Baylor Alumni Association to Present Young Alumni Awards at Homecoming

  • News Photo 4305
    Marie Brown
  • News Photo 4306
    Patrick Crump
  • News Photo 4307
    Saad Ehtisham
  • News Photo 4308
    Phil Lakin
  • News Photo 4309
    Dr. Michael McLendon
  • News Photo 4304
    Kirk and Suzanne Anderson Person
Oct. 31, 2007

by Judy Prather, Baylor Alumni Association, (254) 710-6431

Baylor University's 2007 Outstanding Young Alumni Awards will be presented on Nov. 2 during the first performance at Pigskin Revue during Baylor's annual Homecoming celebration. The award is given annually by the Baylor Alumni Association to recognize professional achievement and distinguished service by Baylor alumni 40 years old or younger.

This year's recipients include Marie Brown of Denton; Patrick Crump of San Angelo; Saad Ehtisham of Wichita, Kan.; Phil Lakin of Tulsa, Okla.; Michael McLendon of Franklin, Tenn.; and Kirk and Susie Person of Bangkok, Thailand.

Marie Brown, a 1992 graduate with a master's degree from Texas Woman's University, is the social worker for the Denton County Health Department. She has more than 15 years of experience with children and families in counseling and direct case management and previously worked with the Texas Department of Protective and Regulatory Services. While a case manager in the private sector of the foster care system, the Texas State Foster Parents Association nominated her for Case Manager of the Year. She is a past director of the Baylor Alumni Association and past president of the Dallas Baylor Alumni Chapter, and she received the W. R. White Meritorious Service Award in 1999 and Bear Hunter of the Year in 2006.

Since 2004, Patrick Crump, a 1991 Baylor graduate, has served as president of Baptist Memorial Ministries in San Angelo. After earning an MS degree in gerontology from Baylor in 1993, he worked one year with a nursing center in Albuquerque before moving to the newly opened Baptist Memorials Center in San Angelo. He served for 10 years as president of healthcare services, overseeing the operation of a long-term care facility, an Alzheimer's facility, a pharmacy and a home health agency. Crump has served on several boards that provide services for the aging and currently serves on the Executive Committee of the Baylor Alumni Association. He and his wife, Jeana Elliott Crump '92, have three children: Grayson, Greer and Caroline. They are members of First Baptist Church in San Angelo, where he teaches in the youth department and is a past chair of the deacons.

Saad Ehtisham is a 1993 graduate who also earned the BSN in 1997. In 2006, he was named senior vice president of clinical operations with Via Christi Wichita Health Network, where he manages an annual budget of $879 million and is responsible for more than 3,000 employees. Under his leadership, Via Christi has been rated among the top 5 percent of health networks in the country, and he was selected as one of 12 "Up and Comers" for 2007 by Modern Healthcare. Ehtisham, who earned the MBA and MHA degrees from Texas Woman's University, was previously a senior executive with LifePoint Hospitals and chief operating officer and chief nursing officer for West Mesa Medical Center. He has two daughters, Hinah and Aliyah.

Phil Lakin, a 1989 graduate who also earned the MBA in 1999, has served as executive director of the Tulsa Community Foundation in Tulsa, Okla., since its inception in 1999. Under his leadership, the foundation was recently ranked 10th among all the nation's charities in donations received, with assets now valued at more than $3 billion. In 2002, he was named outstanding fundraising executive in eastern Oklahoma. Lakin began his career as a consultant with Accenture, later working three years as a regional development director for Baylor. A graduate of Leadership Tulsa, he serves on several local boards and on the Baylor Development Council. He is a deacon at Southern Hills Baptist Church. Lakin and his wife, Adriane, have three sons: Brooks, Alex, and Cooper.

After earning the BA in political science in 1991, Dr. Michael McLendon received a master's degree from Florida State University and the PhD in higher education policy for the University of Michigan. In 2001, his doctoral thesis was named National Dissertation of the Year by the Association for the Study of Higher Education. Now an associate professor of public policy and higher education at Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, he chairs the university's nationally top-10 ranked graduate program in Higher Education Leadership and Policy and directs the graduate program in Public Policy and Education. He is the author of more than 70 peer-reviewed publications and conference presentations, and his research has appeared in numerous books and journals. Earlier this year, he received Peabody's Benefactor of the Commons Award for service to the college. McLendon is married to the former Kathy Coleman, a 1990 Baylor graduate, and they have two children: Cole and Kate.

The first husband-wife recipients of the award are Kirk and Suzanne Anderson Person, who serve in Bangkok, Thailand, with SIL International, a non-profit, scientific, educational, faith-based organization specializing in serving the lesser-known language communities of the world. Suzie now teaches at the Chitralada Palace School, and Kirk directs external affairs for the Mainland Southeast Asia branch of SIL International. As residents of Thailand since 1995, they have helped to develop an alphabet for the previously unwritten Bisu language and worked with several literacy and translation projects, including a Muang translation of the entire New Testament and key Old Testament passages. Kirk has also taught graduate courses in the Department of Linguistics at Payap University in Thailand.

Kirk graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Baylor in 1987, later earning master's degrees in both linguistics and cross-cultural studies and the PhD in linguistics. Suzie is a 1990 Baylor graduate, who also earned master's degrees in linguistics and cross-cultural studies. Their three children, Andrew, Emily and Austin, have grown up in a multilingual, multicultural setting.

For more information about the Outstanding Young Alumni award, or any of the other eight awards presented by the Baylor Alumni Association, call (254) 710-1121 or check the association's web site at

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