Five Receive 1996-97 Distinguished Alumni Awards
for immediate release Aug. 15, 1997
ABILENE - The Abilene Christian University Alumni Board awarded the
1996-97 Distinguished Alumni Awards to five alumni for their distinctive
personal and professional achievement. From more than 75,000 alumni, five
recipients were chosen representing each college. A presentation was held
in their hometowns to honor the recipients individually.
College of Arts and Sciences
Sharron Drury, a 1972 ACU graduate and president of Southwest
Christian School in Fort Worth since 1990, has also been a secondary
principal, vice principal, middle-school teacher, and coach for both girls'
and boys' sports including football. As president, she helped raise funds
for a $1.6 million facility expansion and has seen the school's enrollment
more than double, also adding a complete high school curriculum. She also
serves on the ACU Department of Education Visiting Committee.
Dr. David Hurley, a 1977 ACU graduate and pediatrician for
Cottonwood Practices in Salt Lake City, Utah, also works as the Continuity
Clinic Preceptor at the University of Utah School of Medicine and is
Pediatric Department Chairman at the Cottonwood Hospital. For two years,
he worked as a missionary and physician in Guatemala, where his impact was
witnessed by ACU student interns. Seeing the Hurley family's departure,
one student wrote that "a countless number of people came and gave gifts
and shed tears while saying good-bye." Hurley has also served on ACU's
Department of Biology Visiting Committee and Visiting Committee
College of Business Administration
Wilmer E. Hebbard, a 1943 ACU graduate and retired certified public
accountant from Dallas, was nominated by his son Don, a 1979 ACU graduate,
because "he represents the end product of what we are trying to produce at
ACU - outstanding people with an exemplary faith." For more than 20 years,
he devoted his spare time to Bible teaching and preaching in the Northeast.
More recently, his courage and faith have inspired family, friends and
health professionals who saw him survive a five-month battle for life
against a rare disorder.
College of Biblical and Family Studies
Dr. Richard Hughes, a 1967 ACU master's graduate and professor in
the Religion Division at Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., served as
chair of ACU's Department of History from 1984-86. He is considered one of
the finest scholars in the churches of Christ. Specializing in the fields
of American religion, Christian doctrine and the history of theology,
Hughes has authored or co-authored several books which gained much
attention including "The Worldly Church" and "Discovering Our Roots: The
Ancestry of Churches of Christ."
Dr. J. Leslie Wyatt III, a 1968 ACU graduate and president of
Arkansas State University in Jonesboro since July 1995, is a respected
academic leader with an outstanding record in program development,
promotion of the arts, athletics certification, gender and race equity, and
community relations. Previously, he served seven years as vice chancellor
of executive affairs at the University of Mississippi and in other
administrative positions at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock and
the University of Texas.
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- Last update: September 1, 1997