STEPHENVILLE, Texas—The Tarleton Alumni Association and Tarleton State University honored several distinguished alumni, former faculty and staff members, and a friend of the institution Saturday evening during The Gala of Tarleton State University, an annual dinner and awards banquet on campus.
Tarleton President F. Dominic Dottavio and Tarleton Alumni Association (TAA) President Mike Kornegay (‘66) welcomed nearly 300 former students, friends of the university and their families to The Gala where three Distinguished Alumni were presented bronze medallions and crystal awards
“Through your success and achievements, you showed the world Tarleton State University,” said President Dottavio to the award winners during his remarks. “You have left a legacy for students of Tarleton, and you serve as an inspiration to not only our current students but to our alumni and to all of us this evening.”
Leta Andrews – Distinguished Alumni
Andrews has had an extraordinary high school coaching career, spanning 52 years and 1,416 victoriesmaking her the winningest high school basketball coach in the United States.
Andrews coached Corpus Christi Calallen High School’s women’s team to the 1990 Class 4A State Championship and took 14 teams to the Texas UIL state tournament. She coached and taught at Tolar, Gustine, Comanche, Corpus Christi Calallen and Granbury. Her hard work and long career have placed her in six halls of fame, including the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the Women’s Basketball Hall of Fame. She was selected by the Walt Disney Company in 1993 as the Most Outstanding American Teacher-Coach of the Year.
Following the record 2010 victory by her Granbury Lady Pirates on the court named in her honor, Andrews was recognized by the Texas Legislature and the University Interscholastic League in 2011 for her achievement as the winningest high school basketball coach.
This year, during National Basketball Association All-Star Festivities, Andrews was named a finalist for induction into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame. She is among six elite players, five outstanding coaches and one iconic referee selected for finalist consideration for the sport’s highest honor.
Marilynn Frances Timberlake Johanson – Distinguished Alumni
Johanson, a native of San Saba County, received her bachelor’s degree from Texas Woman’s University and in 1980 earned her master’s degree from Tarleton.
Johanson’s professional career included positions as classroom teacher, education specialist with the Texas Education Agency, and high school and elementary principal. She retired in 1995 with 34 years of service to Texas public education.
Marilynn and her husband Dr. Lamar Johanson have been long-time supporters of Tarleton. In 2002, the Johansons established the Clinical Laboratory Sciences Scholarship to provide financial assistance to students at Tarleton’s Terrell School of Clinical Laboratory Sciences in Fort Worth. The Johansons are proud members of the Texan Club, supporting Tarleton Athletics. The couple have been honored by the university with the All-Purple Award and the Championship Club Purple Blazer as well as induction into the John Tarleton Society and the Scholarship Society.
In November 2012, the Johansons announced a life estate gift valued at more than $5 million to Tarleton. Their generous gift ultimately will allow a portion of their property to be used as an academic laboratory to support Tarleton research, outdoor classrooms and other mission-related functions, create an endowment for ongoing maintenance and provide scholarships for Tarleton students.
Mike Tabor – Distinguished Alumni
Tabor, one of the most respected western expressionistic artists in America, credits pop artists of the 1960s and the impressionist movement for his approach to breaking traditional representations of western themes.
A career that began with drawings of beef cattle for publications has expanded to paintings, sculptures and assemblages, with collectors and corporate affiliations from coast to coast and across Europe.
For the past 22 years Tabor has shared his passion for art by teaching high school students, many of whom have participated in the Fort Worth Stock Show Art Contest, winning their division 17 of the last 20 years. His leadership continues in other areas, with service on boards such as Texas Farm Bureau, the Glen Rose Rodeo Association and Somervell County Planning Committee. Tabor maintains the family ranch in Hood and Somervell counties.
Tabor’s career highlights include a life-size bronze of Dick and Rick Hoyt commissioned by John Hancock. Over the past three decades, the image of the father pushing his quadriplegic son has become synonymous with Patriots’ Day and their running the Boston Marathon. The sculpture sits on the lawn of Hopkinton (Mass.) School, just yards from the starting line of the annual race.
Britney Webb – Outstanding Young Alumnus
Webb, clinical site coordinator and senior lecturer of athletic training at Texas State University, received both her bachelor’s (1995) and master’s degrees (1997) from Tarleton. As an athletic trainer, her tenures include Abilene Christian University and Granbury, Baird, Buda-Hays and San Marcos high schools. She worked as an athletic trainer for Mesquite Professional Rodeo and the West Texas Fair and Rodeo.
Webb is active in the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association, National Athletic Trainers Association and Texas State Athletic Trainers Association. In 2007, she received the Southwest Athletic Trainers Association James Dodson New Horizon Athletic Training Award and in 2011 its Most Distinguished Athletic Trainer Award. She also was recognized in 2011 for her service, nominated by Texas State’s College of Education for the Presidential Award for Excellence in Service.
In 2013, Tarleton’s College of Education honored Webb at the annual Alumni Academic Forum, and she now serves on that college’s Dean’s Circle. Britney and her husband, Bryan, have three children: Gunner, Kannon and Kutter-Gage.
Mike Tate – Distinguished Staff
Tate joined Tarleton in 1990, rising quickly from staff accountant to director of accounting and assistant controller by 1992. Promoted to controller in 1996, he remained in that role until his promotion to assistant vice president and controller in 2005, where he served until his retirement in 2013.
Tate worked closely with College of Liberal and Fine Arts Dean Kelli C. Styron on the Southern Association of Colleges & Schools reaffirmation effort for three years, until Tarleton was reaffirmed in 2010. He worked closely with former Vice President and CFO Jerry Graham during the transition for the “separation” of Tarleton State University – Central Texas into what is today a successful stand-alone university in Killeen, Texas A&M University – Central Texas.
Tate’s allegiance to Tarleton generated loyalty from his colleagues, who appreciated his wit, leadership style and integrity. “Tarleton is a better place because of Mike Tate’s tenure,” said former Tarleton President Dennis McCabe. “His remarkable stewardship of Tarleton’s financial resources for nearly a quarter of a century is definitely noteworthy.”
Drs. Don and Pat Zelman – Distinguished Faculty
The Zelmans served the university for a combined 80 years, retiring from full-time teaching in Spring 2014.
Pat Zelman earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Carolina – Greensboro and her master’s and doctoral degrees from The Ohio State University. She wrote her dissertation on “Women in United States History,” and is an astute observer of the role of women in American history and politics.
She served on the board of the Texas Council of History Educators and is a member of the Southern Historical Association and the Southern Association of Women Historians. She was the 1992 recipient of Tarleton’s Jack & Louise Arthur Excellence in Teaching Award and the Texas A&M Chancellor’s Academy of Teachers Educators Award in 2012.
Don joined Tarleton’s Department of Social Sciences in 1969. He served as director of the Division of General Studies and was named the first dean of the College of Liberal & Fine Arts in 2000. He also served on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board Committee to Establish Guidelines for Core Curriculum for State Universities and Community Colleges.
He received his bachelor’s degree in history from the University of California – Santa Barbara, his master’s from the University of Oregon and his doctorate from Ohio State. Don was awarded a National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship in Mexican-American Studies at the UC-Berkeley, was named a Danforth Associate and a Minnie Stevens Piper Professor.
Always politically aware and community-minded, the Zelmans have been active in Stephenville through volunteer work on civic committees, while Pat worked as Precinct Chair for the Democratic Party and Don served two separate terms on Stephenville City Council.
Dr. George Hendrick – Distinguished Friend
Hendrick’s Tarleton roots run deep. He grew up in the Santo and Patillo area, where his grandparents lived on a farm near university founder John Tarleton’s residence in Patillo, and knew Tarleton well. His uncle, K.O. Hendrick, owned John Tarleton’s home place, and also owns ranchland near Lipan once owned by Tarleton.
Hendrick received a bachelor of arts degree from Texas Christian University in 1948, and both his master of arts degree and Ph.D. from the University of Texas at Austin. He retired as professor emeritus of English at the University of Illinois at Urbana, having served as department head for several years, and as first president of the James Jones Literary Society. He also served on the faculty of Southwest Texas State University, University of Colorado, J.W. Goethe University – Frankfurt, Germany, and the University of Illinois at Chicago.
In 2011, he established the Willene Lowery Hendrick Nursing Scholarship at Tarleton to honor his late wife, a nurse for 38 years, and to benefit full-time undergraduate students admitted into the nursing program. This scholarship has benefitted more than 35 students in a four-year period. Hendrick is a member of the John Tarleton Society and the Scholarship Society at Tarleton.
Recipients of the TAA Distinguished Alumni, Outstanding Young Alumnus, Distinguished Faculty and Staff, and Distinguished Friend awards are selected from nominations submitted to the Association. To nominate an individual for one of the TAA’s 2016 awards, visit www.tarleton.edu/ORG/alumniassociation.
Tarleton, a member of The Texas A&M University System, provides a student-focused, value-driven educational experience marked by academic innovation and exemplary service, and dedicated to transforming students into tomorrow’s professional leaders. With campuses in Stephenville, Fort Worth, Waco, Midlothian and online, Tarleton engages with its communities to provide real-world learning experiences and to address societal needs while maintaining its core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service.