Photos: Blanton, Edwards, Furgerson, Bratcher
Hardin-Simmons University’s Homecoming begins Thursday, October 11 – Sunday, October 14, 2012.
About 150 volunteers will power HSU’s 2012 Homecoming next week as an expected 1,100-1,200 alumni and friends gather on the HSU campus.
One of the most anticipated events is the Alumni Awards Banquet. This year three distinguished alumni will be honored for their professional accomplishments, Friday, October 12, 2012, 6:30 p.m. in the multipurpose room of the Johnson Building.
In addition, HSU’s highest alumni honor, the Keeter Alumni Service Award, will be given to a former student who has significantly contributed to the betterment of the university.
The 2012 recipient is long-time alumni volunteer Col. (Ret.) Glenn Bratcher ’57. Receiving the 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards are dentist/educator Dr. Patricia Blanton ’62, high school choral director Paula (Turney) Edwards ’77/ ’78, and U.S. Army surgeon Dr. James Furgerson ’88.
Distinguished Alumni Award
The Distinguished Alumni Award, given since 1970, is presented to alumni whose personal and professional accomplishments are exemplary of the ideals and aims of the university and thus bring honor to HSU. Awards are selected by a committee whose members are established by a campus leadership role.
Dr. Patricia L. Blanton
Patricia Blanton has led a distinguished career in dentistry dating back to her first faculty appointment in 1967. Most recently, she became president of the American College of Dentists in October 2011 and first vice president of the American Dental Association that same month.
The first female president of the Texas Dental Association, she received her PhD in anatomy from Baylor University in Dallas and her DDS from Baylor College of Dentistry.
Blanton has spent most of her professional career at Baylor College of Dentistry where she is currently a professor emeritus in the department of biomedical sciences.
Among her many honors are a nomination to the Texas Women’s Hall of Fame for health and research, the Baylor College of Dentistry Distinguished Alumni Award, and the Commanders Award from the Europe Regional Dental Command.
She is a member of HSU’s Ex-Cowgirls, is a founding member of Tri Phi, and has served on the HSU Board of Development.
In addition to her numerous academic positions and professional appointments, Blanton practices periodontics and implantology full-time in Dallas.
Paula (Turney) Edwards
BM ’77/MM ’78
Paula Edwards has been choral director at her alma mater, Robert E. Lee High School, in Midland, TX, since 1989.
As a student at Hardin-Simmons University, she was involved in Student Foundation and Sigma Alpha Iota. Studying with conductor Dr. Loyd Hawthorne, she earned degrees in Music Education and Conducting.
Edwards began her career teaching all-level music in Brandenburg, KY. She returned to Texas to become choral director at Madison High in San Antonio. During her nine years at Madison she served as fine arts chair, all-state section leader and region vocal chair.
While at Lee, Edwards has served in many leadership roles for the TMEA All-State Choir program including mixed choir organizer. She frequently hosts area auditions, UIL contests, and region clinic and concert events.
During her tenure at Lee, the choirs have received consistent “Sweepstakes” ratings at UIL contests, sung four times at TMEA, and participated in numerous overseas concert tours.
Paula is married to Phillip Edwards ’76. They have two children, Clare and Elizabeth.
Col. James L. Furgerson, MD
An ROTC scholarship helped make it possible for James Furgerson to attend Hardin-Simmons, where he ran varsity cross-country, worked in the biology lab, and served as cadet commander of the ROTC detachment.
After graduation, James attended medical school at Baylor College of Medicine (’92), entered active duty as an intern at Brooke Army Medical Center in 1992, and completed a residency in internal medicine in 1995.
He became a member of the teaching faculty at Brooke and served as CCU medical director and assistant chief of the cardiology service before becoming the fellowship program director in 2004, the position he holds today.
In 2007, James was deployed to Baghdad, Iraq, where he served as an attending cardiologist and intensivist at the 28th Combat Support Hospital.
Highly decorated, James is board certified in internal medicine, cardiology, and cardiovascular computed tomography. He is an assistant professor of medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.
James is married to Teresa K. Lee ’89. They live near San Antonio with their children Jase (19) and Meredith (17).
John J. Keeter Jr. Alumni Service Award
The Alumni Service Award is the highest alumni honor HSU can bestow. It is presented to the 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.
Colonel Glenn D. Bratcher, USMC (Ret.)
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.
Bratcher is a member of the Cowboy Club, a lifetime member of the Presidents Club, has served as a class reunion organizer, and is a former member of HSU’s Board of Development. During his student days, Bratcher served on Student Congress, was a cheerleader, and class officer. He also served as a staff member for the Bronco.
Bratcher 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.
Bratcher 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.