Several years ago, I was asked to volunteer with the SFA Alumni Association. As a proud alumnus, I felt honored and decided to give it a try. Little did I know that it would eventually lead to this moment, penning my first Sawdust letter as president of the SFA Alumni Association.

I am humbled and honored to serve in this role and happy to have the opportunity. With the same pride that inspired me to volunteer years ago, I am highly motivated as I begin this two-year journey as president. I have served on the SFA Alumni Association board for several years and worked with some amazing people.

My Lumberjack pride was born when I first stepped onto the beautiful campus as a high school senior touring what I had deemed to be one of my top three schools. I did not quite understand it at the time, but deep down, I knew there was something special about SFA and Nacogdoches. I did not officially make my decision that day, but I knew SFA was home.

In the years that followed, I enjoyed many great experiences while learning some valuable lessons both inside and outside SFA’s lecture halls. Just a couple of semesters in, I literally leaped (from the steps of the Austin Building) into Greek life where I met lifelong friends. One semester later, I exchanged glances with a girl in line at a popular hangout and later met that girl, whom I would eventually marry. From that point on, it was a balance of fun times with friends and many hours spent at Steen Library assigning group project responsibilities. My Lumberjack pride was growing.

After graduation, April and I decided our next chapter involved a move to Dallas. We loved our time in the big city and connected with many SFA alums on a regular basis. However, we eventually moved back to my wife’s hometown, Nacogdoches.

It was in Nacogdoches, the hub of Lumberjack pride, that I truly realized what it meant to bleed purple. Whether it was volunteering with organizations supporting the city of Nacogdoches or representing SFA, my Lumberjack pride expanded. It probably won’t surprise you to learn that our Lumberjack pride rubbed off on our children, as well. Cari, 13, and Brandon, 11, are big SFA supporters and have dreams of one day attending the university.

When we moved to Bossier City, Louisiana, for a job opportunity, I have to say that part of me felt very misplaced. It was a great move for the family, but it is hard to leave a place that is overflowing with Lumberjack pride to move to a place where they wear a different shade of purple. However, it has been a pleasant surprise to discover so many spirited SFA alumni in the area. I have learned to appreciate the perspective of alumni in regions not densely populated by SFA graduates, and I have discovered Lumberjack pride is everywhere.

I hope you enjoyed reading a little about my Lumberjack pride and me. I hope to have a conversation with you someday to learn about yours! It is an exciting time to be a Lumberjack, and I cannot wait to share more with you in the next issue.

Axe ’em, Jacks!

madrid signature

David Madrid ’02 - Bossier City, Louisiana
President, SFA Alumni Association