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UNT Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards

August 14th, 2015 Posted in Alumni News

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DENTON (UNT), Texas – The University of North Texas Alumni Association will honor outstanding alumni at the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards dinner at 7 p.m. Oct. 8 (Thursday) in UNT’s Gateway Ballroom. Reception starts at 6 p.m.

This is the 50th anniversary of the alumni awards program, which showcases the caliber of the university’s alumni and celebrate the depth and breadth of their professional accomplishments and service to the community. This year’s Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards were moved from spring to better coincide with the university’s homecoming weekend, which sees the return of many alumni. Seven recipient will receive awards this year, including:

Distinguished Alumni Awards – First presented in 1965, this is one of the university’s most prestigious awards. It is given to individuals who have achieved prominence in their profession.

Julie Anderson Julie Anderson (’91) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Anderson is Chief Financial Officer at Texas Capital Bank, and the Controller and Chief Accounting Officer for its parent company. She manages accounting and external financial reporting functions for the company, as well as financial planning and funds management.
Bob_Kimmel Bob Kimmel (’61) will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Kimmel is the past president and CEO of Davis H. Elliot Company, which he grew from 500 to more than 1,700 employees, and owns BK Energy. He is currently chairman of the UNT Foundation Board.
UNT student Daniel Ford talks with transfer advisor Adrian Riojas Leroy Whitaker (’50 and ’52), will receive the Distinguished Alumni Award. Whitaker is retired from Eli Lilly and Company, where he started work as a patent attorney and advanced to general patent counsel and assistant secretary with 30 attorney and agents reporting to him in a job that took him all over the world.

Distinguished Young Alumni Award – Created in 2011, this honor was established to recognize alumni under age 40 for distinguished career achievement.

Tiffaney Dale Hunter Tiffaney Dale Hunter (’01), will receive the Distinguished Young Alumni Award. Hunter is the chief communications officer for the Barbara Bush Houston Literacy Foundation as well as the president and CEO of Tiffaney Dale Public Relations, a full-service marketing and public relations company in Dallas and Houston.

Outstanding Alumni Service – First presented in 1974, this award honors individuals who have provided exceptional volunteer service to UNT or the community.

Bryce_Cathy Cathy Bryce (’81), will receive the Outstanding Alumni Service Award. Retired as Highland Park ISD Superintendent, Bryce’s career as an educator spanned 34 years. She has had decades of service with school administration groups, task forces and advisory boards, and has received 16 community honors and recognitions.

Ulys Knight Spirit Award – Presented since 1975, this award is given to any individual or group that has made noteworthy effort to sustain spirit among the UNT family.

Miller_Mark Mark Miller (’70 and ’80), will receive the Ulys Knight Spirit Award. Miller has been an active supporter and champion for UNT and Mean Green Athletics. He is a member of the UNT President’s Council, the UNT Alumni Association board of directors and the Mean Green Club. He established a charity basketball game to support the UNT Cheer Squad scholarship fund and manages a charity flag football game that benefits an athletic scholarship fund. Miller also helped create and sell spirit items during UNT football and basketball seasons, and has helped host events for UNT and Denton community members.

Generations of Excellence – First presented in 2009, this award honors and recognizes a family that has exhibited an extraordinary dedication to higher education, that has supported the university through its service by many family members who have attended or graduated, and has demonstrated the value and support of family in their individual and collective lives.

3 - HokeThe Hoke Family will receive the Generations of Excellence Award. In 1914-15, Martin Luther Hoke Sr. attended and graduated from what was then North Texas State Normal College. After serving in World War I, he settled his family in Denton and eight of his children attended North Texas State College’s Demonstration School, with six continuing on to North Texas State Teachers College/North Texas State College. Granddaughter Barbara Polansky continued her involvement with the university from the time she was an undergraduate through today. The Hoke Family has several teachers who collectively contributed to more than 100 years in education. Polansky also continued that tradition and has been recognized as the top Physical Educator in the state of Texas.

The UNT Alumni Association promotes and supports the ideals of the University of North Texas by connecting alumni, friends and current students through programs and scholarships that create awareness and loyalty for the university. For information about the UNT Alumni Association or the 2015 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards, call 940-565-2834 or email

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