San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas

February 7th, 2009
Trauth says gift 'establishes momentum' for university


As expected, Texas State President Denise Trauth announced Saturday evening that a group of anonymous donors has pledged up to $6 million to match future gifts to the university’s Pride in Action fundraising campaign.

Trauth made the announcement at the annual Alumni Association Scholarship Gala on the Texas State campus.

“These donors are very familiar with the university and our Pride in Action Campaign,” Trauth said. “They want our alumni and friends to join them in maximizing the impact of giving.”

Donors are asked to contribute in support of five “pillars.” The campaign pillars are academic excellence, performing arts, athletics, the alumni center and the library.

The anonymous donors have agreed to match every gift of $10,000 or more up to a maximum of $6 million between now and the completion of the campaign.

Trauth said the gift “establishes momentum for the future of the university.”

Said Trauth, “Without a doubt, we are in some difficult economic times, however, these anonymous challenges announced this evening are proof that neither fundraising nor giving ceases during tough economic times.”

Trauth called on alumni and friends of Texas State to “step up to the challenge that has been given us and encourage others to do the same.”

At the banquet, former San Marcos Mayor Robert Habingreither, the Dean of Science at Texas State, received the Teaching Award of Honor.

“Receiving an award for teaching is great for me because that’s what I love to do,” Habingreither said. “It focuses most intently on what’s most important at this institution, and that’s the students.”

The Alumni Star Award was presented to Bill Poston for service to and support of the Texas State Alumni Association with respect to fundraising.

“I’m fortunate to say I worked my way through school,” Poston said. “Unfortunately, it’s just too hard to do that today for our student leaders … Our job is to help these students (pay for school) a little easier.”

Several Texas State alumni received awards during the gala. Honored with the Alumni Achievement Award were Joni Hruska Fichter, co-owner and president of Career Placement, Inc.; Ronald Angelo Johnson, pastor of Badger Grover Community Baptist Church and veteran foreign service officer; Ramiro Martinez Jr., renowned scholar in the areas of immigration and crime and professor at Florida International University; Nancy Nusbaum, associate vice president for finance and support services at Texas State; James Streety, former highly successful football coach and current president of the Texas High School Coaches Association; and Michael Willoughby, dean of the Texas State Graduate College.

Michelle T. Brown, United Nations Representative for Refugees International in New York, received the association’s Walter Richter Humanitarian Award.

Association representatives also presented Alumni Scholars and announced the awarding of more than $100,000 in Texas State scholarships.

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