Wall of Honor 2016

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:

Distinguished Alumni
Distinguished Faculty

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.

RobinsonFRANK 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 ROBINSON from Sam Houston State University on Vimeo.

Fair PhotoFRANK 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.

Frank Fair from Sam Houston State University on Vimeo.

GayMR. RON GAY, has earned two degrees in political science from Sam Houston State University, first in 1977 with a bachelor’s degree, and then again in 1984 with a master’s degree. Since 2008, Ron has served with distinction on the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Advisory Board, and in 2016 he was elected as its chairman where he continues to serve. He was elected to the Alumni Board of Directors in 2019, and he is a life member in the Sam Houston State University Alumni Association.

Gay began his marketing career with Fidelity Union Life Insurance Company in 1978. He then moved to Bryan-College Station to work for the Bryan Broadcasting Company in its marketing department. He eventually moved on to have a successful 22-year career as the regional marketing director for the Baylor Scott & White Health Plan. Today, Gay is a registered representative with Cambridge Investment Research. In January of 2017 he opened his own practice—Ron Gay Financial Services—in College Station, Texas.

He is not only dedicated to serving Sam Houston State University, but he is also active serving his local community. Since 1980 he has been an active member of the College Station Noon Lions Club serving in numerous leadership positions at the local, district, state and international levels. In May 2021, he was inducted into the Texas Lions Hall of Fame in recognition of more than four decades of service to his community, state and nation. He is also an active member in the Knights of Columbus where he also served at the local, state and international levels. Gay is a Knight of the Grand Cross in The Equestrian Order of the Knights of the Holy Sepulcher of Jerusalem, a Papal honor bestowed on him by Pope John Paul II. He has held countless leadership positions in other well-respected organizations over the years, including the Bryan/College Station Chamber of Commerce and the College Station City Council.

Ron Gay has dedicated his life to the service of Sam Houston State University, his local community and the state of Texas. He and his wife, Terri, are both passionate world travelers. They currently reside in College Station, Texas and have three children and five grandchildren.

Hicks CallawayMRS. VANESSA F. HICKS-CALLAWAY, pursued her bachelor's degree from SHSU in political science with a minor in Military science while serving in the U.S. Army Reserves as a military police officer. During this time, she also worked as a correctional officer in a maximum-security prison that housed death row inmates. Her service in the U.S. Army as a supply sergeant and intelligence officer included two separate deployments to combat zones ultimately earning her the Bronze Star Medal. She then continued her education by earning her master’s in human resources management from Central Michigan University. In 2011, she released a Christian self-help book called “Decision Precision Vision”, showcasing her devotion to Jesus Christ.

After retiring from the military following 26 years of dedicated service, she instructed junior ROTC students as a Senior Army Instructor and never lost her commitment to service. She has volunteered for multiple non-profit organizations, including the Old Landmark Committee, Disabled American Veterans/Auxiliary, Veterans of Foreign Wars, American Legion, Warriors Weekend, Court Appointed Special Advocate, Victoria Bach Festival, Victoria Police Foundation, Community and Schools, The Gabriel Project, and the Victoria Business Education Coalition as a student mentor. She has also served as president in the Kiwanis Club.

Mrs. Hicks-Callaway worked as a congressional staffer in 2016 for the Texas 27th Congressional District, U.S. House Representatives for nearly 3 years. She helped lead the fight to re-elect Texas Senator Ted Cruz as his field director for the South-Central Region in the 2018 midterm election. She previously served Texas governor Greg Abbott as his appointee for the council for Cardiovascular Disease and Stroke Prevention. This position is especially meaningful to her as a survivor of open-heart surgery. She remains active in politics and served as a secretary, outreach coordinator and Precinct 21 chair for the Victoria GOP. She is a county and state delegate for the Republican party of Texas and is a member of the Victoria County Republican Women's Organization and the Texas Federation of Republican Women. In line with her passion and commitment to helping others, she is a Veterans Service Officer for the Texas Veterans Commission and works as a motivational speaker and plans to write another Christian self-help book.

She has been married to fellow U.S. Army Veteran Jason Ohm Callaway for 27 years and they have been blessed with two sons, Eric and Edward Callaway. Eric, who was a SHSU full scholarship track athlete, not only earned his Bachelor of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering from SHSU in 2021, he also earned a Master of Science degree in Computing and Data Science from SHSU in 2023. Edward is currently a senior at Victoria East High School and plans to pursue a career in the arts.

ThibodeauxDR. TERRY M. THIBODEAUX, received his first two degrees, a Bachelor of Arts in Speech Education and a Master of Education, from McNeese State University in 1978 and 1980, respectively. He then went on to receive a doctorate in communication from the University of Southern Mississippi in 1986. Since 1987, he has dedicated more than 35 years of service to the Sam Houston State University community. He has been a professor, dean, department chairman and more in his years at the university, giving back to the students, faculty and staff around him.

From 2013-2020 he served as a university marshal, a presenter and mentor for incoming freshman events for seven years, as well as judged for the Miss Sam Houston Pageant for four years. In his time as dean of College of Humanities and Social Sciences, associate dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and associate dean of CHSS he was dedicated to student success. He was an avid supporter of the SAM center and was an advisor in the center for years. Even after retirement he continued to support student success through advising.

As a professor, Thibodeaux excelled in making the class come alive. He offers trips to cultural festivals from surrounding states and areas. He invites guest speakers and lecturers, even musicians on a few occasions, to come speak to his classes. Students to this day keep in touch with him because of his willingness to commit to the classroom and the students. All this is seen on his high scoring teacher evaluations, his development of community engagement courses and his willingness to serve as the Lambda Pi Eta, the communication honor society, advisor. For his commitment to students in and outside the classroom he has won the 2001 Texas Communication Association’s Educator of the Year Award. Recently, he was nominated for a Keys of Excellence Award by the SHSU Orange Keys.

He also served as a member of the editorial board for the undergraduate journal, The Measure. For the last several years he has served on the advisory board for the Texas Review. In 2019, he served on the search committee for a new managing editor for the Texas Review Press. He has served as a paper reviewer, panel moderator and committee member as an active member of the Southern States Communications Association (SSCA). In 2004 he was elected president of the SSCA. Over the years he has published several peer review articles, authored one book chapter, co-authored a book and wrote a textbook.

He has always strived to engage, promote and cultivate a diverse academic community sitting as department chair. He also helped pursue an environment for new faculty to feel welcome and have somewhere to go to feel supported and ensure we are keeping a strong focus on the students.

Past Wall of Honor Recipients:

2011 Wall of Honor

2012 Wall of Honor

2013 Wall of Honor

2015 Wall of Honor

2016 Wall of Honor

2017 Wall of Honor

2018 Wall of Honor

2019 Wall of Honor

2022 Wall of Honor