2019 Awardee Bios

Chad (‘08) & Jaime (‘15) Wheeler - Young Alumnus of the Year in recognition of significant professional achievements – under 40

Chad Wheeler graduated from LCU with a Bachelor of Arts in Biblical Text in 2008. Jaime (Rucker) Wheeler completed her Master of Science of Social Work degree in 2015 as part of a cooperative program between LCU and the University of Texas at Arlington. They are passionate and experienced in developing community-based solutions to poverty and homelessness. Involved with Open Door (formerly Carpenter’s Church) since 2007, Chad currently serves as executive director, and Jaime serves as the director of survivor housing. Their efforts have been recognized by the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, as well as the Lubbock Chamber of the National Association of Social Workers, Lubbock Crimes Victims Coalition, Covenant Health System, the city of Lubbock, and the Texas Homelessness Network.

Under their leadership, Open Door developed Lubbock’s first and only Permanent Supportive Housing project serving chronically homeless adults with disabilities. As of January 2018, they provide Supportive Housing to 40 people, ending over 400 collective years of homelessness, amounting to more than $1,000,000 annually in taxpayer savings. Open Door has also developed the first and only Transitional Housing program on the South Plains that serves adult survivors of sex trafficking and their children.

Formerly the president of the South Plains Homeless Consortium from 2016-2018, Chad currently serves on the board of the decision-making body that determines the policy direction for 215 Texas Counties regarding homeless services. He also advises the City Council on a variety of human service and development projects that impact the City of Lubbock.

Jaime is recognized as a leader and an advocate for adult survivors of sex trafficking in West Texas. She has served on the Regional Sex Trafficking Allied Response Team since 2011 and served as Lubbock’s first dedicated Sex Trafficking Advocate for Voice of Hope (formerly the Lubbock Rape Crisis Center) from 2015-2018. She also co-founded the Human Rescue Coalition and published a workbook that is used in trafficking programs throughout the U.S., including Rape Crisis Centers, law enforcement agencies, trafficking housing programs, and a variety of service providers and individuals.

They currently serve as foster parents for three children.

Charles Maupin, D.D.S. (’03) - Gary & Pat Estep Award in recognition of outstanding contributions to the Sciences

Dr. Charles Maupin graduated from LCU with a Bachelor of Science in Biology in 2003. He received his Doctor of Dental Surgery at Baylor College of Dentistry in 2007. He attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he served as chief resident and received his endodontic specialty. Charles continues to be a part-time faculty member at UCLA. He is a Diplomat of the American Board of Endodontics, making him the only Board-Certified Endodontist in Lubbock. He is an active member of the American Association of Endodontists, the American Dental Association, the Texas Dental Association, and the South Plains District Dental Society. Charles is a founding member of the International Academy of Endodontics, is on the forefront in revolutionizing endodontics, and is a volunteer with Texas Mission of Mercy.

Charles is in demand as a speaker in the field of endodontics. He has already given several lectures in 2019 alone, at the U2 Endodontic Study Club, American Academy of Restorative Dentistry, and the Southern California Association of Endodontics. Past speaking engagements also include the American Association of Endodontics Annual Meeting (2016, 2017, 2018), the International Academy of Endodontics (2015, 2018), the New Jersey Endodontic Association (2018), and the Arizona Endodontic Association (2018).

Charles credits his LCU professors, Drs. Baldridge, Martin, Harman, Rogers, Mason, Marshall, and Estep, with his preparation for dental school and for teaching him the value of hard work. He believes that he would not be where he is today without each, and every one of them.

Charles and his wife Stephanie (Aksamit ’03) have three children: Lucy, Lily, and Jett.

Randy & Janice Schow (’77) - K. C. Moser Award in recognition of excellence and outstanding service to the Kingdom of God

Randy and Janice Schow transferred into LCU as juniors and newlyweds in 1975. They worked to put each other through school and graduated together in 1977. Randy received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and Janice graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Science in Education. Randy completed a Master of Science in Counseling Psychology from Northeastern State University in Tahlequah, OK, and is a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC), a National Board-Certified Counselor (NBCC), and has Forensic Specialty and Criminal Justice Specialist certifications. Janice taught at Lubbock Christian Schools, Green Country, and Wright Christian Academy in Tulsa, OK. She received her Master of Arts in Curriculum and Instruction from Colorado Christian University. 

Randy worked at Turley Children’s Home in Tulsa, OK before accepting the role of Executive Director of Mountain States Children’s Home (MSCH) in Longmont, CO in 1992. He implemented children and family services, provided staff support and training, developed fundraising strategies, and cultivated relations and support with more than 500 volunteers. He travels across 14 states and speaks at or meets with approximately 150 churches or church groups each year to promote the home. With the work of God’s other dedicated servants over the years, MSCH is financially stable and continues to bless countless children and families.

Janice started a school on the campus of MSCH in 1998 to help junior high and high school students who have struggled academically, behaviorally, emotionally, and spiritually. Through her efforts, testing has consistently shown that students gain nearly four years of academic achievement each year at the school. MSCH students have had a 100% graduation rate for the past 14 years. Janice was recognized for her significant contribution to the overall welfare of children and adolescents and families by the Colorado Association of Family and Children’s Agencies. 

Randy is an elder at the Longmont Church of Christ where he and Janice have been active members for more than 25 years. The Schows have three children, Denver and Kacee Schow of Edmond, OK, Abby and Nick Mears and Jordan and Sarah Schow of Longmont, CO. They are blessed with three grandchildren and one to arrive any day!  They also have four chosen children who have lived with them and consider them family.

Randy Sellers (’73) - F. W. Mattox Award in recognition of excellence and outstanding service to the University 

Randy Sellers graduated with an Associate of Applied Arts degree from LCU before completing a Bachelor of Science in Psychology degree from Abilene Christian University. He later received Master of Science degrees from Golden Gate University and another Master of Science degree from Troy University. Randy served in the United States Air Force from 1974 to 1982 and graduated from his flight training class in 1980 where he received the Commanders Trophy for graduating top of his class. As a captain, his first assignment was as an F-15 fighter pilot. He was a defense contractor and flight instructor for fifteen years at Reese Air Force Base until the base closed.

Randy started his successful 21-year career with LCU in 1996. He would tell you that he was minding his own business as associate dean of students when Dr. Jones, LCU’s fifth president, approached him about leaving student services to lead enrollment management. Randy’s leadership resulted in a period of significant enrollment growth for the university. It was not long until Dr. Jones asked Randy also to lead the critical area of institutional effectiveness. Seven years later, Randy transitioned from enrollment management to focus on institutional effectiveness in preparation for the 2008 accreditation reaffirmation review. Student record management also moved to his area of responsibility three years later. Randy managed the registrar’s office, led data production and analysis, coordinated all reaccreditation efforts, and served as a staff liaison to the LCU Board of Trustees. Under Randy’s direction, LCU achieved two accreditation reaffirmations with no significant findings and no action required by the university. Few understand how rarely that happens in higher education.

Our dear friend and colleague, Randy Sellers, passed from this life on October 20, 2018, just a few months after completion of  LCU’s 2018 reaffirmation review by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools Commission on Colleges. In December the university received official word of its reaffirmation, a fitting tribute to the leadership and devotion of Randy Sellers.

Randy was married to Jean (Fowler) Sellers (’12) for 46 years. They are the parents of Jennifer (Sellers) Thomas, who received her BS in Interdisciplinary Studies in 1996, and a Master of Education from LCU in 2000, and Justin Sellers, who graduated in 2001 with a BA in Business/Marketing. Randy was extremely proud of his children for attending LCU and of all their accomplishments. 

Sherry (‘92) & Brett (‘88) Cate - Distinguished Alumnus of the Year in recognition of significant professional and personal achievement

Sherry & Brett Cate both received Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degrees from LCU – Brett in 1988 and Sherry in 1992. Since then, Sherry & Brett have been working and serving together in the Lubbock community.

Over the past 20 years, Brett has served in many different roles with Tyler Technologies, the largest software company in the United States that offers integrated software and technology solutions to public sector organizations such as states, cities, counties, and school districts. He first served as a solutions consultant, then as director of sales, chief operating officer, and president of the Local Government Division. In the chief sales officer role since 2015, Brett is responsible for the overall direction and coordination of Tyler’s strategic business development activities which includes oversight of more than 350 sellers and sales support, identification, assessment and integration of strategic acquisitions, and design and implementation of internal standards.

Sherry and Brett are co-owners of several companies in Lubbock including BBC Partnership LLC, Premier Sportsplex LLC, Apex LLC, and Ultimate Cheer Lubbock (UCL). In its fifth year of operation, UCL has become a world known cheer and tumbling gym, winning several competitions, which include an NCA championship, Summit championship, and Summit Grand championship. They have about 170 athletes, including 130 who are part of an Allstar team. Sherry has been a key resource for LCU’s new competitive cheer squad, and Ultimate Cheer serves as the official gym of the LCU Cheerleading program.

Sherry has also served on the board of directors of the Junior League of Lubbock and the National Charity League of Lubbock. Brett currently serves on the board of directors of Jochebed’s Hope, an organization focused on providing access to housing, food, medical care, clothing, education, and vocational training for the children of Indonesia. He is an advisory board member of the LCU School of Business and is also on the board of directors of Lubbock Economic Development Alliance/Market Lubbock, and People’s Bank.

Sherry & Brett reside in Lubbock and have two children, Jordan and Tucker. Jordan owns several dance studies in Durango and Cortez, CO, and lives with her husband Lukas DeBolt in Durango, and Tucker is a junior in college, majoring in nursing.   

Past Awardee Bios

2018 Awardee Bios

Dan Williams (’05) - Young Alumnus of the Year

Significant Professional Achievement Under the Age of 40

Dan Williams developed a strong foundation, a heart for customers, and a mind for business at the young age of 12 when he worked at his family's business in Muleshoe, TX. He played a part in the growth of year-over-year store sales and eventually became a buyer at market. 

He studied business in college and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Bachelor of Business Administration degree from LCU in 2005. After graduation, Dan went into residential real estate for Coldwell Banker and, in 2011, moved to Westmark Realtors to work on both residential and commercial real estate. He has consistently performed as one of Lubbock’s top-10 agents. In 2016 alone, he completed over 100 transactions for over $23 million in total sales. In early 2017, Dan and his wife, Lydia, fulfilled one of his lifelong dreams by opening Williams & Company Real Estate specializing in residential, commercial, and investment brokerage. As an extension of his goal of helping clients add value to their lives through real estate, Dan and his friend, Dustin Gresham, opened up Location Rentals, which offers new innovations on residential property management. 

Dan is actively involved with LCU and is a member of the LCU School of Business Advisory Board, Foundation Board, and the University Advisory Board. He was on the Lubbock Association of Realtors Board of Directors for four years and currently serves as the head of the committee for the Downtown Lubbock Gateway Memorial project in honor of those who lost their lives and served the community after the 1970 tornado. 

Dan and Lydia have two children, Madelyn and Abigail.

Stephen Lemons, M.D. (’76) - Gary & Pat Estep Award

Excellence and Outstanding Contribution to the Sciences

Steve Lemons completed an Associate of Science degree from York College in 1974 and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from LCU in 1976. After working on his post-graduate studies in medical physiology at Texas Tech Health Sciences Center, he went to medical school and completed a family practice residency at the University of Kansas in 1985. Steve established and opened a medical clinic in Andover, KS, where he has remained in practice since that time. Through the years, Steve has received numerous awards and accolades for the medical work he performs in his community as well as his humanitarian efforts in Africa. 

When Steve visited the Nhowe Mission in Zimbabwe at the urging of two medical missionaries, he saw that there was only a two-room, ill-equipped clinic that served an overwhelming number of patients. Seeing the depth of need and lack of a medical safety net, his heart was stirred to action. Discussions began and plans were developed to start a mission hospital. Groundbreaking took place in 1994. The hospital opened in 2000 and construction was completed in 2001. Shortly after its opening, the hospital was named the Nhowe Mission Brian Lemons Memorial Hospital in honor of Steve and Loretta’s son who died in a car accident and also had a heart for the children and families served by the Nhowe Mission. 

From the beginning, Steve has served as medical director of the 70-bed regional hospital that provides surgical obstetrics, pediatrics, and general men’s and women’s medical care, as well as specialized AIDS and tuberculosis clinics. He has been one of the leaders for the Missions Committee at the East Point Church of Christ since 1995. The primary focus of his work is to procure medications, medical supplies, and equipment, and he works directly with the Hospital Board in Zimbabwe to raise funds for salaries and operating costs. 

Depending on the season, between 3,000 and 4,000 patients are seen per month. The hospital also supports four outpatient clinics. The AIDS and tuberculosis epidemics have left approximately 55,000,000 orphans in Africa, 1.3 million of which are in Zimbabwe. As part of the hospital project, the Zimbabwe Orphan Program was started in 2007. At this time, over 600 orphans are supported at 12 different schools in Zimbabwe. Through a partnership with USAID and the CDC, the hospital also established an AIDS clinic that treats 1,500 patients per month with antiretroviral medications. There are currently plans to expand the mother and child clinic for the provision of full comprehensive care.

Steve is married to Loretta, and they have four adult children. 

Emily Lemley, ED.D. (’65) - K. C. Moser Award

Excellence and Outstanding Service to the Kingdom

A passion for education and God’s word comes naturally for Emily Lemley. Her parents, Norvel and Helen Young, were instrumental in the founding of what was then Lubbock Christian College. Her uncle, F. W. Mattox, was the founding president, and she studied under K. C. Moser as a student. Emily graduated from LCU in 1965, completed Bachelor of Arts and Master of Arts degrees at Pepperdine University, and achieved a Doctor of Education degree from Texas Tech University. 

Emily beautifully represents Lubbock Christian University, her Lord, and the kingdom in the way she lives her life, pours herself into the lives of others, and endeavors to share God’s word. As an educator, she sets the standard for leaders, teachers, and mentors in academic settings, small groups, Bible classes, women’s retreats, seminars, and conferences. She is a highly sought-after speaker, having led women’s retreats and seminars in Spain, Germany, and from Maine to California since 1982. She served as the teaching director of the Community Bible Study (CBS) program in Malibu, CA for thirteen years and has served as teaching director for the Lubbock program since 2015. 

As an accomplished author, Emily has written articles for magazines such as Christian Woman21st Century Christian, and Pacific Church News while also serving as board member for the Christian Chronicle newspaper from 1997 – 2017. Most notably, and since 1971, she has faithfully served as the lead editor of Power for Today, a daily devotional publication with a circulation of around 40,000.

Emily and Steve faithfully served as the first family of LCU from 1982-93, and they have three children, Amy, David, and Mark. The Lemleys are active members at the Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock.

Rod Blackwood, Ph.D. (’63) - F. W. Mattox Award

Excellence and Outstanding Service to the University

Rod Blackwood’s affiliation with the university dates back to 1961 when he first drove onto campus and met fellow student, Don Williams, who would become a life-long friend. After graduation, he went to Texas Tech and completed a Bachelor of Science degree in 1965. He came back as an employee in 1966 and served as farm manager until he joined the Air Force. After serving his country for four years, he returned to campus in the spring of 1971 to teach full-time and serve as livestock manager. The university farms ran cattle, sheep, hogs, and an artificial insemination program. He was in charge of the farms for many years, managing in excess of 600 acres, including a feedlot that was 200 acres. 

Rod has made significant contributions to LCU over more than four decades of dedicated service. From 1978 to 1980, Rod and his wife, Sandra, were resident directors in Johnson Hall serving the needs of more than 200 college-aged men. He spent several years as a department chair and coached livestock judging teams that saw great success in annual competitions in the late 1970s. For the last twenty years, Rod has overseen all aspects of academics serving as provost and chief academic officer. During this time, he has presided over more than 70 graduations, and his leadership was key in the expansion of the university’s online presence, the addition of new graduate-level programs in nursing and behavioral sciences, the development of new certifications and degrees in the school of education, and the launch of a study abroad program in Ávila, Spain.

Rod and Sandra have two children, Shawna Gomez and Nathan Blackwood. Their deep investment in LCU is a family affair, as son Nathan serves as LCU’s head baseball coach and son-in-law Steve Gomez as head coach for women’s basketball.

Gary Skidmore (’76) - Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

Significant Professional and Personal Achievement 

Gary Skidmore graduated from LCU in 1976 with a Bachelor of Arts in Bible. He started his career the same year as vice president of marketing for Sweet Publishing, and between 1971 and 1981, built the business while continuing his education at St. Edward’s University. After achieving a Master of Business Administration degree in 1981, Gary founded Select Marketing, which was the first demand generation services company to serve the tech industry. Harte-Hanks, a global, multi-channel database marketing company, acquired Select Marketing in 1994. He was president and chief operations officer of Harte-Hanks (NYSE: HHS) from 1994 until 2012. Under Skidmore’s leadership, HHS had 6,000 employees in 12 countries.

In 2013, he started a consulting practice providing corporate development, product recreation, and go-to-market advice to private equity and venture capital-backed adtech software and information services companies. Since 2015, Gary has served as chairman of Aberdeen (Boston, San Diego, London, and Madrid). Aberdeen delivers data and content via the industry-leading platform, Lead Essentials, by offering information to global technology marketers and sellers for engaging potential buyers. 

Gary is a former member of the Abilene Christian University (ACU) Board of Trustees (2005 – 2015), Marketing EDGE Board (formerly the Direct Marketing Education Foundation Board, 2012 – 2017), and Direct Marketing Association Board of Directors (2005 – 2012). He currently serves on the ACU College of Business Dean’s Advisory Board and James Avery Jewelry Company Board of Directors. He shares his business knowledge with university students in adjunct professor and guest lecturer roles at ACU and the University of Texas Austin business school.

Gary is married to Millie (’76). They have been married for 41 years and have two daughters, Kathrine Pimentel and Shelby Kelly. They reside in Austin and are active members at Westover Hills Church of Christ.

2017 Awardee Bios

Calder Hendrickson (’09)

Young Alumnus of the Year

Calder Hendrickson came to LCU with dreams of a career in baseball. When an injury ended his dream, he focused on his studies in youth and family ministry. Shortly after graduation in 2009, he encountered a gentleman who introduced him to a product that made water last longer in soils.

Hendrickson purchased the patent and continued to promote the technology as founder and CEO of AquaSmart. Other major league franchises followed suit after the Oakland A’s began using AquaSmart PRO to hold more moisture in their infield skin.

Hendrickson and his team have gone from a single patent used in sports fields to having over 20 patents that are being developed and deployed in the oil & gas, concrete, agriculture, and lawn & garden markets.

AquaSmart now focuses on using the technology to increase energy production through hydraulic fracturing, reduce infrastructure cost, produce more food, and reduce water consumption around the globe. 2015 Forbes Magazine 30-Under-30 list named Hendrickson in recognition of his company’s success.

His wife, Ceri (‘08), graduated from LCU with an agriculture business degree. They have two future Chaps, Celah and Case.

Alan Rhodes (’80)

Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

Alan Rhodes and his wife, Robyn (‘79), met as students at LCU. Avid supporters of the university, they established the Rhodes Educational Scholarship that provides support for students with a special gift in teaching. They also established The Rhodes Family Institute for Undergraduate Research and have leadership roles in the 2020 Vision Campaign. They have three children and three grandchildren.

Rhodes began his practice of law with Underwood Law Firm in Amarillo immediately following graduation from Texas Tech School of Law in 1983. He is now president of the same law firm.

Rhodes was general counsel for the Baptist St. Anthony’s Health System in Amarillo when the organization merged with a specialty physician hospital, acquired a cancer center, and completed a $60,000,000 addition.

Rhodes and his agriculture partner helped move Dutch families from Denmark, along with families from California, and those families have changed the face of Texas agriculture.

Rhodes led the transaction team for the Stan Kroenke acquisition of the Waggoner Ranch, the largest ranch in the United States under a single fence, and served as lead counsel when the purchase closed in February 2016.

Rhodes partners with Joe Bob McCartt on commercial real estate transactions with syndicated properties valued at $120,000,000. He partners with Kevin Nelson as the Texas franchisees of My Place Hotels. Their newest hotel is in Lubbock, and they have committed to building 30 Texas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico hotels.

Rhodes is a current member of the LCU Board of Trustees and LCU Foundation Board of Trustees, and was a past president for many other boards and worthy causes.

Lynn (’74) and Janie (’73) Harms

K. C. Moser Award

Lynn and Janie Harms achieved degrees in education from LCU.

Janie has used her knowledge and experience as a principal, registrar, and teacher at Kingdom Preparatory Academy in Lubbock. She was a home educator for their four daughters, Elizabeth Siebert (‘06), Alicia Black (‘05), Anne-Marie, and April. In addition to private school and home education, Janie has served as an education and curriculum developer for Broadway Church of Christ in Lubbock.

Viewed as an expert in his field, Lynn provided staff development consultation for Hacienda of Hope in Ecuador and was a charter member of the Public-Private Partnership, a consortium of the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services and private Child Care Providers. Lynn led the Christian Homes and Family Services Association and Texas Alliance of Child and Family Services as president and served as executive director at Christian Homes of Arklatex in Shreveport, LA.

With Janie by his side, Lynn served as president of both the Texas Boy’s Ranch and the Children’s Home of Lubbock. In 2016, he participated in the successful transition of a new president and remains involved in the work of the Children’s Home as a past president and advocate.

John King (’68)

F. W. Mattox Award

John King graduated with an associates degree from LCC and met his wife, Elaine, while completing undergraduate studies at Harding. Elaine (‘72) continued her education as a member of LCC’s first four-year class. Their son Jonathan, daughter Jennifer, and their spouses are all LCU graduates. Their four grandchildren are destined to be future Chaps.

King has served the University in many important ways throughout his 47-year tenure. He worked with six University presidents, held key roles in six successful capital campaigns, and developed key alumni, donor, and board relationships. He has been responsible for admissions, alumni relations, financial aid, university relations, and university advancement. It is fair to say that his steadfast commitment and service to the University will continue to impact positively, the lives of alumni, future alumni, and their children and grandchildren.

In addition to developing Encounter and Camp Champion, King leads a Pine Springs Camp session and serves as a Pine Springs board member. When Pine Springs became owned and operated by LCU, King hired LCU students as counselors and encouraged youth ministers to direct sessions and bring youth groups full of prospective LCU students. King is still a member of the Pine Springs Board and manages the operations on behalf of the University. 

Dr. B. Wayne and Yvonne Hinds

60th Anniversary Enduring Legacy Award

Dr. B. Wayne Hinds came to the University in the role of music department chairman in 1957. His wife, Yvonne, wrote the words to the alma mater, and he composed the music. Today, Yvonne is affectionately known as Mama Hinds.

Dr. Hinds founded the A Cappella Chorus in 1957 and directed the chorus until he retired in 1998. He formed the first LCC Band and Music Masters. Master Follies was performed and produced by Music Masters until responsibility shifted to social clubs. Dr. Hinds also founded Meistersingers and directed the chorus until he turned it over to Charles Cox in 1960. Meistersingers continued in Cox’s capable hands until he retired in 1996. Dr. Philip Camp continues the choral tradition with one chorus named Praise Choir. Through the years, each of these choruses has played a vital role in promoting awareness, recruiting prospective students, and sharing Christ’s love through music.

The Hinds spent thousands of hours preparing for concerts, traveling the United States, and taking chorus members on at least twenty-five mission trips abroad. Strong bonds of love and respect still exist between Dr. Hinds and his students. The Alma Mater remains unchanged and many of the traditions they established continue to live on through Dr. Philip Camp, Praise Choir, Master Follies, other musical programs on campus.

2016 Awardee Bios

Rachel Curtis (’03)

Young Alumna of the Year

Rachel (Henderson) Curtis graduated from LCU in 2003 with a BS in Exercise Science and Nutrition. After graduation, Rachel amassed an impressive collection of fitness certifications and qualifications including being an ACE Certified Personal Trainer, ACE Certified Group Fitness Instructor, Cooper Institute Certified Health Promotions Director, and ACE Certified Advanced Health Coach.

After graduation and as she started her career, Rachel routinely held fitness classes for women in school gyms, cafeterias, and various locations. These small meetings would eventually grow into P31, a program based on biblical principles of truth, which she and her husband, Braughn, have enjoyed building into a franchised-based business. Rachel is also a JuicePlus+ representative and helps her husband with his company, Custom Team Bags.

Rachel and Braughn have four children, Madison, Jaxon, Taylor, and Reagan, and reside in Trenton, TX.

Royce Hunter (’62)

Distinguished Alumnus of the Year

Royce Hunter grew up in Lubbock and graduated from Lubbock Christian University in 1962. In 1964, he married Barbara Brown (’62) and graduated with a degree in Economics from Texas Tech University.

Royce began his highly-successful career with Southwestern Life Insurance Company in 1964, where he eventually served in several high ranking positions, including President, until he became one of the owners of Lone Star Life in 1988 and remained Chairman and CEO until 1999. He continued to serve as an independent consultant to insurance companies and financial management organizations until he retired in 2006.

Royce has held a distinguished record of service on a variety of boards including the Board of Trustees for Lubbock Christian University. He was awarded the F.W. Mattox Award in 1996 for outstanding service to LCU. Hunter was also recognized for excellence as Fellow, Life Office Management Association.

Royce and Barbara have three children, Lezlie Suzanne, Ronald, and Lorri Hunter Kendrick, and five grandchildren.

Craig and Leslee Altrock (’91)

K. C. Moser Award

Dr. Craig Altrock and his wife, Leslee (Duncan) Altrock both graduated from Lubbock Christian University in 1991 with degrees in Bible and Education, respectively. Craig went on to achieve his Masters of Divinity in 1995 and his Doctorate of Ministry in 2005, both from the Harding School of Theology.

Craig and Leslee have both been involved in and provided leadership for the Let’s Start Talking Ministry (LST) since 1998, having participated in LST projects since 1992. Leslee currently serves LST as Team Developer and provides critical support to the ministry. Craig currently serves as Senior Director of Operations at LST and is responsible for all aspects of the ministry on a daily basis.

Dr. Altrock has also written an 80-page book called The Shaping of God’s People: One Story of How God Is Shaping the North American Church through Short-Term Missions.

Craig and Leslee have three children: Joshua, Matthew, and Andrew. Their family is heavily involved with the Hills Church of Christ in North Richland Hills, TX.

Hanson Ling (’69)

F. W. Mattox Award

Hanson Ling came to Lubbock Christian University in 1969 and received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from Texas Tech University in 1971. He achieved his Master of Fine Arts in 1973 and began his life of service to LCU when he returned to teach in the late ‘70s and early ‘80s.

Hanson has worked at Texas Tech Health Science Center for close to 30 years, and also enjoys work as a commercial artist, calligrapher, camera man, and print stripping expert.

Hanson has provided leading gifts to the university, including one for the Diana Ling Center for Academic Achievement, which was dedicated to his aunt in 2011. His most recent support was in the form of the leading gift for the James and Jeanette Ling Science Center that broke ground on August 31, 2015, and is scheduled to be operational fall 2017.

Hanson’s aunt, Diana Ling, and brother, Mason Ling, are both deceased. His parents, James and Jeanette Ling, had four other children: Hanson, and three brothers, Jason, Lonson, and Samson.

Patti J. Patterson (’78), MD, MPH

Gary & Pat Estep Award

Patti Patterson graduated from Lubbock Christian University with a Bachelor of Science degree in 1978. She received her MD from University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston in 1982 and achieved a Master’s in Public Health from the University of Texas Health Sciences Center at Houston in 1990.

Dr. Patterson has been heavily engaged with the Texas Department of Health throughout her career, serving as a Pediatric Consultant, Chief of the Bureau of Maternal and Child Health, Executive Deputy Commissioner, and ultimately Commissioner of Health for the State of Texas.

From 2000 to 2007, she served as Vice President of Rural and Community Health for Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, and currently serves as Director of Child Protection Pediatrics and Professor of Pediatrics, Medical Education and Public Health. Dr. Patterson is an active member of the LCU Board of Trustees, serving on several committees.

Dr. Patterson’s husband, Scott Zapalac, served as president of Olive Branch Ministries International until his passing in 2012. She continues the great work of Olive Branch Ministries, reaching out to the children and adults around the globe who need the healing hand of Jesus.

2015 Awardee Bios

Denny Bullard (’67)

Distinguished Alumnus

Denny, Senior Vice President of Operations Services for Pioneer Natural Resources, has been named Lubbock Christian University’s Distinguished Alumnus for 2015 for significant professional and personal achievement. He has responsibility for the operations of Pioneer Pumping Services, the company’s well stimulation fleet, and for Premier Silica, Pioneer’s industrial sand mining operations. In addition, Denny is responsible for the health, safety, environmental services and operations training departments.

Pioneer Natural Resources is a large independent oil and natural gas company based in Irving, TX. They are one of the most active drillers in Texas’ Spraberry/Wolfcamp oil field in the Permian basin. Pioneer is also one of the largest natural gas operators in the Rockies and Mid-Continent regions. The company has assests in the coal bed methan-rich Raton Basin as well as the Texas Panhandle gas field.

After receiving his associate’s degree from Lubbock Christian College, Denny went on to receive a Bachelor of Science in Petroleum Engineering from Texas Tech University. Denny currently serves on the Texas Tech University Industry Advisory Board for Petroleum Engineering and the Texas Tech University Dean’s Council. He is a member of the Society of Petroleum Engineers, American Society of Mechanical Engineers, and the Society of Petrophysicists and Well Log Analysts.

Denny and his wife Patti have two daughters, Laura and DeeAnne, and four grandchildren.

Elizabeth (Atkinson ’02) Ryan

Young Alumnus of the Year

Elizabeth has been named Young Alumna of the Year in recognition of her professional achievements. She is a summa cum laude graduate of Lubbock Christian University with a B.A. in Humanities (emphasis in pre-law) and a minor in Biblical Studies. She received her J.D. cum laude from Texas Tech University School of Law, where she served as the executive student writing editor for the "Law Review".

Elizabeth focuses her practice on oil and gas matters, including title examination, transactions, operations, and regulatory. She partnered with Joel M. Carson III in creating Carson Ryan LLC after her energy practice grew at a rapid pace in 2012 and 2013.

In January2011, Governor Susana Martinez appointed Elizabeth to New Mexico’s Environmental Improvement Board (EIB), where she currently serves as board secretary. She’s also an active member of Independent Petroleum Association of New Mexico. She has served on the board for the State Bar of New Mexico Section on Natural Resources, Energy, and Environmental Law and is a trustee of the Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Foundation as well as the New Mexico author for the Foundation’s Mineral Law Newsletter. Elizabeth is a published author on issues ranging from appellate review to oil and gas topics and was the 2011 president of the Chaves County DWI Planning Council.

Elizabeth and her husband Zack (’02) have two daughters, Isabelle and Kathryn.

Tim (’79) and Rebecca (Henderson ’79)

KC Moser Award

Tim and Rebecca Talley have been selected as recipients of the KC Moser Award for excellence and outstanding service to the church. They met as students and married after graduation from Lubbock Christian College. Tim joined the Broadway Church of Christ team in January of 2013 as the outreach minister and transitioned to the campus/international ministry team in the fall of 2014. He previously served the Broadway Church as singles minister from 1979 to 1985.

Tim and Rebecca spent the majority of their life in ministry on the mission field, serving the people of East Africa. For approximately 27 years, 1985 to 2012, they worked with churches and villagers of Kenya and Tanzania, supported by the Broadway Church.

Tim’s first 12 years in Kenya saw him involved in a rural work of evangelism, church planting, and leadership training among the Giriama people group, working in their mother tongue. During this period, Jim Beck and Tim started the Uzima Christian Training Center in Malindi, Kenya that continues to serve as a regional training center for Christians of coastal Kenya. The Talleys spent the next eight years living in the city of Mombasa where they began learning and working in the Swahili language. Tim helped Kenyan leaders plant several urban churches and continued his ministry to rural Giriama churches. Tim served for many years as a board member of the Nairobi Great Commission School. In 2006 the Talleys moved to Tanzania where Tim spent his time in leadership training and church maturation. The Talleys worked closely with Pioneer Bible Translators doing “scripture impact” work among the Zigua people group.

Rebecca taught rural women in Kigiriama and urban women in Swahili as well as providing counseling support to women with marriage problems. Rebecca joined the Broadway staff in Oct. of 2013 as the associate campus minister. Her primary role has been the administration of the Christ in Action campus center where ministry to students from Texas Tech, LCU, and South Plains College takes place. Many have benefitted from her counseling, mentoring, and teaching. She has, and continues to, serve as one of the coordinators of ISF (International Student Fellowship). She earned her Master’s in Christian Ministry from LCU in December 2014.

Tim and Rebecca, have three adult daughters and two young granddaughters.

Elizabeth (Libby) Harrison and her husband, Bryan, live in Doro, South Sudan, East Africa ministering with Sudanese refugees under the direction of Pioneer Bible Translators. Elizabeth is a linguist working in translation, literacy development, and trauma healing. Bryan is the North African branch director of PBT, working in translation and church planting. They have two daughters, Annabelle (3) and Mary Katherine (2).

Deborah Kirby and her husband, Joshua, live in Abilene, Texas. Deb teaches chemistry and biology at Abilene Cooper High School. Joshua is the CEO of Thrive, an organization dedicated to finding and fighting the root causes of poverty.

Abigail Talley is in nursing school in the Dallas area.

Dr. Willie K. Sang (’75 to ’78)

Gary and Pat Estep Award

Dr. Willie K. Sang, Chief Research Officer at Kenya Medical Research Institute, has been named recipient of the Gary and Pat Estep Award in recognition of excellence and outstanding contributions to the sciences. He is the principal investigator for the Walter Reed Project and East African Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLNP). He also serves as the head of the Center for Microbiology Research (CMR).

Dr. Sang earned a Ph.D. in Molecular Microbiology from the Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Kenya (2003 to 2007), a Masters in Medical Microbiology from the London School of Tropical Medicine in the United Kingdom (1987 to 1988) and a Bachelors in Microbiology from Texas Tech University USA (1978 to 1981). While a student, he was active in campus life and was a member of the Lubbock Christian University cross country team, being named all-American in 1977.

In addition to his studies, Sang received extensive training at the Prince Leopold Institute of Tropical Medicine in Antwerp, Belgium, the Osaka Medical School in Japan and Gifu Medical School, Japan and was attached at the Public Health Laboratories at Collindale, UK. He is credited with numerous publications.

Dr. Sang also serves as the following:

  • The principal investigator for the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance & Response System Enteric project
  • KEMRI Committee member for advocating for rights of people with disabilities
  • Coordinator to the World Bank/East African Public Health Laboratory Networking Project (EAPHLN) Regional Advisory Panel (RAP)
  • A.G. Director for the Centre for Microbiology Research (CMR)

He and his wife Maggie have four children, Elmore, Nellie, Liz, and Abigail.

LCU Associates

FW Mattox Award

The LCU Associates have been named recipient of the 2015 FW Mattox Award in recognition of its long history of excellence and outstanding service to the university. The organizational meeting for the Associates occurred on April 29, 1958, in the LCU cafetorium barracks. One of the first projects was to sew curtains for the windows. By October of that year there were 900 charter members. Many are still active participants. The organization has raised almost $3 million for LCU.

Some of the contributions include construction of the home economics building (currently home to the Behavioral Sciences Department), renovation of the Arnett House, remodeling of Johnson Hall, refurbishing Katie Rogers Hall, painting the president's home, landscaping, furniture, office renovations, and parking lots.

Each year, the Associates fund unbudgeted items for departments and offices. Their ongoing project is providing funds for the library to purchase books and other media requested by the faculty. Funds were also raised to convert the library card catalog to an online catalog.

The Arnett House was moved to the LCU campus in 1957 to coincide with the opening of the college. It served the college as the first administration building, and later was used for housing, offices, a counseling center, print shop, photo lab, and the psychology/sociology department. It is still in use today, continually being maintained by the Associates, and is a welcome reminder of how LCU has grown through the years.

In 2014, the Lubbock Historic Society made application for the house to be designated a Recorded Texas Historic Landmark, recognizing that the property is of local, regional, or state significance. The Associates will celebrate the 100th birthday of the Arnett House in 2015.