46th Annual Distinguished Alumni Awards
The Texas Tech Alumni Association is proud to announce the recipients of the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Awards — the highest honor bestowed by the Texas Tech Alumni Association and the University.
Rear Adm. (Select) John D. Alexander ’82
Assistant Commander of Navy Personnel Command for Career Management (PERS-4)
Alexander has had a long and distinguished career with the U.S. Navy. He is the assistant commander of Navy Personnel Command for Career Management (PERS-4). He has completed numerous sea duty assignments, most recently as commander of the USS Abraham Lincoln (CVN 72).
The Port Neches, Texas, native was commissioned in December 1982 through the Aviation Officer Candidate program, and designated a naval flight officer in November 1983. He graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering; King’s College, University of London, with a Master of Arts degree in Defense Studies; the Royal Naval Staff College Greenwich (UK); the U.S. Navy Nuclear Propulsion Program; the Joint Forces Staff College; and the Navy Executive Development Course from the Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia.
Scott Pelley ’78
Anchor and Managing Editor of the CBS Evening News and Correspondent for 60 Minutes
Pelley is anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News” and a correspondent for the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes.”
Pelley began his journalism career long before he enrolled at Texas Tech. At age 15, the San Antonio, Texas, native worked as a copy boy at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper. He eventually worked at KSEL-TV in Lubbock, KXAS-TV in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and WFAA-TV Dallas/Fort Worth.
Pelley’s career with CBS began in 1989 in New York City. Pelley joined “60 Minutes” in 2004. Since then, half of all the major awards won by that broadcast were by Pelley’s team of producers, reporters, photographers and editors.
Robert J. Salem, M.D. FACS ’50
Chief Medical Officer Emeritus of Covenant Health and Clinical Professor of Surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
West Texas native Robert J. Salem, M.D., FACS, is a noted general and vascular surgeon and researcher. He is currently chief medical officer emeritus of Covenant Health and clinical professor of surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in Lubbock.
While in medical school during the Korean War, he was commissioned as a 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force and served an internship at Fitzsimons Army Hospital in Denver. His subsequent assignment was to a highly strategic Air Force hospital in Paris, France.
After discharge from the Air Force, his surgical training commenced in Houston under the tutelage of two of the most renowned cardiovascular surgeons of the 20th Century, Michael E. “Mike” DeBakey, M.D., and Denton A. Cooley, M.D.
After completing his residency, Salem returned to Lubbock to found SWAT Surgical Associates. He pioneered peripheral vascular surgery in West Texas and is renowned for his role in bringing heart surgery to the South Plains of Texas. In 1970, he developed the first open-heart surgical program at Methodist Hospital in Lubbock.
When the medical school at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center opened, Salem became the first chairman of the Department of Surgery. He later began serving as clinical professor of surgery, a position he still holds.
Recipients will be honored Friday, March 22, 2013, at the Distinguished Alumni Award Ceremony in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. The evening includes a reception, dinner and a program featuring a video biography highlighting the lives of those honored.
The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m.Tickets are $65 each. Tickets are available online.
About the Distinguished Alumni Awards
Since 1967, Texas Tech Alumni Association has been presenting the awards to the most prestigious graduates of Texas Tech University for their professional achievements, contributions to society and support of the university.
Past recipients have governed states, flown space missions, sung leading roles in the great opera houses of the world, served as CEO's and military commanders, won Olympic Gold Medals, and even performed heart surgery on celebrities such as Larry King and David Letterman.
Nominations are accepted year-round from members and friends of the Alumni Association, as well as Texas Tech University faculty and staff. Attendance at Texas Tech University is a requirement to be eligible for nomination, although receiving a degree is not compulsory. A committee comprised of alumni and university officials reviews the nomination materials and makes the final selections.
Download the Distinguished Alumni Nomination Form >>
Previous Award Recipients
Ginger Kerrick '91 '93
Flight Director, NASA Space Center
Ginger Kerrick, the first person of Hispanic heritage to lead Mission Control, serves at the NASA Johnson Space Center as a flight director and has supported 13 International Space Station and five joint shuttle missions.
Leading a team of flight controllers, support personnel and engineering experts, a flight director has the overall responsibility to manage and carry out shuttle flights and station expeditions. Since the beginning of America’s space program, fewer than 90 people have served as NASA flight directors in the nearly 50 years of human spaceflight.
Kerrick earned both bachelor's ('91) and master’s ('93) degrees in physics from the College of Arts & Sciences at Texas Tech University. Her first permanent assignment was at Johnson Space Center in 1994 as a Materials Research Engineer. Kerrick was the first non-astronaut spacecraft communicator.
Brian McCoy '75
President/CEO, McCoy’s Building Supply
San Marcos, TX
Brian McCoy is the president/CEO of McCoy’s Building Supply, a fourth-generation, family-owned supplier of building materials with stores in five states. Brian has been actively involved with McCoy’s since the age of 17 and has held various positions during the past 40 years.
Brian is also a partner in McCoy Remme Ranches, a cow-calf operation with land holdings in far West Texas. He serves on the boards of the Lumbermen's Association of Texas & Louisiana and Intimate Life Ministries. Additionally, Brian is president of the board of the McCoy College of Business Administration Development Foundation at Texas State University in San Marcos.
In 2005, McCoy and his wife, Wetonnah, were inducted into the Spur Society, an organization established to recognize donors who have given more than $1 million to the Texas Tech University System.
McCoy earned a bachelor's degree in finance in 1975 and was recognized as a Rawls College of Business Distinguished Alumnus in 2007.
David Schmidly, Ph.D., '66 '68
Former President, Texas Tech University
David Schmidly is the 20th president of The University of New Mexico. As president, he is responsible for UNM campuses in Gallup, Los Alamos, Taos, Valencia, and Rio Rancho as well as at the UNM Health Sciences Center, which includes the nationally renowned UNM Cancer Center.
Schmidly led Oklahoma State University as its system CEO and president from 2002 to 2007. He was the 13th president of Texas Tech, serving from 2000-2002 after having served as vice president for research, graduate studies, and technology transfer, and as dean of the Graduate School.
Schmidly is an internationally respected researcher and scientific author and has been inducted into the Texas Hall of Fame for Science, Mathematics, and Technology, which recognizes individuals who have played a major role in significant scientific accomplishments.
Schmidly earned a bachelor’s ('66) and master’s ('68) degrees in zoology from the College of Arts & Sciences at Texas Tech University.
Brig. Gen. Charles Q. Brown, Jr. '84, Deputy Director of Operations, U.S. Central Command, MacDill Air Force Base
Larry R. Byrd '57, Pesident and Partner of the All-Plastics Molding Inc.
Michael L. Gilbert, Ph.D., '80, President of Bayer Cotton Seed International
Kirk Lewis, Ed.D., '76, CEO of the Pasadena Independent School District
Les Shepherd '83, Chief Architect of the U.S. General Services Admin.
James E. Skinner '74, Exec. V.P., COO & CFO of The Neiman Marcus Group Inc.
Bobby G. Waddle '55, U.S. Air Force & City of Desoto Mayor
Douglas E. Barnhart '69, CEO of Makena Consulting Inc.
Larry D. Johnson '61, Founder, President and CEO of The Johnson Development Co.
Wyman Meinzer '74, Photographer and Author
Jeff D. Morris '74, President and CEO of ALON USA
Dunia A. Shive '82, President and CEO of Belo Corp.
Dale V. Swinburn '65, Owner of Dale Swinburn Farms, Partner and Director of Windstar Inc.
Angela Fick Braly '82, President & CEO, WellPoint
Royal Furgeson '64, U.S. District Judge
Richard Ligon '58, '60, Ranching and Business
Dain M. Hancock '64, '66, Retired Business Executive, Lockheed Martin
Phil Price '67, President & CEO, the Price Group
Karen P. Tandy '74, '77, Administrator, Drug Enforcement Administration
Carey Hobbs, CEO and President, Hobbs Bonded Fibers
Sheryl Swoops, WNBA Player - Houston Comets
Alan B. White, Chairman and CEO, PlainsCapital Corp.
Jerry S. Rawls, President and CEO, Finisar Corp.
James E. "Jim" Sowell, Chairman, Sowell and Co.
John B. Walker, Founder and CEO, EnerVest Management Partners Ltd.
C. Moody Alexander, D.D.S., M.S. '54, Orthodontist and Professor
Maj. Gen. Robert T. Clark '70, Deputy Commanding General of the Fifth Army
Col. Rick D. Husband '80, Commander of the STS-107 Columbia, Honored Posthumously
David P. Frazier '72, Founder and Former CEO, DF&R Corp.
Nelda Jo Price Koumalats '70, Historical Romance Author
Diane King Scovell '68, Volunteer Service, Banking & Ranching
Harold M. Brannan, M.D., '53, President, South Texas Radiology Group
Susan Graham '83, Performer, Mezzo-Soprano
Gary R. Petersen '68, Co-founder and Partner, Encap Investments, L.C.
Bill R. Womble '60, Attorney, Thompson & Knight
Robert L. Duncan '76, Texas State Senator, Partner, Crenshaw, Dupree & Milam
J. Rex Vardeman '61, Board of Directors, TriPoint Global
Gerald L. Woolam, M.D. '62, Physician, Lubbock Surgical Associates; President, American Cancer Society
Dicky Grigg '70, Partner, Law Offices of Dicky Grigg
Andrew Sansom '68, Executive Director, Texas Parks & Wildlife Department
Ken Talkington, M.D. '61, Physician, Obstetrics and Gynecology
Jimmie Ruth Wittenburg Evans '71, Community Volunteer, Agribusiness/Investments
Shirley L. Garrison '40, Agribusiness, Investments/Banking
Will D. Jarrett '58, Former President, Westward Communications
William M. "Bill" Sims '55, Former Texas State Senator, Rancher
Charles Harper '55, President & CEO, Harper Perkins Architects
Robert A. Junell '69, Texas State Representative, and Attorney-Small, Craig & Werkenthin
Diane Phillips McGauley '69, Executive Director, The Family Place
Polk F. Robison '34, Retired TTU Athletic Director & Coach
Scott G. Arbuckle '57, Chairman & CEO, Eljer Industries, Inc.
C. R. "Choc" Hutcheson '48, Oil Royalty Investments
O. Wayne Isom, M.D. '61, Department of Cardiothoracic Surgery, New York Hospital, Cornell Medical Center
R. Guy Carter '28, Attorney, Retired; Carter, Jones, Magee, Rudberg & Mayes
Tom Craddick '65, Texas State Representative; Investor-Craddick Properties
Brig. Gen. Walter Burl Huffman '67, Assistant Judge Advocate General of the Army, the Pentagon
Judy Odom Sims '74, CEO and Co-Founder of Software Spectrum
Bob L. Herd '57, Independent Oil & Gas Operator/Producer, Herd Producing Co., Inc.
Stephen J. "Tio" Kleberg '69, Vice President, Agribusiness, King Ranch
Jack W. McAninch, M.D. '58, Professor, University of California, Chief of Urology, San Francisco General Hospital
Helen verDuin Palit '78, Founder and President, America Harvest, Inc.
E.R. "Dick" Brooks '61, Chairman, President and CEO, Central and South West Corp.
Dolores Hutto Carruth, M.D. '58, Neonatologist
R.D. "Don" Cash '66, Chairman, President and CEO, Questar Corp.
Joseph A. Stanley, Jr. '39, Investments and Civic Work
Donald E. Ledwig '59, Executive Director, American Production & Inventory Control Society
John Field Scovell '68, Chairman and Director, Woodbine Development Corp.
R. Canon Clements '32, Retired Banking and Financial Executive
Ilah Coffee Merriman '57, Chief Executive Officer, Houston and Hawaii Offices of H&R Block
J. Fred Bucy, Jr. '51, Retired President and CEO, Texas Instruments
James E. "Pete" Laney '65, Texas State Representative and Farmer
Billie Jean Stroehle Smith, M.D. '60, Director, University of Houston Student Health Center
Elizabeth M. Watson '71, Chief, Houston Police Department
J. C. Chambers '54, CLU, Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co.
James W. Lacy '49, Chairman of the Board, Lacy & Byrd
Rodrick L. Shaw '47, Lubbock County Judge
William B. Snyder '55, President, Chief Executive Officer, Government Employees Insurance Co.
James L. Snyder '41, Rancher
J. Garland Threadgill '50, Retired Consulting Engineer
Edward E. Whitacre, Jr. '64, President and Chief Operating Officer, Southwestern Bell Corp.
Betty Clawson Wright '53, Betty Wright Investments
Bob Bullock '55, Texas State Comptroller
T. Scott Hickman '57, Petroleum Consultant
Frances Mayhugh Holden '36, Historian-Writer, Cultural Leader
James L. "Rocky" Johnson '49, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer-GTE
Walter McDonald, Ph.D., '56, Poet and Paul Whitfield Horn Professor English, Texas Tech University
Georgia Mae Ericson '36, Retired Dietitian and Food Service Manager, Now Stock Farmer, Mt Blanco Canyon
Robert L. Pfluger '51, Rancher
Floyd C. Rector, Jr., M.D., '50, Chief Renal Division, University of California Medical Center
Charles W. Stenholm '61, United States Congressman
R.A. "Rob" Brown, Jr. '58, Rancher
Bill E. Collins '32, Retired Chairman of the Board, Hemphill-Wells
Jack H. Henry, M.D., '60, Orthopedic Surgeon
B.J. "Joe" Pevehouse '48, Adobe Oil & Gas Corp.
Marion F. Baumgardner, pH.D. , '50, Director, Remote Sensing Applications, Agronomy Professor, Purdue University
Kent R. Hance '65, Law Partner, Firm of Boyd, Veigel and Hance
Arch G. Lamb '39, Retired, Farm Management and Investments
Gerald R. Seemann, M.D., '59, Vice President and General Manager, Developmental Sciences, Lear Siegler, Inc.
Clint Formby '49, President of Formby Group Radio Stations
J. L. Gulley, Jr. '49, Independent Oil Producer & Geologist
Charles L. Harris, Jr. '47, Vice President, Mfg. Bed Products Division, WestPoint Pepperell
Robert J. Lewis '49, Retired, Chairman of the Board, United States Bank
R.G. "Wick"Alexander, D.D.S., '58, Orthodontist
W.K. "Bill" Barnett '44, Chairman of the Board and Chief Executive , First National Bank
Frank M. Burke, Jr. '60, National Director, Energy & Natural Resources Practice, Peat, Marwick, Mitchell & Co.
Virginia Hufstedler Love, Ph.D., '32, Retired, Austin College
Anna Belle Collier '29, Retired Banking Executive
Alex K. Cooke '47, Chairman of the Board, Fields & Co.
Katherine L. Rodgers, M.D., '55, Pediatrician
Allan J. Tomlinson, Jr. '54, President and Chief Operating Officer, Diamond Shamrock Corp.
Malouf Abraham '34, Malouf Abraham, Inc.
Jean McLaughlin Kahle '44, Philanthropist
Wendell Mayes, Jr. '49, President, KNOW-AM & KCSW
W.B. "dub" Rushing, '32, Private Investments
Camille G. Bell, Ph.D., '42, Chairperson, Home Economics Education, Texas Tech University
H. P. Bezner '49, Drilling Manager, South Texas Division, Exxon Co.
Ray Butler '49, President, Harkins & Company Oil & Gas-Drilling and Producing
Elmer L. Tarbox '39, Retired Businessman, Former State Representative, Founder Elmer's Weights, Inc.
C. Robert Black '58, President and General Manager, Texaco Iran, Ltd.
Roy Butler '49, President, Noble Affiliates, Inc.
Scott M. Grundy, M.D., '55, Chief, Metabolic Section, VA Hospital in California
Mina W. Lamb, Ph.D., '32, Prof Emeritus, College of Home Economics, Texas Tech University
Alvin R. Allison '39, Attorney
John J. Hinchey, M.D.,'36, Orthopedic Surgeon
Berl M. Springer, '43, President and Chief Operating Officer, SPS
Robert C. Jordan '41, Chief Financial Officer, New England Life Insurance
Lauro F. Cavazos, Ph.D., '49, Dean, Tufts University School of Medicine
Manuel DeBusk '33, Attorney and Businessman
Marshall Formby '32, Attorney and Businessman
Hon. John C. White '46, U.S. Department of Agriculture
Maj. Gen. Richard E. Cavazos '51, Director, Inter-American Region Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense International Security Affairs
Howard H. Hinson '34, President & Chief Executive Office, Texas Pacific Oil Co., Inc.
Dysart E. Holcomb, Ph.D., '34, Vice President Research & Development Pennzoil Co.
Ewell L. Hunt, M.D., '29, Physician and Surgeon
Arthur W. Busch '50, Vice-President Environmental Affairs, Southwest Research Institute
R. Trent Campbell '32, Chairman of the Board and CEO, Mosher Steel Co.
J. Doyle Settle '33, Chairman of the Board, Setco Glove Award Corp.
Wilmer Smith '37, Nationally-Known Agricultural Leader
Joe B. Alford '39, Executive Director, American Institute of Mining, Metallurgical and Petroleum Engineers
John R. Bradford, Ph.D., '42, Dean College of Engineering, Texas Tech University
Judge James G. Denton '38, Associate Justice, Texas Supreme Court
William M. Pearce, Ph.D., '35, President, Texas Wesleyan College
Earnest F. Gloyna, Ph.D., '42, Dean of Engineering, University of Texas
Rilla C. Lovell '40, Business Education Consultant, San Diego City Schools
Bevington A. Reed, Ph.D., '48, Texas Commissioner of Higher Education
Charles W. Wooldridge '30, Chairman of the Board, Texas Power and Light Company
Maj. Gen. Ross Ayers '33, Adjutant General for Texas
Charles H. Feltz '40, Vice President, North American Rockwell Corp.
Don Maddox '34, President, Textiles, Inc.
Lola Smith '39, Former President, National Extension Homemakers Council
John R. Bertrand, Ph.D., '40, President, Berry College
George W. Burnett, D.D.S., '37, Associate Dean, School of Dentistry, Medical College of Georgia
C.A. Cash '35, President, Diamond Shamrock Corp.
Charles Bates Thornton '35, Chairman of the Board, Litton Industries
Rear Adm. Felix P. Ballenger '34, Commanding Officer, National Naval Medical Center
Charles A. Bucks '48, Senior Vice President, Continental Airlines
W. Austin Davis '36, V ice-President, North American Rockwell Corp.
Demetrio B. Lakas '53, President, Republic of Panama
Governor Preston E. Smith '34, Governor of Texas
Ima Smith '33, First Lady of Texas
Waggoner Carr '40, Former Attorney General of Texas
Rear Adm. Donald D. Chapman '39, Deputy Judge Advocate General of the Navy
Porter Parris '38, Vice-President, Hilton Hotel Corp.
Dan Thornton '32, Former Governor of Colorado
William W. Akers, Ph.D., '43, Educator and Researcher
Jack F. Maddox '29, Business and Civic Leader
Fred H. Moore '30, Industrial and Business Executive
Jack Tippit '47, Cartoonist and Professional Leader