35th Anniversary Reflections
(Communications, Development, & Marketing
Texas A&M University Libraries)
“It’s been inspiring to watch this pace-setting group grow and flourish over the years.” –Charlene Clark
Having recently retired from Texas A&M in September 2015, I take pleasure in reflecting on my early career here, and the important role of IABC in my professional development. When I came to Texas A&M in 1977, I had been attending IABC chapter events in another state. I joined a local group of communicators in BCS, in effect the start up group for what later became Brazos Valley IABC.
I began attending IABC meetings in the mid-1970s in Greensboro, NC as a guest of chapter members because of my affiliation with UNC-Greensboro. When we moved to BCS, I was delighted to find that a similar group of communicators aspired to start a chapter.
I have fond memories of those early days in the 1980s with the core group of communicators primarily at Texas A&M who were working diligently to form the BVIABC chapter. Three stalwart members instrumental in that effort immediately come to mind: John Suddath, David Jones, and Laura Nowlin. The leadership of the early presidents in the fledgling chapter was crucial. Suddath, Jones, and Nowlin were early presidents, as were Ann Cole, Exa York, and Nancy Sawtelle. The Houston and Dallas chapters of IABC were very helpful and supportive in getting the chapter up and running.
Since I worked in communications, development, and marketing for the Texas A&M Libraries, I belonged to the American Library Association (ALA) for many years; however, I always considered BVIABC as my primary professional association.
Even in its infancy, BVIABC offered outstanding programs in professional development with exceptional speakers addressing cutting edge topics and issues. The programs and workshops offered at the monthly meetings and other venues were affordable to all in terms of cost and time away from the office. This is still true today. The professional development program continues as the hallmark of quality for BVIABC.