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Seven Named to Receive
New Service Awards

The weekend of April 17-19 will be a memorable one for Huntsville residents and visitors, but it will be especially so for seven persons selected as the first recipients of a new Sam Houston State University Alumni Association Service Award.

A. Davis Ford of Conroe, William P. Hall of Houston, E. Don Walker, Jr., of San Antonio, and Toby Gates, Janie Spencer Joyce, Jane Clements Monday, and Guinn Hugh Murray, all of Huntsville, will be honored for their service to the association and university.

Their awards will be presented at a Friday luncheon scheduled to begin at 11:30 a.m. in the Lowman Student Center Ballroom. The luncheon is only one of several Spring Fling Weekend events, including the General Sam Houston Folk Festival, baseball, tennis, and football (spring Orange/White game), and a theatre and dance department presentation of "Damn Yankees."

"The Alumni Association is honoring these individuals because they have demonstrated a continued interest in the university and the Alumni Association through their contributions of time, talent, influence, and/or funds," said Kathy Bowman, director of alumni relations.

"These individuals have all shown pride and loyalty to the university and are living examples of the university motto--'The Measure of a Life is its Service.'"

Bowman said that tickets to the award luncheon are $15 per person and can be reserved by calling her office at (409) 294-1841. All friends of the honorees, as well as anyone who would like to meet them and hear more of their exemplary activities, are invited.

While not a complete listing of all of their accomplishments, some of their highlight activities have included:

A. Davis Ford -- Worked as business teacher, owner and operator of food market, and was business manager for the Conroe school district from 1958 until his retirement in 1977. Ford was one of the founders of the Alumni Association, and even supported it with a personal no-interest loan during a difficult period.

William P. Hall -- A partner in the Houston law firm of Streit, Peterson, Hall & Keeney. Served as president of the Alumni Association for 1991-'92 and 1992-'93, and as president drafted the formal plan of transition giving the former independent association closer ties with the university's Office of Alumni Relations. Drafted the current association by-laws and created the Paxton and Sarah Adelle Hall Legacy Scholarship program in 1997.

E. Don Walker, Jr .-- President of Alamo Title Company in San Antonio. Has a number of San Antonio civic activities including the Boys & Girls Club of San Antonio, the Arthritis Foundation, the Bar Grievance Committee of Bexar County, and Greater San Antonio Home Builders. Donated funding which made possible construction of the Katy and E. Don Walker Education Center in the Sam Houston Memorial Museum complex.

Toby Gates -- General agent for the E. F. Hutton Life Insurance Company in Huntsville. Was Sam Houston State's good-humored goodwill ambassador throughout the state during many years as a basketball referee and speaker at high school sports banquets. Especially active in support of Bearkat athletic teams and the Lettermen Association. Lettered in basketball in 1939-'41 and Bearkat Hall of Honor member.

Janie JoyceJanie Spencer Joyce -- Secretary in the Department of Educational Leadership and Counseling at Sam Houston State. Was administrative assistant in the SHSU Alumni Association from 1980-'92 and secretary of the Office of Alumni Relations from 1992-'95. Tireless worker on behalf of many alumni activities through those years in an understaffed office.

Jane Clements Monday -- Former Huntsville mayor, member of SHSU board of regents. Served as regents chair, representative to Higher Education Coordinating Board. Now authors books on Texas history. Is president of Huntsville Rotary Club, continuing service to community, state, and education. Instrumental in creation of General Sam Houston Folk Festival in 1987 and General Sam Houston Bicentennial Birthday Celebration in 1993.

Guinn Hugh Murray -- Independent oil and gas leasing operator. Former baseball letterman, now member of the Bearkat Hall of Honor. Served two terms as president of the Big Orange Booster Club in the 1970s and was president of the Lettermen Association in 1990-'91. Started Lettermen Association golf tournament in 1991 and continues as chairman, with proceeds going to the SHSU Athletic Department.


Media Contact: Frank Krystyniak
April 6, 1998
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