Friday, October 30, 2009

President Gaertner to retire in 2010

News out of Huntsville from Today@Sam:
SHSU president James Gaertner announced during the annual faculty and staff picnic today Friday, October 30, his intention to retire effective Aug. 31, 2010. "Nancy and I have enjoyed this time of our lives more than I can describe. It has been an incredible honor to serve with the entire university community as president of this grand old university.”
Share your thoughts at the katfans forum.

Monday, October 26, 2009

CHSS Building Recognized For Design Innovation

Today@Sam reports that the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Building has received the "Award of Excellence" for its innovative design and contribution to the community and will be featured in the December issue of Texas Construction.
The constructors of the building, SpawGlass Construction Corporation, took part of the annual Texas Construction Best of 2009 competition held in September. Twenty-one projects, including the CHSS Building, were big winners in an "Award of Excellence" category. SpawGlass submitted photos of the CHSS Building under the subcategory of higher education/research project. SHSU’s building was the only higher education/research project to win in the "excellence" category. The competition, held by Texas Construction magazine, received 150 nominated projects. Each project was divided into categories including, "Best Of," "Excellence" and "Special." The judges reviewed each project based on safety, innovation, contribution to the community or industry; construction quality and craftsmanship; and function and aesthetic quality of design. Winners in each category also will be honored at an awards luncheon in Dallas on December 8.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Montgomery Considers Creation of Historical Park

The town that lays claim as the birthplace of the Texas flag is considering creation of a historical park to enhance its niche in Lone Star lore, reports the Conroe Courier:
Montgomery officials will review options related to the creation of the Fernland Historical Park – a collaborative effort between the city, Sam Houston State University and Buffalo Springs....

The 1.75-acre site adjacent to the Charles B. Stewart Library and Memory Park would feature historical buildings representative of early Texas architecture – including four structures donated by SHSU from Fernland, a 40-acre historical site off Honea-Egypt Road owned by the university.

Plans call for the Crane Cabin, Jordan House, Tharp House, and a blacksmith shed to be moved from Fernland to the proposed site as part of a historical park. Fernland’s Bear Bend, the hunting lodge frequented by Texas statesman and military leader Sam Houston, is not part of the donation offered by SHSU, said [Brant Gary, city administrator].

“The current site [Fernland] is secluded and without modern conveniences like water, power and sewer,” said Dr. Patrick Nolan, director of the Sam Houston Museum in Huntsville in a previous interview. “Making it available to the public is a challenge because of security and accessibility.”

Land for the park would be donated by Buffalo Springs developer Philip LeFevre, Gary noted. Expenses for the park are projected at approximately $300,000 in the current fiscal year and $132,000 in 2011. Site preparation, moving of the structures and construction time for the park is estimated at less than one year.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

In the News: Jabez Curry

A statue of Helen Keller was unveiled Wednesday, October 7 in the United States Capitol’s National Statuary Hall Collection. Each state is allowed two statues honoring persons notable in their history in this collection, and there is little surprise that Texas is represented by Sam Houston and Stephen F. Austin. But in recent years the Capitol has allowed states to replace statues – for example, California swapped out Thomas King for Ronald Regan a few years ago – and it’s who Keller replaced that caught our eye.

Keller's statue replaced one depicting Jabez Curry, whose statue represented Alabama since 1908. Curry was originally from Georgia and served as president of Howard College (now Samford University) and it is this university where the statue will now reside.

Curry also has a slight tie-in to SHSU, too. In 1881, Curry was chosen as General Agent of the Peabody Education Fund. The fund sought to establish educational opportunities across the southern United States following the Civil War; because of a $2 Million endowment from this fund, Sam Houston Normal Institute was able to open in 1879. Following his death, a stained glass window was presented in his honor by the SHNI senior class of 1903 for placement in the Memorial Hall of Old Main. The window, like the many others honoring campus luminaries, was lost in the 1982 Old Main fire.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Time Capsule: Persons Who Should Not Enter the Normal

As we celebrate the 130th anniversary of the first day of classes at the Sam Houston Normal Institute, we present a series of remarks from the SHNI catalogue, as printed in History of Education in Texas (1903):
If you desire to prepare for the study of law, medicine, or theology, do not come to the normal.

If you wish merely to obtain a general education, do not come to the normal.

This is not a reform school. It is not a place for children. Boys or girls incapable of self-control should not enter the normal.

If you have not completed a course of study that would fit you to enter a good high school, you can not be profited by our work, and should not apply for admission.

Our work is special, and will suit none but those preparing for the teacher’s profession. If you wish to teach in our country schools, our city schools, or high schools, we can give you good instruction by trained and skillful teachers, with all needed helps in the way of apparatus, libraries, etc., and special professional training that will be most valuable. But the normal school is not a college or university. If you are merely seeking to obtain a general education to prepare yourself for other than the teacher’s profession, do not come here. Our work will not suit you, and we will not be satisfied with you. Only those desiring to prepare for the great work of the teacher should come to the normal.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Conversations about the Master Plan

More discussions about the Campus Master Plan from President James Gaertner in today Houstonian:
"We plan to tear down all of the small student housing, like King Hall for example, and build additional student housing. We are going to tear down the LSC and build a new LSC on the same spot, and build new Nursing and Allied Health, Engineering, and College of Business buildings and turn the old business building into general classrooms," Gaertner said. "We also plan to add to the Criminal Justice and Education buildings. There will also be three structured parking garages being built."

"The building schedule depends on our enrollment growth, the availability of funds, certain programs growing at a certain rate, and programs being approved, such as the Engineering and Nursing and Allied Health programs," Gaertner said. "One of the very first projects we will have is going to be new dormitories and student housing because we need a certain number of beds available when we tear down the older houses. We will probably break ground [on the housing project] within the next year and a half or so and then probably after that Allied Health and Nursing."
Chime in with your thoughts or questions about the Master Plan at the katfans forum.