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Events, Programs & Awards

2017 TAA Distinguished Honorees

2017 Distinguished Alumni

Mr. A. Dwain Mayfield '57

2017 Outstanding Young Alumnus

Dr. Jonathan Rios '03

2017 Distinguished Faculty

Dr. Linda Jones

2017 Distinguished Friend

Alpha Building Corporation

2016 TAA Distinguished Honorees

2016 Distinguished Alumni

Mr. Charles Gilliland '90

Chuck Gilliland graduated in 1990 with his bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from Tarleton State University. As a student, Chuck was a member of Lambda Chi Alpha Fraternity, Purple Poo and the “Toro Team.”After graduating, Chuck worked for the Dallas Police Department from 1990 to 1992. Chuck then went to work as a firefighter with the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Department of Public Safety. In 1994, Chuck returned to law enforcement, where his cross training as a firefighter, EMT and police officer served him well. He was promoted to sergeant in 2001 and is still on the force of one of the most unique law enforcement agencies in the United States. In addition to upholding the law in three counties.

Chuck serves as an elder in his local church, is a member of the Gideons International Group (Stephenville Camp), serves as president of the DFW Chapter of the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (2008-present) and serves on the National Board of Directors for the Fellowship of Christian Peace Officers (2008-present). Chuck has published two books—The Gospel of Matthew Through the Eyes of a Cop and The Book of Proverbs Through the Eyes of a Cop. Chuck’s family has a rich history with Tarleton—his parents attended Tarleton in the 1960s and his wife, Angie, is also a Tarleton graduate. Chuck gives back to Tarleton by attending criminal justice classes as a guest speaker where he shares practical points and stories that keep the students on the edge of their seats. He also attends the Richard Shigley Criminal Justice Career Day as a recruiter for the DFW Airport Police Department. As a result, the DFW Airport Police Department has hired several Tarleton graduates since Chuck first began working there.

2016 Outstanding Young Alumnus

Major John Considine '01

John Considine graduated with a Bachelor of Science in animal production from Tarleton in 2001. As a student, John was a member of the Texan Reps, Tarleton Army ROTC Texan Battalion, Wainwright Rifles and the Tarleton Plowboys. After graduation, John began his Army career as a recruiter for Tarleton’s ROTC program where he worked with and helped train cadets to become officers in the U.S. Army. During his nearly 14 years on active duty, John was deployed to several of the most dangerous places in the world including Iraq and Afghanistan. John also served as an assistant professor of Military Science for the Senior Army ROTC Battalion at Tarleton. “Being able to go back to work for Tarleton State while also serving as an Army officer was a highlight of my career,” John said. “It was an honor to be asked to help command the Texan Battalion, the place where my military career began.”

Major John Considine is a highly decorated soldier, awarded numerous medals including the Bronze Star Medal and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal. He remains an active alumnus, participating in multiple Tarleton Alumni scholarship fundraising events, university activities and as a member of the Tarleton Plowboys Alumni Association. He hopes to return one day to Tarleton as a professor of Military Science.

2016 Distinguished Faculty

Dr. Jill Burk

Dr. Jill Burk is the former Dean of the College of Education at Tarleton State University and served the university for 25 years. Dr. Burk worked incessantly to improve public education in Texas by serving on boards, task forces, and foremost by being a great teacher. She taught public school before working on her doctorate and brought this knowledge and credibility into the higher education classroom. Her experience and experience were second to none at Tarleton, where she conducted undergraduate, graduate and doctoral classes. “Dr. Burk is known across the state as the ‘Rock Star Dean of Education’,” said Vice President for Student Affairs Dr. Kelli Styron. “Her students loved her. They respected her abilities and the compassionate delivery of caring, careful instruction. You couldn’t ask for a better teacher.” Dr. Burk’s passion as an advocate for education was seen across Texas. She canvassed the state to not only recruit new teaching sites for student teachers, but also to visit with current partners and ask questions to determine how Tarleton was doing with its graduates, how it could help the partners or improve the program.

Her relationships with superintendents enhanced Tarleton’s ability to widen the region where Tarleton students were placed. “Dr. Burk’s many years of work with future and current teachers in Texas put Tarleton on the map as the premier education institution within the state for teacher preparation and education,” said Provost and Executive Vice President Dr. Karen Murray.

Dr. Burk left a resilient legacy at Tarleton through her works in and out of the classroom, and from our campus to the capitol. President Emeritus Dr. Dennis P. McCabe described Dr. Burk as “One of those rare teacher educators who can ‘walk the walk and talk the talk.’ her efforts in improving education will be felt by children in Texas for many, many years to come.”

2016 Distinguished Staff

Ms. Vickie Swam

Vickie Swam holds both a Bachelor of Applied Arts and Science degree and a Master of Science degree in Human Resource Management from Tarleton State University. She began her career at Tarleton in April 1986 as an administrative services coordinator in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 1999, Vickie transferred to Tarleton State University-Central Texas (now Texas A&M University-Central Texas) in Killeen to serve as Executive Director Dr. Lamar Johanson’s “right hand.” Vickie continued to work at Central Texas as the graduate admissions coordinator after Dr. Johanson retired. She returned to the Stephenville main campus in 2000 to serve as Assistant to the President for Presidents Dennis McCabe and F. Dominic Dottavio. Vickie was promoted in 2011 to Director of University Compliance in the Finance and Administration division and served in that position until she retired in March 2015.

Dr. Johanson described Vickie as, “always very professional, knowledgeable and organized with an outstanding work ethic and people skills. She was loyal to Tarleton and her colleagues in every respect. She has great patience and tolerance, thus Vickie Swam is one of those individuals who rarely comes along.” Vickie exceeded her normal duties by volunteering for numerous committees, attending Texan and TexAnn sporting events across the country and by demonstrating Tarleton’s core values in all aspects of her professional life Tarleton Athletic Director and Head Men’s Basketball Coach Lonn Reisman described Vickie as a, “prime example of someone who Bleeds Purple. Many fans have seen Vickie in the bleachers with her white megaphone cheering on the Texans and TexAnns.” She is also a staunch supporter of the Tarleton choir and band concerts and theater productions.

2014 TAA Distinguished Honorees

2014 Distinguished Alumni
  • Brigadier General George Brinegar, US Army, Retired '87
  • Dr. Burnaby Munson, PHD '52
  • Mr. Ronnie Isham '68
2014 Outstanding Young Alumnus
  • Captain B. Shawn Tate, US Army/Command Judge Advocate with the 780th Military Intelligence Brigade '04
2014 Distinguished Faculty
  • Dr. B.R. Kirkland
2014 Distinguished Staff
  • Mr. Tom Robinson
2014 Distinguished Friend
  • Jostens, Inc.

2013 Distinguished Honorees

2013 Distinguished Alumni

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 tradition 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.

2013 Outstanding Young Alumnus

Chris Kyle

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.

2013 Distinguished Faculty

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.

2013 Distinguished Staff

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

2012 Distinguished Alumni

Truman T. 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 L. 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 N. 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.

2012 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.

2012 Distinguished Faculty

Jonathan Hooper

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.

2012 Distinguished Staff

Annie Barnes

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.

2012 Distinguished Friends

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.