Alumni Awards 2018

2018 Alumni Awards

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.