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Meet the 2012 Alumni Awards Recipients

April 12th, 2012 Posted in Alumni News

Jim Bezdek with his wife Rose Bezdek and
President V. Lane Rawlins

The 2012 Alumni Awards Dinner will take place on April 20, 2012 in the Gateway Ballroom. In anticipation of the event, get to know a little about each recipient. Congratulations to all of them!

Distinguished Alumni Award

Donald C. Potts (’63)

Donald C. Potts graduated from North Texas State University with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, and was actively involved in student organizations. While at North Texas, Potts was a member of the Geezles social fraternity, recognized in the local “Who’s Who” directory and served as president of his business fraternity.

Potts began his career in the financial services industry with the brokerage firm of Merrill Lynch Pierce Fenner & Smith, and subsequently founded Capital Institutional Services (CAPIS) in 1977. CAPIS is an institutional brokerage firm that serves only institutional clients. In founding CAPIS, Potts secured his seat on the New York Stock Exchange and served on the exchange’s institutional committee as well as the Securities Industry Association’s institutional committee. He has retained his position as board chair of CAPIS and still serves as a board member for Hope Cottage Pregnancy and Adoption Center in Dallas.

For 11 years, Potts served on the board of the UNT Foundation Inc., and he chaired the foundation’s investment committee for four years.  In 2011, Potts was appointed by Texas Governor Rick Perry as a UNT System regent.

Jason West (’96)

Jason West has always loved video games. To this day, he still can’t believe that his avocation would become his vocation. He has created many of the most successful and popular video games in the world and certainly one of the great video game franchises of all time.

After graduating from UNT, he worked at Paradigm Entertainment. While there, he received a job offer from a small Tulsa start-up game studio, 2015, to work on the video game “Medal of Honor: Allied Assault,” which became a huge success.

In 2002, West co-founded the California-based studio Infinity Ward. Infinity Ward’s creation, “Call of Duty,” was published in 2003 and quickly surpassed “Medal of Honor” in popularity.  West last directed “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2,” which sold about 20 million units and generated an estimated $1.3 billion in sales to date.

In April 2010, West began a new independent studio called Respawn Entertainment.  Respawn owns and has full control over the intellectual property it creates.

Throughout his career, West has wanted to bring the cinematic and immersive thrill of film to video games. He specializes in realistic, first-person perspective military action games with real-world settings, blockbuster action sequences resembling those of big budget movies and games with multiplayer experiences.

Among the games he has worked on are “Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare,” “Call of Duty 2,” “Call of Duty, Medal of Honor: Allied Assault,”  “Terminator: Dawn of Fate,”  “Indy Racing 2000,” “Beetle Adventure Racing,” “AeroFighters Assault” and “F1WG.”

West is married to UNT alumna Adriana West (’00).  They have two children and live in Los Angeles.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award

Petronel Malan (’96 M.M., ’01 Ph.D.)

Pianist Petronel Malan has been lauded by reviewers as an unmistakably creative force in the classical music industry. Her debut disc Transfigured Bach received three Grammy® nominations, including Best Instrumental Solo Album. She followed with Transfigured Mozart (2006), Transfigured Beethoven (2008) and Transfigured Tchaikovsky (2011), all recorded for the independent label Hanssler CLASSIC.  A recital recording of Transfigured Tchaikovsky is scheduled for 2013.

Malan resides in the United States, but maintains strong ties to her native South Africa. She received the Rapport/City Press Prestige Award as one of the ten most inspirational women in South Africa, and has appeared on magazine covers, fashion spreads and even as picture-clues in crossword puzzles. She is so popular in her native country that music scholarships in her name are given annually to promising young musicians. She holds her master’s degree in music and Ph.D. in performance from UNT.

Brian Waters

When Brian Waters came to UNT in 1995, he focused on courses in community service. During his Mean Green football career (1995-98), he worked with the Boys and Girls Clubs and volunteered on other projects. After three years as a tight end, Waters also played defensive end his senior year at UNT. Today, Waters plays guard for the New England Patriots of the National Football League. In 2011, his first year with the team, Waters was selected to the Pro Bowl and in February 2012 as a Patriots team member he played in Super Bowl XLVI.

Waters’ distinguished career in football began out of UNT in 1999 when he was signed by the Dallas Cowboys as an undrafted free agent From 2000-2010, Waters was a member of the Kansas City Chiefs  where he earned five Pro Bowl selections. In 2009, Waters received the Walter Payton Man of the Year award from the NFL for his charitable work. The Brian Waters 54 Foundation, which he began in 2005, works with more than 20 agencies. In his hometown of Waxahachie, Texas, the foundation helps children in need with summer sports camps, new school clothes and holiday parties. In addition, the foundation has awarded more than 80 college scholarships.

Outstanding Alumni Service Award

Brenda (’63) and R. L. (’63) Crawford Jr.

Brenda and R.L. Crawford Jr. met on the UNT campus while pursuing their undergraduate degrees. R.L. earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics while Brenda earned her bachelor’s degree in elementary education. After graduating, they married and settled in Dallas where R.L. Crawford began his career with Northwestern Mutual Financial Network. Today he is still employed with the company and works with his son, Trey, who joined the company in 1991. During his 49-year career, R.L. has received many honors for outstanding sales and management and is a Life Member of the Million Dollar Roundtable, an association for financial professionals. When her children were born, Brenda Crawford retired from teaching to raise their sons full-time. Two of their proudest UNT moments were watching their sons Trey (’89) and Guy (’92) walk across the stage and receive their UNT diplomas.

The bond connecting the Crawfords to UNT was strengthened in 1989 when Texas Governor Bill Clements appointed R.L. Crawford to the UNT Board of Regents. After serving six years as a regent, Crawford was appointed to the UNT Foundation Board where he served a four-year term as chairman and where he continues to serve.

Brenda Crawford was a charter member of the advisory board that formed the present UNT Alumni Association. She later served as chairwoman on the board. She also served on the advisory boards of the College of Arts and Sciences and the College of Visual Arts and Design.

In 2000, both Crawfords received the UNT President’s Citation Award from UNT Chancellor Alfred Hurley. In addition to UNT, the Crawfords have given generously of their time to their community. R.L. Crawford was named honorary lifetime board member of the Dallas United Way and he has been chairman and a board member of the Medical Center of Lewisville and chairman of the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce. He also is a Paul Harris Fellow Rotarian. Brenda Crawford currently serves on the MCL Grand Arts Center Advisory Board in Lewisville. Both Crawfords have been honored as Citizens of the Year by the Lewisville Chamber of Commerce.

Robert J. “Bob” Rogers

Robert J. “Bob” Rogers, Professor Emeritus of music, taught piano pedagogy from 1948 to1984 at UNT. He attended North Texas State Teacher’s College from 1939-1942 before leaving for service in the U.S. Army in 1942. His degrees are from the Juilliard School of Music and Columbia Teachers College. Among his many honors are the UNT Green Glory Award (1985), Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia Professional Music Service Award (1990), Denton’s Community Arts Recognition Award (1999) and being named a UNT Outstanding Retiree (2003). His volunteer activities include genetic screening and counseling for the State of Texas from 1984-1998; teaching typing for computer proficiency to fifth graders at Sam Houston Elementary School from 1984-1985 and serving as a volunteer in the UNT Music Library in the university’s Willis Library since 1985. He’s an active performer with the Trammel Group in Denton and has two endowed piano scholarships: the Robert J. Rogers and the A.L. Putnam, named for his wife Daisy’s parents.

Ulys Knight Spirit Award

Julie (’91, ’91 M.S.) and David (’99) Anderson

After earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in accounting from UNT, Julie Anderson began her career in assurance services as a certified public account (CPA) with Ernst & Young, LLP. In October 1996, she left her job as an audit manager with Ernst &Young to assume direct responsibilities in financial planning for a publicly traded company in the financial services industry. In February 1999, Anderson became the controller and chief accounting officer for Texas Capital Bank and its parent company, Texas Capital Bancshares. She joined the company shortly after its formation, and today she manages all accounting and external financial reporting functions for the company, which has more than $7 billion in assets.

David Anderson (’99) is the owner and founder of Anderson’s Pro Flooring in Lake Dallas, which specializes in all flooring, including wood, stone, tile and carpet, as well as granite fabrication. As an expert in the flooring industry, Anderson serves retail and business customers in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, as well as some government clients nationwide. In 2008, he was named Outstanding Retailer by Carpets Plus Color Tile. Anderson, who has been in the flooring business since 1988, holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration with minors in entrepreneurship and strategic management from UNT.

The Andersons are active members of the Mean Green Club and serve as Mean Green Club representatives.

For more information about this year’s Alumni Awards, recipients from previous years, or how to nominate someone you know for the 2013 Alumni Awards, visit http://www.unt.edu/development/alumniawards/index.htm

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