Honoring Steve Holland and MSU alums

Story MSU Texas Alumni relations
3 min read

Steve Holland may be remembered for many things at MSU Texas – Athletic Director, Director of Personnel, part of the team responsible for reinstating football, his Hall of Honor induction – but it may be the tough job he performed during commencement ceremonies for which many remember him. For 14 years, Holland announced the ceremonies, calling the names of an estimated 10,000 graduates. He died Oct. 19, 2020, at age 78.

Holland grew up in Wichita Falls and was a 1960 graduate of Wichita Falls High School. He earned a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of North Texas in 1965 and a master’s in political science from Midwestern State University in 1975.

After eight years at KFDX-TV, Holland was hired by Midwestern State as Assistant Director of University Affairs in 1976, beginning a 28-year career with the university. He was promoted to Director of University Affairs in 1979 and served as a member of the Administrative Council and as Executive Director of both the Ex-Students Association and the MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights.

In 1984 Holland was named MSU’s Director of Athletics and in 1988 was instrumental in reinstating football as an intercollegiate sport after a 32-year-hiatus. During his 13 years as director, the athletics program produced 24 National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics All-Americans, nine Scholar Athletes, and four Hardin Scholars. He was named “NAIA District 8 Administrator of the Year” in 1992 and was inducted into the MSU Athletics Hall of Honor in 1997.

Holland served four times as a co-director of the NAIA National Championship Soccer Tournament and planned and coordinated the athletic program’s entry into NCAA Division II and the Lone Star Conference in 1996.

He was a founding member of the Kiowa Kooks and served on numerous other committees. He also contributed numerous articles to Sunwatcher. Memorial gifts may be made to the MSU Kiowa Kooks Scholarship Fund, the MSU-Burns Fantasy of Lights, MSU Athletics, or Hospice of Wichita Falls.




Midwestern State University alum Diann Taylor was honored with a library dedication Feb. 12, 2020, at Kirby Middle School. The library is now named the Diann Taylor Library of Excellence. Taylor served more than four decades as an educator after graduating with a physical education degree from Midwestern. She was the principal of Kirby from 1992-2004, twice earning Region IX Principal of the Year. She also taught at Lamar, Fannin, Alamo elementary schools in Wichita Falls and worked in administration at Washington Jackson elementary.

Longtime educator Shannon Pugh promoted

Shannon Pugh, manager of academics and assessments for Anne Arundel County Public Schools in Annapolis, Maryland, has been elected vice-president of the school system.

Pugh is graduate of Midwestern State University (’92 and ’95). An educator for 25 years, she began teaching in rural Mississippi, with Teach for America, where she taught social studies and science and then moved to Dallas where she taught AP World History, AP Art History, and AP European History, as well as Sheltered (ESOL) World Geography. While in Dallas, she was a member of the Texas Council for Social Studies and served as secretary and president of the Dallas Council.

After her studies at Midwestern State, she went on to earn an Ed. D. from the University of Maryland.

Shannon begins her term as vice-president on July 1, 2020, and is in line to become president on July 1, 2022.