Dan Beto, an alumnus of Sam Houston State University, spent more than four decades working in the criminal justice system. He earned both his bachelor’s degree in sociology and his master’s degree in criminology at SHSU and worked as a juvenile probation officer in Harris County, a federal probation officer for the Southern District of Texas, director of Brazos County Community Supervision and Corrections Department, and director of the Judicial District Community Supervision and Corrections Department for Walker, Grimes and Madison Counties. He was the founding executive director of the Correctional Management Institute of Texas at SHSU, a position he held from 1994 until 2005, when he retired.
Beto has been recognized in many criminal justice related arenas. Among his accolades are the President’s Award, presented by the Texas Probation Association for significant contributions to the probation profession; a Special Resolution by the Texas House of Representatives and a Proclamation by the Texas Senate for distinguished service to the Texas criminal justice system; Special Recognition Award by the Texas Youth Commission for supporting its volunteer program; the Theodore Roosevelt Award by the Nassau County Probation Department in New York for correctional leadership; the Hall of Fame Award by the Texas Jail Association; and a Special Recognition Award by the National Association of Probation Executives for exemplary service to the community corrections profession (hereafter this award is known as the Dan Richard Beto Award).
While employed at SHSU, Beto served on numerous university and College of Criminal Justice committees. He created and helped fund the George J. Beto Endowed Scholarship in the College of Criminal Justice, and the year following his retirement he created and funded the Dan Richard Beto Endowed Scholarship in Correctional Leadership, also within the College of Criminal Justice. In 2008 he and his wife, Donna, created and funded the Dan and Donna Beto Endowed Sociology scholarship within the College of Humanities and Social Sciences, and this year, they created and funded the Donna L. Beto Endowed Scholarship in Elementary Education in the College of Education.