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The Alumni Magazine of Texas A&M University-Commerce

Volume 14 Spring 2013

On the Cover The ‘E’ and ‘T’ stacked letters on the back cover represent the Old E.T. insignia that left a mark on the history and tradition of this university for almost 125 years. The artwork shows how those strong threads of pride have woven what the university is today. For both pieces of art, the artist used approximately 3,000 nails, 18 different spools of crochet thread and embroidery floss, and mounted it on whitewashed wood. Approximately 75 hours went into creating this powerful and bold statement. We welcome you to experience the creation of these pieces through a timelapse video. Visit to watch this and other videos featured in this issue. Artist: Ashley Bryan

A& M stor y of Texas 5 years, the hi 12 ly ar ne in d an ly rooted. ep de broad topic, d an le that seems a merce is rich hi W om . -C ns ity tio rs ec ve Uni have been brate ou r conn of those bonds PR IDE, we cele ize, and many al In this issue of re e w an p w ith th mon er it is a ki nshi ve more in com merce. W heth om -C M we genera lly ha & A e forge at brot herhood in relationships w , or the bond of et rg fo r ve ne created by the ith ot hers entor we ca n d assembling w g professor, a m at tach ment an t ou an encourag in ab is ney. ce en jo peri end of the ur e universit y ex waiting at the re tu fu a fraternity, th ht ed ig br d the ni and examin er educat ion an celebrated alum d an ul sf who va lue high es cc ost su e also ta ke a some of ou r m e universit y. W th ith w d We have chosen ne e ai e and mai nt we celebrate th they have mad st udents. A nd ns ith tio w ec g nn tin co ec e th ted and ho excel at conn ho have gradua lty and staff w sit y of those w ro ne ge look at the facu e th by udents afforded ou r st opport unities fields. ity-Com merce e tiv eir respec s A& M Univers xa Te e th ise moved on in th pr that com cu lty, staff, nds of threads s of alumni, fa Li ke the thousa e are thousa nd w , rs ve eat co e’s su ce, I received gr logos on this is y ow n ex perien m In and “Old ET ” d. . It is ke lin m ently & M-Com erce ho are perman t Emeritus of A en id es Pr and st udents w rr y , ca nd to cFarla at I am able Dr. Keith D. M is great man th th of ip sh mentorship from nd p, and frie gacy, mentorshi throug h the le ce of this tu re. d the ex perien ard into the fu knowledge, an , ps ou r vision forw hi ns create tio la re or y have helped ec ted throug h d glorious hist an e, We are al l conn dg le ow rited kn ld us together. nnec tions, in he e bonds that ho th et rg fo r place. These co ve y. Let us ne that ex ists toda the inst itution

s Dr. Dan R . Jone President


a new space to grow by Sydni Walker and Taelor Duckworth


Slated to open in the fall semester of 2013, this new four-story, suite-style residence hall is designed to meet the needs of today’s independent student. Each suite has two bedrooms, a living room, sink area, and a bathroom with shower. Each floor features a lounge area, kitchen, and laundry facilities. The complex’s first floor houses a main desk, staff offices, a multi-purpose room, and an outdoor courtyard for relaxation. The new residence hall is located on the corner of Neal Street and Culver Street and puts students within walking distance of the Morris Recreation Center and the Rayburn Student Center. As President Dan Jones pointed out, this area of campus has remained unchanged for many years, but the construction of the new residence hall will provide a fresh face for this high-traffic area.


It has grown by 1,000 students every year

Center (RSC) is breaking ground yet again

for the last three consecutive years. The

after its creation only four short years ago.

expansion of the RSC will include a new

“The fact that we have to add on after

special events room, more office suites and

only four years, says something about our

it will double both the dining room and

growth and student involvement,” said Mary

meeting place seats available. The university

Hendrix, the Vice President of Student Access

plans to expand the building by 28,000

and Success for the university.

square feet to the south of its West Neal

As far as student growth, A&M-Commerce is one of the top five universities in the state.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Street position. The project is expected to be completed by December 2013.

Spring 2013


An outdoor amphitheater was constructed and opened for use in fall 2012 from what was formerly known as The East Circle. This area was built as an additional space for student organizations to host events and celebrations. Bleacher-like seating was carved from the sloping hillside, creating a grassy, comfortable space to view programming, study, or relax. There is also a stage in the center of the amphitheater with additional room for dancing, plays, or other activities.

THE MASTER PLAN The goal of the University Master Plan is to create a high quality campus environment that bespeaks the university’s mission of teaching, research, and public service. It will serve as a basis for making decisions, to improve operational efficiency, and identify flexible strategies for accommodating growth. For more on the plan, visit the website:

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce



a time to celebrate by Andi Miller



&M-Commerce at Rockwall opened for the spring 2013 semester. It is a stateof-the-art facility designed to optimize students’ learning. The facility spans

25,000 square feet and is fully integrated with technology. The Rockwall location is well-equipped to carry new students into their futures with 80” Smart Boards, PolyCom video-conferencing and tele-conferencing capabilities, glass white boards, nine classrooms and multiple faculty office spaces, the Atmos Energy conference room, and a library equipped with computers and printer/copier resources. A&M-Commerce at Rockwall is nestled in the up-and-coming Rockwall Technology Park. Surrounding businesses include L-3 Communications, Graphics Microsystems, Precision Sheet Metal, EZ-Flo International, Zotec Partners, and others. To learn more, visit



Collin Higher Education Center

Navarro Partnership-Midlothian Higher Education Center

Universities Center of Dallas

Navarro Partnership-Corsicana

Eastfield Partnership-Eastfield College

Mesquite Metroplex

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013



he Keith D. McFarland Science Building was officially named on March 22, 2013. Before a packed lobby and

as a token of his appreciation for President Emeritus McFarland. President Jones said of McFarland, “With

gallery, the alumni, faculty, staff, and students

the possible exception of our founder,

of A&M-Commerce honored President

Professor Mayo, I know of no president of this

Emeritus McFarland whose tenure in the

university or any other who has dedicated

university’s highest office marked an era

more fully or given more freely of his life and

of facilities expansion, academic program

professional career than the man we honor

growth, and technological enhancement

today, Dr. Keith D. McFarland.”

heretofore unparalleled. Both Texas State Senator Bob Deuell

McFarland accepted his accolades with humility and humor, giving thanks to his

and Representative Dan Flynn spoke at the

family, especially his wife, Nancy. He thanked

naming ceremony, along with President

all of those who worked behind the scenes

Dan. R. Jones and Derryle Peace, Director of

with him to accomplish goals during his

Alumni Relations. While Congressman Ralph

presidency, noting, “Not only do we have

Hall could not attend, he sent his best wishes

those first class facilities we’re looking for, we

and a flag that flew over the capitol building

have a first class education.”

Spring 2012 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce



new team leaders by Andi Miller


COLBY CARTHEL Ryan Ivey was introduced

Colby Carthel became the

as the new Athletic Director

19th head football coach in

for A&M-Commerce

A&M-Commerce history

on January 7 and will

on January 22. A born

serve as steward of the

motivator and all-around

Lions’ 11 intercollegiate

talented coach, he brings

athletic teams. Ivey

over a decade of coaching

was selected from more

experience and a family

than 50 applicants in the

legacy of excellence into

nationwide search by a

his new role.

committee that included

Who is Colby Carthel?

representation from

A native of Friona, TX,

athletics, the university,

Carthel graduated from

alumni, and Ryan Ivey with his wife, Kelley, and family.

Who is Ryan Ivey? A native of Mayfield, Kentucky, Ivey was a four-year letter winner at the University of Memphis as a member of the Tiger football team. He earned his bachelor’s degree in sports management in December 2004, followed by his master’s degree in sport and leisure commerce in August 2010. He met his wife, Kelley, while attending the University of Memphis and has two sons, Jett and Ace.

What does he have in store for A&M-Commerce Athletics? “I see the potential for growth at this university,” Ivey said. “My goal and vision for this program is to become one of the premier programs in all of Division II and the country.”

Why Ryan Ivey? Some of Ivey’s key contributions have come in overseeing McNeese State’s nearly-eight million dollar athletic budget and handling the business operations on a day-to-day basis. He has also been responsible for implementing new money saving initiatives within the department as well as providing fiscal responsibility.

Angelo State in 2000 with

the community. Colby Carthel with his wife, Sarah.

a degree in biology and he completed his master’s

degree in interdisciplinary studies from West Texas A&M in 2007. Carthel is married to the former Sarah Butler, one of the top volleyball players in Division II history and the current assistant coach for the nationally-ranked Lady Buffs.

Where are Carthel’s strengths? He earned a reputation as one of the top recruiters in the region as he has personally recruited or coached 13 players at the Division II level that have gone on to careers in the National Football League. Carthel’s players have not only excelled on the playing field but in the classroom; seven of his Buffs earned Academic All-Lone Star Conference honors. Carthel’s motivational attitude and wealth of experience make him a great bet for brighter seasons ahead.

What is his legacy? His father, Don, is the head football coach at West Texas A&M and the duo coached side-by-side for 11 seasons, beginning at Abilene Christian in 2000. Carthel spent the last seven seasons as the defensive coordinator at West Texas A&M and played a key role in establishing the Buffs as one of the top teams in the region.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Colby Carthel with his father, Coach Don Carthel.

Spring 2013


a new season DEAR LIONS, As the new Athletic

Throughout the meetings, there were two themes that

• Oftentimes in collegiate sports, it seems like the

Director for the

revealed themselves:

students are expendable—we need to remember that


1. We must do a better job of external relations and

they are students first and athletes second

Lions, I’d first like to

promoting our athletic department successes both on

say thank you to all

the playing surface and in the classroom.

the readers of PRIDE

2. We must become consistently competitive for

for your support

conference championship and national playoff

and your unflagging


enthusiasm for our

Just to recap, here are some of the questions we

• Do not do away with the UIL events—very important that we keep them here on campus as it’s a great way to recruit • The conference realignment—do not leave the LSC if it remains a viable conference, but if the top teams leave we might have to consider leaving WHAT DO YOU FEEL IS OUR BIGGEST STRENGTH?

athletic programs. It

asked at each meeting and a summary of the

was important to me

feedback we received:

• People

that we get out into


• Location—our area is prime for activity; people are

local communities


looking for things to do and we could be a source

and gather feedback

• Marketing

to begin formulating

• Athletic training program needs improvements in

ideas about how to

• Faculty support—the professors and staff speak

equipment and facilities

positively about our programs all the time • New leadership that sets a new tone

improve Lion Athletics as a

• Selling tickets and getting support for the program


whole. With this goal in mind,

• Attendance at sporting events (football games)


we scheduled nine town hall

• Need more outreach into the surrounding


meetings at the university and in

media as well

• Make us more like other schools with some sport


surrounding communities. We received some really good feedback from our town hall meetings. One of the most important aspects was the consistency of the feedback.


additions (baseball/softball/tennis) • Curb appeal is old from the highways, stadium, field house and Whitley. The campus has been updated

• Football, it is fundamental and while some universities think of dropping the program, we

and enhanced, but nothing has been done to enhance athletic facilities


With this feedback in mind, our first goal is to address the welfare of our student athletes as a whole. We plan to improve our academic performance with the academic enhancement center, renovate our strength training facilities, and put more resources into our sports medicine facility. Well-rounded and healthy student athletes are successful athletes.

Since we can’t include every question and all of the feedback from the town hall meetings here, the entire list will be posted to the Athletic Department website at It is vital that our stakeholders see that their suggestions were taken into consideration while creating a plan to better Lion Athletics.  It is imperative that we all are on the same page moving forward so we can make Lion Athletics the power it once was.  Great things are ahead. GO LIONS! Best Wishes,


Using the feedback we’ve received through the town hall meetings, we will formulate the Athletic Department Strategic Plan, which will also be posted on the website. The plan will be a living, breathing document that will guide us in everything that we do. The plan will be established to push the department, our student athletes and coaches to areas that we haven’t been in a long time.  It will redefine our decision-making process to not just think outside of the box, but to ask why it has to be a box in the first place.  It will help to shape and redefine the culture of athletics at A&M-Commerce by developing a clear vision, mission and core values of the department.  In addition, it will address our responsibility to fiscal management and practices, revenue enhancement, branding, marketing and public relations, and an overall facility enhancement plan.  At the core of everything we do, will be creating and maintaining the best experience for our student athletes, alumni, donors and fans, so that A&M-Commerce athletics will maintain a sense of pride for all of our stakeholders.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

Common Thread A

by Andi Miller

An East Texas Boy Makes a Big City Difference Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce



PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

ith a colorful professional and personal story, as well as an unparalleled devotion to service, Fred Allen has become an iconic mentor and friend to some of the most powerful men and women in Texas and the nation. He is a passionate leader highly influenced by his Texas roots, and his hometown southern values have influenced powerful institutions in Dallas and beyond. “Fred has a deep understanding of issues and you can talk to him about various issues and he can zero in on what the issue really is and then give some sage, sound

boy was not

advice on what considerations you might want to take,”

suited to a life of leisure.

said Robert “Bob” Walker, President and CEO of Texas

He continued to work in cattle ranching and created a

Scottish Rite Hospital for Children (TSRHC) and Allen’s

wildly successful direct mail business based in Mount

friend and co-worker for 27 years.

Pleasant. With even more professional victories under his

Fred Allen an

d Bob Walke

r with VP of

When it comes to connections and networking, few

belt, he turned toward a life of service. Some of his most

people are as well-established as Fred Allen. A Mount

remarkable contributions include his time as a Mason—

Pleasant native, he is the product of humble beginnings.

including one of the organization’s highest ranks, Grand

The son of an oil field worker in the Depression-era,

Master of the Grand Lodge of Texas—and a 27-year stretch

he never dreamed he would one day rub elbows with

as a Vice President and board member at Scottish Rite.

Presidents of the United States, count celebrities

most valuable mentoring opportunities, and Allen’s

to the community.

humble southern values and charm have deeply impacted

I can’t imagine an east Texas boy like me doing as much or going as many places as I’ve been,” Allen said. But it takes much more than luck to establish

this multimillion dollar hospital devoted to serving the Dallas community and the world. “We have a very friendly relationship. Bob sometimes calls me for advice. I’m the third oldest member on the

relationships and rise to the distinctions Allen has

Scottish Rite Hospital board, so I’ve got a lot of experience

achieved. A combination of charisma, business savvy, and

to offer,” Allen said. “It’s probably the greatest institution

an analytical mind has allowed him to make great strides

I’ve ever been connected with.”

both professionally and personally. “As it turns out, I was a pretty good salesman,” Allen said of his first profession. A good salesman indeed. After his return from service in the Korean War, he took a job with the Royal Typewriter Company in Dallas and rose through their

Walker is quick to praise Allen’s service to Scottish Rite—their common passion—and his character as well. It is clear that Fred Allen is not only a grand achiever, but grounded in purpose. He may be an east Texas boy, but he makes a big difference wherever he goes. “Fred has been a mentor to me, but also to a number of

ranks from salesman to western regional sales manager

other people here at the hospital. If you think of Fred you

and eventually national sales manager based in New York

think of someone with solid character, integrity, who will

City. This phenomenal success set Allen up for his first

tell you what he thinks but will be there to support you

retirement at age 40 and a return to his Texas roots.

any time,” Walker said. “He is a very passionate individual

Even though he opted for what many would consider an early departure from the workforce, this east Texas

tees, Lee Dr

It is Scottish Rite that has afforded Allen some of his

among his closest friends, or give multitudes back “I guess I’ve just been plain lucky through my life.

Board of Trus

about what he does and what he believes in. You couldn’t have a better friend than Fred Allen. “

Go to to hear about the day Fred Allen learned the meaning of true power.



PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

By Andi Miller

A Professor’s Influence, A Parent’s Love r. Debra Nelson is a powerhouse. After a

the piece that I hold so fondly in my memory about the

a teacher, principal, and the upper echelon

university and the town. And it’s hard for me to separate

of administration, she is now the Deputy

the university and the town. I straddled both of those

Superintendent of Curriculum Development for the

because of my father and our allegiance to the university.

rapidly-growing Frisco Independent School District. But

I hold so many fond memories of the relationships.”

Debra Nelson’s career is not the whole story—impressive

After graduating high school, Nelson made the

as it is. Her love of education and her rise through its

transition to Stephen F. Austen State University in

ranks are attributable, in part, to a family legacy and love

Nacogdoches, but it was not meant to be. She transferred

of education fostered by her father, former department

back to East Texas State University the following year and

head and Professor Emeritus, M.B. Nelson.

fell into step beside former school classmates and peers, as

M.B. Nelson and his wife Netty first raised their

well as familiar professors and family friends. She changed

daughters in Bonham, Texas while he worked as

her major several times as an undergraduate, as so many

superintendent for Bonham ISD. When his older daughter,

students do, but when

Pam, graduated from high school, the family moved

she took an education

to Commerce where Nelson joined the faculty of the

course from Dr. Barbara

Educational Administration department of East Texas

Hammack, she knew she

State University.

was home.

After moving to Commerce, Debra Nelson discovered

“Like many young,

that she was inextricably tied to the university through the

foolish people, I always

Commerce community. She attended classes at Commerce

said I would never be a

High School with other professors’ children, she had

teacher because I was

community members and university dignitaries in her

reared in that. But my

home consistently, and those relationships were tightly

father wisely said to do

woven together.

whatever made me happy.

“I knew lots of the university people because I either was in school with their kids or they were friends of my

Spring 2013

parents or they went to church with us,” she said “That’s

superlative career in education with roles as

So he never encouraged me either way,”

Texas A&M University–Commerce


Nelson said. “When I took an education class with Dr. Hammack, who’s still there, I knew it was the niche for me.” After graduation from the bachelor’s degree program, Debra Nelson taught first grade in Commerce and decided to continue her education by pursuing a master’s degree; however, one of the greatest drawbacks to going further in educational administration was the thought of sitting in her father’s classes. “So many times I would go to the back of the room and sit in the corner, and he would call on me like he would every student. And I studied harder for that class and for those tests because, one, I didn’t want to embarrass him and, two, I didn’t want people to ever perceive that he was easier on me. “ Upon completion of her master’s degree, Nelson was accepted to Baylor University and the University of North Texas for her doctoral work. At the time, East Texas State University’s program in educational administration was one of the most celebrated in the state, and she struggled with the idea that she might suffer from a stigma by completing all three of her degrees from one institution if she stayed at ET. After weighing her options carefully and seeking her father’s advice, Debra Nelson decided to pursue her doctorate from East Texas State University for its quality and superb reputation, a decision that has served her well throughout her career.

“Like many young, foolish people, I always said I would never be a teacher...” 16

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

“My father had, at one time, more practicing

this, and was intimidated by others in my classes because

administrators in the state than any other professor in

I was so young. In my dad’s soft way, he kept guiding me

Texas because ET was producing so many administrators,

without telling me what to do.”

and they were so highly regarded,” Nelson said. “It always amazed me. I would hear about people flying

While M.B. Nelson passed away at the age of 78, Debra Nelson has a treasury of magnificent, heartfelt memories

in from the Valley, Arkansas, or Oklahoma. They would

of her father that she carries with her through the quiet,

fly into Dallas, pick up a rental car after they’d taught or

personal moments and into her daily workplace. M.B.

been a principal or superintendent all week. On Friday

Nelson was undoubtedly one of the greatest influences

night they would take a course or do research in the

in Debra Nelson’s life, and the lives

library. They would take a couple of classes on Saturday,

of many others in the

do research in the library again on Saturday night, and

education community

then fly home so they could go to work on Monday.”

across the state.

The decision to complete an Ed.D. at East Texas

“It made a difference

State University also provided her with one of the most

that he always said, ‘I’m

cherished moments of her life and one of her most

proud of you. Do what you

cherished moments with her father.

want to do,’ and that’s what

“I had hoped that he would be allowed to award my

an educator does. I’m doubly

doctoral hood at graduation. But they normally don’t

blessed because he was my

allow any substitutions other than the President or Dean.

father as well. But I saw him do

But I asked him and he said, ‘Honey, I just don’t think it’s

that for people he wasn’t related

going to happen.’ Dr. Charles Austin was President at the

to. That’s what people would tell

time and unbeknownst to me, Dad had already made that

you about M.B. Nelson, ‘He was

request and it was granted.”

a kind, caring person. He cared

While President Austin actually handed Debra Nelson

about me and my family and me

her diploma, her father was allowed to award her doctoral

as an individual and he wanted

hood in a moment charged with emotion and a sense of

the best for me.’ If his legacy can

overcoming great odds.

live on through me, I’m blessed to

“I have a picture of that moment in my office, and

carry that. He impacted me as a

it’s very dear to me. I wanted to give up several times,

human being, certainly, but as an

thought I wasn’t smart enough or bright enough to do

educator as well.” Go to to learn more about the Nelson family.

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


by Andi Miller




e th

Vel a

, Ju

dg e

Ro b

udge Demetra Robinson, of the Commerce Municipal Court, began her educational career in

ins o

n’s fo


er i n te

r n.

started having problems in

the way of many. As an 18-year-

school; he was in first grade

old mother with low self-esteem

which is a critical age. He was

and increasing obligations on

learning how to read during a

Science degree from the College

her and husband John’s time,

time they had stopped teaching

of Business and Entrepreneurship

college didn’t seem feasible.

phonics, and he was really

online at Texas A&M University-

struggling. I withdrew from

Commerce. The online degree

realized did not hit me until my

school so that I could help my

program allowed her to balance

graduation day. The moment

children succeed in school—

the commitments of family

I entered the auditorium for

always with the determination

life with the yearning to learn,

graduation and I heard the music,

that I would one day return and

broaden her horizons, and pursue

the tears started flowing.”

obtain a degree,” Robinson said.

her career aspirations.

Later, after a failed attempt and growing health concerns in her family, it seemed like higher education might be permanently out of reach, but her resolve never failed. “During my third semester

With times changing and

“A&M-Commerce’s program

And Judge Robinson has not stopped there. In addition to her

technology playing a larger,

allowed me to fulfill a lifelong

post of 13 years as Commerce

more integral role in higher

dream. The university made this

Municipal Court Judge, she

at Northeast Texas Community

education, Robinson was able to

goal a reality,” Robinson said.

continues to pursue further

College, one of my children

pursue her Bachelor of Applied

“The significance of that dream

education and an active ministry.

She has also bestowed opportunities for professional growth on several A&M-Commerce students. Robinson hired interns from the university into her court to work as clerks and gain unparalleled experience to launch them into their chosen careers. “They’ve all been great. Maria Terry was a little tornado with a thirst to learn. Elizabeth Vela was a great asset as a bilingual intern with a knack for explaining our laws and regulations to our community members. And Chelsea Stanley was a breath of fresh air with a great attitude,” said Robinson. Elizabeth Vela recalled, “The first thought you have is how a judge would be serious and strict because of their position. I was nervous, but she was the complete opposite; she is fair and outgoing. She loves everyone and tries to make sure everyone has a fair shake, and I absolutely loved that about her. Everything I did in my internship, I actually do now in my current position.” In a professional world where employers require experience before many students have an opportunity or the skills to gain it, Judge Demetra Robinson reaches out a hand to the university and brings students onboard. Although she struggled with her early opportunities in education, she has found a fulfilling role and offers her interns inroads to the same contentment and success. 18

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

Go to to check out more from Judge Robinson’s photo shoot.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013


he McKinney Avenue Contemporary art gallery in Dallas recently celebrated Michael Miller’s 20-year career as an influential artist, painting professor, and Director of Studio Art Graduate Studies at A&M-Commerce with a show entitled, Out of Commerce. The artists who showed alongside Miller—Trenton Doyle Hancock, Robyn O’Neil, Lawrence Lee, Daniel Kurt, and Jeff Parrot—have made a splash in the contemporary art world, but they began their journey in Miller’s studio classroom. For all of his accolades and accomplishments,

the intimidating exterior motivates students

for Out of Commerce by a friend of mine

what comes across most in a conversation

to do better work and Miller observes

– Alison de Lima Greene – curator at the

with Michael Miller is his willingness to

carefully and helps bring their ideas into

Museum of Fine Arts Houston. The purpose

nurture students. That does not mean hand

focus as he develops relationships with his

was to run another installation of my work,

holding or coddling—he is a little too gruff

pupils. He achieves this feat not only through

but also to make a connection to students

for that. Well-known for his cane and a

instruction, but by serving as a challenging

and former students who have graduated and

way of barking through classes early in the

mentor and sounding board.

become friends and colleagues. And that’s the

semester, he can be an intimidating guy. But Spring 2013

“I was initially approached with the idea

most rewarding thing when that happens.” Texas A&M University–Commerce


“…it’s not necessarily what they are but how they are.”

Conway Heart Loretta, 2009, acrylic on paper, 44 x 35”


It is not Miller’s style to always dictate to his classes. While his assignments in foundational courses have a clear objective, as students move through the program, they gain autonomy. By the time they reach Miller’s Advanced Painting class, he adopts a more hands-off approach based on practice and discussion. “I’m not coming to the class with assignments. By the time you make it to Advanced Painting hopefully you’ve generated sources you’re going to draw from, and that’s what I want to work with. Tell me what you want to do and let’s define that,” Miller said. Trenton Doyle Hancock, alumnus and nationally-renowned artist said, “The education that he gave me and my peers, it was like we were at an Ivy League school. In fact, some Ivy League programs don’t have professors of this quality. It was really amazing.” Time in Michael Miller’s classroom is a true exchange of artistic ideas. Miller learns from the experience of interacting with his students and helping them refine their vision. They influence his art as much as he influences theirs.


Ace Cool Disciple, 2010, Acrylic and fabric on canvas, 72x72”

“In my work, I collage fabric on paper and the fabric is sandwiched between two layers of matte medium, so it’s enclosed in acrylic. From there I’m choosing clip art from the Internet—hundreds of images, thousands before I get to the ones I care to save. And it’s not necessarily what they are but how they are. I’m interested in a gesture. One that resembles a human or something a human would do – a movement, a way of communicating with each other.” Then students become part of the action. “I hire students to be studio assistants – one or two at a time. The initial stages that you see here, I hire students to come in and do the collage work with fabrics and this clip art which is very straightforward. I do that also because it makes the challenge that much more interesting for me. That someone else is going to make design decisions I would never make. If I were to make them I’d somehow be thinking in the back of my mind how it’s going to be solved. However, if I’m dealing with someone else’s decision, I have to come up with entirely new solutions. That’s the most rewarding part of having someone else, be it students or former students, take part.”


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Happiness, 2010, Acrylic and fabric on canvas, 72x72”

Spring 2013

Go to to hear Miller talk about his past students.

THE OTHER SIDE OF MICHAEL MILLER One of the most beneficial things Miller does for his students

is in offering honest critique and true insight. Despite his air of crankiness, Miller is not cruel in his assessments, but straightforward and eager to help students find their way. “Jeff Parrot spent time at at least one community college in Dallas

be able to read them first.’ Thank God it made sense and he went on to a really good graduate program and the rest is history.” As Miller instructs and guides his students, and as they exchange ideas and create art together, Miller has a tendency to become his students’ biggest fan, which provides abundant motivation. His greatest

and he was kind of allowed to do whatever he wanted to do without

gifts are helping students bring their own work into focus, helping

getting called on it. He would come into my studio and sit and we’d

them build confidence, and guiding them as they find their niche in the

talk while I painted.”

contemporary art world.

Miller was blunt in confronting Parrot about his direction. “Jeff, all this time you spent at your previous community

“I have several of Daniel Kurt’s drawings in the house. I came upon one in his early portfolio, and I told him what I was reading in terms

colleges, they just kind of let you get high and make stuff, right?”

of the narrative. I told him I thought he should give it to me. Another

Miller recalled.

student said I should buy it. So I said, ‘I’ll give you all the money in my

When Parrot confirmed his suspicions, Miller responded, “‘Ok,

wallet right now.’ To both of our surprises there was a lot more money in

that’s our starting point. We are going to no longer do that and

my wallet than I thought. It was a deal. I got the drawing and he got my

you’re going to be responsible for your visual documents. You have to

wallet, and I’m very happy to have it.”

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


By Andi Miller


tan McKee, Senior Manager of Customer Relations

formative mentee experiences in the university and

for Oncor and member of the board of directors for

industry to heart and become a mentor in his own right.

the Community Health Service Agency, Inc. of Hunt

“Through the years we’ve had mentoring programs.

County, is not only the incoming president of the Alumni

I’ve been fortunate enough to mentor several young men

Board, he’s also a tried-and-true believer in the power

and women to be in a management roles here at Oncor.

of Texas A&M University-Commerce to transform lives

At least two of those individuals were A&M-Commerce

and establish careers. He has good reason to be filled with

grads. They’ve done very well, they’ve moved on, and

university spirit, as he is surrounded by approximately 125

achieved higher levels of opportunity within the company.

fellow alumni currently employed by Oncor. He’s also part

They have nothing but a bright future ahead of them,

of a distinguished legacy of professionals from the utility

and I’ve been very proud of my

industry, including Garland Button and

association with those mentees.”

Thomas Blakey, who graduated from

McKee has thrown himself

East Texas State Teachers College.

wholeheartedly into giving

“Tom Blakey was VP of

back to the university alongside

Operations and gave me an

his devotion to his career.

opportunity to go into my first

He has spoken to classes and

management position around

shared his knowledge through

1981. Mr. Blakey retired some

practical application teaching.

years later and has since passed

He has served as an Alumni

away, but we maintained a strong

Ambassador and member of

relationship throughout the

the Foundation Board as well

years he was here. He looked over

as four years of service as a

my shoulder and gave me great

member of the Alumni Board.

advice in helping me develop my

As he undertakes the presidency

career, and I have nothing but the

of that board, he is gathering

greatest love and admiration for

input from the 35 members as he

Tom Blakey.” Through Blakey’s superb mentorship and the education he gained in Commerce, McKee has led an illustrious career including

M A group of A&


c me r C om

oy mpl ni e m u e al


by Oncor.

anticipates their future goals. “They really want to see

the name of the university pushed forward, and

they’re really dedicated to making that happen. They’re also dedicated to making sure that the campus is noted

management positions over a

as a pristine campus and a good location for students to

variety of Oncor’s divisions and in multiple locations.

receive a quality education. And they’re very proud of the

It was professors like Dr. Dayle Yeager, Professor Emeritus of Engineering and Technology, who played a key role in McKee’s early successes in college. “Dr. Yeager was head of my department then and he encouraged me to stay in school because I was thinking of leaving. He supported me and introduced me to the

diversity represented by the university.” Stan McKee continues to build relationships and make connections with A&M-Commerce grads every day. His dedication to the university is endless and a true inspiration to all he touches. “A&M-Commerce alumni are dedicated, hardworking

folks at Mach 3 [a former student service] who offered

folks. This company is made up of grads from a lot of

me additional support. I’ve told young students, ‘You’re

different universities, but you’ll see a certain amount of

going to find a level of support at A&M-Commerce that is

pride and distinction that the A&M-Commerce grad

unparalleled to anywhere else you’ll go.’”

carries. We have a kindred spirit connection with each

In the spirit of giving back, McKee has taken those 24

other, keep up with each other, and support each other.”

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

Go to to watch a timelapse of the Oncor group photo.

LIFE'S KEY POINTS by Lisa Martinez


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

Sam Walker is an icon on and off the court to students, athletes, coaches and fans from all over this region. oach Sam Walker reached a milestone in his career on January 9, 2013 as he became the all-time winningest coach in A&M-Commerce history against Midwestern State, 74-66, taking him to 202 wins. Jim Gudger previously held that title as the head coach for men’s basketball from 1969-1983. But this record alone is not what makes Coach Walker a role model in Lion Athletics.

He is known by many as an intense, focused, and determined head basketball coach who has a tendency to pace back and forth from one end of the bench to the other, but not as many know him personally—as a jokester, mentor, loving father and loyal Lion. The story of Sam Walker and his 202nd win lies within his journey to, then, East Texas State University 21 years ago , the mentors who have paved the way to his success, and ultimately to become an example to the future of college basketball.

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


OLD SCHOOL RECRUITING NEVER GROWS OLD Walker began his coaching career as a

student basketball assistant for Navarro Junior College in 1987 before transferring to Sam Houston State in 1989. After graduating from Sam Houston in 1991 with a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology and health, Walker started his tenure at East Texas State University to serve as Paul Peak’s assistant coach. A 2012 Hall of Fame Inductee, Peak moved to Texas from

Above: Coach Paul Peak

California in 1991 to continue his career at

Right: Walker and Peak, 1995

ET where he spent nine seasons as the head

Far right: Walker with two of the most influential people in his life, Dr. David Talbot and Dr. Jesse Hawthorne on his wedding day, Aug. 2, 1997. Dr. Talbot was the preacher and married Sam and Alison.

coach for men’s basketball. Peak welcomed Walker beside him on the bench, as well as in his home. “I lived in the locker room for about eight months. I bought a mattress in a garage sale, put it in the closet and brought it out at night. I thought I had it made and said, ‘This couldn’t

“Sam knows everybody in Texas in

be any better.’ I’ve got all this space and got

basketball. He knew so many people, and just

many compliments about being the first one

like crashing on my couch, he would turn in


there and the last one to leave since my car

his expense reports and there would never be

• Earned a 17-10 record in his first season,

never left the Field House. Later, Coach Peak

a night of lodging, because he would crash

welcomed me into his home, and I shared the

on everyone’s couch every night while he was

couch with the family dog, Sasha. I would

scouting and recruiting,” Peak said.

always start off on the couch, and end up

Coach Peak officially passed the ball to

2000-2001 • Ended 2002-2003 with a 16-12 record and a third place finish in the South Division • Unforgettable 2004-2005 with a 28-5 record

on the floor since Sasha would take it over,”

Walker as Head Coach for Lions basketball

recalled Coach Walker about his first places

in May 2000 while Peak handled the Athletic

This paved the way for the 17th Lone Star

of residence in Commerce.

Director position. “He was a great find for me

Conference championship defeating West

Coach Peak believed that every athlete

and 10-2 overall in the South Division.

as an Assistant Coach. He really made my last

Texas in the title game, 77-62, and then

he coached had the potential to succeed

couple of years coaching nice, and he was just

qualified them for their first NCAA Division II

on and off the court. Peak held Walker to

taking over. When I became Athletic Director,

tournament since 1988.

that standard. “It was funny watching him

I was ready to hand it over.”

divide his time between basketball, where his passion was, and school, which he had to get done as a student. To say he was a shining example of what a student should be was a bit of a stretch, because his interest was in basketball, and he knew that was what he was going to do for the rest of his life. But, he did get it done, and I was proud of him for that because we had him on the road most of the time.” But what Coach Peak realized is while it seemed like hard work for Sam to earn his master’s degree, recruiting came naturally to him. He quickly established himself as one of the top recruiters in Texas and in the southwest region—a reputation that continues to this day. 28

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

Go to to hear Walker talk about crashing on Peak’s couch.


worked for. I’ve heard some stories about how intense he is, but people will run

his time to share and educate Sam Walker

through a wall for him. He cares about

about basketball and life’s lessons, Coach

making sure his guys graduate and grow

Walker, too, instills the same foundation

as young men, and he gets the most out of

in his future legacies.

them on the court,” Burton said. But like Peak and Coach Walker,

two people who were just loyal student

Burton also experienced humble

athletes. If being a student athlete here was

beginnings with his coach. This included

all they did, then we got more money out

Coach Walker opening up his home to

of them than we put in. Both those guys

Jason when he first moved to Commerce,

stuck around and were Assistant Coaches

and offering his couch for as long as he

and gave back to other teams. And the

needed. This East Texas hospitality would

relationship I’ve had with both those

become a constant in Walker’s legacy,

guys, different as a player, and different

and serve as a metaphor for humble

as a coach to work with, I have a strong

beginnings and dynamic teamwork. To

connection,” Walker expressed.

this day, Jason Burton, Ross Hodge and

“He taught me the importance of

Coach Walker talk constantly about the

relationships with players. The biggest

game, the wins, the losses, and on personal

thing he taught me is keeping things in

matters. Also, just like clockwork, Coach

perspective and having a balance between

Peak, enjoys the phone conversations from

coaching and your family,” Hodge said.

Coach Walker about the very same things,

Ross transitioned from player to assistant

reminiscing about the great times, and

coach for Coach Walker from 2004-2005,

always leaving off on a good note.

where he helped the Lions to the 2004-05

“I’m sure proud of the success he’s had.

Lone Star Conference Championship,

I’m proud of him; what a great coach,

and a spot in the NCAA Division II

father, and husband he is. I tell him to

Sweet Sixteen.

keep doing what he’s doing, making

Coach Walker’s teachings have had a lasting effect on Hodge as he entered this basketball season as Assistant Coach for

people around him better people. Keep it going, Sam,” Peak expressed. Coach Sam Walker’s legacy is full and

Colorado State University where they

continues to grow as he instills the lessons

made it all the way to the 3rd round of the

from his mentors and shares his own

NCAA Tournament in Lexington, KY.

passion for basketball and his love for his

Another one of Coach Walker’s legacies is currently Assistant Basketball Coach at

athletes and coaches. Coach Sam Walker shared, “Anytime

Texas State University-San Marcos, Jason

you have a job where you have a score

Burton. The Plano, Texas native played

board in your office, you’re going to be

collegiate ball at Austin College, where

rated on wins and losses. I hope what

he was a three-year letter winner. After

my tenure here has [proved] is that our

earning his bachelor’s degree in business

successes are not solely looked at by how

administration and sports psychology,

many games we won. When I represent

he spent the 2005-2006 season as the

our university recruiting or on the floor

top assistant for Austin College’s Chris

coaching, it’s more than just trying to win

Oestreich. Jason started his MBA at Texas

that basketball game. It’s about giving

A&M University-Commerce in 2007 and

back to the people who made sure I had

joined Walker on the basketball court for

my life in order to be able to do the things

four years; three years as Assistant Coach

[I’ve been able to do] and be successful…”

before being promoted to Associate Head Spring 2013

I played for, and from the coaches I

Similar to how Coach Peak dedicated

“Len Bishop and Ross Hodge were

Jason Burton

“He was just different from the coaches

Coach in fall 2010.

Go to to see more photos. Texas A&M University–Commerce


P U G N I P M T M A N A E M E V L O V IN n by A

achary Shirley, Assistant Director of Fraternity and Sorority Life, is a stranger to no one. His outgoing personality and exuberance for his role at A&MCommerce are truly infectious, and he has the perfect amount of energy for leading a successful mentoring program on campus—the African American Male Mentor Program (AAMMP). Shirley’s educational background prepared him for his current role through a deep appreciation for mentorship. He earned his master’s degree in higher education administration

from A&MCommerce, and he makes it a priority to give back to the university on a daily basis through his tireless work ethic and consistent interaction with AAMMP participants and students from across the university. The goal of AAMMP is to bring students from a variety of fraternities and sororities together to mentor new Lions who are in need of positive role models and want to experience collegiate growth. Ultimately, the plan for the program is to increase mentees’ success and provide them with a rich, well-rounded university experience while strengthening their confidence, academic abilities, and self-esteem. AAMMP began in 2010 and was established under a grant from the Higher Education Coordinating Board—secured by Dr. Mary Hendrix, Vice President of 30

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

di M

i l le r

Student Access and Success—and it was presented to Shirley as a top priority when he came onboard in the fall of 2011. From its inception, the program has utilized university Success Coaches, staff members, and old-fashioned observation on Shirley’s part to identify potential mentees. In the program’s early days it was difficult to identify both mentors and mentees as students were hesitant to let down their guard, often rendered motionless by pride or a sense of the unknown. “It was like pulling teeth to get people to participate,” Shirley said. However, as AAMMP has grown semester-by-semester and gained popularity and a devoted following among A&M-Commerce students, it has

expanded to a total of 56 total mentors and mentees for the spring of 2013 – by far its largest numbers to date. Antonio (T.J.) Davis is currently a member of the AAMMP program and Shirley’s mentee for the spring 2013 semester. In his second semester, Davis has quickly shown himself to be devoted to the university experience. He is president of the Whitley Hall Association and has already participated in a national conference on the university’s behalf; he spends the majority of his time embroiled in new priorities. “I don’t even watch TV anymore. I’m always doing something, whether it’s studying or working on a program,” Davis said. Shirley first noticed Davis because he Spring 2013

The African American Male Mentor Program creates lasting connections across

social, cultural, and educational boundaries.

Go to to see other AAMMP mentor/mentee pairs cut up for the camera.

spent time in the leadership office to study and get away from the social areas of the Rayburn Student Center. As Davis’s involvement in the university grew, he again came to Shirley’s attention. “When I was recruiting mentees for this semester I said, ‘Find that T.J. boy.’” Shirley insisted, “I know he’s going to do big things at Commerce.” While the original goal of AAMMP was mentoring African American male students, the program has diversified and expanded as the need has arisen. Spring 2013 is the first time mentees receive both male and female mentors to give them an expanded view of their college experience and a breadth of opinion they did not receive before. AAMMP participants make lasting relationships and enduring connections with their mentors that often remain strong throughout their tenure at A&MCommerce. Likewise, they meet faculty and staff who continue to cultivate a mentorship relationship with them throughout their college careers.

The AAMMP program and Zach Shirley have found a way to create bonds and connections across campus, across races and genders, educational backgrounds, and programs of study. They offer an experience to students to involve them deeply in the A&M-Commerce community, and those who are genuinely involved are far more likely to graduate and succeed. As a young program, AAMMP—like its students—has a bright future. Students are not the only ones who grow and gain fulfillment from the AAMMP program. Shirley insisted, “This has been a life-changing experience. People often undervalue the importance of making connections, and that’s what we do here.”

Back row – left to right – Dr. Shonda Gibson, Mara E. Lane Busby, H. Gordon Allen, Janice LaMendola, Jean Conway, Ed.D., Dr. Marty Crawford, Dr. Kevin J. Eaton, Jency Standerfer Holbert, Dr. William C. Attridge, Rebecca Tuerk, William Thomas Allison, Ph.D., Dr. Mary Cimarolli Front row – left to right – Douglas L. Hoppock, Bobby R. Francis, Dr. Jeremy P. McMillen, Barbara C. Villarreal, Paul Rountree, M.D., John T. White, Tony L. Stout, Don C. Hodges, Don C. Hodges, Jimmy D. Shirley

epartments across campus have chosen former students to serve as Ambassadors, inviting them to return to campus to

Bobby Francis meets with music students.

interact with students and faculty. This is the highest honor that a department may bestow upon its alumni. Over the past 30 years, 809 Ambassadors have returned to campus to participate in the Annual Alumni Ambassador Forum. The most recent Alumni Ambassador Forum took place on February 28, 2013 on the A&M-Commerce campus. Ambassadors spent time teaching individual classes and speaking to students, visiting with faculty and staff in their respective departments, and they gathered for a luncheon held in their honor.

Dr. William Attridge speaks to an psychology class.

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


Gold Blazers 2013

Sandra Doyle

The 2013

Gold Blazers The Gold Blazer Award is presented annually to alumni who have provided outstanding service to the Alumni Association and the university. Sandra Doyle (Class of 1975) earned her bachelor’s degree in

Robert V. “Buddie” Barnes, Jr.

of the North Dallas Chamber and Rockwall Area Chamber boards, North Texas Commission executive board, Urban League of Greater Dallas board, Chairman of the Corporate Partners board for the Dallas Library, Texas Workforce Commission board, the Center for NonProfit Management board, Greenville and Rockwall Boards of United Way, and Friends of Fair Park board. Doyle is a graduate of Leadership Dallas and Leadership Rockwall and participates as a mentor in the North Dallas Chamber and the Dallas Regional Chamber’s Young Professional’s mentoring program and Big Brothers Big Sisters. She was also a recipient of the 2009 Dallas Business Journal’s 25 Top Women to Watch award. A native of Dallas, Doyle and her husband reside in Heath, Texas.

home economics in preparation for her career in business. She now

Robert V. “Buddie” Barnes, Jr. (Class of 1976) grew up

serves as the Director of Public Affairs for Atmos Energy Corporation

in the construction industry and received his bachelor’s degree

overseeing public affairs managers throughout Texas. Before

in industrial technology with a double major in architecture and

joining Atmos, Doyle was director of gas transportation marketing

business management. In 1976, he began working for his father-in-

for TXU Gas.

law’s company, Dee Brown Masonry, Inc., and became the first contact

Doyle has been active in various industry and community

administrator. After Dee Brown Masonry, Inc. was closed down in

associations as well as civic and charitable organizations. She is

1990, Barnes became President and CEO of Dee Brown, Inc. and

chairman of the A&M-Commerce Foundation board, past chairman

Masonry Technology, Inc.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

Billy Marshall

In January 2008, Barnes was named Chairman of the Board and

Oscar Faye Williams

campus for assisting the Advancement Services office and other

CEO of DBI. His son, Robert V. “Rob” Barnes, III was named DBI’s

groups within the school in the stewardship of donors for the last

third President and CEO. Barnes continues to serve the construction

six years by making personal telephone calls to thank them for their

industry through a multitude of service and professional endeavors,

gifts and letting them know that each and every person is important

while his son runs the family business.

to the university.

His service to the university includes his recent activities as Chairman of the A&M-Commerce Foundation and President of

Oscar Faye Williams (Class of 1973) completed her

the A&M-Commerce Distinguished Alumni Chapter.

bachelor’s degree in biology and sociology and went on to begin

Billy Marshall (Class of 1968) taught and coached at the

her career as a laboratory technician at Parkland Memorial Hospital. However, the isolated nature of the work was not well-suited to this

middle school and high school level for twelve years. He was a board

lively alumna’s personality. She eventually made a switch to zoning and

member of the Dallas Coaches Association for four years, and during

code enforcement where she used some of her established skills but in

that time, he was the youngest head coach in the Dallas Independent

a new capacity. Fast forward 30 years, and Williams made the decision

School District.

to retire from her position with Fair Park Community Relations. Never

In 1980 he transitioned to Texas Instruments, and when it was

one to take life slowly, she now trains professionals all over Texas in

purchased by Raytheon, he was one of only four people chosen to

code enforcement via her position as Senior Training Specialist for the

combine Raytheon, TI, Hues and E-Systems. After the merger, Marshall

Texas Engineering Extension Service.

was chosen as Director of Enterprise Services which put him in

Ms. Williams also maintains a rigorous and well-established

charge of all facilities, grounds, maintenance and computer support

relationship with the university through her sorority, Delta Sigma

nationwide for Raytheon. He retired from Raytheon in 2000.

Theta, Theta Nu chapter. Williams has helped establish scholarships for

Mr. Marshall is perhaps best known on the A&M-Commerce Spring 2013

students, and she is a member of the Alumni Relations board. Texas A&M University–Commerce


Distinguished Alumni 2013

The Distinguished Alumni Award is presented to alumni who have achieved outstanding success in their chosen profession.

Carl S. Richie, Jr.

Carl S. Richie, Jr. (Class of 1981) has worked on all three levels of government—local, state and federal. He began his legislative career by serving as a fellow to a member of the U.S. Congress. Then he served as a legislative assistant for two state senators before becoming Deputy Chief of Staff to Texas Governor Ann W. Richards and led the governor’s ethics task force, which established the Texas Ethics Commission, and he became the agency’s first interim director. In March 1991, Richie was one of 60 people to be named “A Rising Star” in American politics by Campaigns and Elections magazine. He was also one of 35 individuals selected to participate in the Henry Toll Fellowship and was elected President of the 1993 Henry Toll Fellowship Class. The Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce named Richie Volunteer of the Year for his work in education and workforce development and for governmental relations. He is also recognized as one of 2007’s Best Lawyers in America by Woodward/White, and he received the Healthcare Heroes Award by the Austin Business Journal in 2007. Recently, he has served as Vice President of Government Affairs for TXU Energy, where he managed the company’s state legislative and regulatory advocacy team and external consultants. He also managed the employee-based political action committee and its associated activities. Richie is a board member for Sendero Health Plans, treasurer of Austin Area Research Organization, president of the Board for Southwest Housing Compliance Corporation, commissioner for Housing Authority of the City of Austin, and parliamentarian to Board of Governors, National Association of Housing & Redevelopment Officials. Currently, Richie serves as Vice Chairman of the Board of Commissioners for the Housing Authority for the City of Austin. He has earned the highest awards that can


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

Toby Harty

Congressman Mike Conaway

be given to a public housing commissioner. He represents

Congressman Mike Conaway (Class of 1970) came to

clients before the Texas legislature on many public policy

A&M-Commerce after graduating from Odessa Permian High School.

issues. He also represents clients in administrative matters

He received his BBA degree in Accounting. He was recently sworn in

before state and federal agencies in the areas of campaign

for his fifth term in the U.S. House of Representatives and represents 29

finance, energy matters and housing issues.

counties in central and west Texas. Conaway served in the Army from 1970-1972 and became a Certified

Toby Harty (Class of 1968 and 1969) comes from

Public Accountant in 1974. He has worked as a Chief Financial Officer

a long line of Lions. Her mother, siblings and several

at a bank, and from 1981-1986 was the Chief Financial Officer of

relatives hold degrees from A&M-Commerce. She worked

Arbusto Energy, Inc. Soon after former President George W. Bush was

as a secretary in the counseling center during her time on

elected Governor of Texas, Bush appointed Conaway to the Texas State

campus, and after graduation, she became Dean of Women

Board of Public Accountancy where he served for seven years, the last

at Southwest Missouri State University.

five as chairman.

Once Texas A&M University in College Station began

He is the chairman of the House Ethics Committee, a deputy

admitting female students, the campus was in need of a

Republican whip and a member of the House Agriculture, Armed

Dean of Women. Harty applied and became the first and

Services and Intelligence committees. He has sponsored legislation

only Dean of Women at A&M in College Station. When

to create a simpler and fairer tax system, increase accountability in

the government decided it was discriminatory to have

government funding, and protect small businesses and family farms

gender-specific deans, Harty’s position was eliminated.

from tax increases. Conaway’s background as a CPA motivates him to

She has held varied positions during her professional

push for fiscal responsibility in Washington, including reducing the

career, including employment in Dallas at Club Corp of

federal debt.

America, Athletics and Wellness.

On the Agriculture Committee, Conaway serves as the chairman

She returned to campus in 2009 to be a member of the

of the Subcommittee on General Farm Commodities and Risk

Silver Leos graduate course in memoir writing. She is also

Management, working to protect the interests of rural America

a contributor to the newly released Memories of Old E.T.

and its farmers.

Harty is now retired and lives in her birthplace, Yantis, with her husband, Jim.

Spring 2013

A Midland resident and an ordained deacon in the Baptist church, Mike and his wife Suzanne have four children and seven grandchildren.

Texas A&M University–Commerce


Distinguished Alumni 2013

Ben L. Scholz

Dr. Paul Rountree

Dr. Paul Rountree (Class of 1965) received his bachelor’s degree

company. While there, he changed the corporate

in chemistry, biology, and English before graduating from medical

structure of the company to C-corporation and became

school at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in 1969.

the President and CEO of Producers Compress, Inc.

In 1972, Rountree became the director of the East Little Rock

Scholz Farms, which continued the original business, but

the Department of Family Practice at the University of Arkansas for

changed a few things. The primary sources of revenue

Health Sciences. He returned to Texas as Gulf Coast Regional Medical

became corn, grain sorghum, wheat, beef, cattle and

Director for Union Carbide Corporation in 1989.

hay. He adapted the newest technical electronics for

The American Board of Preventive Medicine certified Rountree in

more efficient operations of equipment and developed a

1990. He frequently contributed professional articles and book chapters

minimal-till cropping system for better opportunities for

on topics in the field of occupational medicine while working at the

improved net returns.

University of Texas Health Center in Tyler (UTHCT). After being

Scholz was a charter member of the Wylie Area

recognized as Teacher of the Year many times, he retired in 2006

Chamber of Commerce promoting several events for

from UTHCT as the Houston Endowment Distinguished Professor

scholarship and philanthropy. He also served on the

in environmental science.

Planning and Zoning Commission for the City of Wylie.

After retirement, and never one to rest for too long, he was offered

Currently, Scholz serves as President of the Texas

employment with ExxonMobil Corporation as Manager for Medicine

Wheat Producers Association; Director of the National

and Occupational Health in the Baytown Complex and currently works

Association of Wheat Growers and U.S. Wheat

as Assistant Manager for Medicine and Occupational Health in North

Associates; and Chairman of Forage Committee for a

America. Rountree also served in the Navy and retired as a Captain in

regional Texas AgriLife Extension program called “Big

the Medical Corps with 26 years of service.

Program” presenting educational programs to improve

Ben L. Scholz (Class of 1969) received his bachelor’s degree in technical agriculture while forming a partnership with his father

understanding of quality forages for regional livestock producers.

in a farming and ranching operation called Scholz Farms. He had

Robert “Bob” Lee Walker (Class of 1970)

the responsibilities of management, marketing, planning and

became Administrative Assistant at Parkland Memorial

computerizing financial records.

Hospital in Dallas shortly after his graduation from

In 1999, Scholz became General Manager of a cotton warehousing 38

He formed a legal partnership with his wife called B

Community Clinic, and he was also appointed Assistant Professor in

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

A&M-Commerce. He stayed there for four years as an Spring 2013

Robert “Bob” Lee Walker

Dr. Cliff L. Wood

administrative coordinator where he oversaw Woodlawn Hospital, a

Dr. Cliff L. Wood (Class of 1966, 1967 and 1973) became

facility for psychiatric and extended care. He

Director of Student Activities for Tarrant County Junior College

was also in charge of emergency services for Parkland.

shortly after receiving his master’s degree in science. After graduating

He spent time as an assistant administrator for Doctors Hospital

with his doctorate in education from A&M-Commerce, Dr. Wood

in Dallas from 1976 to 1979. After his time there, Walker joined Texas

served as Dean of Institutional and Student Services for the Houston

Scottish Rite Hospital for Children. He was promoted to Hospital


Administrator in 1982, and in 1989 he was named Executive Vice

College System.

President and Administrator. Bob Walker was elected President and CEO by the hospital’s board of trustees in January of 2012. He has served as a member of the Texas Hospital Association board

He spent time at Northern Virginia Community College as an associate professor of human services and psychology as well as the chairman of visual arts and engineering on campus. He was acting

of trustees, chairman of the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council board

Provost for three months and Instructional Dean for six years at

of trustees, a board member for the Ronald McDonald House in Dallas

Montgomery College. From 1987-2004, Wood was Vice President of

since 1986 and sits on the board for Special Camps for Special Kids.

Academic Affairs for the County College of Morris in Randolph,

He has been in leadership roles for United Way campaigns and was

New Jersey.

chairman of the Shelton School Learning and Evaluation Center board

Wood has received many awards including: JCC Rockland “J”

of directors for three years. Walker was awarded the Trinity University

Award, Patterns for Progress Regional Achievement Award, Spring

Leonard A. Duce Award for Excellence in Health Care Administration

Valley NAACP Humanitarian Award, Nyack College Social Justice Day

in 1992. He holds Fellowship status in the American College of Health

Award, ACT (Adults Caring For Teens) Inc. Mentoring Award, New

Care Executives.

York Community College Trustees Special Award of Recognition, and

Walker is an avid runner and has served on the board of directors for the Dallas Marathon since 1997. He ran the Boston Marathon three times and has run several others throughout his adult life. He is a proud

Nyack Branch NAACP 2010 Award in Appreciation for Empowering the Future of Our Youth. Currently, he serves as President of Rockland Community College in

Eagle Scout, a 33 degree Scottish Rite Mason, and a member of Lake

Suffern, New York. Dr. Wood has served on several boards for charity

Pointe Church in Rockwall where he previously served on the Elder

and community service organizations. He has been published many

Board. He and his wife, Pat—an alumna—have been married for 46

times, and is a respected professional in the field of education.

years and have two children. Go to to hear each Distinguished Alumni and Gold Blazer tell their story. Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


noteworthy college of business & entrepreneurship

Dr. Chuck Arize, Regents Professor in the Department of Business Administration and MIS, recently received the College of Business and Entrepreneurship Dean “STAR” Award for outstanding service to the college and university during the 32nd Annual Honors and Awards Banquet. He also received the Professor of the Year award for 2013 from the Hunt / Hopkins County African American Leadership Conference as well as the MLK Lifetime Achievement Award. The

Wyman Williams, Director of Development, with Dr. Dale Funderburk, Interim Dean

A&M-Commerce Faculty Senate named an award in his honor: The Augustine Chuck Arize Award for Imagination in Teaching.

Dr. Jennifer Flanagan, Assistant Professor of

Dr. Mildred Golden Pryor, Professor of

Business Administration and MIS, received the

Management and Faculty Mentor, won an

Silver Wheaton Best Paper Award for “Online

outstanding research award from the International

VS Live Taught: Analysis of Gender and Course

Academy of Business and Public Disciplines for

Format in Undergraduate Business Statistics

an article entitled “Strategic Leadership and

Courses,” in Management, Marketing, and MIS

Scenario Building: What Happens When You

for the Academy of Business Research’s spring

Don’t Know What You Don’t Know?” Co-authors

2012 conference in New Orleans.

were Dr. Christine Alexander, Dr. Sonia Taneja, and Dr. Charlotte Larkin.

Jay Garrett, Assistant Professor of Business Law Studies, recently traveled to India and made two

Tina Lancaster, Instructor of Management

presentations. He was also invited to Punjabi

Information Systems and MIS Advisor,

University as the guest of honor at an

completed the SAP TERP10 course during

international symposium on women’s rights and

August 2012. This course led to her certification

the security of women at which he made a

as a SAP Associate Consultant. With this

presentation on empowerment of women

certification, qualified students at

through education.

A&M-Commerce will be offered the TERP10 certification course at a reduced rate through

Dr. Srinivas Nippani, Professor of Finance,

the university’s membership in the SAP

recently had work abstracted by the Chartered

University Alliances.

Financial Analyst Review which is the top financial practitioner periodical in the

Dennis Pitalua, (BBA/MIS 2012) was one

profession. In addition, he has been cited by the

of the first students to receive the SAP

Washington Post and Huffington Post.

University Alliances Certificate of Completion, which the Department of

Dr. Sonia Taneja, Assistant Professor of

Business Administration and Management

Marketing and Management, won the spring 2012 Student Recognition

and Information Systems began offering in

Award for Teaching and 2012 Junior Faculty Research Award for

2011. Dennis is using his knowledge

outstanding and innovative efforts in scholarly activities. She published

of SAP in his new position as a Buyer 1 with

“High Performance Executive Teams”

Triumph Aerostructures - Vought Aircraft Division in the DFW

in American Journal of Management in 2013 (Co-authors Dr. Mildred

area. Dennis uses SAP Manufacturing Enterprise Planning to build

Golden Pryor and Scott S. Sewell). Dr. Taneja published a paper entitled

static purchase orders and maintaining them by using an in depth

“Strategic Crisis Management: A Basis for Renewal and Stability?” in

understanding of SAP navigation.

the 2013 Southwest Academy of Management (SWAM) Proceedings. 40

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

noteworthy Dr. Henry H. Ross, instructor in the

college of education & human services

Department of Health and Human Performance, was recently chosen as the President-Elect for the Texas Association for Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (TAHPERD). TAHPERD is one of the largest membership-driven organizations in the state. Dr. Ross has served in several leadership positions within the organization and engaged in numerous professional presentations since becoming a member in 1999. Devon Herrman, Associate Director of Development, with Dr. Gail Johnson, Interim Dean

Dr. Curt A. Carlson, of the Department of

Betty A. Block, Department Head and Professor

Psychology, Counseling, and Special Education,

in the Department of Health and Human

is a cognitive psychologist, and he conducts

Performance, was awarded the 2012 National

experimental research in the area of eyewitness

Distinguished Administrator Award from the

identification, emphasizing the roles of specific

National Association for Kinesiology in Higher

memory and decision-making processes. He

Education for her outstanding leadership as an

recently received a grant from the American

administrator in the field of kinesiology.

Psychological Association to support his research. Dr. Maria Hinojosa, Assistant Professor of Dr. Barbara Hammack, Associate Professor of

Educational Leadership, received the

Early Childhood Education in the Department

Distinguished University Faculty award at the

of Curriculum and Instruction, was selected into

Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher

the Chancellor’s Academy of Teacher Educators.

Education conference in January 2013. The award

The Academy is a recently-developed initiative of

recognizes superior levels of professionalism and

the Texas A&M University-System

accomplishment in the areas of teaching,

acknowledging teaching excellence. Only five

research, or service.

faculty throughout the system were selected for this distinction this year.

Dr. Brittany Hott, Assistant Professor of Special Education, received the Teacher Education

Dr. Shonda Gibson, the Executive Director of

Division Research Roundtable Award for “Effects

Global Learning, Quality Enhancement

of Response Methods on the Mathematics

Planning Coordinator and professor of

Performance of Secondary Students with

Psychology and Management, has recently

Emotional or Behavioral Disorders.”

worked with two international students, Natalia Assis and Andrea Slobodnikova, to get them involved in research. Through this work, they were able to get their data published by twelve

Dr. Madeline Justice, Professor in the

different publications. In addition, Dr. Gibson has been published by

Department of Educational Leadership—and

both the International Journal for Development Education and Global

who also received the Emotional Intelligence

Learning and the International Journal of Business and Public

Personal Achievement award last year—made

Administration within the last year.

two presentations at the 10th Annual Institute for Emotional Intelligence this year

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


noteworthy college of humanities, social sciences & arts Dr. Carrie Klypchak, Director of Theatre Graduate Studies and Associate Professor of Theatre in the Department of Mass Media, Communication and Theatre, has been named the University Theatre Educator of the Year in the state of Texas by the Texas Educational Theatre Association. She was honored in Houston at the end of January 2013. Dr. Klypchak teaches John McCarty, Associate Director of Development, with Dr. Salvatore Attardo, Dean

acting, directing, and performance theory courses and directs productions for the University Playhouse.

Dr. Melinda Schlager, Associate Professor

Barbara Frey, Art Professor, has been awarded

of Sociology and Criminal Justice, recently

the 2013 National Council for Education of the

authored Rethinking the Reentry Paradigm: A

Ceramic Arts Excellence in Teaching Award.

Blueprint for Change. This text explores the

According to NCECA, “Recipients of the

dimensions and dynamics of the offender

Excellence in Teaching Award are individuals

reentry problem and proposes a new narrative

who are near or at the end of a career dedicated

for thinking about and responding to this

to the practice of teaching; have demonstrated

important criminal justice concern.

excellence in their own creative work; have previous recognition for and a history of awards in teaching; and

Dr. Jiaming Sun and Scott Lancaster authored

have highly visible former students in the field.”

Chinese Globalization: A Profile of People-Based Global Connections in China published by

Vaughn Wascovich, Assistant Professor in

Routledge and released in February. The

the Department of Art, participated in four

book examines the explicit effects of global

exhibitions across the country with his work,

connectivity on local culture and society in

Welcome to the Hard Times: Photographs of

post-reform mainland China. It focuses on

East Texas.

individual level globalization in China and how global socialization impacts local residents’ behaviors, lifestyle, value orientation and the consequence

Dr. Ted Hansen, Professor of Music and Regents

of local transformation. Jiaming Sun is

Professor, has received his 15th consecutive

Associate Professor in the Department of

award from the American Society of Composers,

Sociology and Criminal Justice and Scott

Authors and Publishers (ASCAP) for his work as

Lancaster is Associate Librarian.

a composer. His work has been performed at Carnegie Hall in New York, the Kennedy Center

Ginger Cook, a second year graduate student in the Master of Fine

for the Performing Arts in Washington, D.C.,

Arts’ program, represented the university and the Fine Arts

and on National Educational Television.

program in several national and international venues in late 2012

42 42

and early 2013. She also participated in an Artistic Production

Nick Thomas and Lucy Giron, A&M-Commerce Visual

Artist Residency program in Puebla, Mexico this past summer

Communications seniors, received merits at the annual “One

based on her self-portraiture work in graduate school.

Show” Young Ones Competition in New York City.

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine Magazine

Spring 2013

noteworthy college of science, engineering & agriculture The Dr. Keith D. McFarland Science Building. During his distinguished 39-year career at Texas A&M UniversityCommerce, Dr. Keith D. McFarland served the university as a full professor, Head of the Department of History, Dean of Graduate Studies and Research and, ultimately, as University President for 10 years. His exceptional leadership and determination improved not only academic programs, but students’ lives on campus. The building, named in his honor, recognizes his achievements, unwavering service, and dedication to the university.

Dr. Grady Price Blount, Dean, with Wayne Davenport, Senior Director of Development

Professor Matt A. Wood arrives as the new

Dr. Grady Price Blount—College of Science,

Department Head for Physics and Astronomy.

Engineering and Agriculture Dean—has been

Dr. Wood received his bachelor’s degree in

re-elected to the Board of Directors of the Texas

physics from Iowa State University, and his

Space Grant Consortium.

master’s degree and doctoral degrees in astronomy from the University of Texas in Austin. The A&M-Commerce Department of Physics and Astronomy has

Professor Carlos Bertulani is a new member

joined the Southern Association for Research in Astronomy (SARA).

(2012-2015) of the Committee of Education of

SARA is a telescope consortium that operates two 1-meter-class

the American Physical Society. The committee

telescopes located at two premier observatory locations: Kitt Peak

oversees physics education-related efforts in

National Observatory in Arizona and Cerro Tololo International

K-12, undergraduate, and graduate education,

Observatory in Chile, South America.

and develops strategies to increase the number of undergraduate majors in physics.

Dr. Sang C. Suh, Department Head of Computer Science, was elected 8th President of the Society

Nikolay Sirakov “Dermoscopic diagnosis of

for Design and Process Science (SDPS) at their

melanoma in a 4D space constructed by active

17th international conference held in Berlin,

contour extracted features” has been accepted

Germany, in June 2012.

by the Journal of Computerized Medical Imaging and Graphics for publication. The paper is already in press for hard copy and posted online by the Journal.

The Department of Agricultural Sciences “Northeast Texas Initiative for Cooperative Development (NTICD)” has been selected for funding

Dr. Bao-An Li, of the Department of Physics and

in the amount of $175,000 from the Small Socially-Disadvantaged

Astronomy, has been named a Regents Professor

Producer Grant (SSDPG). Dr. Jose Lopez is Assistant Professor of

by the Texas A&M University System. It is the

Agribusiness and coordinator on this project. Dr. Bob Williams,

highest award a faculty member can receive and

Dr. Jim Heitholt, and Dr. Curtis Jones are collaborators. The NTICD

a wonderful recognition of Dr. Li’s work.

will reach out to community members and help develop relationships among socially disadvantaged producers in northeast Texas.

Spring 2013 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce University–Commerce


noteworthy graduate school & research A&M-Commerce has won and brought home the “traveling” award for having the most winners at the 10th Annual TAMUS Pathways Student Research Symposium. It was held November 9-10, 2012 at Texas A&M University at Galveston. There were 291 student poster entries and 48 oral presentations from all of the TAMU System Institutions participating. 97 A&M-Commerce Students Attended, as well as 13 faculty members who served as judges. We received the traveling award for the most winners, a total of 8 winners overall. The following are the student winners and the type of session they competed in. Poster Session Winners -

Oral Session Winners –

Undergraduate, Top 5%: Sravan Vemuri, Life Science; Marshall Joyce, Life Science

Master’s: Vince Liberato, Alexandra Pirkle

Master’s, Top 5%: Ashjan Khalel, Life Science; Katie Shipman, Soc. Sci.-Humanities

Doctoral: Andrew Spencer, Michelle Tvete

texas a&m university-commerce libraries Summer 2012, Sean

Other presentations by Librarians during the 2012-2013 Academic Year:

Anderson and Sue Weatherbee had an

“Speed Weeding: Improve Your Library Collection in 5 Hours a Week” Emily Witsell

article published in the

and Dr. Scott Lancaster at 2012 Library Without Walls Conference in Tulsa, Ok,

trade magazine

November 2012.

Computers in Libraries: “Growing a Technology

“Digital Popcorn: Making Media Better” Sean Northam and Adam Northam at

Equipment Service in an Academic Library.”

Educause West/Southwest Regional Conference, February 2013.

Andrea Weddle and Adam Northam had an

“Skype in the Classroom” Dr. Scott Lancaster and John Atabaev at TAMU Teaching

article published in Dialogue, a publication of

with Technology Conference, February 2013.

the Society of American Archivists titled “Introducing the voices of the greatest

“Presenting the Web: One Institution’s Foray into Digital Preservation through Web

generation to the

Archiving” Jeremy Floyd at Indiana University of American Archivists Student

Internet generation;

Chapter’s “We’re Gonna Need a Bigger Boat: Archival Growth in the Modern Age”,

using WWII oral history

March 2013.

interviews to promote undergraduate research.” The article was about their ongoing work with

“The Emerging Figure of the Author in the Paratext of the Works of Early Modern

Honor’s College students to expand the

Publisher William Ferbrand” Scott Lancaster at Society for Textual Scholarship

university’s WWII Oral history collection.

Conference held in Chicago, March 2013.

Gail Johnston and Sarah Northam attended the

“Sarah’s Top Ten for Facebook” Sarah Northam at Oklahoma Library Association

Association of Research Libraries Assessment

Annual Conference, April 2013.

conference in October 2012 in Charlottesville, VA. They were selected to present their poster

“Weeding an Academic Library A-Z” Marsha Keenan, Sandy Hayes, and Dione Mahan

titled, “Avoiding the Runaround: Implementing

at the Innovative User Group’s annual conference in San Francisco, April 2013.

Desk Stats to Improve User Experience.” The

“A Practical Approach to Web Archiving: Applying Archival Theory to Websites and

poster was awarded

Social Media Pages” a Panel presented by Jeremy Floyd, Andrea Weddle, and Adam

Judge’s Choice by ARL in the Reference and

Northam, at the Society of Southwest Archivists annual meeting in Austin, May

Research Services division. They presented on

2013. Each of them are presenting a separate paper for the panel. Jeremy Floyd

the same topic at TLA Annual Assembly in

presented for the lightning round “Things they Never told you in Graduate School”

July 2012.

at the same conference.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013


Judy Sackfield, Associate Athletic


Director for Academics/Senior Women’s Administrator, held the Interim Athletic Director’s position from August 2012– January 2013. During this time Judy led the Department of Athletics through the football, soccer, and volleyball seasons, helped complete the search for the new Athletic Director, Ryan Ivey, while still performing the duties for two vital roles in collegiate athletic programs. The university wants to express their sincere gratitude to Judy Sackfield for her loyalty, dedication and passion for Lion Atheltics and the future of the program.


Ryan Ivey, Athletic Director, with Taylor Fore, Associate Director of Development for Athletics

Danny Mason – LSC Linebacker of the Year; All-LSC First Team selection; Beyond Sports Network Second Team All-American; Daktronics First Team All-Region; LSC Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 1); Beyond Sports Network National Player of the Week (Sept. 3)

Callie Annett – LSC All-Academic Team; Capital One Academic All-Region selection

VOLLEYBALL Coach Case won 20 games, improving from 11 last year as volleyball


finished fifth and qualified for the LSC tournament.

Dorian McCradic – LSC Freshman of the Year; All-LSC selection

Rachel Robertson – LSC Offensive Player of the Year, All-LSC First

Luis Romero – All-LSC selection

Team selection; Ranked nationally in three categories (kills, hitting percentage, points); Finished her career ranked third all-time in


career kills; Three-time LSC Offensive Player of the Week

Sam Walker – Surpassed Jim Gudger as all-time winningest coach in

(Sept. 4, Sept. 11, Oct. 30)

A&M-Commerce history (Jan. 9, 2013)

Jordan Neal – All-LSC Second Team selection; Four-time LSC Setter of

Andrew Davis – Capital One First Team Academic All-American; LSC

the Week (Sept. 4, Sept. 18, Oct. 16, Oct. 30); Fifth Lion with back-to-

Academic Player of the Year

back 1,000 assist seasons; LSC All-Academic Team Preston Whitley – All-LSC honorable mention selection; Surpassed Breanne Snyder – All-LSC honorable mention selection

1,000 career points

Michaela Spicer – LSC Defensive Player of the Week (Oct. 16)

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL Advanced to LSC semifinals with 80-79 win over co-champ Abilene



Eva Brutto – All-LSC First Team selection; NSCAA All-Region Third Team selection

Nicole Anderson – LSC Co-Coach of the Year

Anitra Wright – All-LSC Second Team selection

Breanna Harris – All-LSC Second Team selection; LSC Player of the Week (Nov. 17)

Brionna Minde – LSC leader in assists, among leaders in points; NSCAA All-Region Third Team selection; LSC Academic Player of

Danielle Dixon – All-LSC honorable mention selection

the Year

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


noteworthy achievements, awards, and new additions Dr. Marila D. Palmer joined the university as Associate Provost for Institutional Effectiveness and Planning. She previously served as Assistant Provost at East Texas Baptist University. She has also served as an evaluator and presenter at over 20 institutions for the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges (SACS-COC).

John Kaulfus has assumed the position of Assistant Vice President and Dean of Campus Life and Student Development. He has 24 years of higher education experience and holds a bachelor’s degree in social work and counseling and a master’s degree in higher education administration from the University of Texas at Austin. He is currently working on his doctorate in educational leadership and policy studies at the University of Texas at San Antonio.

The Campus Recreation Department won two awards at the 2013 NIRSA National Conference held in Las Vegas, Nevada. Art directed by Jonathan Albarado, Graduate Assistant for Marketing, the department won first place in the Comprehensive Brochure category for their Campus Recreation Program Guide and second place in the Student Publication category for their Special Events Incentive Card. The A&M-Commerce Children’s Learning Center was awarded national accreditation by the National Accreditation Commission for Early Care and Education Programs. Between 5-7% of centers in the nation achieve this level of accreditation. The CLC is licensed by the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services and earned the additional distinction of “Texas Rising Star” facility in 2010 for exceeding state licensing requirements.

Gwen Young and Cat Polivoda received awards at the Southwest Assocation of College and University Housing Officers (SWACUHO) Conference in February. Gwen Young, Assistant Director for Business Operations in the Residential Living and Learning Department, won an award for one of the top five programs presented at the conference. Also, Cat Polivoda, Graduate Hall Director of West Hall, Family Hall, and New Pride, won the Bob Huss Outstanding Graduate Student Award for the tri-state SWACUHO region.

Orientation Staff wins “Spirit of NODA” Award at Region IV Orientation Conference for the third year in a row. Two teams of students and one professional staff had proposals accepted and presented sessions at this conference.

Four students from the A&M-Commerce Honors College were accepted into post-baccalaureate medical programs. Jessica Meyer has been accepted into medical school at the Texas A&M Health Science Center. Mary Mason will attend the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston in fall 2013. William Liam has been accepted to the University of Texas Medical School. Alexander Kimp will enter the Doctor of Physical Therapy program at the University of Pittsburgh School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences.

46 46

PRIDE The Alumni Magazine Magazine

A Spirit of Sam Rayburn celebration took place on February 26 in honor of a new university tradition. On campus spirit days, and in celebration of noteworthy events, the Sam Rayburn statue outside the Rayburn Student Center will don blue and gold spirit items. The first of these was a blue and gold striped scarf knitted by Dr. Donna Dunbar-Odom of the Department of Literature and Languages.

A&M-Commerce was named a University Partner by ¡Adelante! U. S. Education Leadership Fund. This designation enables students to apply for exclusive partner scholarships. Spring 2013

KETR received four first-place honors in the 2012 Texas Associated Press Broadcasters awards. Matt Meinke won first and second place in actuality-production. First place in the website category went to, which is managed by Jerrod Knight and staff. First place in the serious feature category was awarded to Knight for his “Bob Aikin: In Memory.” First place in the light feature category was awarded to Knight and former KETR news director Scott Harvey for “The Lions Take New York.” In sports, KETR’s John Mark Dempsey, Kevin Jefferies and Harvey received honorable mention in the best sports play-by-play category. Deborah Smith, administrative assistant, retired after 19 incredible years with the station. Cristy Boucher comes to KETR from a university in New Hampshire and will take the reigns as administrative assistant. ght: ager, Jerrod Kni s general man R’ ET K .9 88 of From the desk ho listen arts of those w art, and the he he ent, we y m nm of ai rt m te ther, and en From the botto ea w s, w ne radio r ei KETR for th our little public and rely upon inue to give to nt co y. u sit yo er t iv or the supp of our un thank you for on the campus which rtheast Texas, no in ultiple sources, re m he by n ed io nd fu operat en tion be s ha d the Corpora de, KETR For over a deca e supporters, an at or on rs rp co pe , y rs er al membe ight guess, ev include individu PB.) As you m C e th ho r, w (o on g rs dcastin and ever y pe for Public Broa doesn’t listen, 00,000 each 88.9 probably ar he make raising $1 N A n C ca at who Th . ve gi t obably doesn’ e in. DOES listen pr where you cam grads task, but that’s lt y of a few ETSU sit ro ne year a difficu ge le ib ed cr p came in el e H th to was reached! In 2012, thanks al of $100,000 go mni fty lu lo A e e th th t, or then from who led the eff al donors, and itydu rs vi ve di ni in U of M e & the Texas A from a multitud om fr en th d an a whole, Foundation as ound, dation! un Fo ce broadcasting ab er Comm ing for public nd here in fu to on s ly at re re u formation yo Today, while th in d an s w ne sit and the unbiased u. When you vi we know that yo of e us ca be s is safe ur checks to PO northeast Texa hen you mail yo w d an future ” n, io at this st g to ensure the click “support 9, you’re helpin 42 75 M TX & , A ce e er th m citizens and Box 4504, Com formative e is to provide in os d rp an pu l, se na ho io ucat of a station w entertaining, ed nment for mmunity with learning enviro l na sio es Commerce co of pr a as e g. rv se tin as to and dio broadc programming, excellence in ra ue rs pu to ts en university stud

Jerrod Knight er General Manag R ET K 88.9 w w

KETR Staff

Rex Giddens, Associate Vice President for Business Services and Director of Employment Services, has worked at A&M-Commerce for the last 41 years in a number of increasingly responsible jobs, from inventory clerk to interim vice president for business and administration. He has helped the university grow and change through property acquisitions including agreements that allowed the school district to build its new high school on property leased from the university. Giddens was also the university representative on agreements that helped secure the future of the Northeast Texas Children’s Museum and that brought Wal-Mart into Commerce. In addition to his service to the university, Rex Giddens is a combat veteran of Vietnam. He was a Staff Sergeant who led his men into combat in 1969. Prior to joining the university, he held jobs in a steel mill, worked as a construction worker on I-30, and helped build bridges over Lake Palestine and Lake Cypress Springs. The university is humbled by and thankful for Mr. Giddens’ unflagging service and dedication to his fellow man over these many years. We wish him all the best in retirement.

Luis Franco, Director of Hispanic Outreach and Student Programs, was elected to the State Board of the Texas Association of Chicanos in Higher Education (TACHE) as Secretary.

Brenda Morris took on the role of Director of Advancement Services when Alicia Wittkopf was offered a wonderful opportunity to become Executive Director for Hunt Regional Healthcare in February.

Dr. William R. “Railroad Bill” Ogden retired his Sunday night bluegrass program, which had been on the air for over 20 years.

C L A S S notes Joe Bob Johnson (B.S. ’64) was recently Jack D. Mayo (B.S. ’57, M.Ed. ’61) was honored by the Van ISD Education Foundation as a distinguished alumnus.

Ruth A. Stallings (B.S. ’56) has been named the 2012 Distinguished Alumna for Paris Junior College.

Mary Jane Vance (B.S. ’55, M.Ed. ’59, Ph.D. ’76) has recently published her book Mary of the Angels.

Dr. George W. “Bill” Whitt (B.S. ’53, M.Ed. ’63, Ed.D. ’78) writes that his brother Eugene Paul Whitt, Jr., J.D., passed away December 19, 2011. Eugene retired from the Department of the Air Force where he was Director of Computer Design and after retirement he practiced law for several years in Alabama. He was a math major at ET from 1953-1954 before transferring to the University of Texas to complete his degree in engineering. He received a M.S. in computer science from the American University in Washington, D.C. and his Doctor Jurisprudence from Jones Law School in Montgomery, AL.

inducted into the Trinity Valley Community College Hall of Fame.

Education at Sam Houston State University after 48 years in education, 28 of which have been at Sam Houston State.

Wayne (B.S. ’64) and Wanda Galyean (B.S. ’64, M.Ed. ’68) of Sulphur Springs recently celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary.

Lanny “Hoss” Huggins (B.S. ’67) was inducted recently into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame in a Houston Ceremony. He began his radio career at stations KFTV and KPLT in his hometown, Paris, TX and continued in Tyler at KZAK and KROZ. He is now a semi-retired senior account executive at CBS 19 TV in Tyler. He is married to the former

Gail Witmer (B.S. ’64).

Valley Community College Hall of Fame.

Jon F. Mallard (B.B.A. ’63) retired after 32

Curtis Culwell (M.Ed.’79, Ed.D. ‘91)

years with Valley View Bank in Overland Park, KS.

announced his retirement after 14 years as the superintendent of Garland ISD.

Dr. Michael J. Murphy (Ed.D. ’83) is currently a forensic psychologist and qualified examiner in Massachusetts, as well as Director of Mental Health Services at the Barnstable Sheriff’s Office. This involves oversight of mental health services to a correctional facility housing about 450 men and women. As a forensic psychologist and qualified examiner he testifies in trials evaluating the possible future dangerousness of individuals who have been convicted of sexual or other violent offenses. His time is split between Massachusetts and Vermont and he loves to cross country ski, hike, bike and swim. New England is nearly as lovely, though not quite as large or diverse, as Texas!

Bill O’Neal (B.A. ’64, M.A. ’69) has recently been appointed by the governor as Texas State Historian based on his more than 40 publications on Texas and southwest history. His daughter is

Berri O’Neal (B.S. ’96, M.S. ’98, Ed.D. ’02), Executive Director of the Universities Center at Dallas.

Dr. Genevieve Brown (B.A. ’63, M.A. ’68, Ed.D. ’79) has retired as Dean of the College of

Richard Scott “Scotty” Conley (B.S. ’70, M.S. ‘73) was recently inducted into the Trinity

Charles Don Easterling (B.S. ’71, M.S. ’71) and his wife Beverly celebrated 50 years of marriage on December 1, 2012.

Dr. James C. Goode (B.S. ’70, M.S. ’80, M.Ed. ’83) is now retired from teaching (inducted into the Rockabilly Hall of Fame in 2006) and is in the process of working on his next blues album to be released in March (

Governor Jackson (B.S. ’73) The National Association of Student Financial Aid Administrators appointed Governor Jackson, financial aid director at Texas Woman’s University, to its Higher Education Act Reauthorization Task Force. Jackson was one of 16 financial aid professionals nationwide to be selected. The task force will draft proposals on issues and specific statutory changes needed for the federal student aid programs and their delivery systems. The task force is expected to complete its work by July 2013 and present a final report to the association’s membership at the 2013 national conference in Las Vegas.

Jimmie H. McDaniel (M.S. ’71) and his wife Russ L. Cuffee, Jr. (B.S. ’71) was enshrined into the Marcus Whitman Central School’s (formerly Middlesex Valley Central School) High School Athletics Hall of Fame in Rushville, NY. After receiving his bachelor’s degree in 1971, he settled in the Arlington, Texas area and raised his 3 children with his wife, Dr. Deborah Cuffee (B.S. ’75). He enjoyed a 25 year career with the Xerox Corp. as a sales executive and now serves as President/CEO of RLC Enterprises, where his primary focus is raising money while producing benefit golf events for nonprofit organizations and corporate golf outings.

Brenda K. Gunter (B.A. ’79, M.Ed. ’82)

Jane recently celebrated 50 years of marriage. The couple resides in Tyler.

Brenda Shuttlesworth Staples (B.S. ‘78) has led the support group, PALS, prosthetic and limb deficient support group for amputee children and their families, connected with Texas Scottish Rite Hospital in Dallas, for 30 years. She has been married to David for 34 years, and they have two sons, Zachary and Noah.

Reavis Z. Wortham’s (B.S. ’76, M.Ed. ’84) book The Rock Hole has been named a finalist for the coveted national Benjamin Franklin Award in the mystery/suspense category.

retired after teaching high school English for 33 years. She owns Mother Nature’s Gifts in Iowa Park, TX.

Rod W. Carnahan (B.S. ’63) was honored by Daingerfield High School as a distinguished alumnus.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine

Spring 2013

C L A S S notes

Fred J. Allen (M.M. ’87) was honored by the College of Fine Arts at Stephen F. Austin University with the faculty achievement award for teaching.

Patrick S. Canty (B.A. ’82) has been promoted to Regional Vice President for AIM Media Texas.

Mark Scheu (B.S. ’80, M.S. ’83) was honored with the Honorary American FFA Degree-Teacher—a national award to those who advance agricultural education and FFA through outstanding personal commitment. He is with Daingerfield ISD.

Dr. Donnya Stephens (Ed.D. ’81) was recently honored as Distinguished Educator at Stephen F. Austin’s Leadership Legacy Celebration. At the ceremony on November 2, 2012, a portrait of her was unveiled to be hung in the Department of Secondary Education and Educational Leadership as the first African American professor in the department.

Joe M. Wardell (Ed.D. ’98) was honored by the

Joanna V. Kortik (B.S. ’09) a native of Myakka

Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce as Businessman of the Year.

City, Florida has released her first book titled Five Keys to Becoming an Unstoppable Warrior Mom based on her experience as a new mom. Her book helps moms identify and practice tangible activities to care for themselves both mentally and physically as they take on the time-demanding role of being a mother.

Billy F. Watkins (B.B. A. ’94) was recently inducted into the Wildcat Hall of Honor at Sulphur Springs High School. He is currently the head golf and varsity kicking coach at Rockwall High School.

Ricky D. White (B.S.C.J. ‘92) recently accepted a lieutenant position with the Department of Public Safety in Waco.

Hong Yin (M.S. ’95, Ed.D. ‘97) and Yan Sun (M.F.A. ‘96) published a book, The Unity of Nature and Humanity - Chinese Mausoleum Stone Sculptures in the Tang Dynasty in 2012. It was published by Sanqin Publishers, Shaanxi Publishing Group. This book comes as a result of years of research and writing about the stone mausoleum sculptures of China, especially those of the Tang Dynasty.

Gary Alderson (M.Ed. ’10) has been Brenda Duncan Adcock (B.A. ’94) received her Ph.D. in Spanish from Texas Tech University in December 2012.

Robert John Clare (M.Ed. ’96) is the new principal at Hudson Middle School in Sachse.

Phillip R. Riley (M.S. ’98) is the new principal of St. Monica Catholic School in Dallas.

Zanetta Siciliano (B.B.A. ’97) and her husband have been featured on FOX News, WFAA TV and the History Channel’s Invention USA for their product Hail Protector. She states that “Hail Protector is our latest success and my education has been such a big reason for any career success and has been a powerful force behind my entrepreneurship.”

Arthur David Sloan (Ed.D. ’93) was recently honored by Daingerfield High School as a distinguished alumnus.

Deborah J Timmerman (M.Ed. ’94) is the new principal of St. Joseph Catholic School in Waxahachie.

Spring 2013

appointed Assistant Principal at South Davis Elementary School in the Arlington ISD.

John R. Bear (B.S. ’05) and his wife Amanda

Adam Michael Krafka (B.S. ’07) married Meaghan Murphey on October 6. The couple resides in Greenville.

Ray R. Merrill (M.Ed. ’02) is the new principal at Sachse High School.

Kelly J. Moeller (M.S. ’07) is the new principal at St. Mary of Carmel Catholic School in Dallas.

Audrey Maree Poe (B.S. ’08, M.S. ’10) became the wife of Dr. Eric Lee Ketchum on October 20, 2012. The couple will reside in Lone Oak.

Josh D. Ragsdale (B.S. ’02) was selected to be the head coach of the “East” squad in the North American All-Star Showcase Classic at Pennington Field in Bedford on June 15, 2013. This is a Dallas vs. Fort Worth High School All-Star Football game.

Chad Tackett (B.B.A. ’02) was married on October 20, 2012 to Emily Haney. The couple resides in Fort Worth.

recently celebrated the birth of their child, Brianna, on August 4, 2012.

Angela R. Caviness (M.M. ’98) became the bride of Brandon L. Pedigo on November 27, 2012. Angela is currently the director of bands at RL Turner High School in Carrollton.

Nancy Jo Pace Duggan (B.S.I.S. ’06) was recently elected to the Scurry-Rosser ISD Board of Trustees serving a three year term.

Phillip Easley (B.B. A. ’08) and his wife Sara are proud to announce the birth of their son, Kaiden James, born on August 16.

Shonda Ann Moore-Gibson (B.A.A.S. ’08, M.B.A. ’09, M.S. ’11, Ph.D. ’12) received

Leigh Ann Florian LeBus (M.Ed. ’11) and Robert B. Echols were married July 14, 2012 in Longview, TX. The couple will reside in Granbury.

Bradley K. Eatherly (B.B.A. ’10) was married to Jennifer Shay Perry on July 7, 2012 and the couple will reside in Paris.

Jaclyn N. Tyler (B.A.A.S. ’11) was recently promoted to an administrative officer position at Austin Bank in Jacksonville.

Caleb A. Slinkard (B.A. ’12) was named editor of the Greenville Herald Banner.

her Ph.D. from Texas A&M University-Commerce on December 15, 2012.

Christopher F. Grey (M.Ed. ’03) is the new principal at Armstrong Elementary in Sachse.

Texas A&M University–Commerce


C L A S S notes

in memory

1930s Margaret Erlena Jolly (B.A. ’38, M.S. ’44) 9-26-2012.


John Carter (B.S. ’49, M.Ed. ’61) 04-12-2012. Elma Whitener Chaloner (B.S. ‘47, M.Ed. ’50) 11-11-2012. Alice S. Cahmon (B.S. ’41) 12-2011. Thomas J. Chapman (BS ’48) 12-18-2012. Kathryn Blakey Daniel (B.S. ’48) 12-24-2012. Jean Gibson Enochs (B.S. ’49) 8-23-2012. Otis R. Hammock (B.S. ’42, M.Ed. ’62) 10-13-2012. Jack D. Johnson (B.S. ’49, M.A.’56) 01-032013. Eva Nell Kennedy (B.S. ’49, M.A. ’65) 02-24-2012. Betty Jean Banks LaRue (B.S. 48) 11-6-2012. Velma Earlene Hignight McFatridge (B.A. ’44, M.A. ’51) 11-30-2012. Lucille Morgan O’Neil (B.A. ’42, M.Ed. ’43) 02-25-2012. Jean Corley Owen (B.A. ’49, M.Ed. ’57) 4-3-2012. Robert “Bob” Peery (B.S. ’47, M.Ed. ’52) 12-3-1012.

Virginia Herman Brown (M.Ed. ’53) 2-16-2012. C.T. Tom Bryant (B.S. ’51) 04-9-2012. Don J. Cartwright (B.M. ’56) 01-06-2013.

Kent Charles Cregg (B.A. ’60) 3-18-2012. William Sanders (Sandy) Cunningham (B.B.A. ’65) 10-24-2012.

Jerry Rayburn Crouch (B.S. ’56) 10-23-2012.

Connie Ann Scott Desmond (B.S. ’69, M.E. ‘78) 12-4-2012.

Jearl W. Dunavin (B.A. ’55, M.Ed. ’61) 10-16-2012.

Jack P. Elliott (B.S. ’66) 1-17-2012. Patsy Jean Camp Gossett (B.S. ’52) 9-17-2012.

Lewis Harry Flewharty (B.B.A. ’53) 4-2012. Patsy Jean Camp Gossett (B.S. ’52) 9-17-2102.

William Perry Grabbs (B.B.A. ’61, M.B.A. ’64) 9-27-2012.

Lewis Ray Hartman, Jr. (B.S. ’51, M.Ed. ’55) 01-17-2013.

David A. Griffin (B.S. ’60) 8-8-2012. Jerry Harmon Harlan (B.S. ’62) 7-14-2012.

James Elbert Holland (B.B.A. ’59) 9-5-2012.

Jerry Don Lambert (B.B. A. ’66) 11-8-2012.

Kenneth Hudson, Sr. (B.S. ’54, M.Ed. ’63, Ph.D. ’67, M.S.L.S. ‘87) 12-30-2102.

Mildred Beavers Bowden Jones (M.Ed. ’63) 10-24-2012.

Ralph Ray Hughes (B.S. ’59, M.S. ’72) 10-25-2012.

Toni Leonardo Lewis (B.A. ’69) 3-6-2011.

Waymon Jerry Hyde (B.B.A. ’54, M.B.A. ’58) 8-30-2012.

William C. Little (B.S. ’61, M.Ed. ’68) 10-15-2012.

Howell Day McCarley (B.S. ’48, M.Ed. ’56) 11-12-2012. Forest Lee Nation (B.B.A. ’58) 12-21-2012. Norman Prather (B.B.A. ’53, M.S. ’56) 7-21-2012. Louise Roberts (B.S. ’56) 11-15-2012. Frankie Gene Thorp (B.S. ’59, M.S. ’60) 11-17-2012.

Billy D. Lindley (B.S. ’66) 12-17-2012.

James Poindexter Lyde (B.S. ’69, M.S. ’70, M.S. 73) 9-2-2012. Clifford G. Martin, Lt. Col. USAF (Retired) (B.S. ’67) 11-24-2012. Neva Manley Mason (B.S. ’61) 2-25-2012. Bobby Joe Poole (B.S. ’60, M.Ed. ’63) 8-2-2012.

Martin Kelley Presswood (B.S. ’46) 8-11-2012.

Thomas Vaden (B.S. ’57) 7-6-2012.

Ralph Harris Poteet (M.Ed. ’61, Ph.D. ’68) 9-22-2012.

Basil Truman Ratliff (B.S. ’47, M.S. ’48) 12-12-2012.

Alfonzo “Lefty” Valls (B.A. ’48) 10-5-2012.

Don Nance (B.S. ’63, M.S. ’65) 3-18-2012.

Samuel Eugene West (B.S. ’56) 4-7-2012.

Susan Riddell (B.A. ’42) 3-12-2012.

Edwina Coltharp White (B.S. ’65, M.S. ’69) 10-29-2012.

Dr. Ronald J. Newsome (B.S. ’66, M.S. ’71, Ed.D. ’88) 4-17-2012.

Helen Riley (B.S. ’47) 9-5-2012. Sarah Olivia Thompson Sissel (B.A. ’44) 8-14-2012. Otha C. Spencer (B.S. ’41, M.S. ’46) 6-1-2012. William E “Bill” Terrell (B.S. ’48) 01-21-2013. John Charles Windell (B.S. ’49, M.Ed. ’56) 4-23-2012.

1950s Maxine Armitage (M.M. ’52) 8-7-2012. Henry Claude Battle (B.S. ’55, M.S. ’78) 8-13-2012. Kloes L. Brawner (B.S. ’58, M.Ed. 62) 12-31-2012.


PRIDE The Alumni Magazine


Michael “Mike” Oglesby (B.S. ’64) 3-21-2013. Joe Bob Price (B.S. ’60) 11-28-2012.

Billy Lawrence Allen (M.S. ’68, M.A. ’70, Ed.D. ’83) 10-16-2012.

Ronald Watson Prince, II (B.S. ‘66) 8-13-2012.

Zenobia Bennett (M.Ed ’68) 12-22-2012.

Lowell Robbins (B.A. ’61) 4-23-2012.

Allarea Black (M.Ed. ’64) 01-02-2013.

Dr. Kenneth Sheppard (B.S. ’61, M.S. ’62) 5-8-2012.

Charles Brock (B.M. ’64, M.M. ’68) 5-7-2012. Frederick Mark Browning (B.B.A. ’67) 9-29-2012. John Clemmons (B.S. ’61, M.Ed. ’64, Ed.D. ’74) 5-23-2012. Norma Ann Clifton (M.E. ’65) 4-20-12. Dr. Robert Oswald Cody (Ph.D. ’68) 11-2-2012.

Billy Jack Reeves (B.S. ’63) 1-13-2012.

Charles Robert Simpson (B.B.A. ’63, M.Ed. ’71) 7-4-2011. Sandra Louise Flick Smith (B.S. ’60) 10-2-2012. Billy Sorrells (M.Ed. ’69) 3-301-2012. Wayne Burch Swafford (B.S. ’67) 11-25-2012.

Spring 2013

C L A S S notes

in memory 1960s continued

Ralph E. Malone (B.S. ’70) 9-15-2012.

Johnnie C. Thompson (B.S. ’61, M.S. ’63) 12-20-2012.

Robert P. Marchant (B.S. ’70) 12-17-2011. Clyde Marrs (M.Ed. ’78) 02-23-2012.

Kay Minter-Tomlin (BA. ’66) 10-15-2012.

Jimmy K. McCaghren (B.B.A. ’79) 11-20-2011.

Alfred J. Turner (B.A. ’61, M.Ed. ’62) 8-8-2011.

Rickey G. McMichael (B.S. ’70, M.S. ’71, Ed.D. ’80) 04/01/2012.

Mary Lavelle Walker Venable (B.S. ’62) 8-9-2012.

Marcia A. Munson (B.S. ’74, M.S. ’80) 11-25-2012.

Jamie Joe Bible (M.Ed. ’97) 12-27-12.

Don Thomas “Bud” Wallace (B.S. ’63) 9-25-2012.

Rick L. Palmer (B.S. ’70) 9-3-2012.

William “Billy” S. Whitlock (B.M. ’85) 9-23-2012.

Mary Kathleen Heifrin Williams (B.S. ’69, M.Ed. ’72) 12-9-2012.

1970s Victor N. Abeles (B.S. ’71) 12-8-2012. Michael L. Acker (B.B. A. ’74) 2-24-2012. Renita Renee’ Bates (B.S. ’79) 08-20-2012. George Fred Baum (B.S. ’72) 5-29-2012. Wilma J. Baumgardner (.B.S. ’74) 11-7-2011. Robert Pat Bennett (B.B.A. ’75) 03-14-2012. Martha Louise Landers Bone (B.S. ’71) 08-08-2012. Bobby James Brown (B.B.A. ’78) 03-15-2012. Edward E. Brown, Sr. (B.S. ’75) 07-11-2012. Otis Donell Cobb (B.A. ’74) 9-4-2012. Larry Don Coffey (B.S. ’76) 11-2-2012. Melvia Coppedge (M.Ed. ’77) 06-07-2012. Jean Howe Cotton (B.S. ’76, M.S. ’81) 8-31-2012.

Mary Candace “Candy” Walling Post (M.Ed. ’71) 11-6-2012. Melvin K. Price (B.S. ’73, M.A. ’76, M.S. ’79) 11-4-2012. Ouida C. Richards (B.S. ’85) 11-6-2012. Cheryl Michels Roy (B.S. ’71) 03-22-2012.

2000s Jenny Jenkins (M.S. ’00) 05-16-2012. Judy Ann McKee (B.A.A.S. ’06) 06-03-2012. Sheryl Dinkel Powers (M.S. ’08) 10-10-2012.

Laura Hasley Taylor (M.S. ’72) 01-09-2013.


Judy Ann White (B.S. ’79, M.S.L.S ’80) 12-06-1932.

Mary Carroll Austin, wife of 8th President Charles J. Austin, was listed incorrectly in the spring 2012 issue. Her correct date of death was 8-19-2011.

Jesse W. Wood, Jr. (M.Ed. ’74) 07-23-2012.

Deceased Faculty/University family:


Dr. W. Carroll Adams – 12-27-2012

Thomas Ray Walker (B.S. ’79) 10-7-2012.

Judy Ann Barnes (Ph.D. ’86) 07-22-2012. H.B. Bell (Ed.D. ’81) 05-25-2012. Kae Gibbs Chaffin (B.S. ’83) 10-10-2012.

Sara Morgan Reid (M.Ed. ’87) 01-12-2013.

Pauline K. Earl Dixon (M.Ed. ’73) 09-062012.

“Jimmie” Rodgers (M.Ed. ’84) 9-11-2012.

Pauline “Polly” Merna Hendler (B.S. ’77) 01-14-2013.

Rex O. Smith (BBA 1995) 01-17-2013.

Felicia Joi Taylor (B.A. ’04) 8-24-2012.

James Franklin McMurrey (M.B.A. ’84).

Emma Rose Fenceroy (M.S. ’72) 11-2011.

Jenny R. Burton (B. S. ’99) 03-26-2012.

Charles W. Stearns (B.S. ’77, M.S. ’08) 08-14-2011.

Charlee Hendricks Coldwell (M.S. ’75) 05-04-2012.

Janie Lou Farmer (M.S. ’70) 10-14-2012.

Matthew Craig Bowers (B.S. ’98, M.Ed. ’07) 03-14-2012.

Allen E. Roundtree (M.S. ’02) 07-06-2012.

Ruth Rowntree Hatcher (M.Ed. ’85) 11-162012.

Deborah Ann Evans (B.A. ’75) 9-17-2012.

Charlotte Suzanne Barnes (B.S. ’94) 11-7-2012.

Thomas Wilson Russell, Sr. (B.S. ’77) 01-09-13.

Jerry W. Edwards (B.S. ’75) 01-04-2013.

Clara Rose Faulin English (B.A. ’72, M.Ed. ’86) 12-10-2010.


Dr. David Brooks Crenshaw – 12-27-2012 Dr. Miroslav J. “John” Hanak – 12-25-2012 Margaret Hawkins – 12-22-2012, wife of former Coach Ernest Hawkins.

John Alan Smith (B.S. ’82, M.Ed. ’88) 06-03-2012. Joyce Nan Smith (B.S. ’82)10-10-2012. Ulys “Perry” Taylor, Jr. (B.S. ’81) 11-4-2012. John Waid (B.B.A. ’80) 04-09-2012. Joseph D. Woodson (B.M. ’81) 11-2-2012.

Mary Ellen Hopkins (M.Ed. ’75, Ed.D. ’88) 03-18-2012. Karen Coker Hunt (B.S. ’70) 9-30-2012. Ursula Loewenthal (B.A. ’70) 8-9-2012.

Spring 2013

Texas A&M University–Commerce


Royal Roar


An Evening of Recognition & Celebration

in Retrospect The 2012 Royal Roar was something fit for kings and queens. On October 5, Texas A&M University-Commerce invited alumni and friends to celebrate and honor their gifts and achievements. Due to the growing number of generous donors, the cocktail-attire event was held at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas and featured stunning decor and entertainment. Guests were welcomed with five interactive presentations showcasing some of the exciting things happening at our university, and a silent auction was held after the reception. Atmos Energy sponsored the after-party, complete with entertainment, dancing, food and drinks, honoree photo opportunities, and a video booth to record their favorite memories of the university.

Save the Date This year’s Royal Roar will be held on October 4, 2013, so make sure to save the date! You don’t want to miss out on this wonderful opportunity, and we relish the chance to express our appreciation for alumni and friends.

R Thank you to our 2012 sponsor


e t a D e v Sa the


oar R l a 13 y 0 o 2 R , the er 4 b o t Oc , y a d ri

I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed reading this issue of the Pride. Throughout the pages of this publication you were offered an opportunity to experience the common thread that exists among our graduates. That thread crosses generations, ethnicity, geography and religion. Next year, 2014, we will celebrate our 125 year anniversary. We have a very long, proud and rich heritage that should be shared with each other and the world. I congratulate each of the alumni who shared their stories in this issue and the countless number of you who continue to make a difference in the world. Many of us came from humble beginnings and were attracted to the university because of its location, affordability and friendly environment. I have found that a vast majority of our alumni have had very successful and meaningful careers that oftentimes go unnoticed. This magazine offers a glimpse into our legacy that should be coveted. The university had a very humble beginning as well, and is now the fifth oldest public institution in the state. Humility has been our collective mantra and is also a part of our legacy. Our successes have been minimized because we are not boastful. It is not the East Texas way. I suggest it is time to boast. We have undergone several name changes since our founding, but our DNA is still the same. The campus continues to offer a warm, inviting setting that is conducive to developing great minds and relationships. It is a joy and honor to serve you, and I am immensely proud to be an alumnus of this great university. Go Lions!

A Member of The Texas A&M University System



PRIDE Spring 2013 Mobile  

Mobile edition of the Pride Spring 2013 catalogue.

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