Bob Fay, dressed as 'Hector,' applauds the school spirit shown by students and alumni at South Houston High's 2015 Homecoming pep rally.
Bob Fay, who served as South Houston High’s first “Hector” mascot and whose devotion to the school continued unabated until his death last fall, has been named the recipient of the 2016 David M. Ainsworth Alumni Spirit Award.
Fay, deck out in full “Hector” regalia, cut the ribbon to officially open SHHS’s new Hall of History museum in October of 2015. He succumbed to a heart attack just four weeks later.
The Ainsworth Award is presented annually to a South Houston alumnus who makes significant contributions to alumni-related endeavors. The award is named after its first recipient, David Ainsworth, a member of the Class of 1968 who helped build and strengthen social media connections for his class and for other South Houston alumni until his death in 2013.
Fay will be honored during Homecoming ceremonies in October along with three alumni and two teachers selected for induction in the school’s Hall of Honor.
A plaque will be presented to Fay’s family members at an alumni reception during Open House activities on Oct. 6 at the school. Fay and the Hall of Honor inductees will be honored again during a ceremony on Oct. 8 before the kickoff of South Houston’s Homecoming Game against Deer Park at Veterans Memorial Stadium.
A member of South Houston’s original graduating class in 1959, Fay came up with the idea of a living Trojan mascot to appear at football games and other school events. He took on the role himself, creating his own “Hector” costume and establishing a school tradition that continues to this day.
In recent years, Fay endeared himself to a new generation of Trojans with his campus appearances at Homecoming. He frequently took part in pep rallies, appearing in costume alongside the student body’s current “Hector.”
Fay served on the board of the South Houston High School Alumni Association since the group’s inception in 2011. He helped organized several alumni-related activities, including fund drives to purchase a cargo trailer for the school band, an entrance tunnel for the football team and materials needed for the Hall of History.
Fay joined the navy after high school. After four years of service, he received a scholarship to the University of Texas. He graduated, received an officer’s commission and joined the submarine service.
Fay left the navy in 1970 to become a licensed ship master. He later worked offshore in oil and gas before retiring in 2008. He settled in San Leon and renewed acquaintances with friends and fellow Trojans of all eras.
The three SHHS alumni chosen this year for induction in the Hall of Honor are Stewart Russell, Class of 1987, the Pasadena ISD’s chief of police; Dee Ann Pederson, Class of 1978, an award-winning nature photographer; and the late Wayne Armstrong, Class of 1964, a developer of some of the military’s most valuable weapons systems.
The two former SHHS teachers selected for induction are Patricia Bundy and Barbara Lee, who chaired the business and English departments, respectively, during their long tenures at the school.
Fay leads the alumni cheering section at the Trojans' 2013 Homecoming pep rally.