The CHSS honored its faculty and alumni again on Friday, March 23, 2012. Professor James Olson, Professor John Holcombe, Judge Bob Gammage (alum), and Ron Koska (alum) were honored for their service to the College, the University, and to the public.
The ceremony was held in the CHSS building, and students, family, faculty, and staff were on hand to honor these four gentlemen. In all, the ceremony drew more than 125 individuals, who were treated to recollections of featured speakers such as Dick Cording (on behalf of John Holcombe), Bill Daniels (on behalf of Ron Koska), Jim Carter (on behalf of Bob Gammage), and Terry Bilhartz (on behalf of Jim Olson), and even President Gibson.
Olson, Koska, and Gammage were on hand to receive their plaques and participate in their induction. Holcombe passed away in 2008, but a large contingent of family and friends were on hand to enjoy his recognition. His niece, Melissa Blohm, accepted the plaque on his behalf.
Following the ceremony, the CHSS hosted an appreciation dinner at the W.S. Gibbs Conference Hall in the Walker Education Center, where family, friends, and guests were able to converse with each other and the inductees.
This is the second year such a ceremony and dinner were held by the CHSS. Last year, Dean John de Castro and the CHSS Alumni Advisory Board decided to initiate a formal ceremony to honor alumni and faculty from the CHSS. The Board and the staff worked hard select the first-year inductees and to make the program a success. It worked. Professor Walter Bennett, Professor J. L. Clark, and distinguished alum (and Vice President) Dr. Ferol Robinson were recognized the first year.
The Junior Fellows assisted at both of these events, as they have at every CHSS event since 2007, when they helped with the groundbreaking for the CHSS Building. It’s an honor to assist with these events, and it’s also a great way to learn more about SHSU, its history, and the people that have helped make it a great educational institution. It also provides a model for students, a way for them to see what makes for a great alumnus, and the many ways that alumni can contribute.
We were very fortunate to have one of our alumni, Laken Jenkins, return to SHSU to assist with this event. As she told us in between the ceremony and the dinner, “This is a great event. You get to meet the people being honored, meet high-level administrators at the University, and learn more about how the school operates.” We think Laken might be one of the alumni honored one day!