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Texas Tech Alumni Association Names Distinguished Alumni

Shepherd, Skinner and Waddle honored for distinguished careers and service.

Written by Jean Ann Cantore

Alumni Highlights

The Texas Tech Alumni Association will honor Les Shepherd, James E. Skinner and Bobby G. Waddle as Distinguished Alumni during this year's Distinguished Alumni Dinner, Oct. 15.

The dinner and awards are designed to recognize and honor alumni who have made significant contributions toward furthering the excellence of Texas Tech University through outstanding accomplishments, careers and/or through extraordinary measures of service.

To make reservations, please contact the Alumni Association no later than Oct. 7 at (806) 742-3641 or sara.lauderdale@ttu.edu.

Wyman Meinzer

Les Shepherd

Since 2007 Les Shepherd has been the chief architect of the United States General Services Administration and assistant commissioner for design and construction. He oversees $12 billion of work on buildings throughout the nation, including federal courthouses, office buildings, land ports of entry, national laboratories, history preservation and modernization projects, and the Art in Architecture and Fine Arts conservation programs.

During his 21-year tenure with the General Services Administration, Shepherd has represented the agency in professional societies and trade organizations; he has been able to provide leadership, policy direction and program guidance.

Shepherd has successfully been developing and managing the Design Excellence and Construction Excellence Programs, which are recognized internationally. The Design Excellence Program has raised the quality standard for public architecture.

This year, Shepherd won the American Institute of Architects’ Thomas Jefferson Award, which recognizes a public-sector architect who manages and produces quality public buildings. This prestigious honor is considered the highest given for the design and construction of public architecture.

In the past three years, Shepherd has received 12 major design awards for his work. Some of the most recent ones are Government Building of the year from the New York Chapter of the Building Owners and Managers Association for the historic Alexander Hamilton U.S. Custom House in New York and the Downtown Cleveland Alliance Award for the Metzenbaum U.S. Courthouse as part of redevelopment of downtown. He also has been awarded the 26th Annual Governor’s Heritage Preservation Honor Award for the James A. Walsh Courthouse in Tucson, Ariz.; the Preserve American Presidential Award for the African Burial Ground memorial and interpretation; and the White House Closing the Circle Award from the Office of Federal Environmental Executive for the San Francisco Federal Building.

In 1983 Shepherd graduated from Texas Tech with an undergraduate degree in architecture.

Shepherd and his wife, Hilary Sproul, live in Virginia with their two children, Madison and Jared Shepherd.

Larry D. Johnson

James E. Skinner

James E. Skinner is executive vice president, chief operating officer and chief financial officer of The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. His responsibilities include strategy, finance, information technology, and distribution. He has been with the Company since 2001.

The Neiman Marcus Group Inc. operations include the Specialty Retail Stores segment and the Direct Marketing segment. The Specialty Retail segment consists of Neiman Marcus, Bergdorf Goodman and Last Call stores. The Direct Marketing segment conducts print catalog and online operations under the Neiman Marcus, Horchow and Bergdorf Goodman brand names.

Prior to working with Neiman Marcus, Mr. Skinner was with CompUSA Inc. in several positions, including executive vice president and chief financial officer. He joined CompUSA shortly before the initial public offering and left after the sale of the company in 2000. Mr. Skinner started his career with Ernst & Young, an international professional services firm, where he served for sixteen years with the last four years as a partner.

Mr. Skinner has served on the board of directors of Fossil Inc. since 2007 and is chairman of the audit committee and a member of the finance committee.

While a student at Texas Tech, Mr. Skinner was active with Phi Eta Sigma, a national honor society for first-year college students; Beta Alpha Psi, an international honor society for accounting and finance students; and the Accounting Society.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in accounting in 1974 from Texas Tech University.

Mr. Skinner and his wife, Alice, live in Dallas and have three married daughters, Claire, Alison and Suzanne, and two grandsons, Zach and JB.

Douglas E. Barnhart

Bobby G. Waddle

As a lifetime resident of DeSoto, Texas Bobby G. Waddle has spent his entire adult life in service to his country and community. Waddle stays close to home by farming and ranching on land that has been in his family for generations. He was elected to City Council in 2001; Waddle was then selected as mayor pro tem in 2002 and served five years in this position. In 2007 the city of DeSoto elected mayor Waddle as mayor.

In addition to his city leadership duties, Waddle is involved in many other aspects of the community. He is city council liaison to the DeSoto Independent School District and a member of the DeSoto Planning and Zoning Commission, Tri-City Regional Animal Shelter Board and DeSoto Finance Committee. He also has served as president of the North Central Texas Council of Governments. He serves for the Dalworth Soil and Water Conservation District, which includes Dallas, Tarrant, and portions of Ellis and Johnson counties.

In 2005 the DeSoto Chamber of Commerce created the Bobby Waddle Citizen of the Year Award.

Waddle retired as the United States Air Force colonel in 1985. During his 30 years in service, he was a flight instructor, aide and protocol officer. He flew more than 150 combat missions and more than 5,000 hours of military flying time.

He served as commander of the 40th Cadet Squadron at the U.S. Air Force Academy. Waddle was chief of Air Force Academy Activities Group at the Pentagon. He received two Legion of Merit Awards, the Distinguished Flying Cross and 11 Air Medals.

He graduated from Texas Tech in 1955 with a bachelor’s degree in agriculture. He earned a master’s degree in urban sociology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Waddle is a member of the DeSoto Lions Club and serves on the administrative board of his church. He and his wife, Sherry, have three daughters, Tanya Land, Kimberly Buttgen and Elizabeth Dowell, and eight grandchildren.