Austin College to Begin 171st Year

Moving into Austin College

SHERMAN, TEXAS—Nearly 400 first-year students and their parents will arrive at Austin College Friday in preparation for the opening of the 171st year of the College next week. New student and transfer orientation will continue over the next several days, and returning students will make their way to campus next Tuesday and Wednesday. Classes begin Thursday, August 29.

President Steven P. O’Day and his wife, Cece, will be among the campus community leaders awaiting new students and families as they arrive for residence hall move-in and a weekend of orientation activities. Several students, faculty, and staff, plus a number of area alumni, will also lend a welcoming hand as families unload packed vehicles and try to determine how all the belongings can fit into the assigned residence hall rooms.

Friday’s agenda also will include necessary paperwork and signatures, ID cards, and the gathering of information—still leaving time to put rooms in order and perhaps visit area retailers to stock up on snacks, toiletries, and other last-minute items. 

The new students join athletes who have been on campus nearly a week for fall camps in football, men’s and women’s soccer, men’s water polo, volleyball, and cross country. A number of student organization leaders and student residence life staff arrived early to prepare for the year ahead. 

The New Student Conference schedule will begin in earnest Saturday morning, with an official Welcome session, including greetings and guidance from President O’Day, student body president Hunter Williams, and other campus administrators. Residence hall meetings, freshman seminar gatherings with classmates and faculty, various Student Life orientation sessions, and a time for student socializing round out the day.  

Parents end their activities on campus just after noon on Sunday and leave the new students to settle in on their own. Freshmen and transfer students will continue their preparation for the beginning of classes, with sessions on Academic Integrity, guidance on successful academic progress, and residence hall adjustments from returning students.

A faculty group will provide a number of additional offerings to help students become more acclimated to the campus and the programs available to them. A growing number of first-generation college students sometimes find the transition to college life more challenging and the additional sessions allow them in particular, as well as their classmates, a closer look at college life before classes get underway. 

The “First We Serve” volunteer project has become a tradition for Austin College new students over the past several years. The students have come together to assemble thousands of nutritious food packets for shipment to those in need through the nonprofit Kids Against Hunger.

Returning students will move into campus housing Tuesday and Wednesday.

The academic year officially will get underway with the traditional Opening of School Convocation in Sid Richardson Center of the Robert T. Mason Athletic/Recreation Complex on Wednesday, August 28, at 7 p.m. The event begins with the entrance of the new students, then the procession of rising seniors in caps and gowns for the first time, and the College faculty in full academic regalia. Dr. Nathan Bigelow, associate professor of physics, serves as College marshal and leads the procession carrying the official College mace.

Dr. Elizabeth Gill, vice president for Academic Affairs and dean of the faculty, will present the opening address, “We Are Our Choices.” The convocation also will include performances by the A Cappella Choir, led by choral director Dr. Wayne Crannell; the official Investiture of the Class of 2023 and presentation of the class banner to new students; students’ presentation of the class Academic Integrity book to President O’Day; and prayers for the new academic year.

Austin College, a private national liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas, has earned a reputation for excellence in academic preparation, international study, pre-professional foundations, leadership development, committed faculty, and hands-on, adventurous learning opportunities. One of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives, Austin College boasts a welcoming community that embraces diversity and individuality, with 46 percent of students identifying as persons of color. The residential student body of approximately 1,300 students and more than 100 expert faculty members allow a 13:1 student-faculty ratio and personalized attention. This year, the campus recognizes 100 years of co-education and has had several opportunities to recognize the history of women and accomplishments of current alumnae. Austin College is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA) and cultivates an inclusive atmosphere that supports students’ faith journeys regardless of religious tradition. Founded in 1849, the College is the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original name and charter. -30-

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Dino Days

The Sherman Museum is excited to announce that it will be conducting a second session of its annual Dino Academy children’s workshop series on Wednesday, August 7th. Our Dino Academy in June was a success and we wanted to give another opportunity to attend for those that missed it! The workshops are designed to complement the museum’s annual DINO DAYS exhibition. This year’s curriculum program will focus on the connection between Dinosaurs and Meteorites. The August 7th class is for ages 6-11 and runs from 9:30AM-3:30PM. Students must bring their sack lunch, and parents are not required to attend with their student(s). All students will receive a colorful Dino Academy T-shirt and an Academy diploma upon completion of the program.

Program activities include:

  • Interactive guided tours of the current Dinosaurs & Meteorites: A Flash from the Past exhibition
  • Presentations teaching students about the Dinosaurs, Meteorites, and the connection between them
  • Arts and Crafts sessions

The cost of the workshop is $40 per child. Space is limited to 20 children in the session, and their spot is only reserved upon payment.

For more information and class reservations please stop by the museum Wed.-Sat. 10am-4pm or give us a call at 903-893-7623.

About The Sherman Museum

The Sherman Museum is a non-profit 501(c) (3) educational organization devoted to collecting, preserving and interpreting objects of historical significance for visitors and residents of Grayson County and the Greater North Texas Region. The museum was previously known as The Red River Historical Museum prior to a name change in March 2011.


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Preston Trail NSDAR Committee Wins State Award

Price Shaw Cabin Frontier Village

Pottsboro, Texas –   Preston Trail Chapter Historic Preservation Committee Chair, Lisa Lettie and members were greatly honored to receive a 1st Place Certificate of Appreciation from the Texas Society for their project of historical preservation at the Frontier Village.  Three local libraries, Sherman, Denison and Pottsboro eliminated their genealogical departments and offered all data to Grayson County Frontier Village located at Denison, Texas as a new depository. Frontier Village is a replica frontier town, made up of buildings that have been relocated onsite in order to preserve their individual histories while offering visitors a glimpse of frontier life for early Texas settlers. Over 20,000 books, and other genealogical items were received, sorted, logged into a searchable database and re-shelved in a temporary building for all those wishing to do family research for the Grayson County area. A permanent building with the proper ventilation and preservation capability is planned.

The other members of the committee were Dr. Charla Harris, Rhetta Schultz, Margaret Alverson, Sherry Collins and Terisa Wilson.

The Preston Trail NSDAR chapter Daughters also adopted a cabin (Price/Shaw) located at the Village.  Adopting the cabin requires the commitment to clean, decorate for the seasons, act as docents for activities at the Village while dressed in period costumes. 

Price Shaw Cabin – Frontier Village

A special project grant sponsored by Preston Trail for the re-chinking of the Price/Shaw cabin was approved by the DAR National Society in April 2019. Dr. Charla Harris and Dr. Teal Gray of the Frontier Village were also instrumental in writing the grant request.  Completion of the re-chinking is to be completed by June 2020.  

Many more of the historic buildings at the Frontier Village need funds for badly needed restoration work. 

Would you like to be part of our meetings and be able to listen to the interesting speakers we have each month?  You are welcome to come and see what the DAR is all about even if you are not a member.  Would you like to be involved in the good works that DAR participates in?  Anyone interested in receiving help to prove their ancestry for qualification to become a Daughter of the American Revolution are welcome to contact our chapter at on Facebook or

The National Society Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 to promote historic preservation, education and patriotism. Its members are descended from the patriots who won American independence during the Revolutionary War. With more than 177,000 members in approximately 3,000 chapters worldwide, DAR is one of the world’s largest and most active service organizations.  DAR members are committed to volunteer service having served more than 12.5 million hours in communities throughout the world during the past three years.  To learn more about the work of today’s DAR, visit or connect with DAR on social media at and

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