Trustees Name Dr. John Garrison As PresidentThe Academy’s Board of Trustees on June 11, 2008, appointed Dr. John Garrison as the Academys 13th president. Dr. Garrison, Associate Vice President and Dean of Students at Texas State University, began his duties at the Academy full time on Aug. 8, 2008.
Dr. Garrison, who holds a B.A. from McMurry University, an M.Ed. from the University of North Texas, and a Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin, moved into the Presidents Home at the beginning of the 2008-09 school year with his wife, Carol.
In the fall of 2008, a new tradition was established at the Academy with the senior boys retreat at the Texas Baptist Encampment in Palacios, Texas. Similar to the senior girls retreat to Leakey, the boys retreat has become an annual and much-anticipated event. Another highlight of the 2008-09 school year was the dedication of the $500,000 Nancy and Don Mafrige Fitness Center, a gift from Nancy and Don Mafrige, who are both 1955 graduates of the Academy. Another addition to the Academy campus in 2009 was the LTC James D. Rogers Challenge Course, offering 21 low and high ropes elements and named in honor of the late LTC Rogers, former Academy commandant and teacher.
The 2010-11 school year marked a twelve-year high point in enrollment. In the spring, SMA honored former trustee Robert Fanning by dedicating the main campus thoroughfare as “Robert Fanning Drive.” The year would end with San Marcos Academy receiving its largest cash gift ever, a $1 million donation from Houston attorney Joe Jamail to honor his late wife and Academy graduate Lee Hage Jamail. Plans are now underway to raise the remaining funds needed for the construction of the Lee Hage Jamail Special Event Center on the Academy campus.
In 2011-12, enrollment increased once again, and the day student population reached the highest point ever. A number of technological initiatives, including a 1:1 netbook program, bolstered the academic curriculum and a new agreement was struck with Hardin-Simmons University to provide our dual-credit college courses. A larger-than-usual senior class of 71 received their diplomas in May of 2012, garnering more than $2 million in merit scholarships to colleges and universities all over the country. Two seniors received Congressional appointments to the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. Sixty students were among the Class of 2013 and sixty-two made up the Class of 2014, with both classes sending its members to schools across the country and even overseas.
By the end of the 2013-14 school year, the Academy had a beautiful new campus entrance and road with an electronic gate and guard booth that will provide a more secure entrance to the central part of campus. Four additional streets were also named and dedicated in May of 2014, honoring Bobbie and Jack Byrom, Bobby Dupree, Jimmie Scott, and the Mafrige Family.