Texas Tech University

59th Annual 'A Matador Evening' Set For Oct. 18

Brett Winegarner

September 27, 2019

bell tower against cloudy skies with tree branches

The Texas Tech Alumni Association will recognize Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart, Ethan Logan and Michael San Francisco as this year’s honorees.

On Friday, Oct. 18, the Texas Tech Alumni Association (TTAA) will hold its 59th annual "A Matador Evening" in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. The event will begin with a reception at 6:30 p.m., with dinner immediately following at 7 p.m.

This year, the Lauro F. Cavazos Award will be presented to philanthropists Jim & Jere Lynn Burkhart. Texas Tech University's Ethan Logan, associate vice president for enrollment management, and Michael San Francisco, biology professor and dean of the Honors College, will be honored with Distinguished Service Awards.

Pricing for the event is $800 for a table of eight or $80 for individual tickets. Seating for the event is limited. Please make reservations by Oct. 3. To purchase tickets or tables, visit the Texas Tech Alumni Association website.

Lauro F. Cavazos Award

Established in honor of the former president of Texas Tech, the Lauro F. Cavazos Award was designed to recognize and honor those who have made significant contributions to the university through their generosity, professional accomplishments and acts of service.

Image of Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart
Jim and Jere Lynn Burkhart

As result of their grandson's autism diagnosis, the Burkharts became trailblazers for autism research and awareness before professional services or education about autism spectrum disorder were available. Their passion, tenacity and generosity led to the opening of the Burkhart Center for Autism Research & Education at Texas Tech in 2005. Since the formation of the center, the Burkharts established the Jere Lynn Burkhart Professor and Endowed Chair in the College of Education, as well as the Burkhart Family Endowed Lecture Series.

In addition to the Burkhart Center, the Burkharts, along with the Burkhart Center staff, assisted in the establishment of a similar center at Faulkner University in Montgomery, Alabama. This is the only such facility in the state of Alabama. In response to her trailblazing efforts for autism education and research, Faulkner University awarded Jere Lynn Burkhart an honorary doctor of humane letters degree.

Distinguished Service Award

The Distinguished Service Award was established in 1977 to recognize outstanding service to Texas Tech or the TTAA and will be presented to Logan and San Francisco this year.

Image of Ethan Logan
Ethan Logan

Logan, a Lubbock native and three-time Texas Tech graduate, has been a staff member at the university for more than 20 years. In 2016, he became the associate vice president for enrollment management, overseeing the Office of Undergraduate Admissions, the Student Financial Aid & Scholarships Office, the Office of Enrollment Management Marketing and the Office of the Registrar.

Following a brief stint at McMurry University to begin his higher education career, Logan returned to Texas Tech in 1999, working again as a member of the Student Activities staff. Later that year, he transitioned to the role of assistant dean of students. Logan continued work within the Division of Student Affairs as director for Student Judicial Programs and associate dean of students. In 2008, he transitioned into enrollment management serving as both director and then executive director for Undergraduate Admissions.

San Francisco, a native of Colombo, Sri Lanka, currently serves as the dean of the Honors College, a professor in the Department of Biological Sciences and an adjunct professor in the Department of Immunology and Molecular Microbiology at Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. He also is the director of the Clark Scholars Program.

Image of Michael San Fransisco
Michael San Francisco

San Francisco joined the faculty at Texas Tech in 1990 as a tenure-track assistant professor and has taught continually since then. Before becoming dean of the Honors College, San Francisco served as interim chair of the Department of Biological Sciences, director of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute-funded Undergraduate Research Scholars Program, associate dean of the Honors College, associate vice president for research and interim vice president for research. He has graduated 12 doctoral students and 10 master's students from his laboratory, and has served as an undergraduate research mentor to more than 60 students.

San Francisco attended Boston University, earning his master's and doctoral degrees in biology in 1980 and 1984, respectively. He conducted post-doctoral research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in molecular microbiology and at Ohio State University in biotechnology.

Along with serving as a night to celebrate the honorees, “A Matador Evening” also is a fundraiser, with proceeds supporting academic scholarships, faculty enrichment, local chapter efforts and alumni awards, as well as an opportunity for alumni to reconnect during Homecoming Week.

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