The Texas Tech Alumni Association honored the 2013 Distinguished Alumni of Texas Tech University at a reception and dinner today (March 22) at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center.
This year’s honorees are anchor and managing editor of the “CBS Evening News” and correspondent for the CBS news magazine “60 Minutes,” Scott Pelley; Rear Adm. (Sel) John D. Alexander; and Robert J. Salem.
Nominations are accepted throughout the year from members and friends of the Alumni Association, and Texas Tech faculty and staff. Attendance at Texas Tech is a requirement to be eligible for nomination, although receiving a degree is not necessary.
The dinner and awards are designed to recognize and honor alumni who have made significant contributions toward furthering the excellence of Texas Tech through outstanding accomplishments, careers and/or through extraordinary measures of service. A video biography of each honoree was shown during the evening.
Rear Adm. (Sel) John D. Alexander is the assistant commander of Navy Personnel Command for Career Management. He has completed numerous sea duty assignments, most recently as commander of the USS Abraham Lincoln. The Port Neches native was commissioned in December 1982 and designated a naval flight officer in November 1983. He graduated from Texas Tech with a Bachelor of Science degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Robert J. Salem, M.D., FACS is a noted general and vascular surgeon and researcher. He is currently chief medical officer emeritus of Covenant Health and clinical professor of surgery at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC) in Lubbock. Salem founded SWAT Surgical Associates in Lubbock and pioneered peripheral vascular surgery in West Texas. In 1970, he developed the first open-heart surgical program at Methodist Hospital in Lubbock. When the medical school at TTUHSC opened, Salem became the first chairman of the Department of Surgery.
Scott Pelley began his journalism career long before he enrolled at Texas Tech. At age 15, the San Antonio native worked as a copy boy at the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal newspaper. He eventually worked at KSEL-TV in Lubbock, KXAS-TV in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex and WFAA-TV Dallas/Fort Worth. Pelley’s career with CBS began in 1989 in New York City. Pelley joined “60 Minutes” in 2004. Since then, half of all the major awards won by that broadcast were by Pelley’s team of producers, reporters, photographers and editors.