The auditorium of the Smith-Hutson Business Building at Sam Houston State University was named the Ronald P. Mafrige Auditorium in an emotional dedication ceremony Friday.

Mafrige, a 1960 graduate and president of Ron Mafrige Enterprises, Inc., of Houston, said that he attended other colleges and universities before settling on Sam Houston, but that Sam Houston had been instrumental in his business success.

Mafrige said that he was overwhelmed by the tribute.

"This university gave me an opportunity and I will always appreciate that," he said. "It (the auditorium dedication) is beyond my wildest dreams and expectations."

The ceremony was attended by members of Mafrige's family and Delta Tau Delta fraternity brothers as well as members of the university and College of Business Administration faculty and staff. Speakers said that Mafrige's drive to succeed carried over into his work on behalf of SHSU.

Mafrige established scholarship and College of Business enrichment endowments in 1994 that are expected to reach $1 million. He has also been a leader in fund-raising for the Kat Pack Football Enrichment Endowment Fund and a leader on the College of Business Administration Advisory Council.

Bobby K. Marks, president of SHSU and a former dean of the College of Business Administration, said that supporters like Mafrige are instrumental in helping universities make up for dwindling state support.

"We cannot achieve the level of excellence to which we all aspire without people like the (Ron and Linda) Mafriges," said Marks.

James E. Gilmore, former dean of the College of Business Administration and now vice president for Academic Affairs at SHSU, said that Mafrige "had the drive to put us in a first class position" in obtaining American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business accreditation for the college.

R. Dean Lewis, who succeeded Gilmore as dean of the college, said that less than one-fourth of the 1200 colleges in the United States offering undergraduate business degrees are accredited by the assembly.

In addition to lettering above the two auditorium entrances, a large color portrait, to be placed between the two entrances, was unveiled.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak

April 11, 1997