jessica Malone, Friend, Nacogdoches 8063. Michael Thomas Mason ’70, Dallas 8064. Nancy C. Mason, Friend, Dallas 8065. Stacy M. Lindsey ’92, Texarkana
8/10/15 4:24 PM
WINTER 2015 33
LUCILLE “LUCY” MARIE LA POINTE DEWITT passed away Oct. 9. DeWitt was born Oct. 8, 1925, in Killingly, Connecticut. As a girl, she lived in Charlotte, Michigan, with the Colizzi family, where she cared for the children and worked as a soda jerk at the family’s candy store. After high school, she moved to New York to pursue a career in acting and modeling. She also worked as a secretary in the Empire State Building. In 1948, she married Richard “Rich” DeWitt. The couple later moved to Waxahachie, Texas, where the DeWitt brothers started the DeWitt Turkey Hatchery. In 1957, they moved to Nacogdoches to help Rich’s brothers run the hatcheries. Rich and Lucy started their KFC franchise in 1964 in Nacogdoches and Lufkin and later expanded it to 68 additional locations in Texas. Involved in her community, she was instrumental in the founding of the Nacogdoches County Republican Women, serving as president in 1990. She also was a founding member of the Memorial Hospital
Auxiliary Pink Ladies. DeWitt volunteered at the Treatment Center, serving as board president from 1994-96. She also served on the board of the Samaritan Center, and she was a Charter Life Member of the Nacogdoches Expo Center. DeWitt was a leader in her children’s Scout troops, and she volunteered with her church, The Youth Center and several school PTA boards. She sponsored the Nacogdoches Crime Stoppers and donated to the restoration of Millard’s Crossing, the Old University Building and other local historical sites. DeWitt and her husband contributed to the establishment of the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing at SFA. In 2006, she was inducted into the Stephen F. Austin Society, and in 2008, she was selected Woman of the Year by the American Association of University Women. An outdoor enthusiast, she enjoyed hunting, fishing and golfing. DeWitt was a world traveler and liked exploring other cultures. Rich preceded her in death. She is survived by five children.
JAMES E. “BUDDY” TERRY passed away Sept. 26 in Boerne, Texas. Terry was born in Nacogdoches on March 7, 1931. He attended Longview High School, where he excelled academically and athletically. Following high school, he received a scholarship to Panola College, which later led to an SFA football scholarship. At SFA, his play on the football field earned him AP Little-All American Honors, and he received the first Ralph Todd Memorial Award in 1952 as Outstanding Athlete of the Year. The Detroit Lions drafted him in 1953, and in 1980, he was elected into the SFA Hall of Fame.
Terry received his bachelor’s degree from SFA in 1953 and then spent two years in the U.S. Army at Fort Bliss. Afterward, he took a job with Humble Oil, which later merged with Exxon, and he worked his way up from truck driver to district marketing manager. During his 31-year career, he also served as president. He married Barbara Anne Lowry in 1956. The couple was married 51 years until Barbara’s death in 2007. Terry enjoyed golf and philanthropy. He generously contributed to Panola College, SFA and other causes. Terry received SFA’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2005. His most-treasured moments were spent in the company of his three grandsons.
DR. WALTER V. “MIKE” ROBERTSON, SFA professor emeritus of biology and 1982-83 Regents Professor, passed away July 29. Robertson was born on April 6, 1931, in Malakoff, Texas. He graduated from Malakoff High School in 1948 and attended SFA, where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in 1951. From September 1952 to August 1954, Robertson served in the U.S. Army, 24th Infantry, 24th Reconnaissance Company, in Japan and Korea. He was selected to attend noncommissioned officer’s school, where he finished first in his class and attained the rank of sergeant. He was heavily decorated for his wartime service with honors, including the Korean Service Medal with Bronze Star, United Nations Service Medal,
National Defense Service Medal and the Republic of Korea Presidential Unit Citation. Upon his return from Korea, he attended SFA for additional coursework in preparation for graduate school and met and married Kathryn Sue Lemmerhirt. Robertson received his Master of Science in wildlife management from Texas A&M University in May 1959 followed by his doctoral degree in vertebrate biology in 1964. He then began his 35-year career teaching biology and guiding students into fields that include teaching, medical and dental, wildlife and fisheries management, and other biology-related professions. Robertson is survived by his wife and five children.
Karen D. Baccellieri ’69 of Avondale, Pennsylvania, Sept. 14 Travis Neil Bane ’65 of Brandon, Mississippi, Sept. 23 Dr. George H. Barfield ’56 of Pasadena, July 23 Carl Basey Jr. of Nacogdoches, friend of SFA, Sept. 17 Linda J. Broadd ’70 of Nacogdoches, Aug. 17 Martha A. Compton of Dallas, friend of SFA, July 17 C.W. “Joe” Corley of Cushing, friend of SFA, May 31 Charles Thurman “Rusty” Crawford ’66 of San Augustine, Sept. 16
Billy Joe McDuffie ’55 of Nacogdoches, Aug. 31 Sibyl H. Miller ’69 of Avery, July 13 O.T “Ted” Mitchell ’68 of Carthage, Aug. 14 David L. Morris ’95 & ’05 of Kissimmee, Florida, July 7 Betty Rose Morrow of Nacogdoches, friend of SFA, Aug. 17 Laurie Elizabeth Moses-Roeseler ’99 & ’03 of Cushing, July 8 Jack Musgrove ’51 of Fordyce, Arkansas, Sept. 14 Mona R. Osborn ’72 & ’75 of Troup, Aug. 10
Stephanie D. Crespin ’02 of Sachse, Aug. 7
Howard W. “Butch” Poe Jr. ’74 of San Antonio, July 6
Forrest Austin Dillon ’54 of Nacogdoches, Sept. 5
Shalia Pybas ’68 of Kilgore, Aug. 3
Joe E. Ditsworth ’81 of Lufkin, Sept. 9
Robert Edward Quillin ’70 of Lufkin, July 23
Agnes R. Downer ’63 of Carthage, July 12
Margaret “Maggi” Romero of New Iberia, Louisiana, friend and former coach at SFA, June 27
Patsy Garrett Drake ’69 of Port Neches, Sept. 8 Carolyn J. Dyas ’75 of Daingerfield, Oct. 2 Michael J. Elco ’77 of Galveston, Aug. 20 Joseph Robert Fisher ’93, ’95, ’00, ’03 & ’04 of Spurger, July 26
Jacob L. Segrest ’52 of Grand Junction, Colorado, June 6 Linda Stacks ’71 & ’93 of Teague, Sept. 19 Kathleen Taylor ’51 of Timpson, June 6 Mary O. Tittle ’37 of Lufkin, July 2
Vincent Frost ’86 & ’88 of Bellaire, Aug. 10
John W. Waldie ’49 & ’53 of Tyler, July 27
Mary Hanna ’44 of Bryan, July 9
Laddie Walker ’52 of Baytown, Sept. 5
Bolton M. Hanson Jr. ’67 of Rusk, Aug. 16
Walter J. Walla ’62 of Joaquin, Sept. 6
Michael J. Harvey ’62 of Cookeville, Tennessee, June 30
Vera Walton ’76 of Marshall, July 19
Thomas T. Hill ’96 of Houston, June 21
Timothy S. Wheatly ’68 of Houston, July 20
A.W. “Pete” Hillin ’99 & ’05 of Longview, July 18
Jeremy J. Whitten ’10 of Austin, July 4
W.T. Hoskins ’58 & ’64 of Crockett, July 4
Katrina Y. Williams-Carter ’93 of Humble, June 22
Jodi Ann Jablonski ’99 of Sugar Land, Aug. 19
Marcia Williams-Speer ’89 of Laneville, May 21
Danny L. Josey ’69 of Woodway, June 29
Deidre Jackson Wilson ’83 of Nacogdoches, Sept. 8
Ronald L. Keene ’79 of Clayton, North Carolina, Sept. 18
Raela Edmons Wright ’81 of Zavalla, Sept. 17
Doris B. Kimmey ’49 of Temple, Aug. 10
Wendy Yates ’96 of San Antonio, Sept. 7
Colvin Lackey ’57 of Tyler, Aug. 22
Peggy June Splann Young of Nacogdoches, friend of SFA, June 19
Buddy Lowe ’81 of Dallas, Sept. 7 Loyce G. Manahan ’86 of Houston, Aug. 18
WINTER 2015 35
FROM THE ARCHIVES
THE EAST TEXAS Research Center and Sawdust would like to know more about this SFA photo. If you have more information, please call (936) 468-4100. 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, please contact the ETRC.
Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow speaks to students
Members of the SFA and Nacogdoches communities attended the lectures and discussion presented by Dr. Dwight T. Pitcaithley, former National Park Service chief historian, in October.
Dr. Dwight T. Pitcaithley, former National Park Service chief historian, felt at home in Nacogdoches as he spent a week in October touring the historic city and visiting SFA as a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow. Pitcaithley has devoted his life to public history and the preservation of national parks. As chief historian, he was responsible for the management and preservation of the country’s most-beloved national resources. At SFA, Pitcaithley spoke with various history classes and held a public discussion on the “Centennial of the National Park Service,” which more than 600 people attended. He also had the opportunity to be immersed in SFA’s history with a visit to the Stone Fort Museum. Dr. Dana Cooper, associate professor in SFA’s Department of History, coordinated Pitcaithley’s visit and was overwhelmed by the event’s success. “It was wonderful to see Dr. Pitcaithley engaged with the students and faculty in such a positive and inspiring manner,” Cooper said. “It was amazing that someone of his caliber was able to visit SFA for a week and meet with our students on a personal level.”
WINTER 2015 37
One call. One connection. One bill.
www.suddenlink.com 409 N Fredonia | 888-822-5151
M AKE GREAT SPATIAL SCIENTISTS Take the first step toward your dream career. Explore 120 areas of study, from accounting to wildlife management, at sfasu.edu/great. 38 SAWDUST
WINTER 2015 39
M AKE GREAT ENTREPRENEURS Take the first step toward your dream career. Explore 120 areas of study, from accounting to wildlife management, at sfasu.edu/great. 40 SAWDUST
WINTER WINTER 2015 2015 41 III
CAMPUS NEWS Stephen F. Austin State University Alumni Association P.O. Box 6096, SFA Station Nacogdoches, Texas 75962-6096
WISHING YOU A WONDERFUL HOLIDAY SEASON AND NEW YEAR
Non-Profit Org. US Postage PAID Stephen F. Austin State University
Sawdust is the magazine of the SFA Alumni Association and Stephen F. Austin State University