Latest News from Sul Ross October 4, 2013

    The federal government shutdown may affect grant programs at Sul Ross State University, President Ricardo Maestas said this week.
    In anticipation of a possible long-term shutdown, Maestas sent a letter to all Sul Ross grant managers instructing them to prepare monthly budgets through Dec. 31.  All of Sul Ross’ federal grants have received their Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) award notices, entitling them to be reimbursed for FY14 expenditures.
    “Since the federal government has shut down (effective midnight Oct. 1), we might not be able to access the money (awarded for FY 14 grant programs) which would then require SRSU to finance the grant activities until the shutdown ends,” his letter stated.
    Maestas said Sul Ross had limited funds to cover costs of grant activities until federal funds were received. He asked grant managers to take “immediate steps to delay activities/purchases that can be postponed in the short term, such as travel and equipment purchases and other non-essential purchases that are not ‘mission critical’” to respective grant operations.
    Grant managers are asked to prepare monthly budgets for expenditures including payroll, supplies and other essentials, as well as identify expenditures that cannot be delayed or postponed until after Dec. 31, 2013.
    “We are hopeful that the shutdown will be short in nature and we will make every effort to ensure that there are minimal interruptions to grant services,” the letter continued.

      Sul Ross State University will be featured in an upcoming film depicting 12 years in a young man’s life.
      On-campus filming will take place Monday, Oct. 7 by the Boyhood, Inc. film crew. Scenes will be shot on the Alpine Campus in front of the Morelock Academic Building and in the Fletcher Residence Hall. Sul Ross students will be used as extras in the filming.
      Other scenes will be filmed in Big Bend Ranch State Park.  Boyhood, Inc. has also been working with the Texas Film Commission.
      The film, directed by Houston native Richard Linklater and featuring Ethan Hawke and Patricia Arquette as the parents, follows one young man as he grows up in a city in Texas.
      “We are very excited about the opportunity to have the university featured in a motion picture,” said Sul Ross President Ricardo Maestas.
     Hawke, an Austin native, is a well-known actor, writer and director. He has appeared in over 40 films and received Academy Award and Screen Actors Guild nominations for Best Supporting Actor in “Training Day.”
     Arquette, who has received a Primetime Emmy Award, has appeared in more than 30 films during her extensive career.
     Linklater gained prominence for his directing in films including “Dazed and Confused,” “School of Rock” and "Before Midnight". Linklater directed and co-wrote the screenplay for the 2006 film, “Fast Food Nation,” which also included Hawke and Arquette.
     Sul Ross was prominently mentioned in the 1998 film, “Dancer, Texas, Pop. 81.” The comedy drama, filmed in Fort Davis, Alpine and Jeff Davis County, followed four recent high school graduates wrestling with their decision to leave their small hometown and go to Los Angeles. One of the four, John Hemphill (played by Eddie Mills), peruses a Sul Ross catalog at his family ranch and ultimately chooses to stay on the ranch and possibly attend the university.

    Thanks to the generosity of a Sul Ross State University graduate, a life-size sculpture of the university’s namesake will adorn the campus.
    A $95,000 gift from Sul Ross alumna Charlie Nichols and his wife, Arlene, Fort Worth, will provide funding for a bronze sculpture of Lawrence Sullivan Ross.
    “My motivation is simple,” said Nichols, a 1959 graduate. “Sul Ross is a good place. It’s  a good place for a number of reasons. It’s friendly; the people of Alpine are friendly; and I received a couple of kindnesses while I was a student that helped me with my education.
    “I received an affordable education that supported me in what I did in life, and over the years I have realized the value of that education and the value of Sul Ross for me,” he said. “This is my way of saying ‘thank you, Sul Ross, for what you did for me.’”
    A campaign to raise funds for the statue’s base will be undertaken by the Sul Ross Alumni Association and President Ricardo Maestas. Maestas appointed a committee, co-chaired by Alumni Association President Don Sugarek, Beeville, and Jim Clouse, Associate Vice President for Facilities.  The committee will include representatives from all factions of the campus community. The committee will study regulations and guidelines for erecting a statue on campus, as well as determine the depiction of Sul Ross and the statue’s location. Final approval is required by the Board of Regents.
    “We are extremely grateful to Charlie and Arlene for an attractive and most fitting addition to our campus,” said Sul Ross President Ricardo Maestas. “Lawrence Sullivan Ross was indeed a champion of public education and for nearly 100 years, this university has strived to promote and maintain the ideals he espoused.”
    Fund-raising for the project is a joint effort undertaken by President Maestas and the Alumni Association.
    Lawrence Sullivan “Sul” Ross (1838-1898) was a Texas Ranger, soldier, statesman and university president. He served two terms as governor of Texas (1888-91) and was a champion of public education. Following his governorship, he became president of the troubled Agricultural and Mechanical College of Texas (now Texas A&M University). Under his direction, enrollment increased, many new buildings were constructed and the institution’s reputation was restored.
    Sul Ross State University was created by an act of the 35th Legislature in 1917 as a state normal college to train teachers. Construction was delayed due to America’s entry into World War I, and the college opened for classes in the summer of 1920, under the name of Sul Ross State Normal College. Subsequent name changes were Sul Ross State Teachers College (1923); Sul Ross State College (1949); and Sul Ross State University (1969).
    To make a donation to assist with the funding of the base, contact Karen Brown, Alumni Association, (432) 837.8443 or at

    Dave Geringer has been named Sports Information Specialist at Sul Ross State University.
    Geringer, a native of New York City, who assumed his new duties Oct. 1, brings nearly 30 years’ experience to the position, most recently as Sports Information Director (SID) at the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth (2005-September 2013). He replaces Chris Kennedy, who resigned in August after three years at the position.
    As Sports Information Specialist, he will maintain the Sul Ross athletics website, write and edit news releases and publications, maintain team rosters, schedules and statistics and direct media relations for the Lobos’ 11 intercollegiate sports.
    “Dave has worked at NCAA Division I, II and III programs,” said Bobby Mesker, associate athletic director. “He brings a wealth of experience to the position and we welcome his expertise.”
    Geringer received a B.A. in History from SUNY (State University of New York) Buffalo, and later attended the University of Minnesota  He began his career in 1985 as an assistant SID at Florida International University. Subsequent stops include: Idaho State University (1986-1993); Lynn (Fla.) University (1993-96); Bemidji (Minn.) State University (1996-97); Alfred (N.Y.) State College (1997-99); New York Institute of Technology (1999-2001); University of Texas-Pan American (2001-2004); University of Alaska-Fairbanks (2004-2005); and UMass Dartmouth.
    For more information, contact Geringer, (432) 837-8673 or

    Works by Sul Ross State University art students will be on exhibition through Oct. 31 at Judy’s Bread and Breakfast Bakery Café, 113 W. Holland Ave., Alpine.
    Curated by graduate student Alexander Costea, the 2013 Art Student Invitational is a showcase of works created by Sul Ross students. The show is open to the public during business hours at the restaurant, 8 a.m.-2 p.m. Wednesdays-Mondays and 8 a.m.-noon Sundays.  
    A closing reception will be held Saturday, Oct. 26, 5-7 p.m., with some of the artists present to discuss the various techniques used in creating their works. There is no admission charge and the public is invited.
    Oil paintings, watercolors, prints and ceramic pieces will be on exhibition. Artists include: J. Aaron Brooks, C. P. Carter, Victoria Chavira, Alyssa Coppens, Costea, Judith Loya, Mike Ortiz, Shelby Rodgers and Mariah Williams. Carter, Costea and Brooks received the Sul Ross Outstanding Art Student awards in 2010, 2012 and 2013, respectively.
    For more information, contact Costea, (210) 393-0399.

    The Museum of the Big Bend will celebrate Tom Lea Month with a lecture by author and PhD candidate Brandon D. Shuler Thursday, Oct. 17 at Sul Ross State University.
     Shuler will present “There’s Indians in Them There Hills: A Narrative in Illustrating 'Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver'” at 7 p.m. at the Museum. Visitors may meet the author from 6-6:45 p.m. Shuler will have copies of his books available for purchase and signing following the lecture. There is no admission charge and the public is invited.
    Shuler is a PhD candidate in Literature, Social Justice, and the Environment at Texas Tech University. He is currently editing the unpublished letters of Tom Lea and J. Frank Dobie, forthcoming this year from University of Texas Press. His first book, "Glory of the Silver King," was a Texas Outdoors Writers Association 2012 Book of the Year. He has a collection of short stories forthcoming this year from Texas Review Press.
    "Apache Gold and Yaqui Silver" was Lea’s and Dobie’s first collaborative work. The creative process forged a relationship that was far-reaching and lifelong. During the illustration process for Apache Gold, Lea and Dobie discovered their mutual interest in and love for the Southwest. Through much of their correspondence, from 1937 to 1939, Lea and Dobie discuss the stories and their creative processes behind each illustration. By using excerpts from their letters, Shuler uncovers the unpublished stories behind the illustrations.
    J. Frank Dobie (1888-1964) was born in Live Oak County, Texas.  After graduating from Southwestern University in Georgetown, he accepted his first teaching assignment in Alpine.  Dobie would become a teacher at UT Austin and began a lifelong quest to rescue Texas’ vanishing folklore and rich storytelling traditions through his research and writings.
     In the 1940s Dobie called for academic freedom and integration at UT, leading to a statement by Texas Governor Coke Stevenson that Dobie be dismissed.  In recognition of his work, Dobie was awarded the Medal of Freedom in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson.
    Tom Lea (1907-2001) has born in El Paso.  After graduating from El Paso High School he attended the Art Institute of Chicago.  However, his heart longed for his home and he returned in 1936.  He served as an embedded reporter with the Marines beginning in 1941 as a war correspondent and illustrator for Life Magazine.  
It was his experience during the Battle of Peleliu that he created some of his most resonant images of the war including the painting “That 2,000 Yard Stare.”  In his lifetime, Lea produced numerous public murals, illustrations, paintings, magazine articles and novels, including The Brave Bulls and the The Wonderful Country, which are considered classics of southwestern American literature.
     For more information contact Mary Bones, (432) 837-8734 or

    Sul Ross State University will recognize nine individuals for outstanding achievement and service during Homecoming 2013 activities, scheduled Oct. 7-13.
    All will be honored during ceremonies Saturday, Oct. 12 at the annual Hall of Honor Awards Dinner.    Selma Glasscock, Sinton, assistant director of the Welder Wildlife Foundation; and Bill Rankin, Brenham, chief financial officer of Blue Bell Creameries, will be honored as Sul Ross State University Distinguished Alumni. Amy Brown, Gainesville, Fla., will be the first recipient of a new honor, the Young Distinguished Alumni Award. Corra Ward, Ingleside on the Bay (alumni category) and Miriam and the late Emmett McCoy (non-alumni) will receive the Slingin’ Sammy Baugh Award for Outstanding Service. Three new members will be inducted into the Hall of Honor,  Earl Bowman, San Angelo; Barbara Crousen, Abilene;; and Mike Robbins, Boerne.
    The honors event will begin with a 6:30 p.m. reception, followed by a 7:15 banquet in the Espino Conference Center, Morgan University Center. Tickets are $40 per person and may be purchased by contacting the Office of Alumni Affairs, (432) 837-8697. Alumni registration and event information may be found at http.//
    Glasscock, a native of Sonora and a 1975 Sul Ross graduate, has spent 20 years with the Welder Wildlife Foundation. She received  her M.S. at Angelo State University, and her Ph.D. at Texas A&M-College Station and Texas A&M-Kingsville.
    After teaching at the high school and community college levels, she began work with the Welder Wildlife Foundation. During her 20-year tenure, Glasscock's work has focused on conservation education and wildlife research and management.  She redesigned and developed the Foundation’s conservation education program which reaches an average of 8,000 people annually, and has worked with numerous conservation organizations to develop, coordinate, or support local, regional, state, and national conservation education programs such as Conservation Across Boundaries® and Conservation Leaders for Tomorrow.
    She served on the Sul Ross Alumni Association Board from 2010-2012; and has served as president of three professional organizations, the Texas Chapter of The Wildlife Society, the Southwest Section of The Wildlife Society, and the Texas Outdoor Education Association. Glasscock has also served on numerous other boards and committees of conservation organizations.
    Glasscock has held adjunct faculty status at seven universities, where she has served formally on 12 graduate student committees. She had received numerous awards for her work in wildlife conservation. She is also a Fellow of The Wildlife Society as well as a National Conservation Leadership Institute Fellow.
    She and her husband, B.C., also a Sul Ross graduate, have two daughters, Audrey and Jessica, both of whom attended Sul Ross.
    Rankin earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from Texas A&M University and a Master of Business Administration degree from Sul Ross Rio Grande College in 1980, attending classes on the Laughlin Air Force Base in Del Rio.  He served as a pilot in the U.S. Air Force for six years, including a year at Keflavik Naval Air Station in Iceland.
    Rankin began working for Blue Bell Creameries in 1981, rising to CFO in 1984. In his current capacity, he is in charge of the financial affairs and benefit plans for Blue Bell and its nearly 3,000 employees. He was elected to the Board of Directors as an Associate Director in 1993, and Director in 2004.
    He has served on numerous civic boards including but not limited to the Brenham Independent School District, Lutheran Social Services of the South, Boys and Girls Club of Washington County, and the Brenham Noon Lions Club. Rankin is a member of the Abiding Word Lutheran Church of Brenham, the American Institute of CPAs and Texas Society of CPAs.  
. In 2010, he joined with others to support a newly-constructed agricultural facility on the Blinn College-Brenham Campus, The W.J. “Bill” Rankin Agricultural Complex was named in his honor. Rankin was inducted into the Blinn College Hall of Honor in 2011.
    He and his wife, Lois, have been married for more than 41 years and have two children and four grandchildren.
    Brown graduated from Sul Ross with a Master's degree in Geology in 2010. Prior to arriving at Sul Ross she received a B.S. in Chemistry from Michigan State University in 1996 and worked for Abbott Laboratories in Lake County, Illinois for nine years. She became acquainted with the Big Bend in 2000 when crossing the Rio Grande in a rowboat for a three-day horseback trip in Mexico.
    When Brown decided to return to school to study geology she was drawn to the Big Bend. Her research here in Texas focused on characterizing the water chemistry of springs in the Big Bend region. She appreciated the opportunity to do research in Big Bend National Park, Big Bend Ranch State Park, and the Davis Mountains Preserve.
    At  Sul Ross, she worked as a research assistant, mathematics tutor, Upward Bound science instructor, teaching assistant and chemistry lab coordinator. She also had the opportunity to be a part of the Alpine Volunteer Fire Department.
    Brown is presently  pursuing a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences at the University of Florida. She has continued to focus on spring research. She has produced numerous meeting abstracts and poster presentations as a student, and was recognized by the Geological Society of America and the Hydrology Division of the Geological Society of America for preparing an outstanding student research grant proposal last year. Brown is currently working to publish her findings.  
    Ward, a 1971 Sul Ross graduate, taught second grade in Aransas Pass for 28 years before retiring. She also holds a Master of Science Degree in Curriculum and Instruction from Corpus Christi State University and a Master of Science Degree in Elementary Education from Texas A&M University, Corpus Christi.
    She is the founder of the Sul Ross Baby Boomer Group and editor of the Sul Ross Baby Boomer Newsletter. She started writing the Sul Ross Baby Boomer Newsletter eight years ago when she was finding Sul Ross alumni who attended Sul Ross during the years of 1965-1975.
    Since 2006, the Sul Ross Baby Boomer Group has grown to 650 people. Yearly get-togethers at Homecoming in Alpine have become a tradition and the Boomers have had three very successful reunions in San Antonio. The newsletter has played a significant part in promoting several fundraisers that have raised money for Sul Ross students. The newsletter's main purpose has been to send messages from Sul Ross Baby Boomer alumni telling what they are doing, have done, or something of interest. It also notifies alumni when someone has passed away and alerts everyone about Sul Ross events.
      "Finding long lost friends has been amazing and rewarding,” said Ward.  “It has been kind of like going back in time and catching a piece of youth that had slipped away until old friends were found.”    
    Her hobbies are cooking, genealogy, gardening, and doing extensive research in a variety of topics. She lives with her three dogs.
    Emmett and Miriam McCoy made the largest single gift to Sul Ross in the university’s history. The McCoys donated $1.2 million to the Museum of the Big Bend renovation and relocation project in 2003. In addition, a $100,000 gift from the McCoy Foundation in 2002 helped to lift off the $4.4 million fund-raising campaign. The completed building now bears the McCoys’ names.
    Emmett F. McCoy, who died in January 2012, was born in Houston in 1923, His father founded McCoy Roofing Co. After Emmett’s graduation from high school, he attended New York Trade School. In New York, he met Miriam Swanson, and they married in 1946.
    Emmett and Miriam moved to Texas and founded McCoy Supply Co. in the 1950s, which later became the present-day McCoy’s Building Supply. The couple made their home in San Marcos and also moved the company’s headquarters there. At the time of Emmett’s  retirement in 1997, McCoy’s had grown to over 90 locations with sales exceeding $400 million. Today, the company has over 1,600 employees and 83 store locations, including one in Alpine, spread over Texas, New Mexico, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Mississippi. Now headed by son Brian McCoy, McCoy’s Building Supply is one of the largest family-owned businesses in the industry.
    Beyond the business, the McCoys may be best known for their commitment and transformational philanthropy supporting strong communities and families across Texas, including this tri-county area.                        –0o0–