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Alumni Medal Dinner honorees announced

09.06.2016 | By: Texas Wesleyan University
photo of medals presented at alumni medal dinner

Each year, Texas Wesleyan University honors distinguished alumni and colleagues. Their achievements and contributions are amazing reflections of the University and we are honored to celebrate and recognize them each year.

The honorees include:

Alumna of the Year

Beverly Volkman Powell ’92 MBA ’99

Beverly Volkman Powell has served for 14 years on the Texas Wesleyan University Board of Trustees and has made a significant impact on the Wesleyan community. She is a wonderful advocate for the University and supports her alma mater through her time, talents and treasure. Powell has also been a key figure in the growth of her hometown, Burleson, as a longtime residential and commercial developer, and was recently recognized with the Pillar of the Community honor by Hill College.

Distinguished Alumnus

Dr. Joshua Gatson ’00

Dr. Joshua Wayne Gatson, has long been forming important hypotheses and conducting cutting edge research with the ultimate priority to discover ground-breaking treatments for people suffering from lingering ailments due to traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Dr. Gatson works in the department of Surgery at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas, where he has established a very successful TBI translational research program.

Honorary Alumnus

Paul Andrews

Paul Andrews is founder and CEO of TTI, Inc., a global electronics distribution company. Andrews is not only an entrepreneur, businessman and visionary, he is a pillar of the Fort Worth community. Among his many honors, Andrews has been recognized and inducted into the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame as Fort Worth’s 2011 Business Executive of the Year. He and his wife are recognized for their vigorous efforts on behalf of education and have shown their support to Texas Wesleyan through the Rosedale Renaissance campaign and the Fort Worth Business Hall of Fame.

Young Alumna Achievement Award

Julie Murphy ’10

Julie Murphy is a critically acclaimed, #1 New York Times bestselling author. Her debut novel, Side Effects May Vary, came out from Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins in 2014 was well received. Dumplin', Murphy’s sophomore novel, is a #1 New York Times bestseller and is a “Best Book of the Year” pick by Amazon. Film rights to Dumplin' have been optioned by Disney and Michael Costigan is signed on to produce while the hunt for a screenwriter is ongoing. In 2017, Murphy is set to release her third novel, Ramona Drowning.

Wesleyan Service Award

Charles Willett ’66

Charles was a first-generation college student. He started out as a shy, marginal student, but the Wesleyan experience brought him out of his shell. He became the charter president of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity and was very involved in various organizations including Golden Shears, Rambler staff, Alpha Psi Omega and was a class officer – to name a few. After graduation, he worked in Galveston ISD for 32 years. In the late 90’s, he moved back to the DFW area and has been very involved at the University. He is a great advocate for Texas Wesleyan and is proud to give back to the school that shaped him.

Wesleyan Flame Award

Bruce Benz, Ph.D.

Bruce Benz has been a member of the biology faculty at Texas Wesleyan University for nearly 20 years. He has mentored student research in a variety of areas from island biogeography, population biology and conservation management, population genetics and public health. In his spare time, Benz enjoys continued involvement with the history of the maize plant, conducting research on maize as it is the second most important cereal on the planet. Students at Wesleyan would agree that he is one of our most engaging educators.

O.D. Bounds Award

Ben Hunt ’07

Ben Hunt was an Australian basketballer who played in the National Basketball League for the Perth Wildcats. He came to the U.S. in 2001 and played basketball at Texas Wesleyan 2004-2006 and left quite a legacy with his impressive statistics. He is well-known for making the winning shot in the 2006 NAIA championship game. He now works with the Dallas Mavericks as the manager of camps and community basketball.

The dinner will be held at the Fort Worth Club on Friday, Oct. 14. The reception begins at 6 p.m., followed by dinner and a program at 7 p.m.

The event is open to all alumni, friends and faculty and staff, and tickets are $60 per person. Register online by Oct. 7. For questions, contact the Office of Alumni Relations at 817-531-7540 or  

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At Texas Wesleyan, we have a rich history and a Texas-sized reputation. As stewards of the University, it is our responsibility to build a future as bright as our past.