Theatre prof Schwab to retire July 31 from Sul Ross
ALPINE — Gregory Schwab believes that Sul Ross State University is “where a small-town North Dakota boy was meant to be.” Schwab, Professor of Theatre, will retire July 31, 2017 after 29 years’ service as both a faculty member and administrator.
“This has been a wonderful experience,” he said. “Sul Ross has great faculty, friendly staff, and the students have been at the heart of it. There is no other place that I have worked that I can say that.”
Schwab, who was originally hired as a visiting lecturer in Theatre for a one-year term in 1988, progressed to full professor. He also served seven years as associate vice president and interim vice president of Enrollment Management and as a grant writer. As a grant writer since 2004, he authored/ administered $41.5 million in Sul Ross grants, with three pending totaling $15 million more.
He served in the administrative capacity with Enrollment Management from 2004-2011 before returning to the classroom. “I wanted to leave the drama and go back to theatre,” he laughed.
Schwab received the university’s Outstanding Teaching Award and was named Student Organization Advisor of the Year in 1993. In 1998, he received the College/University Educator of the Year Award from the Texas Educational Theatre Association (TETA), and in 2001, received the TETA Founders Award. He served as TETA president for two years, as Sul Ross Theatre Department chair from 1998-2004 and 2014-15, was the editor of Texas Theatre Notes (1994-98) and a member of the Southwest Theatre Association board of directors, Texas Chair.
While at Sul Ross, he directed 57 theatrical productions, wrote several children’s plays, most recently, “Tom Sawyer and the Jackson’s Island Pirates,” performed in 2013; and directed, designed or performed in more than 130 productions.
During his tenure, he has seen the theatre program grow from one major to about 25, and he praised the commitment of students and his fellow faculty.
“It has been enjoyable helping to rebuild the theatre program and it is wonderful to know that the present faculty will carry on the legacy,” he said. “The quality of my work is seen through the students; if they do well, I know that I have done my job. Over the years, I have seen many of them going out (from Sul Ross) and doing great things, and it has been a pleasure to maintain close relationships with so many of them.”
Schwab, who will teach a Summer I class, will return as a part-time faculty member during Fall semester on modified retirement. He will teach, on a rotating basis, Introduction to Theatre (web-based), and History of Theatre I and II, Script Analysis and a Gaming and Screenwriting class via Skype from his new home in York, ME.
“With Skype, I can still keep the face-to-face contact with students that I really like,” he said.
A native of Mandan, ND, where his mother, Marlene, still lives, Schwab received a B.A. in Theatre and English (1979) from Carroll College, Helena, MT; and a Master of Fine Arts in Theatre (1981) from Trinity University, San Antonio. He acted professionally in Dallas and Corsicana before coming to Sul Ross.
He and his wife, Juliette, an Alpine native, moved to Maine in 2016. The couple enjoys theatre, music, art and traveling, with the next excursion a Viking cruise down the Rhine River in July.