Pictured above are the 2016 UNT Alumni Award Winners: (from left to right - Jim McNatt, Laura Dominguez, Beau LaMothe, Neal Smatresk, Ben Joyner, Peggy Rouh, Jerome "Bruzzy" Westheimer, Jr., Bryan Milner).
A long-standing Univeristy of North Texas tradition, the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards is an annual event that recognizes outstanding achievement, service and support of UNT alumni and friends. These Alumni Awards are bestowed in the Fall during Homecoming. Recipients represent the best in UNT's alumni body. Throughout their careers, these distinguished graduates have contributed significantly to their companies, communities and the university while upholding the highest standards and values.
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 professions.
Jim McNatt (’66) McNatt built an automobile empire and successfully sold Jim McNatt Auto Group in 2014. He continues in the industry as a partner in Luttrull-McNatt dealerships in Sanger and Gainesville, and is vice president of McNatt Properties LLC, a real estate construction and apartment management business. He is a member of the UNT Alumni Association, a lifetime member of the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series steering committee, a member of the UNT Foundation Board of Directors and a member of the President's Leadership Board.
Bryan Milner (’00) Milner is senior vice president of loan originations at Wells Fargo Capital Finance. He is responsible for originating corporate loans from $30 million to $5 billion or more in Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Louisiana. As a member of the board of directors for UNT's Professional Leadership Program, he was instrumental in helping the program grow from 40 students to more than 100 annually. He is a member of the College of Business FIREL Advisory Board and a lifetime member of the UNT's Kuehne Speaker Series.
Jerome "Bruzzy" Westheimer, Jr. (’00) Westheimer is president of Valbel West, an oil and gas producer and geology business in Armore, Oklahoma, and president and CEO of the Jerome Westheimer Family Foundation. He is a life member of the UNT Alumni Association and, a lifetime member of the UNT Kuehne Speaker Series steering committee and a member of the President's Leadership Board.
DISTINGUISHED YOUNG ALUMNI AWARD - Created in 2011, this honor was established to recognize alumni under age 40 for distinguished career achievement.
Laura Dominguez (’05) Dominguez works on humanitarian projects in the United States, Central America and Africa. She is a program officer for FHI 360, an international human development non-profit focused on health, education, economic development, gender, civil society and youth. She provides operational and administrative support to the USAID-funded Haiti Ann ALE and the Ghana Partnership for Education.
Beau LaMothe (’07) LaMothe is the chief commercial officer for PGL, a third-party logistics provider. He is responsible for PGL's long-term strategic direction, marketing, sales and service offerings. He is the youngest person to serve on the College of Business' Advisory Board.
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.
Benjamin Joyner (’74 and, '76 M.B.A.) Joyner serves as senior vice president of commercial banking with UMB. He has held similar roles at BBVA Compass Bank, Texas Bank and First State Bank. He serves on the UNT Foundation Board, is past-president of the UNT Alumni Association and a long-time member of the Mean Green Club.
OUSTANDING SERVICE AWARD - First presented in 1974, this award honors individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT or the community.
Peggy Rouh (’95 M.S., '01 Ph.D.) Rouh retired from IBM as a senior manager responsible for corporate raining and development, consulting, sales, marketing and customer service. She has been a supporter of UNT's College of Information, having served as the college's recent Campaign co-chair. She also created an endowed scholarship for students in UNT's Department of Learning Technologies, and has worked as an adjunct professor and lecturer in the department since 2004. She serves on the college's Academic Affairs Committee and is chairwoman of the Learning Technologies Awards Committee.
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 univerwsity 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.