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President's Letter

In Every Issue

Gina Oglesbee

What an incredible year it has been for SFA!

By the time you are reading this issue of Sawdust, SFA will have transitioned to membership in The University of Texas System on Sept. 1. Working on the affiliation evaluation and transition process over this past year, and now serving as interim president of this beloved institution to see the transition through, is truly a blessing and an honor that I do not take lightly. I offer sincere appreciation to Dr. Steve Westbrook for his work on the affiliation. In addition, our SFA Board of Regents, Karen Gantt, Tom Mason, Jennifer Winston, David Alders, Robert Flores, Brigettee Henderson, Judy Olson, Laura Rectenwald and Nancy Windham, and student Regent Paige Vadnais, deserve a huge thank-you for their leadership, service and selfless action.

As we celebrate 100 years of this place of higher learning, SFA's future is indeed bright. Looking backward and forward at this pivotal moment and reflecting on all who have come before us, and all that they have done, we acknowledge the challenges that were faced, the accomplishments that were celebrated, and the opportunities that were created that make us who we are today. SFA has grown in so many ways, and now we face a new century of possibilities. Our colleagues within the UT System have such an appreciation for our history and the people who make SFA what it is today, from our faculty and staff to our alumni and, most of all, our students. We are privileged to live where we live, and to be among the good people who make up SFA and now the UT System family.

We will continue to reflect and to celebrate as we reach the 100-year mark. We have so much more to accomplish, and that is invigorating. We know how essential our relationship is with Nacogdoches and surrounding Deep East Texas. We know how we contribute to our state and the country. We even see the impact our graduates and faculty make on the entire globe in some cases. We are both humbled by and proud of the significant reach of SFA, which will be furthered by our membership in the UT System.

Celebrate with us! Think about what SFA has meant to you and what role it has played in your life — perhaps how it helped you to discover yourself, to form lasting friendships, to meet the love of your life, and to establish within you the knowledge, confidence and faith necessary for your chosen profession or path in life. Come celebrate with us in person on Monday, Sept. 18, at the Centennial birthday celebration.

As we cross the 100-year threshold and start our first year as a member of the UT System, our alma mater's lyrics continue to ring true:

Oh future bright 'neath the
Purple and White
All hail to SFA.
'Mid Texas pines we have
found peaceful shrines
Where ev'ry month is May.
Long live our Alma Mater,
Honor to thee for aye.
As years unfold,
happy mem'ries we'll hold,
All hail to SFA.

Axe 'em, Jacks!

Gina Oglesbee Signature

Gina Oglesbee '11
Interim President
Stephen F. Austin State University