Outstanding, Young Alumni of 2016


Recipients of Abilene Christian University's two highest annual alumni awards will be honored Feb. 21 at the Alumni Day Luncheon, set for 12:30 p.m. in the Hunter Welcome Center.

Dr. H. Jeff Kimble, class of 1971, is the 2016 Outstanding Alumnus of the Year, and Gilbert Tuhabonye, class of 2001, is the 2016 Young Alumnus of the Year.  

“These alumni live out every day the Christ-centered servant-leadership ACU strives to instill in every student,” said Craig Fisher, director of alumni relations and annual projects. “Jeff and Gilbert are not only credits to their alma mater, they are helping to transform the world for generations to come.”

Kimble is the William L. Valentine professor of physics and founding director of the Institute for Quantum Information and Matter at California Institute of Technology in Pasadena, Calif., and the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics Distinguished Scholar for 2014-2016.

Known for his pioneering research in quantum optics, quantum measurement and quantum information science, Kimble conducted one of the first demonstrations of teleportation of a quantum state.

His work has garnered him numerous prestigious accolades, such as the Einstein Prize for Laser Science (1989), the Julius Edgar Lilienfeld Prize of the American Physical Society (2004) and the Herbert Walther Award from the German Physical Society and the Optical Society of America (2013). In 2014, Caltech held a symposium, “The Quantum Optics Frontier,” in his honor.

Kimble is a sought-after guest professor and lecturer; a member of the National Academy of Sciences; and a fellow in the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America.

He and his wife, Margaret, live in La Canada Flintridge, Calif.  He has two grown daughters, Dr. Katherine Grooms and Megan Kimble.

Tuhabonye is a motivational speaker, author and co-founder of The Gazelle Foundation, which funds and builds clean water projects in his native country Burundi, Africa.
In 1993, Tuhabonye survived a horrific massacre in the long Tutsi-Hutu war in Burundi in which he was almost burned to death during a brutal attack on his school. He detailed his harrowing journey in his book The Voice in My Heart.

Tuhabonye was a national champion runner while at ACU and now leads Gilbert's Gazelles, a popular training group for runners in Austin, Texas. He also is the head coach for cross country and track at St. Andrews High School, having led the team to five consecutive state championships (2008-2012).

He and his wife, Triphine, class of 2004, live in Austin, Texas, with their two daughters, Emma and Grace.
The Outstanding Alumnus of the Year Award recognizes “lifetime achievement that brings honor to the university through personal and professional excellence and service to the university, church or community.” The Young Alumnus of the Year Award recognizes “professional achievement and/or distinguished service to Abilene Christian University.” To be eligible, a recipient must be no older than 40 at the time of selection.

Learn more and purchase tickets for the luncheon at acu.edu/alumni