70th Annual Awards Celebration to Honor Faculty and Alumni


70th Awards AnniversaryThe Arkansas Alumni Association will honor the exceptional achievements of University of Arkansas alumni and faculty at the 70th annual Alumni Awards Celebration  during Homecoming weekend this fall on Oct. 24. The event is presented by Butterfield Trail Village.

“We are proud to recognize this group of honorees, who epitomize the University of Arkansas’ tradition of excellence,” said Deb Euculano, associate director of program development. “This year will be even more special as we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Alumni Awards Celebration at the Fayetteville Town Center.”

The Citation of Distinguished Alumni award recognizes exceptional professional and personal achievements, and extraordinary distinction in a specific field. This year’s three awardees include:

Janie Simms Hipp, L.L.M.’96, Fayetteville. She is the director of the Indigenous Food and Agriculture Initiative and a visiting professor for the University of Arkansas School of Law. The initiative is the nation’s first center that specializes in governance and business management development issues related to the Native American food and agriculture sector and focusing on development of a pipeline of the next generation of native food and agriculture professionals.

Greg W. Lee, B.S.B.A.’70, Fayetteville. He retired from Tyson Foods Inc. in 2007 as chief administrative officer and president of Tyson Foods International. Lee joined Tyson in 1980 as a regional sales manager in the foodservice division and rose progressively through the ranks in sales, marketing, operations and general management both domestically and internationally.

Ewell Ray Welch, B.S.A.’76, M.S.’77, North Little Rock. Through employment with the Arkansas Farm Bureau, he has more than 36 years of experience in service to Arkansas agriculture. His responsibilities involved agricultural policy, marketing and economics and administration. He retired as the executive vice president of the Arkansas Farm Bureau Federation and the Farm Bureau Mutual Insurance Company of Arkansas Inc. in 2013.

Other alumni award recipients who will be honored during the celebration include:

Larry G. Stephens, B.S.I.E.’58, Hot Springs, and Ernst Bauer, B.S.B.A.’83, M.B.A.’85, San Francisco, California, will both receive the Andrew J. Lucas Alumni Service Award. Stephens retired in 2001 as the president and chief operating officer of Mid-South Engineering Co., where he had worked since 1969. He has served as the company’s board chairman since 2008. He is a past president of the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors, a charter member of the Chancellor’s Society, a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council and a founding president of the Industrial Engineering Society. In 2005, he received the College of Engineering Distinguished Alumni Award.

Since 2007, Bauer has been the director of development of the Golden State Division of The Salvation Army. In this role, he has rebuilt the development team, which has produced double-digit gains each year. He founded the Bay Area Alumni Chapter in 1991 and raised an endowed scholarship fund of more than $140,000. He served as a board member of the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors and the Sam M. Walton College of Business Advisory Council.

Hugh Brewer Jr., B.S.E.E.’59, Fayetteville, will receive the Community Service Award. Brewer began working for Upchurch Electrical Supply Company in 1970, serving as the owner and president from 1982-1999 when he retired. He has been active in the Fayetteville community for many years, serving on numerous boards and committees, including the Arkansas Alumni Association Board of Directors. Brewer also serves as an advisory director for Habitat for Humanity.

Angie Maxwell, B.A’00, Fayetteville, is the recipient of the Young Alumni Award. She joined the U of A faculty in 2008 as a visiting assistant professor for the Diane D. Blair Center for Southern Politics and Society. In August 2010, she became an assistant professor of political science and the Diane D. Blair Professor of Southern Studies. She recently published The Indicted South: Public Criticism, Southern Inferiority, and the Politics of Whiteness.

Hal Walter of Clarkridge will receive the Honorary Alumni Award. Walter lives on the U of A campus and attends classes with his son, Raymond, who has a severe form of muscular dystrophy, as his caregiver. Raymond received a bachelor of science degree in mathematics, physics and economics in May 2013 at age 18. He earned a master of science degree at age 19 and continues to work on a doctorate degree in math and physics.

Three faculty members will receive Faculty Distinguished Achievement Awards:

Edward A. Pohl will receive the award for service. He is a professor and holder of the John Imhoff Chair in industrial engineering in the department of industrial engineering. He currently serves as the director of the operations management program and the director of the Center for Innovation in Healthcare Logistics.

Elliott West, a Distinguished Professor of history in the J. William Fulbright College of Arts and Sciences, will receive the award for research. He joined the U of A faculty in 1979. Two of his books, Growing Up With the Country: Childhood on the Far-Western Frontier (1989) and The Way to the West: Essays on the Central Plains (1995) received the Western Heritage Award. The Contested Plains: Indians, Goldseekers, and the Rush to Colorado (1998) received five awards including the Francis Parkman Prize and PEN Center Award. His most recent book is The Last Indian War: The Nez Perce Story (2009).

Douglas Spearot, associate professor and 21st Century Professorship in the department of mechanical engineering, will receive the Rising Teaching Award. Spearot joined the U of A faculty in 2005. Spearot received the 2014 John L. Imhoff Award for Outstanding Teacher from the College of Engineering and a National Science Foundation CAREER Award to explain the nanoscale mechanisms associated with phase selected during vapor deposition.

Mary Beth Matthews B.S.E.’75, JD’78 will receive the Charles and Nadine Baum Faculty Teaching Award in recognition of outstanding teaching. Matthews, a professor at the U of A School of Law since 1984, is also the Sidney Parker Davis Jr. Professor of Business and Commercial Law. She also works with Matthews, Campbell, Rhoads, McClure and Thompson in Rogers.

Citiscapes Magazine is the exclusive magazine sponsor for the Awards Celebration. Additional sponsorship opportunities and tables are available by contacting Terri Dover at 479-575-6480. For more information about the event or to purchase tickets, visit www.arkansasalumni.org/awards2014.

Leave a comment