Gala celebrates alumni for career success, service to community
UT Arlington honored seven alumni for their professional achievements, community engagement, and loyalty to their alma mater at the 48th Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala in October.
The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor bestowed on alumni by the University and the Alumni Association. The 2013 honorees are Herbert Beckwith ’94, Arun Bhikshesvaran ’95, Barbara White Bryson ’84, Keith L. Crandell ’87, JoAnn Lee ’76, Jeffrey Leuschel ’77, and Betsy Price ’72.
Beckwith is chief financial officer and senior vice president of international operations for Justin Brands. A certified public accountant, he earned a master’s degree in accounting from UT Arlington while working full time for Justin and raising a family. During his 31-year career with the Fort Worth-based bootmaker, he has been instrumental in opening markets in Canada, Europe, South America, and Japan.
Bhikshesvaran is chief marketing officer for L.M. Ericsson Group. He began working for the telecommunications company soon after graduating from UT Arlington with a master’s degree in electrical engineering. He became chief marketing officer in 2011 and is responsible for global marketing strategy. He serves on the Electrical Engineering Industrial Advisory Board in the UT Arlington College of Engineering.
Dr. Bryson is the associate vice president for facilities engineering and planning at Rice University, responsible for the planning, construction, and maintenance of the university’s facilities, grounds, central plant, and infrastructure. She earned a bachelor’s degree in architecture from UT Arlington and, in 2008, became a member of the American Institute of Architects College of Fellows.
Crandell is a co-founder and managing director of ARCH Venture Partners, a 27-year-old seed and early-stage venture capital partnership. ARCH manages $1.5 billion in capital and focuses on core technology spinouts from universities and other U.S. research organizations. He earned a master’s degree in chemistry from UT Arlington and is a member of the University’s Development Board.
Lee, who earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UT Arlington, is assistant general counsel, global litigation for ExxonMobil. Her responsibilities include the oversight of a global litigation and arbitration portfolio to protect the interests of the company’s shareholders. Prior to joining ExxonMobil, she was a trial attorney for Union Pacific Railroad and chief prosecutor in the Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
Leuschel is a partner in the Dallas office of McCall, Parkhurst & Horton L.L.P., representing clients in municipal finance transactions in Texas and Oklahoma. He has helped numerous Texas communities structure economic development public-private partnerships, including Alliance Airport, Texas Motor Speedway, and the redevelopment of Dallas Love Field. A member of the UT Arlington Development Board, he earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from the University.
Price, who graduated from UT Arlington with a bachelor’s degree in biology, is mayor of the city of Fort Worth. She took office in 2011 and was re-elected to a second two-year term in 2013. In addition to promoting jobs, strengthening education, fighting crime, and improving mobility, she has focused on making Fort Worth a healthy, engaged, and fiscally responsible city. Prior to becoming mayor, she served 11 years as Tarrant County’s tax assessor.