Arthur F. Beyer Distinguished Alumnus
Photo of George Cunningham

George Cunningham is Professor and Senior Assistant Provost for Graduate and Professional Studies at Texas A&M University.

George graduated from Midwestern State University in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in sport and exercise science and earned his master’s in kinesiology at Texas A&M. He completed his doctorate in physical activity and educational services at The Ohio State University.

His research focus is on diversity and inclusion in sport and physical activity, and he has published more than 200 peer-reviewed journal articles and book chapters. He authored an award-winning book, Diversity in Sport Organizations.

George has accumulated many honors, including the Armstrong Scholar Award (2006, 2010), the SEC Academic Leadership Development Program Fellow (2013-14), Team Diversity Service Award (2014) and the Earle F. Zeigler Lecture Award from the North American Society for Sport Management (2013). 

Dillard College of Business Administration
photo of Walter Coppage 

Walter J. Coppage graduated from MSU Texas in 1974 with a bachelor’s degree in business administration, major in accounting.

Walter is a 1969 graduate of Rider High School. After graduating from MSU, he worked as a staff accountant at local CPA firms until 1977, then joined Galaxy Oil Company as a staff accountant, joint interest auditor, and assistant controller. In 1981, he became a CPA and opened his office as a sole practitioner. That office is still open today.

He married Mary Helen Coppage in 1977. They have two adult children, Stacy Seigler and Scotty Coppage, who both graduated from MSU.

Prothro-Yeager College of Humanities & Social Sciences
photo of Chase Eddington 

Chase Eddington is a writer and educational professional focused on the operational vitality of nonprofit, independent schools. Born and raised near Kilgore in East Texas, he earned his bachelor’s degree in art and history from MSU Texas in 2012 and completed his master’s in English in 2014.

Chase serves as the Director of Development, Communications and Alumni Relations at the Selwyn School in Argyle, Texas. Over the past six years, Chase has helped fundraising teams raise more than $2 million to support education in North Texas. He worked as a graduate teacher at MSU from 2012-14.

Chase has taught rhetoric and composition and coached middle school basketball. His works have appeared in two books of poetry – A Willow Grows Aslant a Brook and A Birdwatcher’s Guide to the American South.


Lamar D. Fain College of Fine Arts 
photo of Pam Morgan

Pamela Morgan Davis is Director of Academic Outreach & Distance Education at MSU Texas.

Pam graduated from MSU with a bachelor’s in mass communications in 1986. She earned her master’s and Ph.D. from the University of North Texas.

Pam has great memories of being a first-generation college graduate. Seeing her daughter, Rachel Morgan, graduate from MSU Texas with honors was even more satisfying to Pam.

She places former mass communication professor Carla Bennett Bolin at the top of her list of mentors, along with former MSU Texas professors Dencil Taylor, Don Henschel, Roy Allen, and June Kable.

Pam is involved in community activities and is a member of many historical preservation groups. Her desire to learn only grew after walking the stage at MSU Texas, and she’s dedicated to helping others follow that path.  

Gordon T. & Ellen West College of Education
phot of Stephanie Robles

Stephanie Zamora Robles is an Assistant Professor of Curriculum and Learning at MSU Texas.

Stephanie grew up Wichita Falls and began her higher education at Vernon College in 2007. She came to MSU Texas in 2009, taking four hours at Vernon and 12 at MSU. She had regrets of earlier missed opportunities but was determined to make the most of this chance. And she did, earning her bachelor’s degree from the West College of Education in 2010, and in July of that year, she was offered a position with WFISD.

She completed her master’s degree in Educational Leadership in 2012. Before returning to MSU this year, she spent time in school administration, always stressing that “for learning to be relevant, we have to know our students.”


McCoy College of Science, Mathematics & Engineering
phot of Tarik Phillip

Tarik Phillip, MD, from the island of Saint Kitts, fulfilled his dream of earning a medical degree. He graduated from MSU Texas with a bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in chemistry in 2003 and was accepted to Howard University of Medicine. In his senior year of medical school, he trained with physicians at Johns Hopkins University.

He was awarded Resident of the Year at the Oakwood Internal Medicine Residency Program. He joined Bon Secours Health System in Virginia Beach where he earned praise as a physician who empowered patients to take care of their health. Now an internal medicine specialist, he works for Carolinas Healthcare System.

Tarik was one of the managing medical directors of the rapid response team for the New York City COVID mass vaccination initiative at the Javits Center in 2021.


Robert D. & Carol Gunn School of Health Sciences & Human Services
photo of Patrick Gaither

Patrick Gaither has 20 years of experience in respiratory care practice, including critical care, program leadership, and business development.

He earned his bachelor’s degree in respiratory care at MSU Texas in 2001, making the President’s List for academic achievement.

With a focus on the neonatal and pediatric populations, Patrick flew with a helicopter and fixed wing aircraft team, Teddy Bear Air, from 2003-2006. He went on to manage a respiratory care department of more than 60 professionals at Cook Children’s Medical Center in Fort Worth.

Patrick has entered the medical device industry with a focus on data analytics, artificial intelligence, and novel device business development. He earned the Inspiration Award two consecutive years as a strategic customer consultant for Vyaire Medical in Chicago.

Alumni Spirit Award 
Kiowa Kooks Flag

The Kiowa Kooks were a staple at MSU Texas events for almost four decades, serving more than 135,000 meals. They began cooking in 1979 and stopped in 2020, but not before laying a deep foundation for the future at MSU.

The Kooks began as an affiliate of the Alumni Association with nine members. They met their original fundraising goal of $100,000 during the 2007-2008 school year. They had a secondary goal – to represent MSU Texas in a positive manner to students, parents, and members of the Wichita Falls community.

Founding members of the group include Dr. Art Beyer as the faculty sponsor, Mike Birdwell, Carlton Carr, Woody Gossom, Steve Holland, Eugene McNabb, Rob Neal, Carl Nichols, and Terry Walker.

They ran the race for more than 40 years. And they made sure MSU Texas was on pace to continue its success into the future. Interest income from the endowment is used to award an average of five scholarships per year.


GOLD AWARD - Graduate of the Last Decade
photo of Matt Oliver

The Graduate of the Last Decade (GOLD) Award is new in 2021. It was created to recognize the outstanding accomplishments of a recent MSU Texas graduate. The GOLD recipient demonstrates what it means to make a difference in their community, their profession, and at MSU Texas.

Matt Oliver is a program management senior for Lockheed Aeronautics in Fort Worth, Texas, and the deputy program manager for F-16 Block 70 Production supporting the armed forces of the Republic of Slovakia and the Republic of Bulgaria. He is responsible for the cost, schedule, and technical performance of new production military aircraft, as well as the customer relations contact to ensure a strong relationship with the Minister of Defense, Parliament, and the United States.

Matt earned his bachelor’s from MSU Texas in 2015 and his master’s from Southern Methodist University in May 2021. As a Fort Worth native, he is the President of LMents of Fort Worth, a Lockheed Martin organization focused on the development of employees from 0-5 years of experience.