As I write this letter, the activities of a somewhat normal fall semester are underway. However, for many Houston and South Texas area alumni, students and friends, the past several months have been anything but normal.

To those in our SFA family who have been impacted by Hurricane Harvey, I hope you have felt the love and prayers from your fellow Lumberjacks. In times of need, we come together. I am very proud to be a part of this amazing and supportive Lumberjack community that has come together with aid and prayers.

There is something special about the fall semester. Perhaps it is the incoming freshman class or the excitement that comes with fall sports kicking off at the same time the students return to campus. There is just a buzz around campus and on social media as the fall semester kicks into high gear. It is a wonderful time of the year, but it also is an incredibly busy time for those who work behind the scenes.

Sometimes when I am participating in fall activities and events, I notice the attention to detail and how everything seamlessly comes together. Then I remember the faces and people behind the scenes who make it all happen. The SFA Alumni Association staff members never cease to amaze me! Of course, Homecoming is one of the busiest times for our Alumni Association staff members, but I am amazed when I also observe that they put just as much effort and attention into reunion gatherings, regional networking events, the SFA Ring program, orientations, Senior Send-Offs, etc.

What many SFA stakeholders do not know is these dedicated Alumni Association staffers do more than work these events and activities. Whether it is handling the accounting or record keeping, designing graphics or managing other alumni business, each of these “unsung heroes” has a primary professional role in addition to an active engagement and hospitality role.

I recently asked a group of alumni to share a few thoughts about our Alumni Association staff members. I received too many comments to share them all, but the theme was consistent. SFA alumni and friends believe our hardworking and loyal Alumni Association staff members go the extra mile to serve and engage SFA alumni, students and friends. They are responsive, courteous, a joy to work with, eager to accommodate and professional. They work long hours but always with a smile and a great attitude. They truly bleed purple.

I hope you participate in some future alumni activities. When you do, please tell the friendly SFA Alumni Association staff member or volunteer how much he or she is appreciated.

Axe ’em, Jacks!

madrid signature

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