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UT Arlington Alumni Association honors seven during Oct. 20 gala

Monday, October 15, 2012

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Media Contact: Kristin Sullivan

The 47th Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala will honor the achievements of seven alumni at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 20, in the E.H. Hereford University Center Bluebonnet Ballroom.

The UT Arlington Alumni Association also will recognize the achievements of University President James D. Spaniolo with an honorary distinguished alumni award. Spaniolo announced last summer that he will retire once The University of Texas System Board of Regents identifies a successor.

The Gala recognizes outstanding alumni for their individual achievements, contributions to their industries or professions, service to their community and demonstrated loyalty to The University of Texas at Arlington. The event also generates significant scholarship funds for students.

For information about Gala tickets or sponsorships, contact the association at 817-272-2594 or visit

The 2012 honorees are:

  • Shirlee J. Gandy (’70) – president and owner of RPM Commercial in Fort Worth
  • Pan “Baker” Jiang (’12) – vice president of hypermarket operations for Walmart China
  • Charles H. Goodman (’64) – retired senior vice president for research and environmental policy for the Southern Company in Atlanta and Birmingham, Ala.
  • David L. Hunn (’78, ’80, ’92)chief scientist and director of technical staff for Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control.
  • Curtis R. Kayem (’66) president of Tex-Isle Supply, Inc. Houston, a third-generation oilfield supply and manufacturing company founded in 1959.
  • Wayne Watts (’76)senior executive vice president and general counsel for AT&T, headquartered in Dallas.
  • E. Dale Martin (’78) – pediatric dentist and former assistant regional counsel for the Social Security Administration and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

Gandy earned a bachelor’s degree in political science from UT Arlington is a member of the University’s Development Board. Gandy, and her husband, Taylor, recently established of the Shirlee J. and Taylor Gandy First Generation Scholarship Program at UT Arlington.

Jiang is the 2012 University’s Distinguished International Alumnus. He earned an executive master of business administration degree last spring. Jiang oversees all 369 Walmart and Trustmart stores in 170 Chinese cities. The stores employ more than 80,000 people serving about 700 million customers a year and generate more than $8 billion annually in sales.

Martin will be honored with the Distinguished Alumni Service Award and recognized for his volunteer work with the Children’s Oral Health Coalition for Tarrant County and with Arlington’s Boy Scout Troop 380. He is a member of the UT Arlington College of Science Advisory Council and is a member of the UT Arlington Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Spaniolo has served as UT Arlington president since 2004 and is credited for leading the University through a period of accelerated growth and enhanced academic and research activity. He has overseen development of the 20-acre College Park District, including the 7,000-seat College Park Center, and expansion of University research facilities.

Lillie M. Biggins (’75), a 2007 Distinguished Alumna, will be the master of ceremonies. She is president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Fort Worth and a 30-year veteran of health care. She was an assistant clinical professor in hospital administration at UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas for six years and is currently an adjunct faculty member at UT Arlington.

The University of Texas at Arlington is a comprehensive research institution of more than 33,200 students in the heart of North Texas. Visit to learn more.


The University of Texas at Arlington is an Equal Opportunity and Affirmative Action employer.