John J. Keeter, Jr. Alumni Service Award

The Alumni Service Award is the highest alumni honor HSU can bestow. It has been presented since 1943 to former student(s) who has contributed the most in his or her field of endeavor toward the betterment of HSU, or who has rendered the greatest service to the University. Awards are selected by a committee whose members are established by a campus leadership role.

Past Recipients

NameAward YearBio
Mr. Billy Bob Neff & Mrs. Patricia (Butman) Neff 2015-2016 Bio
Mr. Roy Graham & Mrs. Sharon (Smith) Graham BA 1963 & BBA 1963 2014-2015 Bio
Mrs. Melinda (Offner) Stricklin BEd 1983 2013-2014 Bio
Col. Glenn Bratcher BBA 1957 2012-2013 Bio
Mrs. Billie (Shirley) Martin BA 1948, MEd 1954 2011-2012 Bio
Dr. Fred E. Aurbach '66 2010-2011 Bio
Mr. Joe Sharp '58 2009-2010 Bio
Mr. John Crowe '56 2008-2009  
Mrs. Betty (Thornton) Crowe '55 2008-2009  
Mrs. Bee (Agnew) Shackelford '41 2007-2008 Bio
Dr. Clinton E. Wolf '50 2006-2007  
Mrs. Joan (Penney) Wolf '50 2006-2007  
Mr. James Magee Parker '51 2005-2006  
Mrs. Dottie (Shaw) Parker '42/'72 2004-2005  
Dr. Robert Lacewell '50 2003-2004  
Mrs. Martha (Nollner) Lacewell '50 2003-2004  
Dr. David S. "Scotty" Holland ex'51 2002-2003  
Mr. Jud Powell '76/'78 2001-2002  
Mrs. Linda (Scarborough) Powell '72 2001-2002  
Dr. Gerald E. Martin '48 2000-2001  
Dr. Jake Whitaker '51 1999-2000  
Mr. Doyle Kelley '51 1998-1999  
Mr. Hal Haralson '57 1997-1998  
Miss Hattie Bell Martin '40 1996-1997  
Mrs. Marylyn Arnot '43 1995-1996  
Mr. Robert E. Hitt '49 1994-1995  
Mr. WIlliam F. McCord '51 1993-1994  
Mrs. Billie Scott '47 1992-1993  
Mr. Gene Adams '54/'62 1991-1992  
Mr. C. Kenneth Hill, Jr. '48 1990-1991  
Mr. Guy W. Shaw '36 1989-1990  
Mr. Jim H. Jennings '30 1988-1989  
Dr. W.C. "Prof" Ribble '27 1987-1988  
Mrs. Charles (Koreen Logsdon) Hemphill 1986-1987  
Miss Aileen Culpepper '40 1985-1986  
Dr. John Hanna Brewer '30 1984-1985  
Mrs. Tid McAden '41 1983-1984  
Mr. Glen Burroughs '49/'50 1982-1983  
Dr. T.W. "Jack" Dean '47 1981-1982  
Dr. Virginia Boyd Conally '33 1980-1981  
Mrs. Lunelle Hemphill '29 1979-1980  
Mrs. W.B. Irvin '21 1978-1979  
Dr. Bill Tippen '43 1977-1978  
Mr. J.E. Johnson '29 1976-1977  
Dr. Elwin Skiles '34 1975-1976  
Dr. Frank Cadenhead '42 1974-1975  
Mr. James Cassle '41 1973-1974  
Mr. Hal Pender '47 1972-1973  
Mr. Charles Logsdon 1971-1972  
Mr. Marion B. McClure 1970-1971  
Mr. Wilton O. Davis '50 1969-1970  
Miss Katharyn Duff '36 1968-1969  
Dr. Lee Hemphill '29 1967-1968  
Dr. Dossie Wiggins 1966-1967  
Mr. Thomas Evans 1965-1966  
Rev. Boyce Evans '49 1964-1965  
Mrs. L.H. Beckham 1963-1964  
Mr. Frank Junell '34 1962-1963  
Mr. Alvin Woody '49 1961-1962  
Dr. W.B. Irvin '21/'27 1960-1961  
Hon. George Mahon '24 1959-1960  
Mr. Guy Caldwell '27 1958-1959  
Mr. J.C. Hunter '34 1957-1958  
Mrs. H.A. Pender '47 1956-1957  
Mr. & Mrs. Solon Featherston '18 1955-1956  
Rev. Bryon Bryant '40 1954-1955  
Dr. Otis English '21 1953-1954  
Dr. Conrad Lam '27 1952-1953  
Dr. C. Wayne Evans '40 1951-1952  
Dr. Rupert N. Richardson '12 1950-1951  
Mr. Eugene Holman '16 1949-1950  
Rev. P.D. O'Brien '17 1948-1949  
Mr. Leroy C. Jennings, Sr. '28 1947-1948  
Mrs. Tate May '40 1946-1947  
Mr. Raymond Foy '18 1945-1946  
Mr. J.D. Sandefer '20 1945-1946  
Mr. Barney Carter 1944-1945  
Mr. Rupert Johnson '29 1943-1944  

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2015-2016 Recipient(s)

Billy Bob and Patricia NeffMr. Billy Bob Neff & Mrs. Patricia (Butman) Neff
B.S. 1962/M.E. 1967 & B.S. 1977
Alumni Volunteers

Billy Bob and Pat Neff of Merkel epitomize the loving servant spirit envisioned by those who established this award in 1943. Mr. and Mrs. Neff served on HSU’s Alumni Association Board of Directors 2005-2008 in a shared role as Vice-President of Special Events. For decades, however, they have intentionally sought ways to connect to current and former HSU students on a personal level, volunteering at alumni activities, donating time and resources while befriending and encouraging students, and being active spectators at student productions and sporting events. They also give generously of themselves throughout their community and their church, First Baptist Abilene, where Billy Bob is an active Deacon. Both are former teachers. Mrs. Neff established and taught in the Art department for Merkel ISD, and Mr. Neff was with Abilene ISD from 1962-2005. They currently own Neff Construction/Design Company, Neff Art Creations, and are group leaders for travel-abroad programs. Serving a university that honors our Christian values and our Christian faith is a Divine calling and opportunity.

Congratulate Billy Bob and Pat at

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2014-2015 Recipient(s)

Roy and Sharon GrahamMr. Roy Graham & Mrs. Sharon (Smith) Graham
B.A. 1963 & B.B.A 1963
Alumni Leaders

Current HSU Trustee Roy Graham came to HSU from Midland High. The senior class president met and married another campus leader Sharon Smith, who hailed from Klondike. More recently, Sharon served a six-year term on HSU’s Alumni Association Board of Directors.

Roy and Sharon own a full-time private business in farming and ranching in Greenwood (West Texas) where they have a successful cotton operation. Both are active in their community, holding various leadership and support roles, and he is a 44-year deacon at their church, Greenwood Baptist.

Roy and Sharon have demonstrated their life-long HSU dedication through continued friendships, volunteer service, and gracious support. All three of the Graham children caught the vision and attended HSU – Andrea ’89 (& Monty Chapman ’88), Mark ’92 (& Marian Shelton ’92), and Darla ‘94X (& Layne Morrow). One of their seven grandchildren is an HSU freshman.

We are very grateful for the opportunity to serve and support a university that cherishes Biblically-based values and seeks to be a shining light in today’s world.

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2013-2014 Recipient(s)

Mrs. Melinda (Offner) Stricklin
B.Ed. 1983
Business Co-Owner

Current Trustee Board Secretary, Melinda Stricklin was president of the Board of Young Associates (1994-1995) and has been an officer and scholarship committee chair with the Ft. Worth Area Alumni Chapter. During her time as a Trustee (1997-2004, 2007- ), Melinda chaired the Advancement, Student Development, and Presidential Search Committees. Through the years, she has developed a reputation as a key volunteer recruiter for the University.

Melinda and husband Dirk ’80 are co-owners of Savers Cost Plus Supermarkets in the DFW area. They are the parents of three sons: Drew, Jon ’11, and current HSU student Ben.


Hardin-Simmons holds a very special place in my heart because it is where I was able to grow spiritually and emotionally, and not only realize but achieve my dreams.

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2012-2013 Recipient(s)

Colonel Glenn D. Bratcher, USMC (Ret.)
 BBA 1957

Trustee Glenn Bratcher has rendered invaluable service to Hardin-Simmons University as an active Alumni leader, both on campus and in the D.C. area.

Glenn is a member of Cowboy Club, has served as a class reunion organizer, and is a former member of HSU’s Board of Development. During his student days, Glenn served on Student Congress and was a cheerleader and class officer. He was also in Alpha Psi Omega and a staff member for the Bronco.

Professionally, Glenn retired as a Colonel from the U.S. Marine Corps.  During his 32 years of commissioned service, he performed duties in six Military Occupational Specialties.  He saw duty in the USA, Japan, and Vietnam.  His final assignment was as Assistant Chief of Staff, Aviation Logistics Division, HQs, FMF, Pacific.

Glenn now lives in McLean, VA, where he is a leader for the Missions Ministry of the First Baptist Church, Washington, D.C.  He also has served as a Deacon, Chair of the Diaconate, and Church Council Member.

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2011-2012 Recipient(s)

Mrs. Billie (Shirley) MartinMrs. Billie (Shirley) Martin
BA 1948, MEd 1954

Billie Shirley Martin and HSU have a relationship stretching back to 1944 when she moved from Anson, Texas to begin her collegiate studies.

She returned to the 40 Acres as a faculty member in 1952, coaching women's volleyball and tennis, directing women's intramurals, and teaching P.E. classes. In 1977, Billie received the prestigious State Honor Award for meritorious service from the Texas State Association of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation. The following year, she became the first woman elected as president of the HSU Faculty.

Billie served as sponsor of Tri Phi social club for 19 years, and also sponsored the International Club. In 1970, she married the late Dr. J. G. Martin, chairman of HSU's Music Education and Church Music departments. She retired in 1993 as an Associate Professor in Physical Education.

Billie is a member of the HSU Cowgirls (now Ex-Cowgirls) spirit organization. She remains an active member of the HSU Former Faculty/Staff/Administration Fellowship.

Contact her at

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2010-2011 Recipient(s)

Dr. Fred E. AurbachDr. Fred E. Aurbach
BA 1966

Dr. Fred Aurbach, who retired from his Dallas, TX, dental practice in 2003, has faithfully served his alma mater since his graduation in 1966. He was an early member of the HSU Board of Young Associates, served on the Board of Trustees from 1996 to 2005, and has been a member of the Board of Development since 2005.

Dr. Aurbach continues to be an active leader in the HSU Dallas Alumni Chapter and serves the university as a recruiter and volunteer.

In 2009 he established the Patricia Aurbach Church Music Award in memory of his late wife, Trisha (Cates B69). Dr. Aurbach was instrumental in HSU’s acquisition of the Tandy Bible Collection, comprised of more than 76 pieces including a first edition 1611 King James Version.

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2009-2010 Recipient(s)

 Mr. Joe Sharp
 BA 1958

With a quiet strength of character, HSU Trustee, Joe Sharp, has supported his alma mater for more than 50 years. He has served on the Board of Trustees for 13 years and is currently chair of the budget and audit committee. He is a past member of the HSU Board of Development, a lifetime member of the Presidents Club, and continually serves as an alumni volunteer.

 As an HSU Trustee, Joe has held offices as chair, vice chair and assistant secretary, and secretary. Joe also served as vice chair for the Presidential Search Committee and presided over the 2001 inauguration of Dr. Craig Turner, 14th president of HSU.

 Joe retired from his 30-year career as a geophysicist in 1997. He and his wife, Lynn (Miller ’58), live in Granbury, Texas, and are active members of First Baptist Church, where he is a deacon, teaches adult Sunday school, is a member of the choir and praise team, and serves on various committees. The couple have two daughters and three grandsons.

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