Three alumni will be honored at a reception and dinner.
The Texas Tech Alumni Association (TTAA) will honor three graduates, Paul Lockhart '78, Wendy Motlong Masiello '80, and Arati Prabhakar, Ph.D. '79, as the 2017 Distinguished Alumni of Texas Tech University at a reception and dinner March 31 at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center in Lubbock.
The reception will begin at 6:30 p.m. followed by dinner at 7 p.m. Guest ticket pricing is $1,000 for a premier table for eight, $750 for a preferred table for eight, or $75 for individual tickets. Special table pricing is available for Military & Veterans National Alumni Chapter members. Reservations can be made online at the reception's website until March 8.
Retired Col. Paul Lockhart graduated in 1978 with a bachelor of arts in mathematics. After graduation, Lockhart was commissioned as a United States Air Force (USAF) pilot and has since served as a crew member of two NASA missions to the International Space Station, held positions with the Pentagon and worked as a defense specialist at NASA Headquarters.
Lockhart currently serves as senior vice president of QinetiQ North America, an aerospace
operation in Virginia, and is a member of the Military & Veterans National Alumni
Lt. Gen. Wendy Motlong Masiello graduated in 1980 with a degree in marketing from the Rawls College of Business. Masiello was commissioned in December 1980 as a distinguished graduate of the Texas Tech ROTC program and was promoted to USAF lieutenant general in 2014.
Masiello is currently director of the Defense Contract Management Agency. She has been an assistant professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the executive director for the National Reconnaissance Office Inspector General. Masiello also has commanded an air base wing and been deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq as principal assistant for contacting forces.
Arati Prabhakar graduated in 1979 with a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from the Whitacre College of Engineering. Prabhakar is currently director of the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) - a position she has held since 2012.
Prabhakar also was the first female to head the National Institute of Standards and Technology. In 2015, she was recognized by the publication Tech.Co as one of the 12 Most Powerful Women in DC Tech, and in 1994, she was recognized as a Texas Tech Distinguished Engineer.
Since 1967, the TTAA has presented the awards to the most prestigious graduates of Texas Tech. The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed by the TTAA and the university. The 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. The evening includes a reception, dinner and a program to honor the recipients.
Nominations for the award are accepted from members and friends of the Alumni Association and from Texas Tech faculty and staff. Attendance at Texas Tech is a requirement to be eligible for nomination, although receiving a degree is not necessary. Distinguished Alumni are selected by a committee of alumni and university officials.