Presbyterian Pan Am School welcomes new president on its 100th anniversary

KINGSVILLE, Texas – Presbyterian Pan American School will mark its commencement and welcome the school’s new president during commencement exercises for 45 graduating seniors on May 17-19.

The incoming president, Robert L. “Doug” Dalglish, will replace James Matthews, who is retiring. Dalglish joins the international secondary school after serving as pastor of the Canyon Lake, Texas, Presbyterian Church.

After receiving a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from Texas A&M University and serving for five years at the Radian Corporation in Austin, Dalglish earned Master of Divinity and Doctor of Ministry degrees from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

He led summer youth camps for 12 years and provided camp and conference committee leadership for 13 years in Mission Presbytery (which covers south central Texas). He joined the staff at Canyon Lake Presbyterian in 1994 and has led his congregation through four building programs.

Dalglish has served as an environmental education consultant. His wife, Sonja, is also a Presbyterian minister. She has specialized in Hospice chaplaincy and interim ministry.

Pan Am’s outgoing president, James Matthews, arrived at the school in the fall of 1997 from Schreiner College, where he was vice president and dean of the faculty.

It seemed a bit strange that the church would ask an Irish scholar and university administrator to head a prep school for Hispanic kids,” but something there “clicked,” he said.

Enrollment was low and facilities were in disrepair when Matthews arrived. He promoted the school in Texas, Mexico and other Latin American countries and even in Asia and Africa.

Today, in the school’s hundredth year, Pan American boasts record enrollment, mostly from Latin America, but also including 14 Africans and 20 Asians. The campus has undergone renovation and more construction is under way.

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