College of Ag Distinguished and Young Alumni Awards Take Spotlight

Seven distinguished alumni were honored Feb. 18

Texas Tech University’s College of Agricultural Sciences and Natural Resourceshonored seven distinguished alumni on Feb. 18 at the university’s McKenzie Merket Alumni Center.

The Distinguished & Young Alumni Awards honored alumni who’ve made significant contributions to society, and whose accomplishments and careers have brought distinction to the college and to the professions associated with agriculture and natural resources.

In addition, university officials recognized the CASNR Young Alumna Award, said Jane Piercy, CASNR’s Director of Development and External Relations. The recipient of the 2013 Young Alumna Award is Kristina Butts of Washington, D.C., executive director of legislative affairs with the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association. She received her degrees in agricultural communications and animal science from Texas Tech (2001, 2004).

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

  • Mike Gibson of Paducah, former general manager of The Four Sixes Ranch; Agricultural Economics (1983)
  • Stan Ray of Georgetown, chief administrative officer of the Farm Credit Bank of Texas; Agricultural Education (1988)
  • Monica Hightower of Lubbock, president of the Cornerstone Education Group; Animal Science (1983)
  • David Fisher of Saint Louis, Mo., retired executive director of the Great Rivers Greenway District; Park Administration (1966)
  • Carlton Britton of Lubbock, natural resources management professor emeritus at Texas Tech; Range Management (1968, 1970)
  • James Graham of Creve Coeur, Mo., retired research consultant at the Monsanto Company; Agricultural Sciences (1963)

Piercy noted that 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. These awards were established to recognize some of the college’s 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.


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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.