It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter. 

The Choate family has been a supporter of Sam Houston State University since 1956. Ronnie Choate came first as a football player. He followed his scholar-athlete tenure graduate school as a football coach. He was a nationally recognized glof coach from which followed his service at his alma matter as the athletics director.

I came to SHSU in 1959 and followed with my M.Ed.

Ronnie served a total of 42.5 years at the university under seven different presidents.

When our son Dean chose the vaunted golf program at Sam Houston State University for his collegiate career, the circle was almost complete. Ronnie and Dean became the only father and son inducted into the Bearkat Hall of Honor.

We are both alumnus, along with our son Dean. Degrees hang on our walls conferred by our beloved university with three names: Sam Houston State Teachers College, Sam Houston State College and Sam Houston State University. And still we loved it.

Dean Choat was the Class A pro at Ravens Nest Golf Course for 12 years. As of June 11, 2020 he was greeted as he reported to work. Without notice, he was told he no longer had a job, that the university that he loved and served was “going in a different direction because of budget cuts.” Without explanation or discussion, how can a “different direction” be understood?

His family is devastated with a son that is a senior in high school, a daughter in seventh grade. Two more Bearkats?

Is this really how you treat your alumni?

For the first time in 64 years, we face the Fall 2020 school year without a place at Sam Houston State University, a brutal awareness that there was really no honor there at all.