Please complete the questions below so we can post your story to our Cameron University Alumni Spotlight Webpage.
Alumni Spotlight Candidate Form of Richard Fleming
Where are you from?
I was born in Denison, Texas located on the Texas/ Oklahoma border situated across the Red River from Durant Oklahoma, later our family moved to Farmers Branch Texas in the 6th Grade where I attended Elementary, Middle School and High School in the Carrollton -Farmers Branch School District. I Graduated from the R.L. Turner High School in Carrollton, Texas.
Why did you choose Cameron University?
As an 8th grader I got my first real job working at Sandy Lake Amusement Park, a family owned and operated park located in Carrollton, Texas. The Patriarch and owner of the park was E. Frank Rush II, everyone called him “Frank” or “Mr. Rush”.
E. Frank Rush’s father Frank S. Rush started the family’s first amusement park called Cratersville Park from 1923 to 1957, which was located just north of Cache, Oklahoma. Both Frank and his wife Genelle attended Cameron College in 1934. The Rush family had to sell Craterville Park for the expansion of Fort Sill in 1957. The Rush family opened a second Craterville Park at Quartz Mountain just north of Altus, Oklahoma where it operated until the late 1960’s, after that the family moved to Texas began performing in the Wild West Show’s at Six Flags over Texas in Arlington, Texas. Subsequently Frank Rush and his family purchased Sandy Lake Amusement Park in Carrollton, Texas.
In 1980 at the age of 13, I began working at Sandy Lake Amusement Park I worked at the amusement ride area under the guidance and tutelage of owner E. Frank Rush II aka Mr. Rush. Mr. Rush was no nonsense type of man; he was a direct and straight shooter; you knew where he always stood with you. Mr. Rush was a good and generous man, at age 16 he took to me to his bank so that I could open my first bank account. The summer before my freshman year of college knowing that I needed a car, Mr. Rush drove me to a car lot where he paid cash for my first car. Mr. Rush gave me an interest free loan on the car so that I could make payment to pay him back in full. Frank Rush made sure that my payments to him were on time every month, as he was teaching me a very important lesson and that was to pay my bills on time. In 1986 my senior year in High School I didn’t receive a football scholarship from New Mexico State as expected. One late night Frank Rush called a family friend Don C. Davis, a second-generation Cameron University President. Frank told Don Davis that he had this kid named Richard Fleming that was good kid, Frank went on to tell Don that he was going to help Richard to attend Cameron. Subsequently after being recruited by Cameron’s head football coach Brian Naber, I received a partial scholarship to play football, and Don Davis gave me a partial scholarship which allowed me to attend Cameron University free of charge. Because of my relationship with Frank Rush and his relationship with Don Davis, I was able to receive a free education for my undergraduate and graduate studies and graduate from Cameron University debt free.
Mr. Rush was a strong male role model in my life and taught me so many life lessons. I learned how to be a professional from Frank Rush, He taught me the power of relationship, which today is still paying dividends.
Tell us about your engagement to the university and the community while at Cameron.
• I played on Cameron’s Football 1986 NAIA National Champion Runner Up team.
• I played on Cameron University 1987 NAIA National Championship Football team.
• I was a Business Ambassador for the School of Business appointed by the current Dean of Business, Jacquetta McClung where would go to community colleges in Oklahoma to recruit students to attend Cameron’ Business School.
• I was member and treasurer of Phi Beta Lambda chapter (Business Club).
• I received my BBA in Finance and my MBA in Business from Cameron University.
Where did you go when you left Cameron? This can include your employment and your current location.
• I moved back to home to Farmers Branch Texas where my first job was for a National Real Estate & Property Tax firm in Las Colinas (Irving), Texas from 1993-1997.
• I later became a state and local sales tax auditor for the State of Texas, Texas Comptroller -Audit Division 1998-2005.
• In 2005 I founded and started State Tax Group, LLC, a multi-state, and local sales tax advisory and consulting services firm in Farmers Branch, Texas.
• 2009-2018 Elected School Board Trustee of Carrollton-Farmers Branch ISD.
• 2022 Elected to Carrollton City council Place 3
How did your degree from Cameron helping you achieve your goals?
Without my Cameron degrees and my experiences from Cameron University, I firmly believe I would not be where I am today in life.
What from your Cameron Experience needs to be shared with today’s students?
Having business professors at Cameron that had real world experience was valuable for me. Cameron’s small classroom setting was tailor-made for students like me to achieve my goals of earning my degrees. The professors at Cameron being so available and personable made it easy for students like me to engage with them.