Texas Tech University

University to Host Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet

Lucy Greenberg

October 28, 2021

Elizabeth Vargas

The banquet will include award presentations honoring Texas Tech and Lubbock community members and a keynote address from Emmy Award-winning journalist Elizabeth Vargas.

Texas Tech University's Office of Institutional Diversity will host its annual Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet at 7 p.m. on Thursday Nov. 18 at the Frazier Alumni Pavilion. This is an annual event that generates scholarship funds for deserving students while also recognizing those within the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities who exemplify inclusive excellence.  

“We are pleased to recognize and honor the individuals in our community who champion diversity and inclusion,” said Carol A. Sumner, chief diversity officer of the Division of Diversity, Equity & Inclusion at Texas Tech.  

This year, Margaret L. Williams, dean of the Jerry S. Rawls College of Business and Fernando Valle, interim department chair for the inaugural Department of Special Education in the College of Education, will be recognized as recipients of the Inclusive Excellence Award. Eddie McBride, retiring president and CEO of the Lubbock Chamber of Commerce, also will be honored as the recipient of the Senator Robert L. Duncan Community Champion Award.  

The evening's keynote speaker will be Elizabeth Vargas, an Emmy Award-winning journalist, author and addiction recovery advocate. Vargas hosts “America's Most Wanted” on Fox and also hosted the hit newsmagazine show “20/20” on ABC for 15 years. She also was co-anchor of “World News Tonight,” and news anchor and frequent host of “Good Morning America.” 

“We are honored to host Elizabeth Vargas at Texas Tech,” Sumner said. “We believe her life experience and her background will resonate with the Lubbock and Texas Tech communities. She is an excellent choice to speak to the importance of diversity and resilience in both life and work, and we look forward to hearing from her.” 

The annual banquet provides an opportunity for the public to support the continuing work of diversity, equity and inclusion both at Texas Tech and throughout the Lubbock community.  

“This banquet is a great opportunity to come together to support diversity and inclusion in all aspects of our lives,” said Ashley Gonzales, senior director for the Office of Institutional Diversity. “Our office welcomes and appreciates the support of Texas Tech departments and colleges, as well as Lubbock businesses, in hosting an outstanding speaker and honoring our diversity leaders.” 

Sponsors of the banquet include the College of Media & Communication, the Edward E. Whitacre Jr. College of Engineering and United Supermarkets.  

Many sponsorships remain and the public is encouraged to inquire further on sponsorship and ticket information by visiting the Institutional Diversity website, emailing the office at diversity@ttu.edu or calling (806) 742-7025.