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Mark Reed

Retired from the Federal Bureau of Prisons. A&M-Texarkana's most recognizable alumnus.

BAAS, 1994

Mark Reed, 1994, BAAS

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Clause…and he’s one of our alumni! Mark retired from the Federal Correctional Institution in November 2016. He received a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Sciences degree from East Texas State University in Texarkana before the university became part of the Texas A&M System. At the time he was a correctional officer, but once he earned his degree it began to open other doors for him. He moved from being a correctional officer into the role of case manager, before eventually becoming a counselor there.  His salary literally doubled twice in the first few years following his earning the BAAS degree. “Taking classes like sociology and psychology played a big role in my career success,” Reed said.

But, in what may be his true calling, Mark has been Santa to area children for 22 years.  When his oldest son was in preschool the teacher needed someone to dress up as Santa at a Christmas party. Because he worked a late shift at the prison Mark was free to volunteer, so he donned an old borrowed Santa suit and had the time of his life. His wife bought him his own Santa suit for Christmas the next year and a star was born. He has used his own beard for the past 14 years. He normally shaves the beard off on Christmas day and grows it out for the entire year.

So keep your eyes out for our most recognizable alumnus this holiday season...you’ll find him in schools, at private parties, corporate events or any other place that needs some Christmas cheer!

  • 7101 University Ave
  • Texarkana, TX 75503
  • p: 903.223.3000
  • f: 903.223.3104
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