NACOGDOCHES, Texas — John R. “Bob” Garrett ’75, former Stephen F. Austin State University Board of Regents chair; SFA alumnus; and president and CEO of Fair Oil Company of Texas Inc., Broadway South Development, and Fair Management, will give the commencement address during the university’s graduation ceremony Saturday, Aug. 5.
Originally from West Texas, Garrett earned a Bachelor of Science in biology from SFA and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Tyler. He was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the SFA Board of Regents in 2007 and served two terms. During his tenure, Garrett approved more than $400 million in campus improvements and helped SFA’s academic and athletic programs rise in prominence, which contributed to enrollment growth and institutional success.
In 2018, Garrett was honored with the T.B. Butler Award as Tyler’s most outstanding citizen. In 2021, he received SFA’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Garrett remains active in the energy industry as well as residential and commercial real estate development. He serves as president of the R.W. Fair Foundation, chair of the board of Southside Bank/Southside Bancshares and member of the admissions committee for UT Tyler School of Medicine. He is past president of the Texas Association of Builders and a past member of the governor’s Task Force on Appraisal Reform.
“Having worked closely with Bob Garrett for 12 years during his service on the SFA Board of Regents, I am honored for him to deliver the last ‘independent’ SFA graduation speech,” said interim President Gina Oglesbee. “Bob is an inspiration to the SFA community, and his love for SFA is evident.”
SFA’s August commencement ceremony will be held at 1 p.m. Aug. 5 in Johnson Coliseum. Doors will open an hour before the ceremony. Each graduation candidate will be allotted 15 free guest tickets, which are needed for entry into the event.
Degrees to be awarded include 239 bachelor’s degrees, 101 master’s degrees and five doctoral degrees. Nearly 80 students will graduate with honors, including 21 cum laude, 20 magna cum laude and 36 summa cum laude. Four students will graduate with the university scholar designation.
For more information, visit sfasu.edu/commencement.