CASNR Honors Distinguished Alumni to be Honored

Written by Erin Hawes

CASNR Honors Distinguished Alumni to be Honored

Texas Tech University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resources will recognize six distinguished alumni Monday (Feb. 15) at the Scottish Rite Building, located at 1101 70th Street.

The event will 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.

The recipients of this year’s distinguished alumni awards are: • James Bergan: Bergan is state director of science and stewardship for the Texas Nature Conservancy. He is responsible for several programs including the   Texas   natural history survey, geographic information systems, conservation planning and stewardship, monitoring and research. He received a bachelor’s degree from Purdue    University, and a master’s and doctorate in wildlife science from Texas Tech.

The San Antonio resident has served as an advisory board member for Texas Tech’s Department of Natural Resources Management, and is nationally recognized for his conservation efforts in Mexico. • Sidney Long: Long is a ranch owner and operator in partnership with his sons in Coke County and Sterling County. Prior to that, he served as CEO/executive vice president of San Angelo’s Concho Valley Electric Cooperative, and executive director of Southern Blacklands Boll Weevil Eradication Zone in Buckholts.

The Robert Lee resident has served as executive director of Blacklands Cotton and Grain Association, and is a member of the Texas Food and Fiber Commission   Executive Committee. He received a bachelor’s degree in agricultural education from Texas Tech and a master’s degree in animal science from Mississippi State University. • Jim Schwertner: Currently, the Austin resident is president and CEO of Schwertner Farms, Inc., and chairman of the board at Schwertner State Bank. He served as past chairman of the boards of Cattlemen’s State Bank in Austin, Jarrell   Schwertner Water Supply Corporation, and the Texas Cattle Feeders Association. He was appointed to the Texas A&M University Board of Regents by Gov. Rick Perry in 2009, and presently serves as director of the Texas Beef Council. Schwertner received his bachelor’s degree in agricultural economics from Texas Tech. • Douglas Smellage: Smellage founded ‘Lawns of Dallas’ in 1982 and has had more than 28 years of experience providing service for commercial and residential properties. The firm specializes in maintenance services and estate-quality design for properties in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Smellage received a bachelor’s degree from Southern Methodist University and a master’s degree in horticulture from Texas Tech.

He has served as vice president of the Highland Park Independent School District Board of Trustees, in addition to serving on the boards of the Dallas Country Club and Ronald McDonald House. • David Waggoner:    Waggoner is the founder of The Waggoner Law Firm with offices located in Hillsboro and Corsicana. His law practice consists primarily of banking, real estate and agricultural law. From 1997 to 2000, he served as special assistant to the president of Texas Tech. Waggoner received his bachelor’s degree in animal science from Texas Tech, and a master’s in animal science from Virginia Tech University. His master of business administration degree is from George Washington University, and his Juris Doctor degree is from Texas Tech. • Dennis Wilkinson: Today, Wilkinson is a principal and a landscape architect with Albuquerque’s Morrow Reardon Wilkinson Miller Ltd., a 17-member firm. His focus is on site planning, campus planning, landscape and irrigation design, athletic facilities, construction detailing and production administration. Prior to joining the firm he was the owner and landscape architect in a small firm. The Corrales, N.M., resident is a registered landscape architect in New Mexico. Wilkinson received his bachelor’s degree in park administration from Texas Tech.

CONTACT: Memory Bennett, coordinator of alumni relations, CASNR, Texas Tech University, (806) 742-2802 or