North Central Texas College history professor Ron Melugin was recently chosen as a 2014 Alumni Ambassador at Texas A&M University-Commerce by the College of Humanities, Social Sciences and Arts.
Departments across the A&M-Commerce campus choose former students to serve as Ambassadors, inviting them to return to campus to interact with students and faculty. This is the highest honor that a department may bestow upon its alumni. Over the past 30 years, 831 Ambassadors have returned to campus to participate in the annual Alumni Ambassador Forum.
Melugin graduated from Sunset High School in Dallas in 1959. He received his B. A. and M. A. degrees in 1963 and 1965 with majors in History and minors in Government at A&M-Commerce. He has taught History and Government at North Central Texas College since 1965. Over the years he has continued graduate studies at University of North Texas, University of New Mexico, and University of North Carolina. In recent years, Melugin has taught American and Texas government survey courses. His passion is in research and writing local history and using Gainesville’s Fairview Cemetery as an interdisciplinary classroom.
Melugin has been a member of the Cooke County Historical Commission since 1985, and its chair since 2003. His research has led to 15 Texas Historical Commission markers. He organized the Annual Commemoration of "The Great Hanging of 1862." He is author of "Heroes, Scoundrels and Angels: Fairview Cemetery in Gainesville, Texas" (Charleston, S. C.: History Press), 2010. He is currently working on "A History of North Central Texas College: The Oldest Continuously Operating, Public Two-Year College in Texas."
A former NCTC student was also selected as an Alumni Ambassador. Vivian Aytes Thomlinson is currently a Professor of English at Cameron University.
Thomlinson was born in Gainesville and graduated in 1972 from Era High School. She attended Cooke County College in Gainesville on full academic scholarship. After two years at Cooke County College, now North Central Texas College, she attended East Texas State University, now A&M-Commerce. At ETSU, Vivian double-majored in English and Political Science.
After graduating from ETSU in 1976, she married and moved to London, England, and upon her return to the U.S., she began graduate studies in English at Texas Woman's University in Denton, Texas. Vivian earned her M.A. in 1982 and her PhD in 1986. She began teaching at Cameron University in 1986, and has remained there ever since, with only a few breaks to travel with her military-officer husband to Fort Leavenworth, Washington, D.C., and the then to the NATO School at Oberammergau, Germany, and from there, to tour Europe and the Middle East. In 1998 she was rehired by Cameron, where she is now.
Her greatest joys in life are teaching, giving public lectures, and the 1886 Queen Anne Victorian house in the historical district of Gainesville which she purchased in 2009 and is busy restoring. Vivian will retire from Cameron in May 2014.