Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet


Each Fall, the Division of Institutional Diversity, Equity & Community Engagement hosts the Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet to recognize those within the Texas Tech and Lubbock communities who exemplify Inclusive Excellence. Additionally, the recipients of the Senator Robert L. Duncan Community Champion Award are recognized.

This year’s banquet will be held on Wednesday, October 12th at 7:00 p.m. in the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. We are pleased to have actor, author, and literacy advocate, LeVar Burton as this year’s keynote speaker.

In what is perhaps his most pivotal role, Burton was cast in the groundbreaking role of Kunte Kinte in the landmark television series, Roots when he was 19 years old. A seemingly impossible act to follow, Burton managed to do so in dramatic fashion, achieving further global acclaim as Chief Engineer Geordi La Forge in the iconic Star Trek: The Next Generation television series and feature films. But it has been his role as host and executive producer of the beloved PBS children’s series Reading Rainbow that he is most proud of. Airing from 1983 to 2009, it was not only one of the longest-running children’s television shows in history, but also one of the most acclaimed, earning over 200 awards including multiple Emmys and a Peabody.

Past speakers for the event include; James Edward Olmos, Terrence Howard, Soledad O'Brien, John Quiñones and former U.S. Poet Laureate, Juan Felipe Herrera.

Individual tickets for the banquet are for $75 and $100 (VIP) each. Tables of eight are available $1,000 and $1,500 (VIP). VIP includes premium seating, admittance to the VIP Reception and photo with Mr. Burton. All table purchasers will receive recognition in the banquet’s printed program and through public announcement during the event.

Sponsorship information is available here. To purchase sponsorships, tables or tickets via credit/debit card, click here. For more information please call (806)742-8692. Proceeds from the event will benefit student scholarships.

Award Recipients

Senator Robert L. Duncan Community Champion Award

2006 Senator Robert L. Duncan
2007 Linda DeLeon
2008 Learn, Inc.
2009 100 Black Men of West Texas
Peggy A. Duran-Klenclo
2010 Eric Strong
2011 Carolina Ysasaga
2012 David Seim
2013 Quincy White
2014 Bart Reagor
2015 Marciano & Martha Morales

Inclusive Excellence Award Recipients

2009 Kelly Overley
Dr. Juan S. Muñoz
2011 Rene Davis
Calvin Davis
Dr. Lawrence Schovanec
2012 Grace Hernandez
Yuan Shu
2013 Dr. Aliza Wong
Eric Strong
2014 Kirby Hocutt
Cathy Pope
Becky Wilson
2015 Kent Meredith
Chris Snead

For more information regarding the Celebrate Diversity Awards Banquet or the Inclusive Excellence Awards, please email diversity@ttu.edu