Professor inducted into CHSS Wall of Honor

This Friday, February 19, the College of Humanities and Social Sciences Alumni Advisory Board will award two recipients, one CHSS Faculty Member and one CHSS Bearkat Alumni, a place on the Wall of Honor.

The CHSS Wall of Honor was established in 2011.

The honorees in the Wall of Honor’s fourth year include the late Judge Frank J. Robinson Sr. as Bearkat Alumni and Philosophy Professor Frank Fair as the distinguished faculty member.

Judge Robinson was a renowned member of the Huntsville community. He served as County Judge for almost a decade between 1986 and 1994, received the runner-up spot for Huntsville’s Outstanding Citizen of the Year in 2007. He served on the SHSU alumni board for almost two decades.

The other recipient will be Frank Fair, Ph.D., who joined the Sam Houston State University Philosophy staff in 1971. In the years since he has published a number of papers and a book, as well as participated in multiple research projects both on campus and off.

Very few professors can claim to have received a single excellence award from SHSU, but Fair has now received three with his induction into the Wall of Honor, in addition to his earlier Excellence in Teaching and Excellence in Service awards.

There are many different faculty who have shaped the CHSS, and those members will also be honored at the ceremony.

“The people that are honored will be faculty, former faculty especially, people from the community that have been instrumental in playing a role in shaping the college… people that have made that type of contribution so that they can be recognized by the whole community of the CHSS,” Fair said.

Fair said the community around Sam Houston kept him here.

“I had expected to stay three or four years, but my wife and I found, just by blind chance, we had come to a place that was congenial,” Fair said. “She went on to get two masters degrees, our children were born and raised in Huntsville public school.”

Fair has now been with the university for 45 years.

Over such a tenure, Fair didn’t mention his awards as the things that affected him most.

“Students asking for a letter of recommendation, receiving a form that says a student attributes their success to you,” Fair said.

Fair impacted lives not only from his upper level courses, but even in introduction courses with students that he had yet to form bond with.

“The overall impact is hard to tell… Once a graduate students came up to me and talked to me about how years ago she had taken an introduction to philosophy class with me, and [afterward] she had driven home to New Waverly in tears,” Fair said. “She was encountering ideas that were deeply unsettling, and she was telling me this to thank me. At the time this was happening I had no idea. She said it was part of her evolution as a person, who is concerned with ideas and thinking things through.”

The ceremony to honor both Robinson and Fair will be held in CHSS Room C070 at 4 p.m. this Friday and is open to the public.

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