THOMAS B. BURKE was president of the Sam Houston Alumni Association in 1985 and has served on the Board over ten years. He is Senior Vice President for Personnel at Entex, Inc. and was the recipient of the Southern Gas Association's Distinguished Service Award in 1990, which is presented to an individual "who is providing distinguished service in an area that is not necessarily highly visible." In his dedication to his university and his accomplishments in his profession, Tom Burke has set an example for others to follow.
A native of Normangee, Texas, Tom came to Sam Houston in 1952 and was graduated in 1954 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Education. At Sam Houston, he was Company C Commander in 1953 and was selected best Company Commander that year for which he received a medal and a defense bond from the First National Bank; his company was also selected best: "It was chosen on the basis of appearance, number of demerits, and best marching in reviews" (Sam Houston Alumnus, June, 1953, 10). The next school year Lt. Col. Burke headed the 1st Battalion and was awarded scholarship ribbons in December, 1953. Following his graduation he was commissioned in the U.S. Army, achieving the rank of captain in the Adjutant General's Corps.
In the spring of 1953 Tom became a member of the Caballero social club and was active in the organization as an undergraduate and as an alumnus, serving as 1st Vice President of the Caballero alumni group in 1957-58 with Dan Rather who was President; the next year he served as President of this alumni group. During this time he was instrumental in investigating the nationalization of the Caballero Club with Sigma Chi international fraternity and on February 11, 1961, he became a charter member of the Epsilon Psi Chapter of Sigma Chi fraternity at Sam Houston State Teachers College.
From 1957 to 1964 Tom was personnel supervisor for the Houston Natural Gas Corporation. In 1964 he became personnel manager for Union Texas Petroleum and held this position until 1967. At this time he was in charge of manager/employee relations for Gulf Travel Card Center and remained in this position until 1974. Tom joined Entex, Inc. in Houston in 1974 as Director of Personnel and was named Vice President of Personnel and Administration in 1977 and Senior Vice President of personnel in 1987, a position he currently holds.
Tom has served his community in diverse ways. He has been past president of the Houston Personnel Association and has served on the Board of Governors for that association. He is past District Director, board member, Regional Vice President, national Vice President, and president-elect for the American Society for Personnel Administration. He has also served as past general coordinator and board member for the Southwest Management Conference. He has served on the Personnel/Human Resources Management advisory board of Texas A&M University and a member of the Executive Committee of Sam Houston State University Foundation. He has been a member of the board of directors for Inroads for Houston and a member of the San Jacinto Girl Scouts Board of Directors .
Tom is married to the former Bobbye Manning of Livingston, who received her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education in 1958 and was a member of the Philos (Zeta Tau Alpha). They have one son, Thomas B. Burke, Jr., who was graduated from Sam Houston in 1978 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Radio/Television/Film.
Tom Burke has served his fellow man with distinction while in college and in his profession, not seeking reward or acclaim. He is the type of individual with whom Sam Houston undergraduates and alumni can be proud to share the traditions and idealism of Sam Houston State.