Events, Programs & Awards
2016 TAA Distinguished Honorees
From Left to Right: Dr. Luke Lawson, Mr. Charles Gilliland, Dr. Jill Burk, Mrs. Vickie Swam, Major John Considine, Dr. F. Dattavio
2016 DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI
2016 OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNUS
2016 DISTINGUISHED FACULTY
2016 DISTINGUISHED STAFF
2014 TAA Distinguished Honorees
Brigadier General George Brinegar, US Army, Retired '87
Dr. Burnaby Munson, PHD '52
Mr. Ronnie Isham '68
Outstanding Young Alumnus
Captain B. Shawn Tate, US Army/Command Judge Advocate with the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade '04
Dr. B.R. Kirkland
Mr. Tom Robinson
2013 Distinguished Honorees
Samantha Morrow '86
Samantha Morrow earned her master’s degree at Tarleton State University in 1987 while coaching for Stephenville High School. She went on to coach at Mansfield ISD, first as an assistant coach and later as head basketball coach for the Lady Tigers. To date, she is the only coach at the 5A level to win four consecutive state girls’ basketball championships. She was named Coach of the Year at the local, state and national level. She completed her high school coaching career with 413 wins in 14 seasons. She currently serves as head women’s basketball coach for the University of Texas at Arlington and continues her winning traditional there.
Dr. Kenneth Wyatt '46
Dr. Kenneth Wyatt graduated from John Tarleton Junior College in 1946. He began his career as a Methodist pastor and professional speaker. After more than 30 years in the ministry, he began painting and is now acknowledged as one of the nation’s premiere western artists. He has created more than 9,000 pieces of art, which can be seen in state capitals, national museums, foundations and private collections. His artwork in known worldwide and customers include the Queen of England and the King of Dubai. He owns and operates the Wyatt Gallery & Studio, Y-8 Publishing Company and Y-8 Bronze Foundry in Tulia, Texas; he has an additional gallery and studio in Red River, New Mexico.
Outstanding Young Alumnus
Chris Kyle attended Tarleton from 1992 to 1994 before becoming a professional bronco rodeo rider and then joining the United States Navy. Assigned to SEAL Team 3, he served four tours of duty and in every major battle during Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is accredited as the deadliest sniper in United States military history. For his valor in combat, he was awarded two Silver Stars, five Bronze Stars with Valor, two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals, one Navy and Marine Corps Commendation Medal and two Purple Hearts. He now serves as president of Craft International, providing military and law enforcement sniper training, as well as private security and protection.
Dr. Brad Chilton
Dr. Brad Chilton joined the Tarleton faculty in 1982. He taught in the Computer Information Systems Department until 2001 and served as head of the department for three years. During that time he earned tenure and the Texas A&M University System Regents Professor service award. He later worked as Associate Vice President for Student Services; Associate Dean for Operations in the Office of the Registrar and Admissions; Executive Director for the Office of Planning, Evaluation and Institutional Research; and Vice President for Enrollment and Information Management. He retired in January 2012 after 30 years at Tarleton.
Jerry Graham '69
Jerry Graham graduated from Tarleton State University in 1969 and soon joined Tarleton’s staff as assistant business manager. He then served the university as Director of Business Operations; Vice President for Business Affairs; and Vice President for Finance and Administration. As chief operating officer, he developed annual budgets and managed expenditures in excess of $1 billion. He also directed a facility construction program worth more than $120 million. He earned the Presidential Award of Merit in 2006 for his leadership, care and concern for the Tarleton community. He retired in May 2012 after 42 years at Tarleton.
2012 DISTINGUISHED HONOREES
TRUMAN BELL ' 71
Truman T. Bell, a native of Coleman and resident of Keller, is Senior Program Officer for Education and Diversity at Exxon Mobil. Bell graduated from Tarleton with a BS degree in mathematics in 1971 and a M.Ed. in 1975. Bell was hired as Director of Student Financial Aid and Placement at Tarleton at the age of 22, the youngest person in the nation at that time to hold a college administrative position. While at Tarleton, Bell was very active on campus and in the community. He has remained a loyal supporter of Tarleton, as a member of the President’s Club, the TAA, and the board of directors of the Tarleton Development Foundation, and he has established the Truman T. Bell Scholarship fund.
TOMMY HAILEY '55
Tommy L. Hailey, who was born and raised in the Breckenridge area, attended Tarleton in 1953 where he studied wildlife management. He transferred to Texas A&M University and received a biology degree. Hailey’s career as a wildlife biologist spans more than half century, with 38 years as a staff member for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department and 13 years as a wildlife consulting biologist. Hailey, who has authored or contributed to numerous wildlife publications, was instrumental in establishing the Bighorn Sheep population in the Big Bend Country. Hailey has been a tireless worker for the TAA and continues to be very involved with numerous boards and organizations in Stephens County.
VERNON NEWSOM '71
Vernon N. Newsom, who was recognized posthumously, played football at Tarleton from 1967-1971, receiving both his bachelors and masters degrees in education. Newsom was a career educator, serving as superintendent of Wimberly ISD for 8 years and Mansfield ISD for 13 years until his retirement in June 2009. Under his leadership, both of these school districts experienced tremendous growth. As a tribute to Newsom, Mansfield ISD named their new football facility in his honor. Newsom served on dozens of boards and community service organizations, receiving numerous awards of recognition. He remained loyal and involved with his alma mater as a lifetime member of the TAA and a 2009 recipient of the TAA Forum.
OUTSTANDING YOUNG ALUMNUS
LANCE CROSBY '88
Lance Crosby, a 1988 graduate of Stephenville High School, was recognized as the 2012 Outstanding Young Alumnus. Crosby, who received a bachelors and masters degree from Tarleton, went on to gain a law degree from Texas Wesleyan School of Law. In 2005, Crosby started SoftLayer Technologies, Inc. As the innovation leader in Cloud, Dedicated, and Managed Hosting, this company has experienced incredible success and nationwide recognition.
Mr. Jonathan Hooper was named the 2012 Distinguished Faculty. Hooper began his career at Tarleton in 1983 as assistant band director under Milton Fox. In 1986, Hooper became director of the band program and within three years had tripled the size of the band. Under his tutelage, the Tarleton band program flourished, achieving numerous milestone accomplishments, both nationally and internationally.
Annie Barnes was honored as this year’s Distinguished Staff. What began as a “practice interview” with Dr. Johnny Dunn turned into a 39 year career, serving Tarleton in the Physical Education Department, President’s office, Office of Development and the TSU Foundation. For the last 21 years, Ms. Barnes worked in the Division of Environmental Services until her retirement in June 2011.
CHARLES AND DOMINIQUE INGE
Charles and Dominique Inge, who reside in Granbury, were recognized as the 2012 Distinguished Friends. Charles, a native of Dallas and graduate of SMU began a very successful real estate company in 1960. Dominique received her undergraduate degree from Georgia State and her masters from SMU, where she met Charles. With a common passion for the arts, the Inges have been involved over the last 30 years in many charitable and philanthropic efforts, including the establishment of the Inge Foundation which has provided some 500 grants to various organizations. Since 1995, the Inges have been key supporters of Tarleton, particularly with the Langdon Center in Granbury.