George Beto, Ph.D., whose name is synonymous with the College of Criminal Justice, didn’t start out in a career in criminal justice.
The son of a Lutheran minister, Beto was a graduate of Concordia Seminary in St. Louis when he received his call to come to Concordia College in Austin to teach, eventually serving as president of the institution. He was later appointed to the Texas Prison Board, which began his service in prisons and the criminal justice discipline that stretched from Texas to Illinois to Alabama.
Following the untimely death of O.B. Ellis, director of the Texas Department of Corrections (TDC), Beto was tapped to head the statewide agency.
After serving as President of Concordia College for 20 years, Beto set his sights on corrections.As the head of TDC, he was approached by a state legislator named David Crews, who lamented the lack of cooperation between the department and nearby Sam Houston State College. “I recall his saying at that time that he would prefer to see Sam Houston famous for a Criminology Program rather than as a cheer leader school,” Beto said in a speech during the College’s 25th Anniversary. . . . Read more . . .