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Big Country Tribute Dinner to honor Bob Hunter and raise money for new ACU Welcome Center

Dr. Robert D. "Bob" Hunter, Texas state representative and vice president emeritus of Abilene Christian University, and his wife, Shirley, will be honored guests at the Big Country Tribute Dinner Aug. 29, at 7 p.m. at the Abilene Civic Center.


Hunter and his wife will be honored for their dedication to the Abilene region as Hunter served for 20 years as state representative.  In addition to honoring Hunter, the event will serve as a fundraiser to help build the Bob and Shirley Hunter Welcome Center on the ACU campus.


"Bob Hunter has provided many unique, distinctive contributions to ACU and to higher education," said Dr. Royce Money, ACU president. "After three decades of full-time service to ACU, Bob stepped up to the challenge of public service, dedicating 20 years to his community and the state of Texas."


Hunter has served on numerous state, regional and national boards in the field of higher education. From 1970-80 he served as executive vice president of the Independent Colleges and Universities in Texas (ICUT).


He coordinated passage of the Texas Tuition Equalization Grant program, which since its inception, has given more than $1 billion to students to help them attend the private college or university of their choice in Texas. He also served on the Advisory Council for Technical-Vocational Education in Texas from 1977-83 by appointment of Governor Dolph Briscoe until he was elected a member of the Texas Legislature in 1986.


As a Texas State Representative, Hunter served as Texas' vice chairman for the American Legislative Exchange Council and on the Task Force on Trade and Transportation. He served on the Arts and Tourism Committee for the National Conference of State Legislatures, on the Intergovernmental Affairs Committee for the Southern Legislative Conference, and on the International Committee for the Council of State Governments.


The Hunters have been residents of Abilene since 1956, taking an active role in civic affairs. He presently serves on the Board of Directors for Meals On Wheels Plus, Day Nursery of Abilene, the West Texas Rehabilitation Center and the Rolling Plains Technical Foundation.


Hunter is on the Military Affairs Committee and the Educational Council of the Abilene Chamber of Commerce, is an at-large director of the Chisholm Trail Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and serves on the Advisory Boards for the Abilene/Taylor County Child Advocacy Center, the Salvation Army, the Mental Health Association and the Junior League of Abilene. He also is a member of the Community Justice Council for Taylor-Callahan-Coleman Counties.


Hunter received his bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from ACU. He was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University in 1974; a Doctor of Humane Letters from Texas Wesleyan College in 1979; a Doctor of Letters from the University of St. Thomas in 1983; a Doctor of Laws from his alma mater, ACU, in 1993; and a Doctor of Laws from Hardin-Simmons University in 1997.


"For half a century, Bob and Shirley Hunter have been influences for good in the Big Country and throughout Texas," said Dr. John Tyson, ACU vice president for development. "The Bob and Shirley Hunter Welcome Center will be a fitting tribute to a most deserving couple."


The welcome center will be a 50,000- square-foot facility that will have banquet rooms and other features to be used for community and university events, Tyson said.


Money raised from the Big Country Tribute Dinner honoring the Hunters will directly benefit the welcome center project. Tickets for the dinner are available at these sponsorship levels:


n        Dinner Benefactor, $5,000 - Reserved table for 10, Reception Tickets for 10

n        Dinner Patron, $2,500 - Reserved table for 10, Reception tickets for 10

n        Dinner Underwriter, $1,000 - Reserved table for 10, Reception tickets for 2

n        Dinner Host, $500 - Reserved table for 10

n        Dinner Sponsor, $250 - Reserved seats for 2

n        Dinner Friend, $125 - Open seating tickets for 2                                                         

To secure a sponsorship, call 325-674-2824. All gifts and sponsorships are tax deductible, and checks should be made payable to Abilene Christian University for the Bob and Shirley Hunter Welcome Center. ACU will provide gift receipts.


If you are a member of the media who would like more information about this release, please contact ACU's Public Relations Office.

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