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The State Council of Higher Education for Virginia (SCHEV) is the Commonwealth's coordinating body for higher education. SCHEV was established by the Governor and General Assembly in 1956. Then as now, our mission, which is outlined in the Code of Virginia, is... more.
George Mason University 30th Anniversary: The History
First, UVa president Shannon and Dr. Roy E. McTarnaghan, Director of SCHEV, engaged in a dialogue about whether UVa should grant independence to George Mason College or retain it in the UVa system.It was by then no secret that McTarnaghan and SCHEV desired independence for George Mason College.Secondly, UVa had begun to divest itself of its remaining branch colleges.Patrick Henry College at Martinsville was transferred to the state system of community colleges on July 1, 1971.In December 1971 the University's Board of Visitors voted to recommend to the State Council of Higher Education that Mary Washington College at Fredericksburg become an independent institution.At the same time, Delegate Thomson, who had figured prominently in the legislation making George Mason a four-year degree-granting institution in 1966, was drafting legislation to make George Mason independent.The bill, H-210, was introduced into the state legislature on January 24, 1972.
Roy McTarnaghan '54 to Deliver Commencement Address
Roy McTarnaghan '54 to Deliver Commencement AddressROY MCTARNAGHAN '54 TO DELIVERCOMMENCEMENT ADDRESSGraduation Will Be First Outdoors Ceremony in 27 YearsGENESEO, N.Y. - In a homecoming of sorts for Geneseo native Roy McTarnaghan, the 1954 SUNY Geneseo alumnus has been selected to deliver the 1999 commencement address at the college on May 22.He will also receive an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the State University of New York at the ceremony.This year's graduation ceremony will break a 27-year tradition of indoor commencement exercises at SUNY Geneseo.College officials announced in February that this year's ceremony will be held - rain or shine - on the athletic fields behind Letchworth Dining Hall, enabling an additional 2,000 friends and family members of graduates to attend.The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m.Approximately 1,140 undergraduates will receive their diplomas at the ceremony, and approximately 100 graduate students will receive master's degrees. McTarnaghan has spent his professional career working in higher education, and has received much national attention recently in his role as president of Florida's newest state university, the Florida Gulf Coast University in Ft. Myers.Four years after earning his degree at the College, McTarnaghan joined the SUNY Geneseo faculty in 1958 as an assistant professor of speech education.He was named director of admissions in 1961 and, shortly thereafter, became associate dean of the College; in 1967, he was appointed dean of long-range planning and research.In 1968, he was named acting vice president for academic affairs at Geneseo.Among his many accomplishments at Geneseo was the development of the Campus Academic Plan and the Campus Development Plan.He developed numerous institutional research plans, and assisted faculty in the development of research proposals and federal grants.He has served on the College Alumni Council and as president of the Livingston County Alumni Association.He received the Geneseo Alumni Association Alumnus of the Year Award in 1977, and the Meritorious Service Award from the Geneseo Foundation in 1985.McTarnaghan left Geneseo in 1969 and became associate director of the State Council for Higher Education in Virginia.A year later, he became its director.In 1972, the father of three became the first president of the West Virginia College of Graduate Studies and served until 1975, at which time he became vice chancellor for academic programs for the state university system of Florida.He held that position until 1993, when he was selected to serve as president of that system's newest university - now known as Florida Gulf Coast University - before it was even built.During his years in Geneseo, McTarnaghan was president of the Livingston County Alumni Association and a director of Kiwanis and the Livingston Country Club.
• Former FGCU presidents: Bill Merwin, left, served as the president of Florida Gulf Coast University from 1999 until 2007, following the school's first president, Roy McTarnaghan, who helped build FGCU from 1993 until 1999. 1993: Roy McTarnaghan is tapped as president of the fledgling university.1994: Campus construction plans are revealed.1999: McTarnaghan retires, and the state Board of Regents hires William Merwin to head the university.No one - not founding President Roy McTarnaghan or second President Bill Merwin - could have imagined just how quickly FGCU would spring from untouched wetlands to a sprawling campus that now encompasses 760 acres and 60 academic buildings, athletic facilities and residence halls."Access is very important," said McTarnaghan, who was vice chancellor for Florida's university system before heading to FGCU in April 1993."It was our intent that citizens who work 40 hours a week should have the opportunity during their free hours, such as Friday evenings or Saturdays, to come to campus, take some courses and earn a degree," said McTarnaghan, who this fall will co-teach the "World in Transition: Middle East" virtual class.That came from Open University in Great Britain, McTarnaghan said."All of the issues that seemed new and different, for which a lot of people wondered ‘What on earth is FGCU doing?' had been tried, evaluated and proven fruitful somewhere else," said McTarnaghan, 73.Those were only hurdles, not roadblocks, McTarnaghan said."Just like parents who had a difficult pregnancy feel pretty lucky to have a child, we had some early bouts with sickness and illness and accidents, but by God, we made it," he said."It was accredited in 1999, and at that time, I declared victory and retired," McTarnaghan said.His retirement created a summer of uncertainty.
Bill Merwin, left, served as the president of Florida Gulf Coast University from 1999 until 2007 following the school's first president Roy McTarnaghan, right, who helped build FGCU from 1993 until 1999.