News and Information
Five Distinguished Alumni Recognized during Tarleton Homecoming
The Tarleton State University Alumni Association will recognize five individuals for their professional achievements during the annual Distinguished Alumni Dinner scheduled during Tarleton Homecoming activities Saturday, Oct. 21.
Honorees for 2006 include D.G. Hunewell formerly of Stephenville, who will be recognized posthumously as the Distinguished Friend; Kenneth Tuggle of Stephenville, Distinguished Staff Member; Jan Lowery of Azle, Distinguished Faculty Member; Dr. Luke Lawson of Spring, Outstanding Young Alumnus; and Ben Baty, of Stephenville, Distinguished Alumnus.
Now written into history for his contributions to Tarleton, D.G. Hunewell was initially recruited to the university by Dean J. Thomas Davis in 1920 and was appointed as brass and woodwinds teacher, as well as marching band and stage orchestra director. Chosen as the 2006 Distinguished Friend, Hunewell was responsible for expanding the band program at Tarleton from a small, nine-piece band to a well-organized music program, setting the tone for the successful music program Tarleton still maintains today.
Under Hunewell’s direction, the band maintained a constant schedule, playing concerts in various small towns across Texas and maintaining weekly marching appearances with the ROTC unit. They were also featured at the State Fair of Texas, and in 1924, presented a concert in the college gymnasium broadcast on WBAP radio to a national audience. The bands of his era were consistent winners of marching contests through the 1920s and 30s and were winners of San Antonio’s prestigious “Battle of the Flowers” marching band competition on several occasions.
In 1927, Hunewell and his students also created Hunewell Bandstand for band performances. While the original bandstand was removed in 1963 with the construction of the Tarleton Center, Tarleton’s Alumni Association reconstructed it on campus in Heritage Oak Park in 2005. It stands as a reminder of Hunewell’s outstanding contributions to the Tarleton Music Department and is known today as a Tarleton landmark.
In 1942, Hunewell retired to his ranch in Stephenville. Even with his death in 1959, he continued giving to Tarleton, leaving his 1,200-acre ranch to the Tarleton Band Program.
Distinguished Staff Member
Kenneth Tuggle, now retired Tarleton employee of 30 years, will be honored as this year’s Distinguished Staff Member. Beginning his employment at Tarleton as part of the maintenance crew in 1971, Tuggle was promoted several times throughout the years, ultimately retiring in 2000 as electrical supervisor.
Tuggle was born in Mineral Wells but lived in the Lipan area until 1959 when he moved to Stephenville. He attended Stephenville High School but quit after his sophomore year when he was needed to help his mother support he and his four sisters. Later, he worked as a roofer for a few years before spending five years as a helicopter mechanic at Fort Wolters.
Tuggle was selected as Tarleton’s Employee of the Year in 1997 and is still considered by many to be one of the most capable and accommodating individuals to be employed at the university. He currently serves as a deacon of the Washington Street Baptist Church and enjoys riding his motorcycle. Tuggle maintains a connection with Tarleton today, by working part-time as an electrician in construction services.
Distinguished Faculty Member
Selected for her outstanding contributions to Tarleton’s athletic program, Jan Lowery is this year’s Distinguished Faculty Member. As both a coach and a student at Tarleton, Lowery excelled in her field. In her 20 years as the head basketball coach for the Texanns, she recorded more than 400 wins and was ranked 25th nationally in wins among women coaches.
Evidence of an undeniably impressive career, Lowery was Coach of the Year 12 of the 15 years Tarleton was in the Texas Intercollegiate Athletic Association (TIAA) and won 13 of the 15 TIAA Conference Championships. Her teams were nationally ranked 11 years and in 1992, the Texann team was the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA) Division II runner-up. Lowery’s Texann teams had 15 athletes honored as All American or Academic All American. In her 20-year tenure, 90 percent of her players graduated.
In 1996, she left Tarleton to become the head coach of the San Jose Lasers in the newly formed American Basketball League (ABL) and served as head coach on the winning West team in the ABL’s East-West All Star Game. After working for San Jose, Lowery joined Lewisville High School in 1998 as girl’s athletic coordinator and head basketball coach.
In 2002, she was promoted to assistant athletic director of the Lewisville Independent School District. Lowery and her family reside in Azle, Texas.
Dr. Luke Lawson
Outstanding Young Alumnus
This year’s Outstanding Young Alumnus, Dr. Luke Lawson, graduated from Tarleton in 1990 with a bachelor of science degree in biology and chemistry and began what would become a very successful research career at Energy Bio Systems in the Woodlands, Texas.
A few years later, Lawson went to work for GeneMedicine and returned to school, earning his doctorate degree in chemical engineering from Columbia University in 1998. Remarkably, his dissertation work resulted in a U.S. Patent on a unique formulation process for nucleic acid molecules.
While completing his dissertation, Lawson became interested in the issues associated with moving new pharmaceutical and biotech products through the regulatory process, focusing on improving the system of getting new products to consumers. He began designing and implementing quality systems and regulatory strategies that would allow companies to navigate through the FDA while ensuring regulatory compliance and product cost savings.
Lawson now serves as the director of operations for Oncology Therapeutics Network, assisting companies in the development of generic drugs for introduction into the U.S. market upon the expiration of branded drug patents. Though he frequently travels internationally, Lawson and his family live in his hometown of Spring, Texas.
Distinguished Alumnus Ben Baty moved to Stephenville his sophomore year in high school and has been a well-known community member and supporter of Tarleton ever since. Graduating from Stephenville High School in 1948, Baty enrolled at Tarleton and attended from 1948 to1950, becoming active in the Cadet Corp and the Wainwright Rifles precision drill team.
After a brief stint with Amerado Petroleum Company and a tour of duty in the U.S. Army, Baty enrolled at Texas A&M in 1955 and graduated with a degree in marketing in 1957. He was later honored as a Distinguished Military Student.
After graduation, he embarked on what was to become an impressive 38-year career with Shell Oil Company, serving as sales manager and regional sales manager for several areas of the U.S. before being assigned to Houston as the manager for the Strategic Planning and Research Department for Marketing. His department was charged with developing a strategy to increase Shell’s national market share of fuel sales, and eventually elevated Shell to number three in domestic sales with many innovative concepts we have become familiar with today, such as the first automated fueling concept- or “pay at the pump.” As a result of the unique ideas and concepts originated by Baty’s department, Shell became the national sales leader in the mid-1980s and remained in that position for six years. Baty later retired from Shell Oil, but was appointed executive vice president of Hanna Sherman International of Portland, Ore., in 1996 and served in that position until his second retirement in 2000. After moving back to Texas, he established Baty Consulting Services in 2001.
Baty has served as president of the Stephenville Historical House Museum, The Tarleton Alumni Association, and serves as the current president of the Tarleton Foundation. He and his wife Nellie, also a Tarleton alum, still reside in Stephenville.
The Distinguished Alumni Dinner will begin at 6:15 p.m. in the Thompson Student Center on Tarleton’s campus. Tickets to the dinner are $25 per person and reservations are required. For more information, contact the alumni office at 254.968.9074.