Liz Palacios, BA ’80, MSEd ’91, PhD, and the Palacios family of Waco established the Robert and Elizabeth Palacios Endowed Scholarship Fund, which supports Baylor students. Robert Palacios, BSEd ’82, MSEd ’93, worked at Waco’s La Vega High School for 28 years. Liz Palacios, who worked at Baylor for 40 years, retired this year as special assistant for diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging to the University’s vice president of student life.
Lisa Schwartz, BA ’80, was selected by the Spring Branch [TX] Education Foundation as the honoree for its gala celebrating 75 years of the Spring Branch Independent School District. She was honored for her 18 years of service as a member of the foundation’s board of directors and for her unprecedented three terms as board chair.
Steve Hickerson, BBA ’81, and Carol Hickerson of Georgetown, TX, established the Hickerson Family Endowed Scholarship in Apparel Merchandising in honor of their daughter Holly, BS ’18, and supporting Baylor students majoring in apparel merchandising. Steve and Carol also established the Hickerson Family Endowed Scholarship in Aviation Sciences in honor of their son Colby, BS ’15, and supporting Baylor students majoring in aviation sciences.
Sue Johnson, BA ’81, MBA ’82, and Scott Johnson of Fox Island, WA, established the Sue and Scott Johnson Endowed Scholarship, a Hord Challenge Scholarship, which supports Baylor students.
John Smistad, BA ’81, hosts The Quick Flick Critic on his YouTube Channel. He recently posted his interview with Baylor Film and Digital Media department chair and award-winning filmmaker Chris Hansen.
Randy Grimes, BS ’83, authored Off Center: A Memoir of Addiction, Recovery, and Redemption in Professional Football [Spiritus Communications, 2022]. The book is a bestseller, ranking No. 1 in more than seven categories. Grimes, who played 10 seasons with the National Football League’s Tampa Bay Buccaneers, is a member of the Baylor Athletics Hall of Fame and the Baylor Line Foundation Hall of Fame. He regularly speaks about substance abuse, pain management, mental health, suicide prevention, trauma and related topics, and he has worked with the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA), Texas Department of Transportation and the NFL.
Ken Surley, BME ’83, was awarded the American Guild of Organists Colleague Certification. Qualifications for the certificate include a comprehensive examination in organ literature, choral accompaniment, vocal solo accompaniment, harmonization of a given tune, sight-reading from a three-stave score, transposition, modulation and improvisation. Surley will celebrate his 30th anniversary as organist at Plymouth Park United Methodist Church in Irving this fall.
Mark Petersen, MBA ’84, and Aubin Petersen, BA ’74, Arlington, TX, established the Paul Eddie Dwyer Scholarship, which supports students in Baylor’s Diana R. Garland School of Social Work.
Blake Appleby, BBA ’85, and Alana Appleby of Aspen, CO, established the Blake and Alana Appleby Endowment for the President’s Excellence Fund. The endowment supports University needs at the President’s discretion. Their son Benjamin is a member of Baylor’s Class of 2023.
Gary Walker, BBA ’85, and Jerry Crenshaw, BBA ’85, are part of the continual growth in downtown Waco. Skywalker Property Partners LLC and SRH Hospitality Holdings Inc., a veteran developer of top-tier hospitality brands, had a groundbreaking ceremony on their AC Hotel by Marriott, the first full-service hotel to be developed in downtown Waco since the early 1980s. The 182-key AC Hotel Waco is slated to open in spring 2023 and is located in the Silos District, across the street from Magnolia Market.
Shelby Davidson, MPPA ’87, and Amanda Davidson will celebrate their 25th wedding anniversary July 26.
Mark Clark, BA ’88, was appointed dean of faculty affairs at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in August 2021. He is also the Kenneth Asbury Professor of History and Philosophy. Clark earned master’s and doctoral degrees from the University of Georgia.
Members of Cliff Temple Baptist Church in Dallas established the Cliff Temple Baptist Church Endowed Student Scholarship in Truett Seminary in honor of Baylor’s George W. Truett Theological Seminary Dean Todd Still, BA ’88, PhD, and his service as the church’s interim pastor during the past two years. The scholarship supports Truett Seminary students.
Mark P. Yablon, BBA ’88, founded Yablon Law PLLC in February and opened his offices on Allen Parkway between River Oaks and downtown Houston. His statewide practice helps fellow entrepreneurs and individuals with commercial/civil litigation, probate, bankruptcy, family law and real estate. Yablon previously was a commercial real estate developer and financial representative when he went to law school in 2015.
Elaine Goddard, BS ’89, authored 60 Days of Prayer [Rockridge Press, 2021]. The book takes a deeper look into the familiar words of the Lord’s Prayer. Goddard writes at highway2Him.com and is a lay prayer leader at Friendswood [Texas] Methodist Church. Her book is available at Amazon, Target and other booksellers.
Allyson Johnson, BA ’89, is children’s pastor at First Baptist Church of Denton, TX. She previously was with Timberline Church in Fort Collins, CO. Johnson is also a food writer and media blogger for Sip Savor Sisters, an Instagram account (@sipsavorsisters) with more than 16,000 followers.
Scott Wilson, BBA, ’89, and his wife Amy Jo celebrated their one-year wedding anniversary March 6, when they officially tied the knot and blended their three respective children to become a modern-day Brady Bunch. They enjoyed a fun year of highs and lows as a new eight-member family, approaching everything as a team by cheering for each other. Scott joined Unisys in August 2021; as global vice president of advisory services, he builds a global digital transformation strategy practice with teams in the United States, Australia, New Zealand, Mexico and the United Kingdom. Amy Jo earned her master’s degree at Southern Methodist University in December 2021; she is a licensed professional counselor associate, specializing in grief and loss, relationship dynamics, life transitions, communication, anxiety and depression. Scott can be contacted at email@example.com.