New Vice President of Academic Advancement Frank Holmes has adjusted well to his new home at SHSU.
“Things have been busy, but in a most enjoyable and informative way,” Holmes said.
Holmes and his family moved here from Arden, N.C., where he was assistant headmaster for advancement at Christ School for two and a half years.
“I’m adjusting quite well. We’ve reduced the amount of boxes at home from 200 to 100,” Holmes said. “As far as the university, I have found nothing but friendly and supportive people.”
Holmes said the community of Huntsville is positive about the university and the university is positive about the community.
“That’s always a good situation to be in,” he said.
Now that he has arrived on campus, Holmes said he plans to promote and improve the university.
“Ultimately, it is my intent to help the university organize and mount a major fundraising campaign that would address its most significant priorities,” he said.
SHSU has a University Strategic Plan that needs to be looked at by several people inside and outside of the institution, Holmes said.
His broader responsibilities include evaluating the University Advancement staff and programs.
“I want to bring in more people to spread the word about the university,” Holmes said. “We have a wonderful staff here who love their jobs and care greatly about the university.”
Darlene Andrews, assistant director for University Advancement said the staff is glad to have someone experienced on the job.
“The University Advancement staff is excited to have someone with his background to step into the vice president’s position,” Andrews said. “After working with him for only two weeks, it is apparent he has the enthusiasm and skills to successfully lead Sam Houston and its fundraising efforts.”
Holmes plans to strengthen ties with the community and raise money for SHSU.
In between promoting and improving SHSU, Holmes said he enjoys reading in his spare time.
“I like books that improve your mind and contribute to personal development,” he said. “You’re never too old or too educated to learn.”
Holmes said he also reads for leisure.
“I have to confess that every time John Grisham writes a book, I’m the first to buy it,” Holmes said.
Holmes also confessed to being a music lover.
“I won’t tell you how many CD’s I have, for fear my wife might read this and know where the money’s going,” he said.
Holmes and his wife, Maria, have three children.
“I’m a sports fan and I enjoy watching my children play,” Holmes said.
Through Holmes’ interest in athletics, Sam Houston not only gained a vice president, but also a fan.
“I quickly adopt the home team as my own,” Holmes said. “I have to be careful about the kind of fan I am. I tend to holler a lot.”
In the stands or in the office, Holmes likes to associate with the winner.
“I quickly see strengths and possibilities in programs. If I’m not there already, I will quickly be bullish on SHSU,” Holmes said. “Sam Houston is such a pleasant and positive environment.”
The new vice president said thus far the students at SHSU have impressed him.
“I was struck by our students because they have such a good feeling about the university,” Holmes said. “That translates into alumni who want to stay in touch with the university and that is a very attractive thing for my job.”
Before coming to SHSU, Holmes earned his bachelor’s degree in political science in 1975 from the University of Memphis. He was associate vice president of advancement/alumni at the University of Memphis from 1995 to 1999, and executive vice president and chief operating officer for the University of Houston Alumni Organization from1984 to 1995.