SHSU Plans Community Farewell Event For Gaertners

April 9, 2010
SHSU Media Contact: Bruce Erickson

Sam Houston State University will host a “lively farewell and appreciation celebration” for retiring president James F. Gaertner and spouse Nancy on April 21 and invites friends and neighbors to join faculty, staff and students “in the fun and festivities.”

“The celebration will be in the center of campus, in Bearkat Plaza from 3-5 in the afternoon,” said Maggie Collum, director of university events.

“This will be the last opportunity for graduating seniors and others who may not be in the area when the Gaertners officially retire in August. We’re inviting all faculty, staff and students to join us, and also friends and alumni in Huntsville and beyond.

“The Gaertners have made a lot of friends in the community over the last nine years,” Collum said. “We want as many people as possible to have the opportunity to wish them well.”

Collum said the celebration should be “lively and festive.”

“We’ll have music, entertainment and refreshments, and a very brief program. The primary purpose is to give the campus, the community and the Gaertners the chance to say farewell and best wishes.”

Free parking and a shuttle service will be available from the lots east of Johnson Coliseum.

President Gaertner, himself a graduate of Sam Houston State, became the 12th president in the university’s 130-year history in 2001.

For those who are unable to attend or otherwise extend farewell wishes, the university has created a website:
For more information, call University Events at 936.294.3415 or e-mail


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