C.T. “Sparkey” Beckham, BBA ’49, and Merrie Beckham, ABC ’86, of Dallas paid tribute to their daughter through the establishment the C.T. “Sparkey” and Merrie Beckham Endowed Scholarship in Nursing in Memory of Sara Beckham Foxworth, as part of the Hord Challenge Program. Merrie Beckham also received the Alumna by Choice of the Year Award, which will henceforth be named in her honor.


Dr. Thomas Edwin Cook, BS ’50, MD ’52, and Bobbie Joyce Cravey Cook served as missionaries throughout the world, including Korea, where they served for more than five years.

Charles Whiteside and Jo Ann Whiteside, BA ’55, of Kilgore, TX, established the Darwin Whiteside Endowed Scholarship Fund. This fund was established in honor of Charles’ brother Darwin Whiteside for his 99th birthday and supports students pursuing degrees in aviation sciences. 


The Thomas Wesley Purdy Jr. and Janet Ross Purdy Endowed Scholarship Fund, a Hord Challenge Scholarship, was established in honor of Tom Purdy, BA ’61, and Jan Purdy, BA ’64, MSEd ’94, by their loving family. This scholarship supports students in the School of Education. 

John W. Roppolo, BA ’61, of Dallas was recognized by Metrocrest Services with its “Seasons of Service” for outstanding community volunteerism. He was previously honored by the American Heart Association, Leadership Dallas Alumni, City of Carrollton, National Catholic Education Association, Association of Fundraising Professionals, Public Relations Society of America, Mosaic, Baylor Alpha Tau Omega, and Cistercian Preparatory School. He has been married to Marilyn Royce Roppolo of Tyler, TX, for 57 years, and they have four children and 11 grandchildren.

Dr. W. Dennis Stripling, BS ’64, attended the University of Texas Medical Branch for medical training and Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center for internship and orthopedic residency. He was the U.S. Army flight surgeon for Thailand. Stripling did specialty training in hand surgery with Boyes, Stark, Ashworth and Zemel in Los Angeles and has enjoyed 40 years of practice in hand surgery at Texas Health Presbyterian Hospital Dallas. He was chairman of the board of trustees for Texas Health Resources for three years and was the first physician to hold this position. Stripling and his wife Bettye are the proud parents of Denny Loveless, BS ’93, MA ’95, and Susan Loveless, BA ’95, and they have three wonderful grandchildren. Dennis and Bettye reside in Richardson, TX. Contact at handman01@sbcglobal.net.

Bill Smothers, BA ’66, of Virginia Beach, VA, established the William W. Smothers Endowed Scholarship Fund, a Hord Challenge Scholarship, to support students enrolled in the College of Arts and Sciences.

Fernando R. Elizondo, MS ’68, of Salinas, CA, is a retired educator after a 35-year career in which he was a classroom teacher, director, middle school principal and assistant superintendent, and was a superintendent for 15 years. Elizondo established a consultant education firm in retirement. He earned a doctorate from the University of Southern California. Elizondo is active in the Salinas community and serves on the board of trustees of the Natividad Medical Center. He is also a docent for Point Lobos natural reserve. Contact at Ees.inc@gmail.com.

Allen Wier, BA ’68, received the sixth-annual Truman Capote Prize for Distinguished Work in Literary Non-Fiction or the Short Story. The Capote Prize is sponsored by Dianne Lawson Baker and is chaired by Don Noble.

Alan Saltzman, BA ’69, and Diana Gorena Saltzman, BA ’68, of San Antonio established the Alan and Diana Gorena Saltzman Endowed Scholarship Fund in Education. This scholarship supports secondary education majors who intend to teach STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics). It also assists elementary education majors who are pursuing a special education teaching career.