Angelo State University’s Department of Agriculture received a Mirabeau B. Lamar Award for Excellence in Education from the Grand Masonic Lodge of Texas during a ceremony on April 29 at Masonic Lodge Concho #1260 in downtown San Angelo.

(L to R) Dr. Mike Salisbury, chair of the ASU Agriculture Department; Cody Webb, lodge master of Concho Lodge #1260; and Dr. Lori Branham, ASU agriculture faculty.

The Lamar Award is presented annually to educators in recognition of outstanding achievement in academics, citizenship and community service. Local lodges make nominations to the Grand Lodge of Texas, which ultimately chooses the winners. 

According to Cody Webb, lodge master of Lodge Concho #1260, the ASU Department of Agriculture was selected for the award in recognition of the faculty’s personal attention to students and dedication to student success both in and outside the classroom. Other factors included the department’s concentration on teaching its students “real-world” agriculture knowledge and skills through classroom lessons, lab work, research, hands-on training and community service. 

Dr. Mike Salisbury, chair of the ASU Department of Agriculture, accepted the award on behalf of the department. 

“An award like this is certainly unexpected, and we are honored to be recognized by such an established organization as the Masons,” Salisbury said. “Student success is our primary goal, but we also want our students to recognize that they are part of a larger community and to be involved. This award reflects positively on our entire department – faculty, staff and students.” 

The award is named for Mirabeau B. Lamar, a mason who became president of the Republic of Texas in 1838 and went on to be known as the “father of Texas education” for his support of a public school system.