NACOGDOCHES, Texas — Two areas on the Stephen F. Austin State University campus were named in honor of alumni during the recent Board of Regents meeting.
The university’s new ROTC obstacle course was named in honor of alumnus 1st Lt. Kile G. West, who graduated from SFA in 2005. West attended the field artillery officer basic course and was assigned to the 1st Calvary Division at Fort Hood, Texas.
West and four of his men were killed in action on May 28, 2007, in Abu Sayda, Iraq, while en route to rescue the crew of a downed U.S. aircraft. West was the first officer commissioned at SFA to be killed in action. He was posthumously awarded the Bronze Star with Valor and the Purple Heart.
“Lt. West absolutely embodied the Lumberjack Battalion motto ‘Be the Best,’” said Maj. James Attaway, professor and chair of SFA’s Department of Military Science. “I am excited the Board of Regents has approved the naming and dedication of this obstacle course. Not only will this honor Kile’s sacrifice to our nation, but it also will pay respect to Kile’s gold-star family.”
The Lt. Kile G. West Memorial Obstacle Course is located next to the SFA Student Recreation Center. The course opened in May 2018 and features obstacles designed to challenge ROTC members and others in conquering physical and mental obstacles. Many of the challenges help prepare ROTC members for specialized schools, such as air assault school. The course is open with trained supervision to SFA and Nacogdoches community members.
Military science Instructor Sgt. 1st Class Jose Rendon was instrumental in creating the obstacle course and said, “It builds confidence and helps you conquer the fear of failure.”
In the Rusche College of Business, a collaborative classroom on the first floor of the McGee Business Building was named in honor of alumna Lou Ann Richardson, who is the Wells Fargo executive vice president and head of relationship programs for wholesale relationship strategies and insights in Dallas.
Richardson graduated SFA in 1983 with a Bachelor of Business Administration. She was a member of the Ladyjack tennis team in 1979; played intramural sports from 1979-83; was a member and officer of Gamma Sigma Sigma; was a resident assistant for Gibbs Hall and Steen Hall from 1981-83; and was the Ladyjack mascot during the 1982-83 basketball season.
She remains an active member of the SFA community by participating in the Rusche College of Business Executive Advisory Board. Currently, she is serving as chair of the board. In 2014, the SFA Alumni Association named her a distinguished alumnus.
“Lou Ann has been an incredible asset to the Rusche College of Business and continues to provide us with valuable insights and support,” said Dr. Tim Bisping, dean of SFA’s Rusche College of Business. “We are so pleased to have a classroom in our building bearing Lou Ann’s name.”
Her industry experience includes more than 34 years in financial services. Richardson serves her community on the board of Communities in Schools of the Dallas region; received the 2013 GFI Global Citizen Award; was a recipient of the International Group Management and Excellence and Diversity Champion Awards; chaired the IG Diversity Council from 2007-09; and was a past chair of the GFI Community Support Campaign.
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