By A.J. KING
Tech’s 38th annual Alumni Awards Luncheon honored the
accomplishments of Tech’s most outstanding alumni at noon Oct. 12 in the
Student Center, Main Floor.
An Alumnus of the Year, Young Alumnus of the Year and
alumni from each college were honored.
The distinguished alumni are chosen by the dean and a
special committee from each college.
Tech President Dan Reneau awarded the Alumnus of the
Year. Reneau said how much the alumni mean to the university because the alumni
help make professorships and eminent scholar chairs, among other opportunities
of learning, available to students.
“[The alumni] have an impact on the future of the
university and the halls of the red and blue,” Reneau said.
Reneau also said that the efforts of the Alumni
Association have raised $12 million for university funding this year.
The Alumnus of the Year award was presented to John D.
Caruthers, president of the seven-state Interstate 69 Mid-Continent Highway
Coalition and graduate of ‘50.
He expressed his thanks by describing what his alma mater
meant to him and said that alma mater is defined as “fostering mother.”
“The university had met all of my needs,” Caruthers said
of his mothering school. This is the reason Caruthers said he is motivated to
work toward the betterment of the university.
“I just want to pay back as much as I’ve gotten,”
Caruthers is active within the Tech community as a
privileged director of Tech’s Alumni Foundation as well as one of the
incorporating members and first president of the alumni foundation.
Dr. Brandon L. Phillips, the Young Alumnus of the Year
and 2000 graduate of chemistry, expressed his gratitude when he was presented
with the honor.
“I look back on the time I spent at Tech with much
fondness,” Phillips said.
The distinguished alumni awards were given to Rufus
Estis, ’73 alumnus of the College of Administration and Business; Bobby J.
Neill, ’58 alumnus of the College of Applied and Natural Science;
Jason C. Owen, ’47 alumnus of the College of Education;
Robert W. Upchurch, ’62 alumnus of the College Engineering and Science; and
Karen W. Gordon, ’86 alumna of the College of Liberal Arts.