Spur Society Gala Honors Top Texas Tech Donors

The Texas Tech University System honored 17 of its top donors at the annual Spur Society Gala held Nov. 6 at the Texas Tech University Frazier Alumni Pavilion.

“Sociedad de la Espuela,” Spanish for Spur Society, was established in 1998 to recognize donors who had given more than $1 million to the Texas Tech University System. Texas Tech chose the spur as a symbol of growth and excellence, linking Texas Tech to its traditional West Texas roots.

“The Spur Society recognizes our most generous donors and celebrates the history of Texas Tech,” said Kent Hance, chancellor of the Texas Tech University System. “These individuals and organizations have made the continued growth and success of our institutions possible, and we are proud to honor them here tonight.”

New Spur Society members received a pair of black, rowelled spurs presented in a cherry wood box. The glass lid of each presentation box was personalized with the name of each recipient etched underneath the name of the Spur Society and a Double T.

The stainless steel spurs, made by Tom Balding Bits and Spurs are finished in gunmetal black and feature a red Double T on the heel band surrounded by gold scrollwork and floral motifs.

This year’s Spur Society honorees included:

  • Bayer CropScience, represented by Mike Gilbert, cotton general manager, and Monty Christian, director of global cotton marketing, for contributions to the Texas Tech University Department of Plant and Soil Science.
  • James and Jere Lynn Burkhart of Lubbock, Texas, for contributions to the Burkhart Center for Autism Education and Research in the Texas Tech University College of Education.
  • Development Corporation of Abilene, represented by Mike Schweikhard, vice president of the board of directors, for contributions to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy campus in Abilene, Texas.
  • Dian Graves Owen Foundation, represented by Scott Dueser, former Texas Tech University System regent, on behalf of Tucker Bridwell, president of the Dian Graves Owen Foundation, for contributions to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy campus in Abilene, Texas.
  • Dodge Jones Foundation, represented by Joe E. Canon, executive director, and Larry Gill, vice president and grants administrator, for contributions to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy campus in Abilene, Texas.
  • Terry and Linda Fuller of Southlake, Texas, for contributions to scholarship endowments and the Terry and Linda Fuller Track at R.P. “Bob” Fuller Athletic Complex.
  • B.R. “Rip” and Geneva Griffin of Lubbock, Texas, for contributions to the Chancellor’s Council and Texas Tech University.
  • Curtis and Cynthia Griffith of Lubbock, Texas, for contributions to the Chancellor’s Council.
  • Halliburton, represented by Lynn Palmore, senior district manager for the Permian Basin area, for contributions to the Texas Tech University T-STEM Center.
  • Hendrick Health System, represented by Norm Archibald, vice president of the Hendrick Medical Foundation and mayor of Abilene, Texas, for contributions to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy campus in Abilene, Texas.
  • Dr. Robert and Jean Ann LeGrand of San Angelo, Texas, for contributions to Angelo State University including the LeGrand Sports Complex and the LeGrand Alumni and Visitors Center.
  • Texas Tech University System Regent Mickey L. Long and wife, Renee, of Midland, Texas, for their contributions to the Texas Tech University System.
  • Raymond and Lucille Pickering of Lubbock, Texas, for contributions to the Lucille and Raymond Pickering Endowed Chair in the Texas Tech University Jerry S. Rawls College of Business.
  • Shelton Family Foundation, represented by David Copeland, president, for contributions to the Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center School of Pharmacy campus in Abilene, Texas.
  • Trinity Company, represented by Fred Underwood, owner, chairman and CEO, for contributions to Texas Tech University.

The evening’s events also commemorated new members of the Black Boot Society, which honors donors who have contributed more than $10 million to the Texas Tech University System.

Pat Herd of Tyler, Texas, was this year’s Black Boot Society inductee and received a pair of black Luchese boots embroidered with the Double T logo.

The annual, black tie event featured guest chef Stephan Pyles of Dallas who prepared a three-course menu of “caramelized pumpkin bisque,” “juniper-cured beef tenderloin,” “autumn apples and caramel,” and selected wines.

Pyles, a fifth generation Texan and one of the founding fathers of Southwest cuisine, has created 14 restaurants over his 22 year career and is the chef and owner of two restaurants in the Dallas Arts District, Stephan Pyles and Samar by Stephen Pyles.

In 1991 Pyles received the James Beard Foundation Award for Best Chef in the Southwest. Dubbed “the Oscars of the food world” by Time magazine, The James Beard Foundation Awards recognize the best and brightest talent of the food and beverage industry.

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