Thursday, December 6, 2001

Houstonian: Dan Rather at 70

Sabrina Jackson has an interesting article about alumnus Dan Rather in the December 6 edition of the Houstonian.

Thursday, November 8, 2001

Houstonian: Greening explains Sam's blueprint for next decade

Douglas Greening, director of the Physical Plant, spoke to a small gathering of faculty and students on the campus master plan that will take construction of SHSU into the next decade and beyond. The rest of the story is in the Houstonian.

...the master plan calls for at least five parking garages to be built at various locations on campus including behind the library, the University Hotel, the LSC and the Criminal Justice center.

Greening said constructing five garages before 2005 is both unlikely and unnecessary.

"That's a lot of parking garages to build in five years and I personally don't think it will happen," he said. "We may put one somewhere in the near future but I don't think we'll be looking at a lot unless they really pan out and are a success."


Greening said the university plans to focus on surface parking by adding new lots and adding spaces to existing ones.

According to Greening, these new lots would account for 700 new spaces. He said students might see new parking lots near the tennis courts and in part of Colony Park.

"We know that Colony Park is pretty controversial and many students are not really happy about that," he said. "However, we do intend to just use the open space in the middle, not the area with the trees on both ends. I don't know if that's going to stay in the project or not, as far as I know it is still part of the project."


To relieve traffic problems, the master plan also calls for street extensions and elimination of offset intersections to relieve areas of congested traffic.

Campus housing is the other major component of the plan to be tackled in the next five to 10 years.

"We regret doing no housing in the last master plan," he said. "Spencer feels it is the biggest problem on campus. It has been ignored for the past 20 years and it can't be anymore."

Greening said during his 10 years at SHSU, the Physical Plant has tried to keep the dorms in good condition but added that it is expensive.

"Our dorms are just tired. They're old and they've been around for a long time," he said. "You can go through and paint and put carpet down but when you walk through, it still looks like an old dorm."

Friday, September 28, 2001

New Freshmen Housing Option Emphasizes Retention

Today@Sam reports that the Department of Student Life has implemented a new program on the SHSU campus that is helping freshmen adjust. The Bearkat Learning Community (BLC) is a concept designed by the University Retention Committee that specifically targets freshmen with aims to help them adjust to the social and academic challenges of college.

The thirty-six students that comprise the inaugural BLC group live in Stewart House, a coed academic small house on campus that was the former home of the Chi Omega sorority.

Thursday, September 20, 2001

Item: Gaertner Outlines Vision for SHSU's Future

From the Item:

Sam Houston State University's new president James Gaertner addressed a packed house of faculty and staff Tuesday in Killinger Auditorium, announcing that the university is "poised to make a giant step" in its history.

Monday, August 27, 2001

Today@Sam: A Brief Biography of Bobby K. Marks

Bobby K. Marks, who came to Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1960 as an instructor of management, retired in August 2001, after serving almost six years as the 11th president of Sam Houston State University.

Friday, August 10, 2001

Today@Sam: The Master of the Plan

Ralph Spencer, the well-known architect and new Huntsville resident, just finished designing the new Master Plan for Sam Houston State University that will take the institution through the next 10 years of its development.

President Marks was able to get Spencer to come out of his 1989 retirement and design the new master plan. Spencer designed the previous plan in 1980 that took the university to the year 2000.

"It was hard for us to think in terms of working with a different campus master planner, one who would have to start from the beginning to know the University," said Marks. "Ralph knew the personality and infrastructure of the University well.

"Frankly, we began to contrive ways of coaxing him out of retirement on a temporary basis, to update the campus master plan one more time. To shorten the story, we were successful in our attempts."

Tuesday, August 7, 2001

Today@Sam: Y2K+10 Master Plan Adopted

Y2K+10, a master plan calling for expenditures of more than $200 million, has been adopted for Sam Houston State University for the first decade of the 21st Century.

The plan submitted by architect/planner Ralph D. Spencer Sr. and approved by the university's board of regents emphasizes new student housing, better definition of campus edges, new and improved academic facilities and structured parking.

Sunday, August 5, 2001

Item: Marks says farewell to university

In a special interview with The Huntsville Item this week, Sam Houston State University President Bobby K. Marks reviewed a 41-year career that has witnessed the growth and development of a former teacher's college into one of Texas' important doctoral intensive state universities.

Friday, June 22, 2001

The Austin Hall Sesquicentennial

On a warm day in June 150 years ago Sunday General Sam Houston traveled up the hill a short distance from his Woodland Home to help mark the beginning of construction on Austin Hall, which has become Sam Houston State University's architectural symbol.

To honor this sesquicentennial occasion, the Peabody Memorial Library and archives is presenting an exhibit of memorabilia relating to Austin Hall's history. Peabody is located a few feet east of Austin Hall, in the university's historic Quadrangle, and is open from 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. The exhibit is scheduled to run June 25-July 13.

Today@Sam goes on to say that we know "Sam Houston slept here," in his Woodland Home. We know he attended meetings in Austin Hall. We know where he is buried, in a Huntsville cemetery north of the campus. But we can't find the Austin Hall cornerstone, and it too may be buried.

Austin Hall has been changed. Its cupola was removed so that a third floor could be added, and then taken off. The Old Main Building was built nearby, in 1889. The most recent work was completed in 1986 after the building was damaged by the 1982 fire that destroyed the Old Main, returning it to its pre-1881 appearance.

Somewhere along the way the cornerstone was covered, by earth or bricks. A pre-1881 photograph of the building, which is part of the Peabody exhibit, shows a white area on the northwest corner of Austin Hall, which might be a cornerstone.

But Ralph Spencer, an architect who is completing his third master plan for the Sam Houston State campus, said that "Masons always place the cornerstone at the northeast corner. I do not think one is there."

All in all it's just another brick in the wall.

Friday, June 8, 2001

Tougher Admission Standards Among Regents Actions

Tougher admission standards, a new name for the Department of Public Communication, and new fees relating to library use, correspondence courses and degree programs and majors offered online were among the measures approved Friday for Sam Houston State University by the Board of Regents:
  • Approved contracts and purchase orders of $180,000 for renovation of the University Theater Center.
  • $125,000 to replace the Sam Houston Memorial Museum roof, and $145,000 to replace auditorium seating in the Beto Criminal Justice Center.
  • Approved preliminary plans for a $285,000 renovation of the Smith-Hutson Business Building.
  • Approved demolition of Hathorn House, a two-story residence hall built in 1961, because of foundation settling and damage.

Tuesday, February 27, 2001

Houstonian: Golf course/convention center progressing quickly

From the Houstonian:
The Huntsville City Council will make its final choice on the architect to design the new city golf course by March 6, said Bob Hart, city manager. Anticipated completion date is fall 2002.

Last Thursday, Hart announced a contest to name the golf course. Officials hope the city’s history, long-standing relationship with Sam Houston State University and the topography of the land will be taken into consideration when people make up names for the 18-hole course.

The course is being built off Interstate 45 West on 154 acres of university-owned land behind Huntsville Memorial Hospital. Twenty more privately-owned acres were bought by the city to complete the necessary acreage.

SHSU is leasing the land to Huntsville on a 30-year contract for $40,000 a year. Other benefits to SHSU will be in the form of monetary savings, such as discounted greens fees for faculty, staff and students. Important to the university is the travel time and money that will be saved by having a home golf course for the Bearkat golf team. The team now has to go out-of-town to four different courses, Hart said.

Wednesday, January 24, 2001

Theta Chi To Break Ground For New House

The Houstonian reports Bearkat Boulevard, once thought of as a possible site for Fraternity Row, will soon have its first frat house:
The Theta Chi fraternity will hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Saturday, Jan. 26 with plans to finish the house by May of this year.

However, there are no plans to move other fraternity houses there, creating a Greek Row.

"We haven't talked about moving," said Sigma Chi Matt Mathieson. "We've been in our house since '83 and we're not looking to move."

While there have never been concrete plans, Bearkat Boulevard has often been thought of as a future sight for all fraternity houses. "That was the original idea," said Theta Chi Jason Boldt. "But I don't think it will happen."

"We just bought a house," said a Sigma Nu member. "I don't think we are going to move anytime soon."

"We're not moving," said Kappa Alpha Gary Bergholtz.

The fraternity houses, like the sorority houses, were once grouped together on campus. Eventually, however, each frat house moved off campus.

Tuesday, January 23, 2001

Houstonian: Still in bloom after 50 years

Half a century ago, a woman with a love for beauty, flowers and gardening began a process in Huntsville, which has continued throughout the years. Grace Longino Cox took those passions and created a fresh and beautiful look for the campus of Sam Houston State University in the late 1940s.

Cox came to SHSU as a student in 1922 and began the beautification process on the campus after the death of her husband, William Longino, a professor at SHSU. Cox was known for her remarkable jewel garden, located near Austin Hall. The jewel garden is a pool with pretty rocks and stones embedded around it, which were the jewels. After working on the campus for five or six years, Cox accepted a job as director of the Sam Houston State Museum and park. After 19 or so years as working as director of the museum and park, Cox retired.

In 1986, SHSU honored Cox by presenting her with the Distinguished Alumni Award.

Tuesday, January 16, 2001

Houstonian: The problems of progress

If you have been late for class, had a hard time finding a parking space and trying to figure out where your organization meets, you are part of the student population experiencing the renovation effects of the Lowman Student Center.

Some students complain of the inconveniences, despite approving the renovations by an online vote in April of 1999 and therefore agreeing to a $40 increase in the student services fee.

Although construction began in early December, some students are just now beginning to experience the effects of the renovations.

All offices that were housed in the LSC are in the Frels and Wilson Buildings, which are across the mall area and face the LSC.