2016 News Releases

Nationally recognized education leader Beverly Huston Sgro receives 2016 Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award

Photo of Beverly Sgro

TWU 2016 Chancellor's Alumni Excellence recipient Beverly Sgro

Texas Woman’s University alumna and nationally recognized leader and advocate for education Beverly Huston Sgro, Ph.D., former Secretary of Education for the state of Virginia and former Dean of Students for Virginia Tech, is the 2016 recipient of the TWU Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award, established by Chancellor Emerita Ann Stuart, Ph.D. Sgro is being honored for her distinguished career in education and government.

“During my years at TWU I had the opportunity to develop leadership skills as an undergraduate student leader and was encouraged to explore new opportunities by many role models and mentors who took a personal interest in my growth,” Sgro said. “I gained the self-confidence to research issues and share my conclusions in a forthright, but diplomatic manner. My successes are a direct reflection of the challenging and supportive environment that TWU provided for me.”

Sgro received her bachelor’s degree in speech pathology and audiology from TWU in 1963. She received both her master’s degree in management, housing and family development and her Ph.D. in educational research and evaluation from the Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, more commonly known as Virginia Tech

She began her career as a teacher of the hearing impaired in Midland, Texas and later served as a speech pathologist in the Arlington, Texas school district before relocating to Virginia to continue her education and career. She held several positions within the Virginia Tech Division of Student Affairs before being named Dean of Students in 1990 for the university’s 25,000 graduate and undergraduate students.

In 1994, Sgro was appointed as the Secretary of Education for the state of Virginia by then Governor George F. Allen. In her four years tenure, Sgro developed policy and budgets for the 39 educational and cultural agencies in Virginia, including all of the colleges and universities, public education K-12 and vocational programs. Also included in her responsibilities was the oversight of public museums, the Library of Virginia and two state teaching hospitals. 

Her accomplishments as Virginia Secretary of Education include increased funding for public education and training programs for teachers, as well as the development of the Standards of Learning testing program for public schools. In higher education she required each university to create a five-year plan to reduce administrative costs and provide more financial resources for the direct teaching of students.

She also represented the governor and Virginia on national and international commissions and traveled internationally to represent the state for educational, economic and cultural purposes.

Most recently, Sgro served as interim head of school for the Collegiate School in Richmond, Virginia and the Carolina Day School in Asheville, North Carolina.

In retirement, Sgro serves on boards for several community and non-profit organizations. She also is very engaged in the life of her two children and three grandchildren, enjoys photography, book club discussions and practicing Tai Chi.

Established in 2011, the Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award recognizes TWU graduates for exceptional accomplishment in a career field and/or public service. In addition, recipients have had national and/or international involvement and recognition.

Selection for this prestigious annual award is determined by a representative committee of university faculty, administrators, alumni and students.

Recipients are honored permanently on a recognition wall in the foyer of Hubbard Hall on the TWU Denton campus. Honorees for this award are invited to the TWU campus location where their degree was awarded to share their expertise and experiences with faculty and students. Sgro will be making her presentation at TWU Sept. 27. 

Previous Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Honorees are:

  • Pat Costner, International Greenpeace Scientist
  • Angienetta Johnson, Ph.D., NASA Administrator
  • Captain Maggie Richards, Ph.D., U.S. Navy (retired)
  • Deneese L. Jones, Ph.D., Provost, Drake University
  • Nancy Moody, Ph.D., President, Tusculum College
  • Holly Williams, Associate Dean, University of Texas at Austin School of Fine Arts
  • Kathleen Robinson, Ph.D., retired Clemson University Research Professor

Funding for the Chancellor’s Alumni Excellence Award is provided by Ann Stuart, Ph.D., TWU Chancellor and President Emerita. Ann Stuart came to TWU in 1999 as the 10th president for the University. She retired in 2014 as Chancellor and President, having brought significant changes to the University. In retirement, she supports a number of interests, including TWU scholarships, other TWU interests, the arts, nature, wildlife, food and shelter for the less fortunate, and animal rescue and care.

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