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Regents honor three former SWT professors

Date of release: 03/05/99

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — The Texas State University System Board of Regents has honored three former Southwest Texas State University professors with the title of Distinguished Professor Emeritus.

Meeting March 3 and 4 on the SWT campus, the regents honored William M. “Bill” Bechtol, Martha Luan Brunson and John W. Fitch III.

Bechtol, who died in 1998, was awarded the title Distinguished Professor of Curriculum and Instruction Emeritus.

Bechtol served 20 years as a professor and department chair at SWT. Before joining SWT, he was a teacher, principal and school superintendent in Ohio, and chair of the Division of Education at Southwest Minnesota College.

Bechtol was listed in Who’s Who in American Education and was an internationally recognized and innovative leader in the field of education. The author of four books, Bechtol had a distinguished record of service to SWT and the San Marcos community.

Brunson was awarded the title Distinguished Professor of English Emerita.

Brunson served as a faculty member in the SWT Department of English for 31 years, 11 as department chair and 14 as associate dean of the School of Liberal Arts.

She has served as president of the Association of Departments of English, the Conference of College Teachers of English of Texas, the South-Central College English Association and the South-Central Association of Departments of English. She was the first female chair of a large department at SWT.

Fitch was awarded the title Distinguished Professor of Chemistry Emeritus.

Fitch taught at SWT for 31 years. He was a research chemist who directed the research efforts of many undergraduate and graduate students. He served with distinction on several campus committees, councils and task forces and the Faculty Senate.

As a scholar, Fitch published 66 papers in respected journals and presented more than 40 papers at regional, national and international meetings of professional societies.