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Alumni and friends honored at the annual Alumni Medal Dinner

11.04.2021 | By:

During the Homecoming Weekend festivities, over 130 Texas Wesleyan alumni, friends, and community members gathered at the Martin University Center for the annual Alumni Medal Dinner to honor seven special individuals whose admirable contributions are excellent reflections of the university.

Following a 6 p.m. reception with live music provided by the Texas Wesleyan School of Music, attendees were invited to enjoy a delicious meal and peruse various silent auction items prior to the start of the ceremony. Geno Borchardt ’86, also known as the “voice of the Rams”, served as Master of Ceremonies for the evening. During the program, the honorees were announced and invited onto the stage to receive their award and share a few words with the audience. President Fred Slabach presented the awards with the assistance of the Alumni Board of Directors President, Eric Montoya ’07 M.E.d ’15.

The following honorees represent the goals and values of TXWES in unique ways, inspiring others along the way. Their service and commitment to Texas Wesleyan University has made a positive, lasting difference.

Tompie Hall '74 – Alumnus of the Year  

Tompie Hall graduated from Texas Wesleyan with a political science degree in 1974. After graduation, he took a job with Bell Helicopter before moving to Iran and working in the Middle East for 10 years. As a former KPMG Partner and Private Equity Partner, he has led senior level engagements and participated in global projects exceeding $18 billion throughout his 38-year financial career. He teaches “corporate governance” at the graduate level in higher education and inculcates to his students the importance of integrity and ethics. Tompie is a dedicated alumnus, serving Texas Wesleyan as a trustee, member of the Endowment Committee and the University’s Business Advisory Council.

Kim Persley '89 – Distinguished Alumna

Dr. Persley graduated with her B.S. in biology in 1989 and was accepted to University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and graduated with a Doctor of Medicine degree in 1993. Dr. Persley specializes in gastroenterology and hepatology. Dr. Persley is actively involved in several professional organizations and  is the current president of the Texas ASC Society. Dr. Persley was the recipient of the 2020 American Gastroenterology Association Distinguished Clinician Award and the 2020 Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation North Texas/Oklahoma Chapter Physician of the year. She has also been recognized by D Magazine for several years in the annual “Best Doc” edition. 

Tim Carter – Honorary Alumnus

Tim Carter, a retired banking executive, is a respected leader in business and the community and a longtime friend of Texas Wesleyan, serving on the board of trustees for more than 20 years. Carter’s community involvement is as extensive as his professional accomplishments. He currently serves on boards at Texas Wesleyan, the Federal Home Loan Bank of Dallas, the North Texas Tollway Authority, Safe Place and the Fort Worth Promotion and Development Fund. Carter has proved his willingness to serve his community, not only through business, but also through government service. He was elected Bellaire City Councilman in 1986 and served as mayor from 1988 to 1992.

Michael Clements '10 – Young Alumnus Achievement Award

Michael Clements Jr. is an entrepreneur with over a decade of experience in building and upscaling businesses. After receiving his business degree from TXWES, Michael soon created his own business, PDQ America, which offers a full range of logistics services. Michael hosts a weekly podcast, “Trucking for Millennials” and is a former member of the Texas Wesleyan Golf Team and Lambda Kappa Kappa Fraternity. He is passionate about community service and serves as a volunteer on numerous boards. Michael is also the Chairman of the East Texas Chapter API and Vice President of the Kilgore College Foundation.

Sandy Caffee '84 – Wesleyan Service Award

Sandy Caffee graduated from Texas Wesleyan in 1984 and was an active student, serving as president of Alpha Xi Delta sorority, and was a member of the honor societies Alpha Lambda Delta (Freshman), Sigma Tau Delta (English) and Mortar Board. After graduation, Sandy was an elementary school teacher and currently serves as the Human Resources assistant at Christ Chapel Bible Church. When football returned to Texas Wesleyan, Sandy stepped up to serve and help the program succeed. Sandy is a founding member of the Football Advisory Committee and Ram Club, and chairs the annual Texas Wesleyan Ram Football Golf Tournament, which has raised more than $140,000 for the football program.

Bobby Cornett '72 – Wesleyan Flame Award

Bobby Cornett earned his bachelor’s degree in business administration and psychology from Texas Wesleyan in 1972. He is a member of the Texas Wesleyan Athletic Hall of Fame ('86), the Golf Coaches Association of America Hall of Fame ('10) and the NAIA Hall of Fame ('12). He has been named NAIA National Coach of the Year four times while leading the team to National Championships in 1990, 1995, 1999 and 2019. As a professional, Cornett won several times while making the finals of the PGA Tour School five times and the Senior PGA Tour School twice. In 1983, he returned to Texas Wesleyan as assistant golf coach before taking over as head coach in 1985. Over the next 14 seasons, he led the Rams to 63 tournament wins, including four National Championships.

Gary Balch '74 – O.D. Bounds Award

Gary Balch earned a baseball scholarship and attended Texas Wesleyan from 1970-1974, playing for four years. He achieved All-Conference status and set a fielding record of .995 in 1973. He was the recipient of the 1973 TWC 3-D Award - dedication, determination, desire. From 1985-1999, Gary was an instrumental part of a successful fundraising event benefiting the Texas Wesleyan baseball program, with the Texas Wesleyan Baseball Banquet and Memorabilia Auction raising thousands of dollars over the years. Gary has remained involved in TXWES baseball by participating in alumni games each year. On Feb. 18, 2018, Everman ISD honored Gary’s longstanding community and school district involvement by naming its high school baseball field the Gary T. Balch Ballpark.