ARA presents Distinguished Alumni, Meritorious Service awards
Rice Board of Trustees Chair James Crownover ’65 and head baseball coach Wayne Graham won the Association of Rice Alumni’s (ARA) highest award – the Gold Medal – this year. The association also honored 10 others for distinguished accomplishments and meritorious service.
The Gold Medal recognizes Rice alumni, faculty, staff or friends of the university who have rendered extraordinary service to Rice.
James Crownover ’65
Jim Crownover was elected to the Rice University Board of Trustees in 1999 and has served as its chair for more than seven years. His contributions to Rice as an alumnus began before he joined the board, but his skill and leadership as chair of the board of trustees helped move the university forward through challenging times. During his nearly 14 years as a trustee, he has devoted countless hours to Rice. He led the search committee that brought David Leebron to Rice, guided the university through the possible merger with Baylor College of Medicine, promoted plans to increase the student body, worked closely with the planners of the Centennial Celebration and has been actively engaged in the $1 billion Centennial Campaign. As one of his nominators said, Jim always “worked to ensure that Rice strengthens its aspiration for significant achievement; he never saw the trustees as mere caretakers but rather as promoters of the highest goals for the university, living up to the distinguished legacy of our founding president and board chair.”
Rice University is nationally known for its superiority in academics, but as Rice University baseball coach, Wayne Graham took Rice to national prominence in athletics as well. Under his leadership, Rice teams have made 17 consecutive tournament appearances, won 16 consecutive regular season or tournament conference championships, been to the College World Series seven times and won the National Championship in 2003. His nominators said he has made a great difference at Rice, in ways that extend far beyond the baseball diamond. He is active in the Rice community and is a great fundraiser, working tirelessly to make Reckling Field a first-rate ball park. He has been a shining example of how to be a teacher and a coach, mentor and a friend to a generation of young men who learned to be winners in baseball and life. He never lets his players forget that they are students as well as athletes. Graham’s character, thoughtfulness and his love for the players have made him an outstanding example for the coaching profession.
DISTINGUISHED ALUMNI AWARD
Five Rice alumni have earned the 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award, which is presented to graduates who have advanced the interests and standards of excellence of Rice University through distinctive professional or volunteer careers.
Subha Barry ’85
Subha Barry is a longstanding advocate for business education and financial literacy and an innovator in the area of merging diversity and marketing objectives. She most recently served as chief diversity officer for Freddie Mac, where she was responsible for developing business strategies focused on the needs of a diverse workforce and marketplace. Prior to joining Freddie Mac, she worked 20 years at Merrill Lynch & Co., where she held various positions in diversity, inclusion, business development and marketing and was also a first vice president of investment management. She concluded her career at Merrill Lynch & Co. as the managing director, global head of diversity and inclusion, with responsibility for leading the integration of existing and new diversity efforts across the corporation globally and the oversight of the firm’s Diversity & Inclusion Council. Bill Glick, dean of the Jones Graduate School of Business, said the Jones School spends much time “speaking about thought leadership, emerging trends in businesses and corporate and social responsibility. Subha has done all three with her work in diversity and has led the way for other Fortune 500 companies to take seriously the charge to leverage talent from around the world to serve customers from around the world.”
Garrett Boone ’66
Garrett Boone is the co-founder and chairman emeritus of the Container Store, a retail company devoted entirely to storage and organization products. In 1978 it was an original concept, and he has grown the company from one store to a very successful national chain. The Container Store has been an uncommonly excellent corporate citizen, regularly gracing the cover of Fortune Magazine as the best company in America to work for. The positive culture of the company is legendary and is strong testimony to Boone’s leadership. He is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Texans and is a committed environmentalist and a strong believer in the power of education to create opportunity. These beliefs are reflected in the many organizations to which he has given his wealth, wisdom and work over the last several years, including co-founding the Texas Business for Clean Air Foundation. He is a board member of the YMCAs of the U.S.A. and ff Metropolitan Dallas and is also highly involved in the Great Trinity Forest plans, Paddling Trails and Bird Count Initiatives, Dallas Women’s Foundation and Teach for America.
Pamela Carrington Scott ’73
Pamela Scott is president and CEO of LVCC Inc., a consulting firm that advises businesses and nonprofit organizations on marketing, strategy and organizational issues. She has more than 30 years of sales and management experience in financial services and investment management. Prior to forming LVCC Inc. in 2003, Scott was senior vice president at State Street Corp., where she managed investment relationships with mutual funds, corporate and public pension fund investors and led State Street Global Advisors’ Charitable Asset Management Department serving nonprofit organizations. Scott also has an extensive history of support and involvement with nonprofit organizations in education, social services, performing arts, health care and professional associations. In 2009 she was a gubernatorial-appointed trustee to Salem State University and currently serves as chair of Salem State’s board of trustees. She also serves as a director of the United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley and The Boston Club, an organization of senior professional women. She recently served leadership roles with Tuck School of Business; Girls Inc. of Lynn, Mass.; Celebrity Series of Boston; and National Association of Securities Professionals. She was recently honored at the 2013 Boston Business Journal Advancing Women event.
James Doty ’62
Well-known and respected by virtually every senior auditor in the U.S. and every serious securities lawyer or securities regulator in the U.S. (and many around the world), James Doty has had a stellar career as an attorney at Baker Botts LLP, which he joined in 1969. At Baker Botts, he practiced securities and corporate law and counseled boards of directors and audit committees on regulatory and compliance matters, including matters arising under the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002. From 1990 to 1992 he served as general counsel of the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), advising the commission on matters of law and regulatory policy related to the commission’s oversight of U.S. securities markets. In early 2011 he was appointed by the SEC as chairman of the Public Company Accounting Oversight Board, where he effectively champions relevance, transparency and credibility in the information reporting of corporate institutions to their regulators and investors. He was awarded the Foreign Policy Association’s 2011 Statesman Award for his commitment to worldwide audit integrity. He is a recognized expert and speaker on the importance for the world economy of reliable financial reports and their audits.
Sammy Ray ’52
Sammy Ray is professor emeritus of marine biology at Texas A&M University at Galveston, where, for more than half a century, he has been an international leader in oyster research as a major staple in aquaculture and also as a reflection of the environmental health of the Gulf of Mexico. The diagnostic method he developed in the early 1990s to detect the disease agent in oysters is still the most widely used in oyster disease studies and has been vital in seafood safety. The website he and a colleague established in 2007, Oyster Sentinel, is one of the most highly regarded avenues for monitoring the environmental health of estuaries along the Gulf of Mexico. In addition, he made significant contributions to ornithological research on behalf of the Smithsonian Institution while serving in a combat zone during World War II. He has served Texas A&M Galveston in several key administrative positions, including interim president. In 1986 he created the highly regarded Sea Camp at the university, a weeklong program that teaches children aged 10-18 about marine and estuarine environments through hands-on experiences. In 2012, Ray was honored by his alma mater Mississippi Delta Junior College with the Distinguished Service Award at homecoming. Although the 93-year-old retired in 1990, he remains a teacher, every Tuesday and Wednesday during June and July at Sea Camp and concurrently is a researcher, student adviser and coordinator of student programs and several community outreach programs.
MERITORIOUS SERVICE AWARD
The ARA’s Meritorious Service Award recognizes Rice alumni, faculty, staff and friends who have rendered significant, sustained voluntary contributions of energy, time and creativity towards the advancement of the university.
Professor Emeritus Chandler Davidson never gave a serious thought to teaching anywhere other than Rice. He tried out several careers, including oil field worker, real estate sales, journalist, door-to-door vendor of brushes and other household implements and quartermaster in the U.S. Navy before joining the Rice faculty in 1966. His scholarship, teaching and service to the university have gone well beyond what is expected of tenured faculty. He was recognized with the George R. Brown Award for Superior Teaching four times and also earned the Brown Prize for Excellence in Teaching. His dedication to undergraduate teaching and his research and publications on voting rights all contributed to Rice’s growth and success. Since Rice’s desegregation, no member of the faculty has poured more into the work of molding the university into a genuinely open and diverse community of scholars. Throughout his career, and for a great many students, he indoctrinated the university’s stated commitment to valuing and serving all students, including gay, lesbian and minority students. His nominators said he has taken the time to not only attract minority students to Rice, but also to mentor and support them both while they are here and after they graduate.
Harry Gee Jr. ’60
Harry Gee is a distinguished member of the legal community, a nationally recognized authority in the field of immigration law and a prominent leader of the Asian-American community in Houston. His active involvement in numerous legal and community organizations is indicative of his commitment to the service of others. Gee has contributed greatly to the life of Rice both as a fundraiser and a leader. He was his class chairman for the Rice University Alumni Fund Drive, led the drive to renovate Fondren Library and established scholarships in the Asian Studies Program and for Rice women athletes in honor of his wife, Antje. Gee served as president of the Rice University Chinese Alumni Association, an organization he co-founded and nurtured. He also has served on many university and ARA committees, including the Parents Program committee, his reunion class committee, the Rice University Fund Council and ARA nominations and laureates committees. In addition, he led the ARA Board of Directors as president in 2006-07.
Melissa Fitzsimons Kean ’96
Melissa Kean began her association with Rice as a graduate student and stayed to eventually be named university historian. She has written histories of the Glasscock School of Continuing Studies and the Jesse H. Jones Graduate School of Business, and has researched the histories of Rice’s George R. Brown School of Engineering and the Wiess School of Natural Sciences. During her time as historian, she has become an insightful and knowledgeable resource for the deans and president. In 2003 she served as the administrative director of the presidential search that brought David Leebron to Rice. Once Leebron was here, she assisted him in making the transition as smooth as possible. Her knowledge was invaluable in the preparations for the Centennial Celebration; one of the most popular outcomes was her blog, in which she places Rice events and culture in a historical context and literally imbues history with life for her readers. She also was interviewed for a series of centennial videos. She has developed and enriched the archives at Rice and raised historical awareness, and through her passion, she has become an ambassador for Rice to the larger community.
Cindy Lindsay ’73
Cindy Lindsay has served Rice University in many capacities, from interviewing prospective students and chairing her 30th class reunion to serving on both the ARA Board of Directors and the Rice University Board of Trustees. One of her successes as the ARA president was to establish an innovative program that by all accounts is extremely effective, the Alumni Recognition Committee. This committee writes personal notes to alumni, faculty and students who have accomplished interesting and great things. Hundreds of notes go out quarterly, and this practice has brought the Rice community closer together, frequently resulting in the recipients writing thank-you notes to the writers. She continues to chair this committee. She has served as a sponsor and judge of the Rice University Business Plan Competition and as a speaker for the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. She is on the advisory board for Connexions. She and her husband, Steve Sheafor ’72, have created the Sheafor-Lindsay Innovation Fund and funded the Sheafor-Lindsay Chair in Information Technology.
Tammy Taura ’84
Tammy Taura has a long history of volunteerism with Rice, which, according to one of her nominators, is characterized by strategic thinking, thoughtfulness, organization, joy, humor, kindness and love for the university. She has interviewed prospective Rice students, served on her reunion committee both for homecoming and for reunion giving, served as a D.C. Centennial Campaign volunteer and was one of the early mentors in the ARA’s student alumni mentoring program. She served on the ARA Board of Directors from 1996 to 1999, and she and her husband, Ken ’83, co-chaired homecoming in 2010. Her most sustained and outstanding work has been with the D.C. regional group , which she has led since the mid-1990s. The D.C. events she has organized over the years range from annual student send-off events for incoming new students and their parents to lectures by Rice professors and visits by Rice’s president to special receptions, such as one for the baseball team following their visit to the White House or the reception on Capitol Hill honoring Rice’s centennial.