It is our honor to extend honorary membership in TACRAO to Dewayne Gragg.
Dewayne began work at Navarro College in 1978 as Coordinator of Student Activities & Housing. It did not take long for Dewayne to move into student records and the computer center. In the early days Dewayne moved back and forth between computers and serving as the Registrar.
The 70s and 80s were exciting times for registrars which brought automation. Registration went from pulling computer key punch cards to computerized online. Transcripts evolved from paper stock with semester stick on labels to on demand computerized production.
In the computer area Dewayne brought the first personal computer to the college and demonstrated what if analysis on a spreadsheet called VisiCalc. He wrote the first online transcript system, first online registration system, made the first connection to the internet for the college.
As Registrar, Dewayne was a lead in implementing Colleague software and automating student record keeping and reporting. Dewayne served Navarro College for 38 years retiring as Vice President of Access and Accountability (whatever that is).
Dewayne supervised a wide variety of areas during his tenure at Navarro College and lived by the philosophy that being flexible is a key to success. At one time or another he supervised the offices of housing, student activities, campus mail, duplicating services, admissions & records, information technology, athletics, marching band, cheerleading, marketing, recruiting, counseling & advising, institutional effectiveness, and institutional research.
Dewayne spent most of his career providing leadership to the enrollment management function at the college. From 1998 to 2014 enrollment grew from 3,400 to over 10,000 students. As enrollment manager, Dewayne said if enrollment grew he had nothing to do with it but if it fell it was all enrollment managements fault.
TACRAO has been a wonderful rewarding experience for Dewayne. The professional development, networking, and friendships mean so much. He was actively involved in the early stages of the standing enrollment management committee with TACRAO and provided leadership to that committee for a few years. There are so many memories and friends but two stand out. First his time on the executive committee as TACRAO treasurer was a highlight never to be forgotten.
The second symbolizes what TACRAO is all about. Dewayne was eating breakfast alone at his very first annual conference not knowing anyone or what TACRAO even did. A big kind of giant of a man walked up to him and said I am Kenneth Lewis from Tyler junior college do you mind if I sit down and have breakfast with you? The first of many wonderful relationships.