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Lamar honors four distinguished alumni

David Bernsen, George Dishman, Sandra French Clark and Roosevelt Petry have been selected as the 2015 Lamar University Distinguished Alumni Awards recipients.  The Distinguished Alumni Awards are the highest awards presented by Lamar University to its alumni. 

Award honorees are selected annually by a committee of the Lamar University Alumni Advisory Board.  Eligible candidates must be graduates of Lamar University, distinguished in their chosen professions or life work, and persons of such integrity, stature and demonstrated ability that the university community will take pride in and be inspired by their recognition. They must also recognize the importance of their educations at Lamar and their interest and loyalty in the university must be evident.          

David BernsenDavid E. Bernsen is a trial attorney, representing clients in multiple types of litigation for nearly 40 years.  He is the founder of The Bernsen Law Firm.  Bernsen became the first Southeast Texan and first Lamar graduate to serve on the Texas Highway Commission (now TXDOT), with his appointment by Governor Ann Richards in 1991.  In 1998, Bernsen was elected to the Texas State Senate representing District 4.  Bernsen received his bachelor of business administration in management from Lamar University in 1973 and the juris doctorate from St. Mary’s University School of Law in 1976. 

  • established hurricane evacuation routes along the Texas Gulf Coast
  • the first Lamar graduate to serve in the Texas Senate representing Senate District 4
  • named “Legislator of the Year” by Keep Texas Beautiful and the Sierra Club
  • selected to the Cardinal Hall of Honor in 1984, the first baseball player so honored
  • founder of the Lamar University Baseball Players Association
  • Citizen of the Year awards; City of Beaumont, Neches River Festival and Bolivar Peninsula Chamber of Commerce

George DishmanGeorge A. Dishman, Jr. is a lifelong resident of Beaumont with deep ties to the community and to Lamar University. He graduated from Lamar in 1949 with an associate of arts degree and later earned a bachelor of business administration from Texas A&M in 1952. In that same year he married his wife, JoAnne (Judy).

  • 1st Lieutenant in the United States Air Force, stationed in Wiesbaden, Germany
  • co-founded Prudential Drilling Company; served as president from 1976 until 1980
  • served on the board of directors for First Security National Bank, InterFirst Bank Houston, Port Neches Bancshares, Community Bank and was a 25-year board member of Conn Appliances, Inc.
  • elected to the Beaumont City Council for a two-year term in 1972
  • appointed to the Lamar University Board of Regents for one six-year term beginning in 1982
  • created an endowment for the LU department of nursing, known today as the JoAnne Gay Dishman Department of Nursing

Roosevelt PetryRoosevelt Petry, Jr. received his bachelor’s degree from Lamar University. A few years later, he founded GP Industrial Contractors, Inc., a company specializing in building refineries and petrochemical plants. GP also specializes in piping, steel fabrication, engineering, project management, CADD, field services, maintenance, janitorial, hole watch/fire watch, warehousing, labor and carpentry; a few of the services his company offers.

  • served as an instructor at Lamar University teaching AutoCAD, surveying and drafting
  • hosts the Roosevelt Petry, Jr. Business Hour on KSAP 107.1—The Breeze
  • serves the community on numerous boards, committees and commissions
  • received the Top 50 Black Professionals & Entrepreneurs Award
  • received the Outstanding Texan Award from the Texas Legislative Black Caucus
  • received the President’s Award from Lamar State College-Port Arthur
  • received award from the State of Texas House of Representatives recognizing his many contributions for giving back to local communities

Sandra ClarkSandra French Clark is a practicing attorney in Beaumont and Houston, a shareholder and member of the Management Committee of MehaffyWeber, P. C.  She received her bachelor of arts in English and history from Texas Tech, her master of arts in English from Lamar University and her juris doctorate from The University of Houston Law Center where she was a member of Law Review and Phi Delta Phi legal fraternity.  She joined MehaffyWeber in 1980.

  • routinely recognized by her peers in Best Lawyers in America for the last 15 years
  • recognized in Texas Monthly Magazine as a Super Lawyer for ten consecutive years
  • recognized as a Top 50 Female Super Lawyer in the State of Texas, and top 100 Attorneys in the Houston Area
  • recipient of the President’s Citation from the State Bar of Texas
  • member of the Federation of Defense and Corporate Counsel, and member of the DuPont Legal Leadership Council
  • serves on the Lamar Foundation Board, the advisory council for Fine Arts and Communication, Friends of the Arts, and former chair of Le Grand Bal
  • endowed the Sandra French Clark Scholarship in Choral Music at Lamar

The awards ceremony is sold out.