Clock to be added to garden after alumnus donation

As a way to give back to his alma mater, Ron Blachley, of College Station, donated $30,000 to the SHSU Alumni Association, which will used to purchase a clock to be placed in the recently constructed Alumni Garden.

“It was the idea of giving back,” Ruth Blachley, Ron’s wife, said. “The timing was just right for us.”

The donation came after Blachley and his wife became interested in purchasing a $5,000 bench to be placed in the garden.

Blachley received his bachelor’s degree from SHSU in 1968 and would later go on receive his master’s in physical education in 1969.

Blachley reconnected with SHSU in July, when President James Gaertner’s traveled to College Station on one of four stops across the state to visit with former students at a university alumni reception.

Bryan Independent School District Superintendent and SHSU Alumni Association board member Herman Smith sponsored the event that Blachley attended. It was at the reception that Blachley got re-acquainted with Gaertner, his former neighbor and fellow student at SHSU.

SHSU Alumni Director Kevin Hayes said Blachley is very pleased with the direction SHSU has taken under the leadership of Gaertner.

“When alumni feel good about what we are doing, the university receives more financial support,” Hayes said.

Blachley contacted the Office of Alumni Relations after receiving an Alumni Garden brochure in the mail.

“He simply wanted to hear the purpose of the garden, which is to recognize alumni and friends,” Hayes said.

Alumni Relations staff Christine Price and Laurie Haralson introduced the plans for a four-faced clock to Blachley for his consideration.

The clock has always been a part of the long-range plans for the Alumni Garden, which was dedicated as a part of the Homecoming festivities last semester.

Price said the Alumni Association had anticipated having to solicit funds to purchase the clock.

“Blachley took care of the funds,” Price said.

The 16-foot, four-faced Howard clock will be placed in the center of garden. The letters S, A and M will replace 11,12 and one. The letters H, O, U, S, T, O and N will replace nine, eight, seven, six, five, four, three and two on the face of the clock.

Hayes said the clock should be completed by August 2003 and will likely be dedicated during next fall’s Homecoming activities.

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