Today@Sam Article

Regents Name SHSU President’s Home After Lifelong Bearkat Donor

Feb. 23, 2024
SHSU Media Contact: Brandon V. Webb

The Texas State University System unanimously approved naming the Sam Houston State University (SHSU) President’s Home the “Smith-Lenamon House” at their regular quarterly meeting Feb. 23.

A former educator who spent 25 years with Pearland ISD as a teacher, principal and director of communications, Susan S. Smith-Lenamon passed the Texas real estate sales exam after her retirement and now owns and operates David L. Smith Realty, a successful family business founded by her parents.

SHSU President's House
Smith-Lenamon House

In May 2023, Lenamon committed to purchasing a home for SHSU presidents via the Sam Houston Foundation. Purchasing the home allows the university’s current and future presidents to live and host events in a quality residence, which fosters community engagement and complements other presidential homes throughout the Texas State University System. Lenamon’s wish to name the home “Smith-Lenamon House” is a testament to her parents, David L. and Frankie Walker Smith, and her husband, Benjamin R. Lenamon.

“As a lifetime contributor and volunteer to numerous organizations, this donation is the pinnacle of my life,” Lenamon said. “I am committed to my Lord and Savior, my family, my community and SHSU.”

Lenamon graduated from SHSU in 1973 with a BBA in business education. In addition to her service for the YMCA, the Pearland Neighborhood Center, the Pearland College Center Board of Governors, the Pearland ISD Board of Trustees, the Brazoria County United Way, and Brazoria County Child Protective Services, among others, she is a founding member and former president of the Women in Leadership Society—an organization whose mission is to help single mothers and their children who have fallen on hard times.

Susan Lenamon.jpgLenamon is active in the SHSU Alumni Association and has made significant contributions to the university, including scholarship endowments for criminal justice and education students, serving on the President’s Circle, the Alumni Association board and sponsoring Houston area "Bearkats in Business." Her generous support helped establish The Lenamon Legacy Walk to Traditions Park at University Camp, a 345-acre property along the Trinity River where the college journey begins for many Bearkats. She also provided furnishings for the Peabody Library building on campus and restored the 113-year-old pipe organ displayed in the historic building.

“Dr. Lenamon is more than an alumna, friend and supporter of Sam Houston State,” Alisa White, SHSU president said. “She is a successful educator, leader, and builder of legacies who embodies our motto to measure our lives by the service we offer to others. We are profoundly grateful for Bearkats like Susan Lenamon.”

At her induction as a Life Endowed member of the SHSU Alumni Association in 2019, Lenamon expressed affection for her alma mater, stating, “I will never turn down an opportunity to tell people about SHSU. My blood runs orange, and I wouldn’t be where I am today without Sam Houston State.”

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