Today@Sam Article

College Names Two To Wall Of Honor

Jan. 28, 2016
SHSU Media Contact: Jennifer Gauntt

The Sam Houston State University College of Humanities and Social Sciences will recognize two individuals whose service and accomplishments are exemplars for the college during the 2016 Wall of Honor ceremony on Feb. 19. 

SHSU professor of philosophy Frank Fair and the late Judge Frank J. Robinson Sr. will be honored during a ceremony at 4 p.m. that day in CHSS Building Room C070. The ceremony is open to the public.

Frank Fair
Frank Fair

“Service is a core value at Sam Houston State University and in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences,” said CHSS Dean Abbey Zink.   “Frank Fair and the late Frank Robinson are wonderful examples of service in action and of the power of individuals to make a difference in the lives of others. We’re looking forward to honoring their lives of service and achievement. I’m hopeful that their stories will inspire others.” 

Since joining the SHSU philosophy faculty in 1971, Fair has actively focused on teaching and student learning through his own teaching, research and service.

These efforts have led Fair to become one of the few SHSU faculty members to receive two or more of 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, given to only 10 professors across the state each year for superior teaching. 

His service to the university also has included either founding or being involved in the establishment of the SHSU annual Conference on Teaching, sponsored by the SHSU College of Humanities and Social Sciences; the annual Constitution Day celebration; the Honors Program; the Across-the-University Writing Program; and the Academic Challenge Program, which brings teams from Texas high schools to SHSU to compete in quiz bowls twice a year. 

His research endeavors have included publications on “insightful quality,” “Buddhism, Christianity and Modern Science,” and “Socrates in Schools,” 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.”

Fair earned his bachelor’s degree from Xavier University, his master’s degree from Boston College and his doctorate from the University of Georgia.

Frank Robinson
Frank Robinson

Robinson is a former Walker County judge who earned his Bachelor of Science degree in history from Sam Houston in 1955.

Born on a tobacco farm in 1916 and raised on a truck farm in Walker County, he began his career with Gulf States Utilities (now Entergy Corp.) in 1939 delivering ice to Huntsville "ice boxes" and rose through the ranks to ultimately achieve the title of district superintendent.

His 1981 retirement from Gulf States Utilities did not slow him down. From 1981 until his death in 2015, Robinson ranched, helped found The First American Bank of Huntsville, served two terms as county judge, and was a top real estate sales person for Homes of Huntsville.

His lifetime service also included as a board of trustees senior member at Lon Morris College, as a member of the SHSU alumni board for almost two decades, and as president of the Rotary Club. 

He 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.

The College of Humanities and Social Sciences Wall of Honor was established by the college’s 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 the university. 

For more information about the ceremony, call 936.294.2200.

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