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October 2001

Release Date: October 30, 2001

Scholarship Established in Honor of Former Angelo State President

The daughter and son-in-law of Dr. Raymond M. Cavness, the first president of Angelo State College, have established a $20,000 endowment to honor her parents and to benefit junior, senior and graduate students in the Angelo State University School of Education.

Jack and Ramona Cavness Quirey of East Bernard, Texas, have created the Dr. Raymond M. and Maurine Cavness Memorial Scholarship in memory of her parents and the contributions they made to the development and success of Angelo State University.

"We wanted to establish the endowment in education," Mrs. Quirey said, "because my father was always a teacher. He started out as a teacher from a teachers college and he loved teaching and education. We just felt like education was the most appropriate field and Angelo State was the most appropriate place because the university was his pride and joy."

Dr. Cavness served as the sixth president of San Angelo College from 1954-65 and the first of Angelo State College from 1965-67. He died April 11, 1975.

The scholarship is to be awarded annually to upper level and graduate students pursuing a degree in ASU's School of Education.

Under Cavness's guidance and leadership, San Angelo College made the critical transition from a community-based junior college to a four-year, state-supported institution. Those efforts culminated when he awarded ASU's first four-year diplomas on May 28, 1967. During his tenure at the institution, enrollment grew from 728 to 2,500 and the faculty increased from 29 to 111. The campus grew from 60 to 268 acres under his leadership.

He received his undergraduate degree from Southwest Texas State Teacher's College where he lettered in four sports and was a classmate of Lyndon Baines Johnson. He earned his master's degree and doctorate from the University of Texas and he also received an honorary LL.D. from Baylor University. The Cavness Science Building on the ASU campus is named for the former president, as is a building at San Marcos Academy which he headed during the Depression and saved from insolvency.

His career in education was interrupted by World War II when he volunteered for the Navy. Being fluent in Spanish and familiar with Japanese, he was sent to the Philippines and later to Japan where he served in the military government during occupation. He governed the Japanese states of Okayama and Totri. Although with the Navy, Cavness was attached to General MacArthur's Army headquarters. He entered the Navy as a lieutenant and was discharged as a lieutenant commander.

Like her husband, Mrs. Cavness, the former Maurine Sweeten of Rocksprings, was a teacher. While in San Angelo she taught at Travis and Crockett Elementary Schools. The Cavnesses maintained an open-door policy at their home, always welcoming students and faculty to the president's home and serving as substitute parents to a number of college students away from home. They also reared four children of their own.

In assessing the presidential tenure of Raymond Cavness, Suzanne Campbell, who heads the Dr. Ralph R. Chase West Texas Collection at ASU, said, "They were years of growing, building, traveling, achieving, planning, nurturing. They were years of guiding an adolescent institution toward maturity: a job well done."

Now, the legacy of the Cavnesses will continue through the lives of the education students that the Dr. Raymond M. and Maurine Cavness Memorial Scholarship will touch.