Shirley L. and LuCille Garrison Endowed Chair goes to AEC’s Steve Fraze
The chairman of Texas Tech’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communications has been named the Shirley L. and LuCille Garrison Endowed Chair in Rural Youth Development. Steve Fraze was presented the honor Thursday (Feb. 23) at a special presentation and reception at the university’s McKenzie Merket Alumni Center.
University officials said the endowed chair was recently elevated from a professorship to an endowed chair with a recent substantial gift. The funds are used to provide support in Agricultural Education and Communications for research, teaching and outreach in the knowledge base of youth leadership in a rural context.
“In time of economic downturn and reduction of support by the state, we’re able to function at a level befitting Texas Tech University,” Fraze said regarding what the support means to the department. “When I started at Texas Tech, we had two endowments that provided scholarships totaling around $7,500 and with the Shirley and LuCille Garrison Endowed Chair for Rural Youth Development, our yearly scholarship budget should approach $100,000.”
Shirley Garrison received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural education in 1940 from Texas Tech. After serving in World War II, he spent two years in a post-war program of food distribution and agricultural rehabilitation in Europe before returning to the South Plains.
Garrison formed the Garrison Seed Co. in 1966, in addition to becoming a involved in cattle production and feeding as well as becoming a leader in his community of Hereford. He has been a strong supporter of the College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources, as well as the Department of Agricultural Education and Communications for many years. He married LuCille Simons in 2007.
“It’s an honor for anyone to represent a donor at this level, but especially in the case of the Garrisons and the story of how they were so successful and how they desire to help rural youth attain an education at Texas Tech,” Fraze said.
Fraze, who has served as the department’s chair since 2008, was named a full professor in 2004. He joined the Texas Tech faculty in 1988 as a visiting assistant professor. Fraze previously worked as a visiting instructor in Texas A&M University’s Department of Agricultural Education, and a vocational agriculture teacher in New Home and Olton. He also served as a district engineer in the Dowell Division of Dow Chemical in Monahans.
Awards for Fraze include Gamma Sigma Delta Service to Agriculture Award (2005), election to the Texas Tech Teaching Academy (2003), Texas FFA Association Distinguished Service Award (2002), Vocational Agriculture Teachers Association of Texas Distinguished Service Award (2000), and Texas Tech President’s Distinguished Teaching Award (1998).
A native of Dora, NM, Fraze earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture from Lubbock Christian College and a master’s degree along with a teaching certificate from Texas Tech. He received his doctorate from Texas A&M University.
Tech’s Department of Agricultural Education and Communications houses 260 undergraduate students across two majors – interdisciplinary agriculture and agricultural communications. Interdisciplinary agriculture students choose a specialty of either teacher certification or agricultural leadership. Additionally, 80 graduate students are spread across two master’s programs and two doctoral programs.
Written by Kelsey Fletcher
CONTACT: Steve Fraze, chairman, Department of Agricultural Education and Communications, Texas Tech University at (806) 742-2816 or firstname.lastname@example.org
0227NM12 / Photo: Joey Hernandez / Pictured (left to right) Kent Hance, Shirley Garrison, LuCille Garrison, Steve Fraze, and Michael Galyean