NACOGDOCHES, Texas - Outstanding Stephen F. Austin State University donors will be honored during the 26th annual SFA Gala on Saturday, Dec. 13, in the Grand Ballroom of the Baker Pattillo Student Center.

This year's Gala honorees include Nacogdoches Medical Center, Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital, Elliott Electric Supply and the late Nelson Rusche.

"Support from donors and special friends like the ones being honored at this year's Gala 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.

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 In10City, featuring eight of Dallas' most accomplished musicians. Known for its versatile repertoire, the group performs everything from dance music to rock, jazz, country and hip-hop.

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 or to purchase tickets, call April Smith at (936) 468-5406.


Nacogdoches Medical Center
Nacogdoches Medical Center, a licensed 153-bed acute care facility, opened in 1975 and serves the East Texas region, offering a comprehensive array of diagnostic and treatment services. From complex specialties like oncology to education on a healthier lifestyle, Medical Center continues to keep pace with the demand for more convenience and choice in health care. The professional staff works diligently to implement positive changes and initiate new programs to meet the community's needs.

Quality and patient care are the top drivers of success for Medical Center. In 2013, the hospital was recognized as having one of the best patient satisfaction ratings out of the 78 hospitals that make up Tenet Healthcare. In addition, for four consecutive years, it has achieved five-star patient satisfaction as measured by a third-party agency. Medical Center also has been recognized by the American Heart Association's "Get with the Guidelines" program for treating heart failure. Blue Cross/Blue Shield has awarded the hospital with a Blue Distinction for Spine Surgery, as well as a Dark Blue Ribbon (the highest award level) on its BlueQ Hospital Scorecard, which reports performance on many patient safety and process-of-care indicators.

Medical Center strives to be a great community partner, as well. Its leadership sits on 18 community boards, and the hospital participates in more than 150 events each year. In 2013, Nacogdoches Medical Center invested $2.6 million into facilities and capital equipment, paid more than $800,000 in sales and property taxes, and provided nearly $5 million in charity care.

The hospital's motto is "Service. Care. Quality." From patient satisfaction to outcomes to community involvement, Medical Center lives up to that motto every day.


Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital
Quick response times and early detection are vital when a person suffers a traumatic injury, stroke or heart attack, which is why Nacogdoches Memorial Hospital has invested the time, resources and energy necessary to become the only Level III Trauma Center, the only Joint Commission Certified Stroke Center and the only designated Chest Pain Center in Nacogdoches.

The hospital will soon complete a $40 million expansion project, enlarging the emergency department and featuring a state-of-the-art surgical center designed to take advantage of the latest in medical technology, while enhancing patient safety and efficiency of care.

Its brand-new Women's and Children's Center is designed to be a comforting environment for mom, baby, family and friends. Each private suite highlights the latest in technology, safety and comfort, while showcasing bright, cheerful colors and luxurious spaces for families to welcome their new arrivals.

Memorial Hospital also recently celebrated the opening of its Care First Clinic, extending its family of services to a South Street location with a women's health clinic, as well as primary and specialty care clinics.

The hospital has been a vital part of the community for more than 85 years, growing along with East Texas and expanding services to focus on the unique needs of each individual member of the family. The hospital promotes lifelong health through community wellness programs and an emphasis on preventative care, and it has constructed new facilities where dedicated specialists deliver advanced treatment close to home. Memorial Hospital's goal is to make East Texas an even better place to live by providing exceptional health care to generations of East Texas families.


Elliott Electric Supply
Among the top-ranked electrical parts distributors in the nation, Elliott Electric Supply is a regional leader in the electrical supplies distribution industry, operating more than 130 stores in Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma and New Mexico and employing more than 1,400 highly skilled workers. Headquartered in Nacogdoches, the company is focused on providing every customer with the highest quality of service for the lowest cost.

Elliott Electric was started by Bill Elliott and his late wife, Micky, in 1972, and Bill remains as involved in the company as he was on the first day of business. The company records approximately $700 million in annual sales, specializing in a wide variety of electrical equipment and construction materials needed by electrical contractors, industrial accounts and original equipment manufacturers.

One of the largest electrical distributors in the country, Elliott Electric has shown its appreciation for the Nacogdoches community through its support of many local causes, especially SFA's College of Fine Arts and the Department of Horticulture in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture. After Micky's death, Bill honored his wife with a bridge that crosses Lanana Creek into the Mize Azalea Garden on the SFA campus. The tribute is a fitting symbol for a company that has bridged from humble beginnings to an ever-expanding, successful corporation.

Known for its customer service, Elliott Electric has a tradition of providing free popcorn and iced tea for electrical contractors and other customers at their stores. The company was named Large Business of the Year by the Nacogdoches Chamber of Commerce in 2008.

Elliott Electric's old-fashioned customer relationships and innovative business practices have created a healthy, growing company that is proud to have called Nacogdoches home for more than four decades.


Nelson Rusche
Nelson Rusche was born in 1924 in Appleby, Texas. He honorably served his country as a sergeant in the U.S. Army during World War II and was awarded the Purple Heart. He earned a Bachelor of Business Administration from SFA in 1979.

Rusche founded A.N. Rusche Distributing Company and Mister Car Wash. He was a member of Lakeside Country Club, the Petroleum Club, the Houston Club, Houston Country Club, Texas Food and Fuel Association, and the Colonneh Club. In addition, he was a founding member of the Mansfield Club in Port Mansfield. He was an avid quail hunter, fisherman, gin player and golfer.

Rusche honored SFA by endowing the Nelson Rusche College of Business in 2002. He passed away in 2013.


Faculty Awards
The faculty awards presented during the Gala recognize innovation and excellence in teaching and research. Dr. Matthew McBroom, associate professor of forest hydrology in the Arthur Temple College of Forestry and Agriculture, is the recipient of the 2014 Faculty Achievement Award for Teaching. Dr. Kefa Onchoke, associate professor of chemistry and biochemistry in the College of Sciences and Mathematics, has earned the Faculty Achievement Award for Research.