College of Agriculture Honors Distinguished Alumni

Alumni were honored for their significant contributions to society and their many career accomplishments.

Ginger Light, Young Alumna Award recipient.

Ginger Light, Young Alumna Award recipient.

Texas Tech’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources (CASNR) recognized six distinguished alumni recently at the university’s McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. The Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards honor alumni who have made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments and careers have brought distinction to the college and to the professors associated with agriculture and natural resources.

In addition, program officials recognized the CASNR Young Alumna Award, said Jane Piercy, CASNR’s director of development and external relations. The recipient of the second 2012 Young Alumna Award is Ginger Light, physiological traits development manager with Bayer CropScience. Light, of Idalou, earned her doctorate in agronomy from Texas Tech in 1999.

The recipients of this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards are:

Dean Hawkins,Canyon: Hawkins received his bachelor’s degree in animal sciences in 1984 and master’s degree in animal breeding in 1986 from Texas Tech. Today, he is head of West Texas A&M University’s Department of Agricultural Sciences.

Larry Richardson,Vega: Richardson received his bachelor’s degree in agronomy in 1981. He is president of Richardson Seeds, and president of MMR Genetics, a sorghum breeding company.

Dewey Shroyer,Wolfforth: Shroyer received his bachelor’s degree in 1966 and a master’s degree in 1973, both in park administration. He is managing director-emeritus of Texas Tech’s Grounds Maintenance Department.

Chris Skaggs,Bryan: Skaggs received his bachelor’s degrees in agricultural education and animal science in 1982. He is associate dean for student development for Texas A&M’s College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

Kirk Thomas,Lubbock: Thomas received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics in 1981 and master’s degree in finance in 1982 from Texas Tech. The Lubbock County native is president of Lone Star State Bank.

David Wester,Kingsville: Wester received his master’s degree in 1979 and doctorate in 1984 from Texas Tech, both in range science. He is a professor and research scientist with Texas A&M – Kingsville’s Department of Animal, Rangeland & Wildlife Sciences.

“The measure of a college’s distinction and influence depends greatly upon the achievements of its alumni and the positions they attain in their respective communities and fields of endeavor,” Piercy said. “These awards were established to recognize some of our most outstanding alumni.”

The awards do more than honor former students, she added. They spotlight the accomplishments of the college, Texas Tech and, ultimately it enhances the pride of alumni, students, faculty and staff. It’s tangible evidence of the effectiveness of agricultural and natural resource programs at Texas Tech.


The College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources is made up of six departments:

  • Agriculture and Applied Economics
  • Agricultural Education and Communications
  • Animal and Food Science
  • Landscape Architecture
  • Plant and Soil Science
  • Natural Resources Management

The college also consists of eleven research centers and institutes, including the Cotton Economics Research Institute, the International Cotton Research Center and the Fiber and Biopolymer Research Institute.



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