NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Outstanding donors to Stephen F. Austin State University will be honored during the 24th annual SFA Gala on Saturday, Dec. 8, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.
This year's Gala honorees include Shelby County Judge Rick Campbell; local businessmen Jim, Tom, John and Bob Kingham; and the late Cecil Richey Jr., an SFA alumnus and longtime East Texas educator.
"Support from donors and special friends like the ones being honored this year is crucial to the success of SFA and its students, and we look forward to honoring their commitment to the university at the upcoming Gala," said Jill Still, SFA vice president for university advancement.
Shelby County Judge Rick Campbell's family has been in Shelby County for at least seven generations. He was born and raised in Center, graduating from Center High School and earning a bachelor's degree in business administration from the University of Texas at Tyler. He later worked in his father's company before starting his own Port-A-Cool business.
Campbell is a loyal supporter of many SFA programs, including the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, the Nelson Rusche College of Business, the Richard and Lucille DeWitt School of Nursing, and the Department of Athletics. He is chairman of the Shelby Savings Bank Board of Directors, a member of the Center ISD Board of Trustees, a past chairman and national trustee of Ducks Unlimited, a Paul Harris Fellow of Rotary International, and chairman of the Bone Hill Foundation. He also served as vice chairman of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo and has worked as a volunteer firefighter for 25 years.
An avid outdoorsman, he enjoys hunting game and waterfowl. Campbell and his wife, Rachel, are longtime members of many conservation organizations. The Campbells attend the Center Christian Fellowship and have five children and five grandchildren.
Jim, Tom, John and Bob Kingham
The four Kingham brothers, Jim, Tom, John and Bob, were born and raised in Nacogdoches and attended local public schools through high school. Jim, Tom and John graduated from SFA, and Bob attended Texas A&M University. Each started work at age 13 in the family construction business that is now operating in its 117th year.
The common threads that have tied the brothers together from an early age are hard work and their loyalty to each other. They represent the fourth generation of the Kingham family to own and manage the company, which has grown under their leadership to one of the largest and most successful building construction companies in the state.
The brothers' parents, Jim and Beth Kingham, also are SFA alumni and were among the earliest members of the Stephen F. Austin Society. Jim, Tom, John and Bob are proud to be supporters of SFA and to continue their parents' legacy of giving back to the university that has helped shape the lives of the entire Kingham family.
Cecil Richey Jr.
SFA alumnus Cecil Richey Jr. was a dedicated East Texas educator, serving the West Rusk County Consolidated Independent School District as a teacher and principal for 38 years. A graduate of Rusk High School, he earned a Bachelor of Arts in history from SFA in 1948.
In addition, Richey was a fourth-generation farmer and cattleman, working first for his parents and later for himself. A past director of the Cherokee County Farm Bureau, he also was a member of the Texas Retired Teachers Association and longtime board president for the Mays Cemetery in New Salem. Richey taught Bible class for 50 years at Reklaw Church of Christ where he was a lifelong member.
An avid supporter of education, Richey quietly helped many deserving students pursue higher education. A trusted friend and valued mentor to many, he passed away on April 11, 2011. A generous gift from Richey's estate will fund annual scholarships for high-achieving students in both the West Rusk and Rusk school districts who wish to attend SFA.
The Gala cocktail reception begins at 6 p.m. and will be followed by a candlelight dinner at 7 p.m. Entertainment will be provided by Signed Sealed Delivered of Dallas. The eight-piece band performs a mixture of pop, rock, jazz, swing and country music.
Two faculty achievement awards to be presented during the ceremony will recognize innovation and excellence in teaching and research. Fred J. Allen, professor of music and director of bands, will receive the 2012 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching. Dr. Nathan Nabb, associate professor of music/saxophone, will be honored with the Faculty Achievement Award for Research.
Tickets are $175 for orchestra seating and $125 for ballroom seating. Proceeds from the Gala help build a permanent endowment created by the SFASU Foundation to honor faculty achievement.
For more information about the Gala or to purchase tickets, call (936) 468-5406.