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ACU to present Don Crisp Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award

For immediate release
Feb. 17, 2006

Abilene Christian University will present Don. W. Crisp one of its high honors Sunday, Feb. 19. He will receive ACU's 2005 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year award.

Crisp, who graduated from ACU in 1964 with a B.S. in accounting and business administration, will be honored at a luncheon at the Abilene Civic Center at 12:15 p.m. (The luncheon event has already sold out.)

The award is for timely recognition of lifetime achievement that brings honor to the university through personal and professional excellence and service to the university, church or community.

A prominent figure in the Dallas business community, Crisp is a trustee of the Caroline Hunt Trust Estate and executive director of The Rosewood Corporation.

He serves as ACU's chairman of the Board of Trustees, volunteers on behalf of many civic and charitable organizations and serves the Highland Oaks Church of Christ in Dallas as an elder and Bible class teacher.

"He has had an unusual ability for bringing all the different people of our Board together in a spirit of unity, focus and teamwork," said Dr. Gary McCaleb, ACU vice president and one of Crisp's former classmates.

"It's been impressive to watch his leadership," McCaleb said. "He is the personification of servant-leadership. He knows how to bring people together to work together. They know he will do his share of the work because there is a lot of selflessness in Don's leadership."

Crisp is also a member of the Dallas Christian Schools Board of Trustees and the Christian Services of the Southwest Board of Trustees. In addition to the ACU Board of Trustees, he also serves on the Advisory Board for the university.

Alongside McCaleb, Abilene's former mayor, Crisp comes from a distinguished ACU class. Other classmates include ACU's current president, Dr. Royce Money; three former business college deans - Drs. Bill Petty, Phil Lewis and Jack Griggs; and a host of faculty and department chairs, fellow trustees and other leaders.

"That says good things about the experiences we had at ACC," Crisp said. "The environment for learning was good. We went away with fond memories."

While ACC students, Crisp and Money were elected treasurer and vice president, respectively, of the Students' Association. They work together today because they were appointed board chair (1992) and president (1991) of their alma mater.

They also share grandchildren. Crisp's son is married to Money's daughter.

"We have an extraordinary relationship," Money said. "Hardly a week goes by that we don't discuss something by phone or in person.

"Don is probably one of the most thoroughly informed university board chairs anywhere. He is widely read when it comes to issues in higher education and the ideal relationship between board chairs and presidents. He quietly brings that knowledge and expertise into everything he does."

As a student, Crisp was a member of multiple service and honor organizations, the president of Galaxy men's social club and president of the Business Club.

In 1990 he was recognized by ACU's College of Business Administration as the Distinguished Business Leader of the Year.

He and his wife Carol, also from ACU's class of 1964, reside in Dallas and have three children, all of who are ACU graduates:  Lisa ('86), Brian ('88) and Brad ('93). 

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