Five State Officials to Be Honored at Baylor Oct. 25

Oct. 17, 1996

WACO, Texas - The Baylor University Board of Regents will co-host a luncheon with the Independent Colleges and Universities of Texas (ICUT) Friday, Oct. 25, for five Texas public officials who are being honored with Distinguished Service Awards.

All five officials are being recognized for their efforts in the 74th Legislature that were beneficial to independent higher education institutions in Texas. Each of the public officials also played a crucial role in obtaining a 50 percent increase in funding for the Texas Tuition Equalization Grant (TEG) program, according to Carol McDonald, president of ICUT.

The Legislature approved an increase in the grant program from $25 million per year of the biennium to $37.5 million per year. For Baylor students, that increase added $1.5 million per year to the existing $3 million level of funding for TEG grants, bringing the total annual grant level for Baylor students to $4.5 million.

The officials being honored are John Sharp, State Comptroller of Public Accounts; State Rep. Anna Mowery, representing House District 97 (Tarrant County); State Rep. Kip Averitt, representing House District 56 (Falls and Limestone Counties and portions of McLennan County); State Sen. David Sibley, representing Senate District 22 (Bosque, Comanche, Eastland, Erath, Hamilton, Hill, Hood, Jack, Palo Pinto, Somervell, and Wise Counties and portions of Denton, Johnson, McLennan, Parker and Tarrant Counties); and State Rep. Bob Hunter, representing House District 71 (portions of Taylor County).

As the state's chief financial officer, Sharp played a key role in educating state legislators about the TEG program. "He recognized the value of the program with an analysis showing how the TEG program can save money for the state," McDonald said. "His recommendation helped significantly."

The TEG program provides financial aid for Texas-resident students who come from backgrounds that would not allow them to afford an independent institution of their choice, McDonald said. Sharp's analysis of this program showed that the money Texas awards in TEG grants for students

to attend independent colleges or universities is much less than the amount the state appropriates for students to attend public institutions.

Sharp graduated from Texas A&M University and later earned a master of public administration degree from Southwest Texas State. He served in the Texas House, the Texas Senate and on the Texas Railroad Commission before being elected in 1990 as State Comptroller and re-elected in 1994.

Mowery graduated from Baylor with a bachelor of arts degree in drama, speech and political science. She then earned a master's degree in history and speech from Central State University in Edmond, Okla. She has been a state representative since 1988, serving on the House Appropriations Committee and the Appropriations Subcommittee on Education. She also serves as vice chairman of the Land and Resource Management Committee.

Averitt earned his bachelor's and master's in business administration degrees from Baylor. He is a certified public accountant and owner of diversified manufacturing companies. He was elected as a state representative in 1993 and now serves on the Insurance Committee, the Committee on Business and Industry, and the Committee on Rules and Resolutions.

Sibley was elected to the Texas Senate in 1991. He was appointed chairman of the powerful Senate Economic Development Committee for the 74th Legislative Session. He also serves on the Finance; Education; and International Relations, Trade and Technology Committees. Sibley received his bachelor's degree from Baylor and is an honor graduate of the Baylor College of Dentistry. He is a board-certified oral and maxillofacial surgeon and practiced in Waco for seven years. He then attended Baylor Law School while serving as mayor of Waco. In October 1995, he became of counsel to the Waco-based law firm of Naman, Howell, Smith and Lee.

Hunter received his bachelor's and master's degrees in business administration from Abilene Christian University. He was awarded a Doctor of Laws degree from Pepperdine University. He was elected to the Texas House of Representatives in 1986, currently serving on the Committee on State Affairs. He also is chairman of the Committee on State, Federal and International Relations. From 1970-80, Hunter served as the executive vice president of ICUT and was instrumental in the formation of legislation that authorized the TEG program.

For more information, contact Baylor's Office of Governmental Relations at (817) 755-1421.

Looking for more news from Baylor University?