More than a half million dollars in expenditures, renewal of a food service agreement, offerings for next summer's Mexican Field School, and acceptance of land for an observatory site were all approved Friday by Sam Houston State University's governing board.

The Texas State University System Board of Regents took the actions at a regular quarterly meeting held in Beaumont. Expenditures included:

The board also approved a new five-year contract with ARAMARK Educational Services of Texas, Inc., to operate the university's food services. ARAMARK's proposal was selected over the bids of two other companies.

There will be no increase in meal plans for the academic year beginning in September, and under a feature in the new contract a student may sign up for the 15 or 20 meal per week plans and be assured of no price increases for up to four years.

The contractor has also agreed to add more variety by rotating its menu schedules every four weeks instead of three, and to provide a vegetarian plate each day.

The action on next summer's Mexican Field School June 2-July 7, 1998, was taken as a group of 52 students led by Ross Lovell prepared to depart for Puebla, Mexico, for the 1997 school, which is the first in more than 20 years.

Next year's school, which Lovell expects to more than double in size, will include courses in geology, Spanish, Mexican civilization, international business, small business management-international, drawing, painting, ceramics and printmaking.

The board also voted to accept the gift of almost two acres of land by Distinguished Alumnus Sam C. Dominey as the location for a new University Observatory.

The observatory is now located on the former Country Campus, which was bought from the university by Dominey, and plans for a new observatory in that area and on the donated acreage are underway.

Also accepted were a contribution of $400,000 from the S. C. Wilson Estate to the Wilson-Warner Endowment Fund, $25,000 from the 100 Club to the Fred Gebhardt/100 Club Endowment Fund, $21,308.27 from family and friends for the Robyn Leigh Barrum Memorial Endowment Fund, and $20,000 from Ron Mafrige for the Ron Mafrige Endowment In Honor of Glenn Adams.

Other contributions included $40,000 from the estate of Sue T. Noordberg for four endowments, $10,000 from E. Bess Osburn to the Bess Osburn Endowment for Literacy, $7,000 from Charles Moser, publisher of the Brenham Banner-Press, for the Charles Moser/Brenham Banner-Press Endowment Fund in Journalism, $5,500 from the Huntsville Study Club for the Huntsville Study Club Endowment Fund and $5,000 from the SHSU Lettermen Association for the NCAA Academic Advisor Fund.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak

June 6, 1997