Baylor to Honor Distinguished Alumni Jan. 17

Jan. 7, 1997

WACO, Texas - Baylor University will honor four graduates as Distinguished Alumni during the 1997 Distinguished Alumni Banquet at 7 p.m. Friday, Jan. 17, in the Barfield Drawing Room of the Bill Daniel Student Center.

The honorees for 1997 are A.W. "Bill" Bailey, former Baylor regent; Coach Clyde Hart, Baylor track coach; Thomas Mann, former ambassador to Mexico; and Gil Stricklin, founder and president of Marketplace Ministries Inc.

The Distinguished Alumni Award is bestowed on Baylor degree holders who have made a distinctive contribution to their particular profession, business or vocation and in doing so have brought honor to Baylor.

A native of Waco, Bill Bailey received a bachelor of arts and a juris doctorate from Baylor. He served in the U.S. Air Force as a first lieutenant in the Judge Advocate Corps.

He is chairman of Bailey Insurance and Risk Management Inc., Bailey Financial Services Inc., Bailey Managing General Agency Inc., and Wilkirson-Hatch Funeral Home. He is a director of Texas National Bank of Waco.

Active in Waco civic affairs, Bailey is past chairman of the Waco United Way, past president of the Baylor/Waco Foundation, Waco Rotary Club, Waco Y.M.C.A., Waco Camp Fire Girls and past director of the Waco Chamber of Commerce. He is a deacon at First Baptist Church of Waco and served as Baylor regent for 18 years.

He has received numerous honors and awards, many from the insurance industry, including the Woodworth Memorial Award for Meritorious Service to the Insurance Profession; the Drex Foreman Award and the Sidney O. Smith National Award for outstanding service in the field of Federal Government Relations. Baylor has awarded him the W.R. White Meritorious Service Award and the James Huckins Medal.

In his 34th year as Baylor's head track coach, Clyde Hart has a program firmly established as one of the nation's best, and many of his former pupils have gone on to achieve fame in the international track community. Michael Johnson, who still trains under Hart, is considered the world's premier track and field athlete.

While at Baylor, Hart's men's teams have three times placed third at NCAA Championships and fourth one time. His men's teams have finished in the top 10 nationally 15 times. Hart has coached two U.S. champions, one world champion, one junior champion, an Olympic gold medalist, two Pan American Games medalists and 83 All-American track athletes. His teams have set seven national collegiate records.

Hart has received numerous coaching awards including Southwest Conference Indoor Track Coach of the Year in 1981, 1984, 1989 and 1996; Region 6 Indoor Track Coach of the Year in 1996; NCAA Indoor Track Coach of the Year in 1989 and 1996 and Senior College Coach of the Year for Spring Sports in 1985. He is a member of Halls of Fame at Baylor, the Houston Meet of Champions and the Drake Relays.

Thomas Clifton Mann was born in Laredo, Texas. He attended Baylor from 1929 to 1934 and received his bachelor and law degrees, the latter with honor. While attending the university, he represented Baylor in national collegiate debating tournaments.

During World War II, Mann served as assistant to the Ambassador in Montevideo, Uruguay, and in 1946, he transferred from the Civil Service to the Foreign Service. In 1955, he was appointed by President Eisenhower as U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador. In 1961, President Kennedy named him as U.S. Ambassador to Mexico.

Mann appeared on the cover of Time magazine in January, 1964. In 1965, he was made Under Secretary of State for Economic Affairs. He left government service in 1966 and served as president of the Automobile Manufacturer's Association from 1966-72. He now lives in retirement in Austin.

In 1966, President Johnson presented Mann with the President's Award for Distinguished Federal Civilian Service. The Pan American Society of New York awarded him its Gold Insignia in 1966. After he left government service, Mexico, Brazil and Nicaragua each conferred their highest decorations on him.

Accepting the Distinguished Alumni Award for Mann will be his son, the Rev. Clifton Mann.

Gil A. Stricklin, a native of rural North Texas, graduated from Baylor in 1957 with a degree in business. He was commissioned as a second lieutenant in the U. S. Air Force through Baylor ROTC.

After active duty in the Air Force, Stricklin returned to Texas to earn a journalism degree from Texas Christian University. He served as religion editor of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram and attended Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth where he earned bachelor and master of divinity degrees.

Stricklin traveled with Dr. Billy Graham from 1965-1970, serving as special assistant responsible for media relations for the renowned evangelist. Stricklin worked 14 years for the Baptist General Convention of Texas before founding Marketplace Ministries in 1984. Marketplace Ministries provides cross-denominational, multi-ethnic chaplain services to secular businesses nationwide.

Stricklin continued to serve as a chaplain in the U.S. Army Reserve and was deployed to Desert Storm. He retired in 1994 as a full colonel. He is married to the former Ann March, a 1958 Baylor graduate, and has two sons, also Baylor graduates. Stricklin is an avid football fan, an instrument rated and multi-engine commercial pilot and a long-time jogger.

The distinguished alumni awards will be presented by Baylor President Robert B. Sloan Jr. The master of ceremonies will be Frank Fallon, former coordinator of broadcast activities at Baylor, and the invocation will be given by Dr. Milton Cunningham, Baylor chaplain. Bob Anne Senter, president of the Alumni Association, also will be on the program.

For more information, contact the Baylor Alumni Association at 755-1121.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?