Remembering Dr. Bill 'Doc' Fleming
Dec. 21, 2021
SHSU Media Contact: Emily Binetti
Sam Houston State University’s Bearkat community is mourning the loss of William Phelps Fleming Jr., professor of English. Bill or “Doc,” as he was known to many, received his BBA from Sam Houston State Teacher’s College in 1965, his MA from Sam Houston in 1966, and his PhD from the University of Toledo in 1972.
Fleming was hired as an assistant professor at Sam Houston State in 1972, to which he would dedicate his life for the next 49 years. He was promoted to associate professor in 1982 and full professor in 1990.
A beloved teacher and colleague, Fleming received the university’s Excellence in Service Award in 1996 and the Excellence in Teaching Award in 1998. As an active member of the campus community, Fleming served on some of the most important committees at the university: Budget, Strategic Planning, Crisis Management, Academic Policy, University Curriculum and many more.
One of Fleming’s most significant contributions to the university was his creation and leadership of the Student Advising and Mentoring Center (SAM Center) in 2002. The SAM Center has become a nationally recognized model for student advising, receiving visitors from more than 25 universities around the country that saw the center as a model that could be adopted for other institutions.
Fleming and the center received numerous awards and recognitions from the National Academic Advising Association, including the Certificate of Merit, Academic Advising Administrator and Outstanding Advising Model, and the Gail Rola Memorial Award, awarded to those with “outstanding leadership and the ability to administer that leadership with heart and care.”
The SAM Center represented Fleming’s devotion to student success. He epitomized the university’s motto, “The measure of a Life is its Service,” by living it every single day, both professionally and personally. Those who worked most closely with him will remember him for his service, kindness, positive outlook and his unwavering love of students.
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