The event, hosted by the Association for Women in Communications, is a fundraiser for students in the College of Media & Communication.
Several members of the Texas Tech University family were honored this week (April 19) during the 37th annual Celebrity Luncheon, the awards presentation hosted by the Association for Women in Communications (AWC) Lubbock Professional Chapter.
The Celebrity Luncheon recognizes members of the community who have made Lubbock and West Texas a better place and who have created positive media attention for the region. The event also serves as a fundraiser for AWC Lubbock, which provides scholarships for students in the Texas Tech College of Media & Communication.
“The Lubbock Professional Chapter of AWC is delighted to honor individuals, groups and businesses in our city that make a difference,” said Leslie Cranford, chapter president and also section manager for TTU K-12. "The proceeds of the luncheon support scholarships for future leaders in our student chapter. It's a fun community event with a terrific purpose.”
Headliner Awards are presented to people whose achievements or contributions have received widespread positive recognition through the media. Among this year's Headliners were:
- Monte Monroe, archivist at Texas Tech's Southwest Collection/Special Collections Library housed within Texas Tech University Libraries. Monroe also is the official Texas State Historian. He was honored for his active teaching of state history in public schools and promotion of telling Texas' story.
- Eric Rasmussen, associate professor and chair for the department of Public Relations & Strategic Communication Management in the Texas Tech College of Media & Communication. Rasmussen has dedicated his research career to better understanding media's impacts on children.
- The 1970 Lubbock Tornado Memorial at Lubbock National Bank Park's campaign committee was recognized for their work of raising $3.1 million in private funding. In the aftermath of the storm, Texas Tech University faculty members created the Institute for Disaster Research (IDR), which has since evolved into the National Wind Institute (NWI). Many members of the Texas Tech community were involved in the memorial's planning and construction.
Gold Medals are awarded to people who, over an extended period of time, have worked to improve the quality of life for a broad spectrum of those living in the Lubbock area. Among this year's Gold Medalists were:
- Jim and John White, twin brothers who are both retired professors from Texas Tech's College of Architecture. Both are renowned architects, but they also saw the need to use their skills to help others as volunteers, designing homes through Lubbock's Habitat for Humanity.
AWC also presented the Beth Pratt AWC Communicator of the Year Award. This year the award was given to Glenys Young, a media relations specialist in the Office of Communications & Marketing and editor of the university's new magazine, Evermore. This award, which recognizes an AWC chapter member who has demonstrated excellence in her professional career, excellence in support of the chapter and commitment to the purposes of the organization, is named for Beth Pratt, a longtime AWC member and former faith editor of the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal.
The Mary Ann Edwards Professional Communicator Award recognizes an individual working in the communications industry whose attention to the creation, management, distribution and consumption of ideas and information has made significant contributions to the industry's disciplines and has positively influenced the community. Established in 2013, the award is named for longtime organization member Mary Ann Edwards, owner of Word Publications and an adjunct instructor in the College of Media & Communication. This year, it was presented to Texas Tech alumnus Morgan Baker, who serves as the director of communications at the South Plains Food Bank. Baker graduated from Texas Tech in 2020 with a degree in advertising.
The George Mahon Award for Extraordinary Public Service, presented to a person(s) who have dedicated their adult life to a broad array of public service efforts that result in accomplishments, went to Rick and Holly Betenbough of Betenbough Homes. Holly is an alumna of Texas Tech and earned her bachelor's degree in child development and family studies from the College of Human Sciences.