WT Alumni Association Names 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

February 8, 2018

CONTACT:    Becky Stogner, 806-651-2317, bstogner@wtamu.edu

COPY BY:     Brittany Castillo, 806-651-2682, bcastillo@wtamu.edu

WT Alumni Association Names 2018 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients

CANYON, Texas—West Texas A&M University and the WT Alumni Association will honor its most recent selection of distinguished alumni during the annual Phoenix Banquet at 6 p.m. Saturday, April 28 in the Jack B. Kelly Student Center, Legacy Hall.

The Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni members who have made significant contributions to their field and community while honoring the legacy of excellence at WT. The newest class of award winners is an impressive group that includes Bruce Barrett, Jim J. Brewer, Eddie Scott and Laura Street.

Bruce BarrettBruce Barrett ’76, earned a bachelor’s degree in agricultural sciences. As owner of one of the largest potato producers in the country, Springlake Potatoes (SP) stands out in the industry for producing over 1,000 truckloads of potatoes a year in the Texas Panhandle. SP supports the Texas A&M Potato Breeding & Variety Development program by providing resources to research more than 200 varieties of potatoes on nearly 10 acres of land. The cooperation has resulted in commercialization of 16 new potato varieties, including one of America’s favorites, the Russet Norkotah. A community advocate, Barrett has been linked to various organizations in Muleshoe such as the Economic Development Corporation, the Independent School District (ISD) Board of Trustees and ISD Athletic Boosters. A longtime supporter of WT, he is a member of the WTAMU Buffalo Club and inductee of the Old Main Society.

Jim J. BrewerAs a geologist, Jim J. Brewer ’81, drilled wells in Oklahoma after earning his bachelor’s degree. He worked with Slawson Exploration Company before locating and drilling 180 more wells as co-founder of J-Brex Company in 1987. Ever an innovator, he proposed selling oil and gas property online in 1999 and a year later, EnergyNet did just that. In two decades, the company has handled more than $4 billion in properties for Exxon, Chevron, the Bureau of Land Management and others. Brewer founded the Buffalo Council, a network created to enhance the ability of WT supporters to promote scholarship and University advancement through collaboration, and he is a member of the WTAMU Foundation Board of Directors.


Eddie ScottA versatile businessman, Eddie Scott ’62, earned his first degree in accounting. He was an accountant for Price Waterhouse & Co. before becoming an attorney for Gibson, Ochsner & Adkins with a (bachelor of law degree) from the University of Texas in 1965. He later became a business owner and real estate developer for the Pheasant Run and Greenways neighborhoods in Amarillo. His involvements created many jobs and housed more than 2,500 residents. As a community planner, he has served on many boards as director or member for the Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, the Salvation Army, Amarillo Area Foundation, Rotary Club of Amarillo West, the Amarillo Club and Big Brothers Big Sisters. He is a WT scholarship donor and also a founding member of Buffalo Council.


A leader in the nonprofit realLaura Streetm, Laura Street ’84, ’88, has been an advocate for health, the arts and community long before being named Amarillo Woman of the Year in 2006. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from WT and a bachelor’s degree in physical therapy from the University of Oklahoma. She was a physical therapist, nurse practitioner, administrator and founding executive director of the Globe-News Center for the Performing Arts, for which she raised more than $33 million. She was involved in the development of the Laura W. Bush Institute for Women’s Health at Texas Tech University, Amarillo Area Foundation, Coalition of Health Services, Amarillo Habitat for Humanity, Amarillo Opera, Amarillo Symphony, Amarillo Economic Development Corporation, Texas Women for the Arts and the WTAMU Foundation. Street is currently the chairwoman of the Panhandle Behavioral Health Initiative.


Surrounded by family and friends, the 2018 awardees will toast to each other’s accomplishments, shared philanthropy and fond college memories. As distinguished alumni, they are not only recognized for their successes, but commended for long careers as ambassadors of a quality education at an affordable institution. Barrett, Brewer, Scott and Street show the endless possibilities to succeed starting with a degree from West Texas A&M University.

Tickets to this year’s Phoenix Banquet are priced at $50 each. For reservations or more information, contact the WT Alumni Association at 806-651-2311 or email linsall@wtamu.edu



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