A Look Back at Some of the Top Stories

As we prepare to embark on the new year, join us in looking back at some of our accomplishments.

Message in a Bottle: Professor's Letter Surfaces 14 Years Later

Perhaps, the lucky numbers of his stateroom inspired his experiment.

Leaving Honolulu far behind on the way to French Polynesia sometime after the equatorial crossing ceremonies aboard Holland-America's grand ocean liner George Tereshkovich sat down at the writing desk. Read more.

25 Years Later: Amazing Adaptation in Chernobyl

Swans bob on the gentle waves of Glyboke Lake in Ukraine.

As a cool breeze blows, green trees and marsh grasses sway, making the spot look like an ideal place for a picnic. It's not unusual to find moose, endangered horses and other large wild animals drinking from these waters. Only the crackling reminder of a Geiger counter attests to the fact that this is still the second hottest radioactive site in the area. Read more.

Texas Tech Once Again Sets Fall Enrollment Record

Texas Tech University established record enrollment figures for the third-straight fall semester as 32,327 students are on campus for classes.

"As evidenced in recent years, Texas Tech has become an attractive destination for high school students," said Guy Bailey, Texas Tech president. "We offer one of the best educational experiences in the country, and our consistent annual growth reflects the opportunities we offer." Read more.

Eye-Tracking Devices Help Disabled Use Computers

If necessity is the mother of invention, researchers at Texas Tech's Usability Research Lab (URL) may have inadvertently given birth to twins.

After several years of research, software writing and prototype creation, researchers have created a device that can track eye movement at a price-point far below the industry standard. Read more.

Texas Tech Named 2012 Fiske Best Buy School

Texas Tech University was one of just 24 public institutions named a "Best Buy School" in the 2012 Fiske Guide to Colleges.

The recently published guide designates 49 institutions overall as "Best Buy Schools," based on the quality of academic offerings in relation to the cost of attendance. Read more.

School of Law Earns Top 20 Best Value Ranking

Texas Tech University School of Law has again earned a Top 20 ranking by preLaw Magazine in its Best Value Law Schools issue. Listed at No. 20, Texas Tech's law school is the only Texas law school ranked in the Top 20 this year.

Best Value schools are determined based on tuition, bar passage, average student indebtedness and graduates' employment after nine months, all categories in which Texas Tech Law excels. Read more.

Caveman Politics: Instincts Play Role in Our Decisions

When it comes to voter preference, the issues count. But some may pull the handle for a more primal reason: Physical fitness and stature against an opponent.

Possibly hailing from our caveman instincts to ensure survival, two researchers from Texas Tech suggest that physical formidability affects preference in political leadership. Read more.

Texas Tech Wins International Meat Judging Contest

Texas Tech's meat judging team took first place at the Australian Intercollegiate Meat Judging Contest (ICMJ) in Armidale, New South Wales. Overall, the team ranked first in beef, pork and lamb carcass judging, placings, grading and reasons/questions. Read more.

But that was just the start of a dominating year for the Texas Tech judging teams. The meat judging team also won its ninth national championship and the livestock judging team its seventh national title, both in November.

Texas Tech Named Military Friendly School

Texas Tech was recently named to the 2012 list of Military Friendly Schools by G.I. Jobs Magazine. The list honors the top 20 percent of colleges, universities and trade schools nationwide that are doing the most to embrace America's veterans as students.

This is the third consecutive year the university has received this designation. Read more.

Texas Tech Makes Its Mark on NASA

Astronauts are among an elite group of brave individuals who have risked their lives to further the understanding of worlds beyond our own.

And several Red Raiders, both past and present, have played a significant role in that quest for knowledge. Read more.

Texas Tech Makes Forbes' Top 10 for Minority Outreach in STEM Education

When it comes to outreach in teaching science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) to ethnic minorities, Texas Tech recently made the top 10 in a Forbes.com survey of the "Best Colleges for Minorities in STEM." Read more.

Quest for the Story Leads Alumnus to Evening News Job

He has covered wars, natural disasters and presidential campaigns. He has worked in news bureaus from Texas to Saudi Arabia and served as a chief White House correspondent.

But CBS newsman and Texas Tech alumnus Scott Pelley soon will try something he has never done before – anchor a network newscast. Read more.

High School Outreach Program Flourishing in Brazil

What started as a simple task of a Brazilian school administrator in 1999 to improve a local school's English program has led to an ever-growing, longtime partnership with Texas Tech University Independent School District and more than 20 high schools throughout Brazil.

As of 2011, Texas Tech University High School's (TTUHS) full-English curriculum has been implemented in 24 schools within Brazil. Read more.

Wind Research Center Named a Top Science Program

For the second year in a row, Texas Tech's Wind Science and Engineering Research Center (WISE) is listed in Popular Science magazine as one of the best places to pursue science in the United States.

The article invites readers to forget stuffy lecture halls and humming fluorescent lights, and check out "You Call This College? The 25 Coolest Labs in the Country." Read more.

Raiders Win Final Four: Best College Chess Team In Nation

Texas Tech invites the public to join the Masked Rider and representatives from the Saddle Tramps in the welcome home celebration for the chess team, fresh from its Final Four victory this weekend in Washington, D.C.

The event will be held at the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport. Well-wishers are encouraged to meet at 10:10 p.m. today (April 4) at Baggage Claim No. 1. Read more.