Pictured above are the 2015 UNT Alumni Award Winners: (from left to right - Leroy Whitaker, Bob Kimmel, Cathy Bryce, Mark Miller, Tiffany Dale Hunter and Julie Anderson. Not pictured is the Hoke Family).
October 8, 2015 marks the UNT Alumni Association's 50th anniversary of the UNT Distinguished Alumni Acievement Awards. This program showcases the caliber of the university's alumni and celebrates the depth and breadth of their professional accomplishments nad service to the community.
These Alumni Awards recipients are captains of industry, pillars of the community, change agents and history-makers. They were your friends, classmates and fellow student leaders you might have known while at the university, and today they are the alumni who most embody the true spirit of the University of North Texas. This year’s honorees come from diverse background and life experiences—but they share a common love for the university. This class of honorees agrees that their time on our campus laid the foundation for their success in life.
Congratulations to the 2015 UNT Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards winners.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD—First presented in 1965, this is one of the university’s most prestigious awards. It is given to individuals who have achieved prominence in their profession.
Julie Anderson (’91) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Anderson is Chief Financial Officer at Texas Capital Bank, and the Controller and Chief Accounting Officer for its parent company. She manages accounting and external financial reporting functions for the company, as well as financial planning and funds management.
Bob Kimmel (’61) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Kimmel is the past president and CEO of Davis H. Elliot Company, which he grew from 500 to more than 1,700 employees, and owns BK Energy. He is currently chairman of the UNT Foundation Board.
Leroy Whitaker (’50 and ’52), will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Whitaker is retired from Eli Lilly and Company, where he started work as a patent attorney and advanced to general patent counsel and assistant secretary with 30 attorney and agents reporting to him in a job that took him all over the world.
DISTINGUISHED YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD—Created in 2011, this honor was established to recognize alumni under age 40 for distinguished career achievement.
Tiffaney Dale Hunter (’01), will receive the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Hunter is the chief communications officer for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation and formerly as the president and CEO of Tiffaney Dale Public Relations, a full-service marketing and public relations company in Dallas and Houston.
ULYS KNIGHT SPIRIT AWARD—Presented since 1975, this award is given to any individual or group that has made noteworthy effort to sustain spirit among the UNT family.
Mark Miller (’70 and ’80), will receive the Ulys Knight Spirit Award. Miller has been an active supporter and champion for UNT and Mean Green Athletics. He is a member of the UNT President’s Council, the UNT Alumni Association board of directors and the Mean Green Club. He established a charity basketball game to support the UNT Cheer Squad scholarship fund and manages a charity flag football game that benefits an athletic scholarship fund. Miller also helped create and sell spirit items during UNT football and basketball seasons, and has helped host events for UNT and Denton community members.
OUTSTANDING SERVICE AWARD—First presented in 1974, this award honors individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT or the community.
Cathy Bryce (’91), will receive the Outstanding Alumni Service Award. Retired as Highland Park ISD Superintendent, Bryce’s career as an educator spanned 34 years. She has had decades of service with school administration groups, task forces and advisory boards, and has received 16 community honors and recognitions.
GENERATIONS OF EXCELLENCE AWARD—First presented in 2009, this award honors and recognizes a family that has exhibited an extraordinary dedication to higher education, that has supported the university through its service by many family members who have attended or graduated, and has demonstrated the value and support of family in their individual and collective lives.
The Hoke Family will receive the Generations of Excellence Award. In 1914-15, Martin Luther Hoke Sr. attended and graduated from what was then North Texas State Normal College. After serving in World War I, he settled his family in Denton and eight of his children attended North Texas State College’s Demonstration School, with six continuing on to North Texas State Teachers College/North Texas State College. Granddaughter Barbara Polansky continued her involvement with the university from the time she was an undergraduate through today. The Hoke Family has several teachers who collectively contributed to more than 100 years in education. Polansky also continued that tradition and has been recognized as the top Physical Educator in the state of Texas.