Heritage: Spring 2021

SHSU President Alisa White smiles for the camera in front of a painting of Old Main.

A Message From the President

Sam Houston State University’s contributions to the well-being and quality of life in Texas began more than 140 years ago when the university was established to help raise the state’s educational standards through teacher training. Today, SHSU continues that mission through targeted academic programs that strengthen the state’s economic prosperity while supporting the basic and critical needs of Texans.

Leading the nation, more than 248,000 Texas farms and ranches sprawl across a beautiful, rural landscape. Our state is the nation’s top producer of cotton, supplies 20 percent of the nation’s beef cattle, and ranks first in the value of cattle raised.

Not only do our farms and ranches serve as a valuable resource for food, clothing and any number of other products, the agricultural sector employs 14 percent of working Texans. Young producers, under the age of 35, accounted for more than 21,000 farms in the state.

SHSU has a rich history supporting farmers and ranchers. The School of Agricultural Sciences traces its roots back to 1910 and was one of the first programs in the nation authorized to train teachers in agriculture. Today, with more than 1,200 undergraduate majors, SHSU has one of the largest non-land-grant agriculture programs in the U.S.

SHSU also has a significant track record producing healthcare workers who greatly impact the quality of life in their communities. Regardless of where they live, all Texans need access to quality healthcare. Rural and underserved communities suffer from higher rates of preventable hospitalizations and deaths.

Through the College of Health Sciences and the College of Osteopathic Medicine, we offer programs focused on those front-line, healthcare heroes—nurses, physicians, public health workers among many others—who truly make a difference in the health of Texans all over the state. Among our healthcare graduates, there is no shortage of fearless leaders, bright minds and inspiring advocates who are exceptionally poised to be the driving forces behind innovation and advancement in the medical landscape of Texas.

Sam Houston State University’s long-standing mission, values and traditions, and shared history are what connects us, helping pave new roads and better futures. It’s not a journey that I, or anyone here on campus, can walk alone. We need everyone.

This issue of Heritage recognizes you, our alumni and friends, whose support helps make the difference between simple success and our ability to achieve real and sustainable breakthroughs. This issue also celebrates our students and our faculty and staff. Thank you all for sharing in our journey.

Alisa White
President, Sam Houston State University