Gaertner speaks at 2010 Summer Commencement

During the Summer 2010 Commencement ceremony, President James F. Gaertner bid a fond farewell to Sam Houston State University, which he has led since 2001. Under his leadership, Gaertner launched 16 new academic programs, increased enrollment and faculty, constructed new landmark facilities, and established articulated programs at more than 40 community colleges.

"It has been an incredible honor to serve with the entire university community as president of this grand old university," Gaertner said. "We have been able to renew old friendships, and make many new friends, while serving in a position that has brought us tremendous joy and fulfillment."

Gaertner oversaw a $280 million expansion of the campus, including such landmarks as the bell tower and outdoor plaza, a new parking garage, new residence halls, the new College of Humanities and Social Services building, new facilities for athletes, a visitor's center, dining facilities and a new performing arts center.

Gaertner also established several new initiatives, including the Official Ring Ceremony, The President's Speakers Series and a nationally recognized Alcohol and Drug Abuse program for students. He also reorganized the administrative structure and established more than 40 articulation agreement with community colleges in the state.

Gaertner earned his bachelor’s and master's degrees from Sam Houston State University and his doctorate from Texas A&M, where he taught until 1976. He completed the Harvard University Management Development Program in 1989.

During the commencement ceremonies, the College of Criminal Justice awarded 27 Master of Science and two Master of Arts degrees as well as 97 bachelor of science and 59 bachelor of arts degrees.

Amanda D. Johnson earned a doctoral degree, with a dissertation on "Police Organization Failure: Toward Explaining Dysfunction and Failure through the Theoretical Framework of Coupling Utilizing Case Study Analysis."

Member of The Texas State University System