Memorial For Sul Ross Student Ian Smith, December 11, 2012

December 11 Memorial For Sul Ross Student Ian Smith

Ian Smith

A campus memorial service was scheduled Tuesday (Dec. 11) for Sul Ross State University student Ian Matthew Smith, Three Rivers, who died in a single-vehicle accident Sunday morning (Dec. 9). 

The 7 p.m. memorial was held in Marshall Auditorium.At Three Rivers, a visitation will be held from 3-8 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 and 9 a.m.-8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 14, at Galloway and Sons Funeral Home. The celebration of life service will be held at 1 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 15 in the Three Rivers School Auditorium. The family asks that in lieu of flowers, donations may be made to one of Ian’s favorite charities: Sunny Glen Children’s Home, West Texas Rehabilitation Center or to his alma mater football programs, Sul Ross State University and Three Rivers High School. Smith, a sophomore member of the Lobo football team, was traveling north on SH 18 about 27 miles north of Fort Stockton when the accident occurred, shortly after 7 a.m. Sunday. Department of Public Safety officials said the 2005 Ford truck Smith was driving left the roadway, went into a side skid and rolled over. Smith, who was wearing a seat belt, died at the scene.

                During the 2012 season, Smith played in five games for the Lobos, recording 20 tackles from his linebacker position, including two for losses, including an assist on a quarterback sack. At Three Rivers High School, Smith was an All-District selection in 2009 and 2010.

A candlelight vigil was held Sunday evening (Dec. 9) at Alpine’s Jackson Field.                                                                                                –0o0–  SUL ROSS’ URBANCZYK TO HUNGARY FOR RIVER BASIN WORKSHOP                Dr. Kevin Urbanczyk, Sul Ross State University professor of Earth and Physical Sciences and director of the Rio Grande Research Center, will travel to Budapest, Hungary for a Dec. 16-17 planning workshop for the Ihlet Lifewater Concept forum.                Urbanczyk, who holds two degrees from Sul Ross, has been a faculty member since 1991. He will be joined by Jeff Bennett, physical scientist/hydrologist for the National Park Service in the Big Bend, and also a Sul Ross graduate. They will meet with representatives of the La Plata and Tisza river basins to plan the forum.

                The forum, to be held in the Ukraine in early 2013, is an environmental protection and social-economic development program with planned participation of 12 river basins worldwide, including the Rio Grande, La Plata and Tisza. Other basins to be included are the Mara, Mosel, Red, Prypjat, Irtysh, Yukon, Congo, Volta, and Araxes.
                Research has shown that the social and economic state of the regions is interdependent within points of the river basin. The Ihlet Lifewater Concept program seeks to improve these conditions in participating river basins to provide maximum efficiency.
                Urbanczyk and Bennett are also featured with other scientists in a related documentary film by Christopher Hillen, “Confluence: The Big Bend Reach of the Rio Grande.” The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Dec. 13 at the Granada Theatre, Alpine. The film was also shown Dec. 7 at the Starlight Theatre, Terlingua.
                For more information, contact Urbanczyk, (432) 837-8110 or

Richardson B  GillFall commencement exercises are scheduled Saturday, Dec. 15 at Sul Ross State University-Alpine Campus and Rio Grande College.
Sul Ross-Alpine ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in the Pete P. Gallego Center. Dr. Richardson Gill, former general manager of Cibolo Creek Ranch, entrepreneur, author and noted anthropologist, will deliver the commencement address.


Rio Grande College exercises will be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Uvalde High School Auditorium. Ivan Jaime, director of Border Policy and Community Affairs for Union Pacific Railroad Co., will be the featured speaker.


A total of 230 students, 154S at Sul Ross-Alpine and 76 at RGC, are candidates for degrees.


At Alpine, Steven Bennack, lecturer in Music, will play the processional, “Pomp and Circumstance,” and the recessional, “Postlude in G Major.” Dr. Lorie Rubenser, professor of Criminal Justice, will be the mace bearer. Dr. Avinash Rangra, professor of Chemistry, and Dr. Chester Sample, professor of Physical Education, will serve as marshals.

                Sul Ross President Dr. Ricardo Maestas will deliver the welcome, introduce Gill and confer degrees. Dr. Mark Saka, professor of History, will give the invocation. Recognition and honors will be announced by Dr. Quint Thurman, Provost and Vice President for Academic and Student Affairs. Dr. Donald Freed, associate professor of Music, will lead the singing of “God Bless America” and “Alma Mater.”


            Gill was born and raised in San Antonio, where he now resides. He has earned numerous academic degrees in several fields from the University of Texas at Austin. His first degree was in History and Latin American Studies, with a minor in Spanish. He then earned a degree in Electrical Engineering, with a minor in Mechanical Engineering. That was followed with a. degree in Mathematics and then a degree in Physics. He received two graduate degrees in Anthropology – an M.A. degree in 1989 and a Ph.D. in Archaeology in 1994.
            Gill’s business career started at Gill Savings/Gill Companies where he went from bill collector to president. He then was President and CEO of GillDorn Savings. He built the largest winery in Texas, Ste. Genevieve Winery near Fort Stockton, to process grapes from the University of Texas and served as Chairman, CEO, and President of the winery. He also was a co-founder and the first chairman of Llano Estacado Winery in Lubbock. He was the Business Development Department head for J. B. Poindexter & Co. in Houston. He was the Practice Director of Virginia A. Pittman-Waller, M.D. before becoming General Manager of Cibolo Creek Ranch between 2010 and 2012.
                He is the author of the groundbreaking book, The Great Maya Droughts: Water, Life, and Death (University of New Mexico, 2000). In this book, he developed the revolutionary theory that the collapse of Maya civilization was caused by devasting drought over which they had no control. The book was translated into Spanish and published by one of the most prestigious publishers in Mexico, the Fondo de Cultura Económica. He has authored numerous academic articles and book chapters.
                A one-hour documentary about Gill and his archaeological accomplishments, entitled Ancient Apocalypse: The Maya Collapse, was produced by the BBC and The Learning Channel. In January, he will begin filming another documentary about his work with The Weather Channel in Guatemala and Belize. 
                In March 2011, Gill presented the 23rd Mary Thomas Marshall University Lecture at Sul Ross, “The Great Maya Droughts: The Cause of the Collapse of Maya Civilization.” He was also the guest speaker at a recent lecture at Sul Ross State University, “The Maya Calendar and December 21, 2012.”
                Gill has been very involved in civic activities. He is treasurer and director of the Mind Science Foundation. He has been co-chairman of the San Fernando Cathedral Foundation and co-chairman of the Archbishop Patrick Flores 10th anniversary celebration. He was president of both the San Antonio International Mariachi Festival and the San Antonio Mariachi Foundation. He is a member of the Board of Visitors of the University of Texas McDonald Observatory and the Advisory Board of the Physics Department at the University of Texas. He first came to West Texas in 1968 and has returned many times a year ever since.
                Sul Ross State University wide receiver Lee Carothers caught two passes for 37 yards as his Red Nation team defeated the Blue Nation 35-21 Sunday (Dec. 9) at the National Bowl. The third annual all-star contest, played at  J. Birney Crum Stadium, Allentown, Pa., features graduating seniors from NCAA Divisions FCS, II and III.
                Carothers (Austin/Travis H.S.), a first-team All-American Southwest Conference selection, finished the regular season with 63 receptions for 937 yards and 10 touchdowns. Carothers’ touchdown receptions tied a single-season mark, shared with A.C. Hood (1998) and Luis Uresti (2001). He established a new single-game record with four touchdown grabs against Howard Payne. He has also set new career marks for pass receptions (189) and yardage (2,955).
                Earlier this month, Carothers and teammate Dominique Carson (Waxahachie) were selected to the D3 Sports All-South Region team.     

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter

LEA graduation speaker

LEA graduation speaker

Midland County Sheriff Gary Painter, a Sul Ross State University graduate, was the featured speaker at Law Enforcement Academy graduation ceremonies Friday (Dec. 7) at Sul Ross. Seven cadets graduated and the class had a 100 percent pass rate on the state peace officer examinations. (Photo by Steve Lang)

Law Enforcement Academy graduation

Sul Ross Law Enforcement Academy cadets await their diplomas during graduation exercises held Friday (Dec. 7) in the University Center. Graduates include (front row, from left): Aracely K. Acosta, Presidio; Trevor S. Anderson, Odessa; Chelsea L. Cadman, Alpine; Barry T. Hill, Odessa. (Second row): Robert S. Moore, Balmorhea; Robert D. Patton, Alpine; Michael D. Weber, Midland. (Photo by Steve Lang)