Vice President Bids Farewell
BY ALYCIA HOOPER
When Vice President Mike Ryan came to ASU 35 years ago, the "institution was in its infancy," he said. "The enrollment here at Angelo State College—the former university name—was just short of 4,000.
"The first graduating class from the four-year institution had walked across the stage only three years prior to my arrival. I thought it would be fun to be part of an institution ‘on the grow.' Now 35 years and two presidents later, I think I made a good decision," he said.
Vice President Ryan announced his retirement on Sept. 22, 2005. "I have been here 35 years. President Hindman announced his retirement for 2007. The procedure to find a new president and the anxiety of wondering who it might be is extremely stressful. I figured this would be a great time to retire," he said. His last day will be April 30, 2006.
"I came here as director of news and information and advisor to the Rambouillet—the school yearbook," he said. "My other assignments have included serving as head of the department of journalism and advisor to the Ram Page, assistant to the president, vice president and interim president. The latter was indeed an honor, although the need for an interim was prompted by the untimely and tragic death of former President Lloyd D. Vincent."
Ryan said, "I have been privileged to serve under two very good presidents. Both have made unique and lasting contributions to the university—with two dramatically different but effective styles of operation."
Throughout his 35 years, Ryan has seen Angelo State College grow into an amazing university. " Angelo State University has passed through the teenage years, achieved maturity, and now stands poised to face many new and exciting challenges," he said. "ASU has arrived, so to speak. It has a strong reputation across the state and beyond. The university has grown from under 4,000 to over 6,000 students. Angelo State has attracted a top-flight faculty and a very capable administrative staff," Ryan said.
"Another outstanding development for the university was the establishment of the Robert and Nona Carr Scholarship program. This magnificent gift has helped the university to continue to attract top students both at the undergraduate and graduate levels."
The vice president also commented on the physical development of the university. "The campus is one of the most attractive in the state. The students here have access to some of the finest facilities anywhere, including the wide array of technology (computer labs and classrooms), the library, the new residence hall with more to come, the remodeled and expanded Houston Harte University Center, the magnificent Junell Center/Stephens Arena and the LeGrand Alumni Visitors Center, a real star in our crown," he said.
When asked what he has personally accomplished, Ryan said, "I'll leave that for others to judge, but I have certainly enjoyed being a part of this university and helping make things happen. I am particularly proud of having been involved in the design and construction of the Junell Center. This facility has to be one of the institution's crown jewels, and we will always be indebted to former state representative Rob Junell for his help in making this dream a reality. Also, we will always be grateful for the generous financial contribution made by Steve and Pollyanna Stephens, and to Mrs. Eva Camunz Tucker for her gift of the beautiful fountain and Rambouillet sculptures that grace the entrance of the building."
In connection with the Junell Center, Ryan said, "I am very proud of the development of the women's athletic program and for all the successes that they have enjoyed. We have always had a talented and dedicated coaching staff on both the men and women's sides, and I have enjoyed having had the opportunity to work with all of them."
"Mike Ryan is an excellent vice president and very good to work with as part of the ASU leadership team," President James Hindman said. "He has been at Angelo State for a long time; therefore, he has much institutional memory, which is very valuable. He administers his unit very well, he is efficient and responsible, and he will be missed greatly. I have enjoyed working with him very much."
"In my work, I have had the honor of being associated with a lot of wonderful people, far too many to name," Ryan said. But one name that stands out is his wife's. "Throughout all of these years, I have had the support and encouragement of a very special person, my wife Jill," Ryan said. "Without her backing, patience, sense of humor and nudging, little, if any, of this would have been possible. My two sons, Kevin and Sean, have also contributed to any success I may have experienced along the way."
"What are my future plans?" Vice President Mike Ryan pondered. "To try to figure out what I want to be when I grow up!"
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