Jack E. Byrom Serves During Transitional Years At SmbaIn the fall of 1965, Jack Edwards Byrom became the Academy’s tenth president, leaving the pastorate of the First Baptist Church in San Marcos. He began his work with the determination to build on the foundation which had been established so well by his nine predecessors, and to maintain the momentum which had been building in the immediate past.
Dr. Byrom served as Academy president from 1965-1996.
Dr. Byrom’s first appointment was to promote Assistant Dean Jimmie Scott to Dean of the Academy. Scott served faithfully and effectively through the years until his retirement as the Executive Vice President in 1996.
The Academy, which was a charter member of the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools in 1913, and had long been accredited by the Texas Education Agency, was accredited by and received as a member of the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest on March 22, 1973. In that same year, the Academy was accepted into the membership of the National Association of Independent Schools.
A number of additions were made to the Academy’s physical facilities during the early years of Byrom’s tenure. Air conditioning was installed in the dormitories, the football stadium was enlarged and lights were added and a new president’s house was remodeled. A dormitory for middle school boys was added and named for Mrs. Lorraine Derrick and Mrs. Ella Mae Wolfe, who for many years directed the dormitory program. The Thomas Library was built and dedicated to the memory of Jack and Florence Taylor Thomas, whose children were among the first Academy students and gave the funds for this building. In 1973, the Robinson Christian Center was completed and dedicated in memory of John Harvey Robinson. It was made possible by contributions by his beloved wife, Velma.