Cardinal Cadence Fall 2012

Fine feathers: LU salutes exceptional Cardinals


2013 Distinguished AlumniThe Alumni Advisory Board's Distinguished Alumni Awards Committee selected five outstanding alumni as recipients of the prestigious annual Distinguished Alumni Award, given during a ceremony Feb. 22: Judge Wilford Flowers ’72, Bob Jones ’73, Jerry Reese ’66, Bill Scott ’70 and Susan Williams Simmons ’68.

Lamar University alumni and friends submitted nominations based on criteria that include notable accomplishments in the nominee's chosen profession. The honorees also display integrity and character that inspire pride in the university and its alumni and have demonstrated recognition of the importance of Lamar in their careers, deeds and actions. The committee meets in mid-September each year to select the honorees; nominations are accepted year round at Alumni@Lamar.edu.

JUDGE WILFORD FLOWERS ’72

Wilford Flowers was born in Port Arthur, Texas, and is married to Simone Talma Flowers. He earned his B.B.A. in economics from Lamar University in 1972 and his J.D. from the University of Texas School of Law in 1976. Judge Flowers served as assistant district attorney for Travis County, assistant attorney general for the State of Texas and first assistant county attorney for Travis County. He was in private practice in Austin until Oct. 1, 1987, the date of his appointment as judge of Travis County Court at Law No. 6. As the result of the 1990 elections, Judge Flowers began his first term as judge of the 147th District Court in Travis County on Jan. 1, 1991, serving until his retirement Dec. 31, 2010. He now serves by assignment in Texas as a senior district judge. In 1986, the Austin Young Lawyer Association named him Outstanding Young Lawyer; in 2009, he received the Outstanding Jurist Award from the Texas Bar Foundation; and in 2011, he received the Distinguished Lawyer Award from the Austin Bar Association. Throughout his career, Judge Flowers has been involved with numerous activities associated with his profession and the community: Criminal Justice Act Committee, U.S. District Court Western District of Texas; Austin Lawyers Care, vice president 1985-1987; American Inns of Court, Robert Calvert Inn, president 1996-1997; Austin Museum of Art board of trustees; Texas Center for the Judiciary board; life fellow, Texas Bar Foundation and Austin Bar Foundation; Court of Criminal Appeals Rules Advisory Committee member and chairman of the Criminal Justice Legislative Committee–Judicial Section of the State Bar of Texas; Lola Wright Foundation board.


BOB JONES ’73

A native of Port Arthur, Bob Jones graduated in 1973 with a B.S. in civil engineering with the environmental track and later earned his master of engineering degrees from UT in Austin. The Texas Water Quality Board hired him in July 1973. Jones advanced at the state, eventually becoming chief engineer of the Construction Grants and Water Quality Planning Division. In 1976, Bob met and married Beth, his wife of 37 years. The couple has two children. Recognizing the opportunity to create a business helping industry and local governments deal with the ever-increasing volume of environmental regulation, Jones left the state in 1982 with another engineer and formed the consulting company, Jones and Neuse. By the early 90s, it was one of the largest independently owned environmental consulting companies in the state, with more than 250 employees in seven offices, including offices in Louisiana and Mexico. The company was purchased and merged with another engineering company, RMT. Jones stayed with RMT for two years, and, in 1997, Jones and a friend formed another consulting company, JD Consulting. JDC grew to be a preferred provider of environmental services to many Fortune 100 process industries, including most of the big industries in southeast Texas. In 2007, the London-based international consulting company RPS purchased JDC. Jones stayed with RPS until February 2012. In March, Jones formed RSJ Consulting, and began working part-time for some of his long-time industry clients. During the last 30 years, Jones has been active in Boy Scouts, YMCA and Oak Hill Pony Baseball, as well as in numerous other Austin-area organizations. He serves on the College of Engineering Advisory Council, as a trustee of the Lamar University Foundation, and was a member of the Lamar Board of Regents from 1993 until 1996.

JERRY REESE ’66

Jerry Reese is an entrepreneur who started his first business, Collegiate Diamonds, while he was still a student at Lamar University. Reese established Bo-Mac Construction Co. in 1966, the year he graduated from Lamar University with his B.B.A. in economics. He built the company into a hugely successful and diverse business enterprise, selling it in 2007. Reese has been actively involved at Lamar University since his graduation, both as a donor and a volunteer. He currently serves on the following Lamar University boards and cabinets: Investing In The Future Campaign Cabinet, Lamar University Foundation board of trustees, College of Business Advisory council, Friends of the Arts board, the Reese Construction Management advisory board. He and wife, Sheila, were the Le Grand Bal honorees in 2007 for their work with Friends of the Arts. Reese has also been an active member of his community and has served on the boards of the Beaumont Chamber of Commerce, St. Elizabeth Hospital and the Art Museum of Southeast Texas. Reese is also involved in dozens of business, culture and social organizations in this region. In 2007, recognizing the need for market-responsive programs that reflect southeast Texas perspectives, Reese donated the funds to establish the construction management program at Lamar University. The unique nature of this program allows Lamar to provide construction management graduates with the education to compete nationally for careers in the field. The program was developed in response to regional market needs and as a way to further enhance the national reputation of Lamar University. The combination of Reese’s entrepreneurial spirit and his commitment to his alma mater led him to make his timely and generous contribution. The establishment of this program will have a lasting and profound effect on Lamar University. Jerry and Sheila Reese live in Houston. They have three children and 11 grandchildren.

BILL SCOTT ’70

Bill Scott earned his bachelor of science in government at Lamar University in 1970 and has maintained strong ties with LU as a member of the Lamar University Investing in the Future Campaign Cabinet, Lamar University Foundation board of trustees and the College of Business board of advisors. In 2010, the governor appointed Scott as a regent for The Texas State University System. In 2008, Scott and his wife, Gay, were recognized by their alma mater as Le Grand Bal honorees. Beginning with the startup of the railroad construction business in the mid-70s, Scott has for more than 30 years focused his time on identifying, developing, owning and operating marine bulk terminal facilities, serving companies including Shell Oil, Mitsubishi, ExxonMobil, Cemex, Lyondell Citgo Refining, Valero Refining, ConocoPhillips/PDVSA (Merey Sweeny, LP), Vulcan Materials, Martin Marietta Aggregates and Total Petrochemicals USA Inc. In addition, during the years Scott created 50:50 joint venture companies with Mitsubishi Corp., Cementos Mexicanos and TCP Petcoke for the transportation, handling, purchase and export of solid bulk products to world markets. In 2005, Trans-Global Solutions sold its bulk terminal handling assets to Kinder Morgan Energy Partners (KMP) and entered into a terminal development agreement between TGS Development LP and KMP to develop new bulk terminal assets along the Gulf Coast. TGS Development has successfully completed several terminal developments since 2005, including a bulk terminal completed in 2010 to serve the Total Refinery in Port Arthur. Scott is active in numerous civic and charitable endeavors, including service as chairman of the board for the Jefferson and Orange County Pilot Commission, past president of the Three Rivers Council Boy Scouts of America and as board member of the Foundation for Southeast Texas, Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas, the Symphony of Southeast Texas and the Texas Energy Museum. He and his wife of 32 years, Gay, have three children and one granddaughter.

SUSAN WILLIAMS SIMMONS ’68

Susan Simmons is a 1968 graduate of Lamar University. She earned a B.S. in elementary education, and, after graduation, taught at Fletcher Elementary in Beaumont until she founded her own retail operation, The Caterpillar, a children’s specialty store that she managed for eight years. She then moved on to serve as vice president in charge of decorating and space planning for CODA, the family construction company owned and operated by her husband, James. For the last 25 years, Simmons has been a highly successful Beaumont Realtor. Her most dedicated efforts and greatest impact, however, has been with Lamar University. She has been actively involved in the life of Lamar University since 1970, when her husband accepted his first teaching position at LU. The list of the areas that have benefited from her involvement and engagement are literally too numerous to name. She has served as a tireless ambassador for Lamar University throughout the community and has worked with faculty, students, alumni and friends of LU to enhance the impact of Lamar University on students’ lives and on the larger community. Simmons has dedicated thousands of hours and used her vast knowledge of decorating and design to ensure that remodeling and construction projects meet exacting standards and that individual project design and layouts have the greatest impact and serve to complement the campus as a whole. Her dedicated efforts have literally transformed the face of the University and have helped to create an un-matched university learning and living environment. She and Jimmy have three children and six grandchildren (with three more grandchildren due in early 2013).

by Juan Zabala
October 2012