SPC Professors Granted Emeritus Status

February 28, 2024

SPC Marketing & Strategic Communications

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St. Philip’s College professors Mary A. Kuntz and William Thornton were granted emeritus status at the Alamo Colleges District Board Meeting on February 20, 2024.

Both faculty members have served St. Philip’s College in the Tourism, Hospitality, and Culinary Arts department for over 37 years. Their work has played a pivotal role in shaping the academic landscape of this department.

Professor Kuntz holds a Bachelor of Home Economics Degree from the University of the Incarnate Word and a Master of Dietetics and Nutrition Degree from the University of Kansas. She holds certification credentials with the National Dietetic Association Registered Dietitian, Licensed Dietitian, and Certified Tourism Ambassador.

During her time at St. Philip’s College, she served as Chair for the Tourism, Hospitality, and Culinary Arts department, and received the National Institute for Staff and Organizational Development Teaching in Excellence Award, a Hospitality Educators of Texas Association Award, and an American Dietetic Association Recognition Award.

When presented with a proclamation for Professor Emeritus, Professor Kuntz said, “It has never been about me, it has always been about us. When I started back in the early 1980s, four professors started together and rebuilt the department. One of those four, my dear colleague, who should be here tonight, William Thornton, put it best -- after you’ve been here a while, you’ll wish you had gotten here sooner.”

Professor William Thornton was not able to attend the board meeting but watched the event live through Mediasite. Standing in, to accept a proclamation for Professor Emeritus, was Edith Orozco, Dean for Academic Success, Applied Science & Technology – MLK.

Professor Thornton holds certification credentials from the National Restaurant Association Certified Food-Service Management Professional, the American Culinary Federation Certified Culinary Educator, and Certified Executive Chef. He earned a bachelor’s degree in occupational education at Southwest Texas State University (now Texas State University in San Marcos) a master’s degree in school administration at Texas A&I University (now Texas A&M University – Kingsville), and a master’s of arts in management and leadership at Webster University.

During his time at St. Philip’s College, Professor Thornton has served as Program Director, Executive Faculty Fellow, Department Chair, and Director of Operations. He has also served on college and district committees including the District Executive Faculty Council, SPC CultureFest, Distance Learning, and Graduation.

SPC President Dr. Adena Williams Loston read both proclamations to the Board of Trustees to exuberant approval. Both Kunz and Thornton are retired. The emeritus status represents their commitment and profound influence on the academic community. The legacy of these educators will continue to be an inspiration at St. Philip’s College.