In his lifetime, Ronald P. Mafrige's pursuits have taken him to 122 foreign countries. He's distinguished himself as a U.S. Army major, an entrepreneur, a civic leader and a philanthropist. But in Huntsville, Texas, this Sam Houston State University graduate is remembered foremost as a Bearkat extraordinaire.

Since graduating from SHSU's College of Business Administration (COBA) in 1960, Mafrige has maintained an active relationship with his alma mater. When not attending to his presidential responsibilities at Ron Mafrige Enterprises, Inc., a Houston real estate and investment firm, the businessman can often be found presiding over the affairs of one or more SHSU organizations.

He has served on the COBA Advisory Council, the SHSU Alumni Association Board of Directors as a Challenger-level member, and as director of Kat Pack, an SHSU athletic booster organization. He also boasts memberships in the SHSU Challenger Club, COBA's Alumni Association, the "T" Association Letterman Club and the Sam Houston Bearkat Club.

In addition to decades of extraordinary service to SHSU, Mafrige has contributed handsomely and regularly to numerous SHSU causes, including several athletic enrichment initiatives.

In 1994 Mafrige established a COBA endowment honoring Glenn Adams, the late president of Ron Mafrige Enterprises, Inc. The endowment, with commitments totaling $1 million, will eventually provide business scholarships for students as well as funds for COBA programs.

In recognition of Mafrige's generous contributions of time and resources, this spring the COBA auditorium in the Smith-Hutson Business Building will be named in his honor.

"As both adviser and benefactor, Ron Mafrige has played an integral role in helping COBA realize its potential as a business school of the first order," said R. Dean Lewis, COBA dean. "We are pleased and quite excited about this opportunity to recognize the many valuable contributions Mr. Mafrige has made to our institution."

Dedication ceremonies for the Ron Mafrige Auditorium are slated for 10:30 a.m. April 11 in the Smith-Hutson Building on the SHSU campus. Those planning to join the festivities are urged to RSVP with COBA at 409-294-1254.

"We invite the entire university community, past and present, to attend this special dedication ceremony," said Lewis, "and pay tribute to one of SHSU's foremost advocates."

In addition to Mafrige's many SHSU-related involvements, he has extended his charity and leadership to a variety of other altruistic endeavors.

As a lifetime member of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo he has participated on several committees and, for the past three years, has provided a $10,000 scholarship to students participating in the show.

Voted a distinguished alumnus of the San Marcos Academy in 1990, Mafrige has served on the school's alumni board and President's Club. In 1985, with his brothers Don and Steve Mafrige, he established an academy scholarship in excess of $100,000.

He is an active member of the Houston area Delta Tau Delta Alumni Chapter, the Noble of the Mystic Shrine-Arabia Temple of Houston, the Fellowship Club of Houston and the Houston Affiliates of the Southern Federation of Syrian, Lebanese American Clubs, where he has served as president and treasurer.

"We are very fortunate to have a man of Ron Mafrige's caliber among our distinguished COBA alums," Lewis said. "His devotion to SHSU combined with his impeccable reputation as a caring citizen and savvy businessman make him one of the university's most prominent ambassadors.

"With the dedication of the Ron Mafrige Auditorium this spring, his name and good works will become a permanent legacy for generations of COBA students following in his footsteps."


Media Contact: Phillip Rollfing

March 4, 1997