The College of Humanities and Social Sciences (CHSS) Wall of Honor was established by the CHSS Alumni Advisory Board to acknowledge faculty and alums who have distinguished themselves throughout their careers through personal and professional achievements and who have made significant contributions to SHSU, the students, society, and thus have brought honor and distinction to our university.
The College of Humanities and Social Sciences is pleased to announce the 2016 Wall of Honor Recipients:
The official ceremony for the Wall of Honor was held on Friday, February 19, 2016 at 4:00 p.m. in the CHSS building on the Sam Houston State University campus. A dinner honoring the recipients followed the ceremony.
FRANK J. ROBINSON, SR., was born August 22, 1916, on a tobacco farm and raised on a truck farm in Walker County. Mr. Robinson began his career with Gulf States Utilities (now Entergy Corp.) in 1939 delivering ice. He rose through the ranks to ultimately achieve the title of district superintendent. He earned a Bachelor of Science degree in history from Sam Houston State University in 1955. Mr. Robinson took great pride in his university and had many cherished friendships on campus.
He followed a career path which took him to Cleveland, Texas, and eventually led to jobs as a lineman, repairman and commercial equipment salesman. Mr. Robinson was promoted to manager of the Woodville GSU office and the Woodville-Corrigan territory. He was transferred to Huntsville in 1965 where he served as District Superintendent until his retirement from Gulf States in 1981.
Mr. Robinson ranched, helped found The First American Bank of Huntsville, and was a top real estate sales person for Homes of Huntsville. Mr. Robinson’s public service career began in 1987 when he was elected as Walker County Judge for two terms.
His lifetime service included serving as board of trustees senior member at Lon Morris College, member of the SHSU alumni board for almost two decades, and president of the Huntsville Rotary Club. Robinson was recognized as a distinguished alumnus at SHSU in 1994; received the TxDOT Road Hand and Mance Park Lifetime Achievement awards; and was a 2007 runner up for the Huntsville Outstanding Citizen of the Year award. For over seventy years Mr. Robinson donned a red Santa suit and passed out candy from a sleigh at parades.
Mr. Robinson passed away on June 18, 2015. He has a son, Frank Robinson, Jr., and two daughters, Polly Pittman and Nancy Grossenbacher, five grandchildren, and six great grandchildren.
FRANK FAIR earned a Bachelor of Arts in Philosophy and Classical Languages from Xavier University in 1966, a master’s degree in Philosophy from Boston College and a doctorate in Philosophy from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Fair came to Sam Houston State University in 1972 as an Assistant Professor and is today a full Professor in the SHSU Department of Philosophy. Over the past 44 years, Dr. Fair has actively focused on teaching and student learning through his own teaching, research, and service.
Dr. Fair is one of the few SHSU faculty members to receive multiple SHSU’s excellence awards, including the Excellence in Teaching award in 1989 and the Excellence in Service award in 1992. In 2011, he also earned the Piper Professor designation from the Minnie Stevens Piper Foundation. This prestigious award honors ten professors across the state for their superior teaching.
Dr. Fair’s accomplishments include the establishment of the SHSU annual Conference on Teaching; the annual Constitution Day celebration; the Honors Program; the Across-the-University Writing Program; and the Academic Challenge Program.
His publications include: Insightful Quality: Beyond Continuous Improvement, “Buddhism, Christianity and Modern Science: A Response to Masao Abe,” and “Socrates in the Schools from Scotland to Texas: Replicating a Study on the Effects of a Philosophy for Children Program,” a project based on a study in Scotland that showed large, durable increases in students’ cognitive abilities resulting from one-hour-per-week structured conversations about topics with a philosophical dimension. He also is the managing editor of the scholarly journal, INQUIRY: Critical Thinking Across the Disciplines.
MR. DAN RICHARD BETO, has devoted more than five decades to the criminal justice system. He worked as a juvenile probation officer, a Federal Probation Officer, and as director of two community supervision and corrections departments in Texas.
He was the founding Executive Director of the Correctional Management Institute of Texas at Sam Houston State University, a position he held from 1994 to 2005, when he retired. As head of the Institute, Mr. Beto directed a staff charged with the responsibility of providing training and technical assistance to institutional and community corrections personnel. As part of his duties, Mr. Beto served as Director of the Texas Probation Training Academy, the Center for Project Spotlight, and the National Resource Center for Police-Corrections Partnerships.
Under his direction, the Institute provided secretariat services to the Texas Probation Association, Texas Jail Association, Texas Association for Court Administration, and the National Association of Probation Executives. Mr. Beto is a past President of the Texas Probation Association and the National Association of Probation Executives. He has served on the Board of Directors of the American Probation and Parole Association and as a member of the Delegate Assembly of the American Correctional Association. Moreover, he was a member of the Reinventing Probation Council of the Manhattan Institute and served as convener and facilitator of the Texas Reinventing Probation Strategy Group. Currently, Mr. Beto is Chair of the International Committee of the National Association of Probation Executives.
Mr. Beto, who earned a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master of Arts degree in Criminology at SHSU, is widely published in journals peculiar to the criminal justice arena. He is the former editor of Executive Exchange, the publication of the National Association of Probation Executives, and Texas Probation, the journal of the Texas Probation Association, and serves on the editorial board of Federal Probation. Mr. Beto has served as a consultant on projects funded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the National Institute of Corrections, and several other agencies and organizations. In addition, he has been involved in a number of international initiatives.
MR. WALTER M. "MAC" WOODWARD JR., was raised in Huntsville and has spent almost all of his seven-plus decades living in his hometown. His service to the community and Sam Houston State University is almost as lengthy: as a banker, SHSU employee, City Council member, Mayor, and board member of many charities, Woodward has made his community a better place.
Mac attended Sam Houston State University, where he met his wife, Leanne, who taught in public schools for almost three decades. They have two children, Wilbourn and Anne, and two grandchildren, Walter and Thomas.
After earning degrees in history—BA from SHSU; MA from the University of Houston—Mac began work at the Sam Houston Memorial Museum, where he combined his passions of history, studying Sam Houston’s life and legacy, and service to the public. He worked as a Historical Interpreter, Curator of Collections, and Director of the SHMM before retiring in 2021.
In the civic realm, Mac served nine years on the City Council, the longest tenure of any official in the past half-century. In addition, Mac served two terms as Mayor. During his tenure, Mac spearheaded successful efforts to triple the size of the public library, preserve water rights for the next 25 years, and expand fire services to the entire town.
Mac has also been active on government committees, non-profits, and other boards. He has served on the Board of the Boys and Girls Club, the Rita B. Huff Humane Society, the Parks and Recreation Board, the Oakwood Cemetery Advisory Board, the Samuel Walker Houston Museum and Cultural Center Board, the 1836 Project, and the management committee of Gibbs Brothers and Company.
Past Wall of Honor Recipients: