Introducing Matt Bethea: Leading Sam Houston State University’s Future through Advancement and Engagement

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Matt Bethea Spearheads Growth and Engagement at SHSU

HUNTSVILLE, Texas — In an engaging interview on “Good Morning Huntsville”, Matt Bethea shared insights into his role and vision as the Vice President of University Advancement at Sam Houston State University (SHSU). Bethea, who has been with SHSU for over a year, brings a wealth of experience from both the public and private sectors of university fundraising.

Matt Bethea poses for a self-portrait, showcasing his role at Sam Houston State University. Credit: SHSU

Bethea’s journey to Huntsville and SHSU was driven by both professional ambition and personal ties. “I was just over a year ago interviewed for a position here at Sam and got it, and packed up my wife and I, and we moved down,” Bethea recalled, highlighting his commitment to the university and the local community.

With a career that transitioned from sales to fundraising, Bethea found his calling in university advancement. He described his start in the field at the University of North Texas, emphasizing the satisfaction of supporting future educators. His experience expanded at TCU, where he learned the nuances of fundraising in a private institution setting before eventually leading him to SHSU.

As Vice President, Bethea oversees a diverse range of areas, including the Alumni Association, development, advancement services, and the university museum. His role is pivotal in engaging alumni and the community in meaningful ways to support the university. “It’s one of those things; it’s a fundraising arm and how people can be involved,” Bethea explained, underscoring the importance of finding what is meaningful to engage in, whether it pertains to academic departments, student services, or athletics.

One of Bethea’s main focuses is on enhancing scholarships, faculty positions, facilities, and career readiness programs. He spoke passionately about creating opportunities for students and supplementing graduate scholarships, reflecting his dedication to making education accessible to all.

Bethea’s personal interests, including hunting, fishing, and music, add depth to his professional persona, making him a relatable and engaged member of the SHSU community. He shared, “Music is something that’s important to me that people don’t know about,” revealing his hopes to possibly even start a band within the local area.

Looking ahead, Bethea is focused on fostering engagement and investment in the university. “We want you engaged with Sam Houston. We want to find what’s meaningful to you and be part of it,” he stated, inviting alumni and community members to reconnect and contribute to the legacy of SHSU.

For those interested in getting involved with Sam Houston State University’s advancement efforts, Bethea encourages reaching out to the University Advancement office. Under his leadership, SHSU looks forward to continuing its growth and enhancing its impact on students, faculty, and the broader Huntsville community.

For more information, visit SHSU’s University Advancement webpage at to discover how you can contribute to the university’s bright future.

Matt Bethea joins ‘Good Morning Huntsville’ on March 18, 2024, to share insights into his role at SHSU and offers a personal glimpse into his life.