UT Tyler 40th anniversary gala to honor distinguished alumni
From Staff Reports
March 11, 2012 at midnight
The University of Texas at Tyler is throwing a year-long 40th anniversary celebration and is encouraging all 28,000 alumni to participate.
The university, with a center in Longview, also is honoring four of its top alumni at a gala later this month, university Presdient Rodney H. Mabry said.
The honorees are Valari Dobson Staab and Chris Chambless, distinguished alumni; Karen McKeown, outstanding young alumna; and Teri Curington, outstanding service alumni award.
Staab, who earned a bachelor of business administration degree in marketing in 1982, is president of NBC Universal-owned television stations in New York. Staab's sixth-floor corner office at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, NBC's landmark New York City headquarters, is at least 1,500 miles from Tyler-based KLTV, where she began her career as a rookie reporter.
Chambless earned a bachelor of arts degree in English in 1993. He is co-founder and chief marketing officer of Ambit Energy in Plano. Ambit Energy is an electricy provider.
McKeown earned a bachelor of science in nursing degree in 2000 and was recently appointed by Department of Health Services Secretary as administrator for the Public Health Division for Wisconsin. Before her appointment, McKeown was an oncology nurse and manager at ETMC. She also has master's degree from Yale University, graduating with honors.
Curington earned a bachelor of nursing degree in 2003 and a master of nursing degree in nursing education in 2009. She is a lieutenant in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps and received a commendation for service in Kandahar, Afghanistan, as ICU/trauma nurse. She also has received two Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals. Curington is the director of emergency services at ETMC Gilmer.
The awards will be presented March 30 at the Ornelas Activity Center on the campus of UT Tyler.
Special guest speaker for the event will be Jim "The Rookie" Morris. Morris' climb to the big leagues was portrayed in the Disney feature film "The Rookie," starring Dennis Quaid.
University Vice President and Athletic Director Howard Patterson said the evening also will include the inauguration of the Patriot Athletics Hall of Fame.
"We have been formulating a plan for years to recognize our most distinguished athletes," Patterson said.
The inductees names have not been released.