The Association of Southwestern University Alumni

Alumni Awards

Every year during Homecoming, the Southwestern University Alumni Association honors members of the Southwestern community who exemplify the Core Values of the University and the mission of The Association

2016 Award Recipients

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    Justice Cindy Olson Bourland, Class of 1989, doesn’t shrink from making tough decisions. As an appellate judge in the Texas Third Court of Appeals, she serves the community and the bench to evaluate cases that come to appeal in 24 counties in Central Texas. It’s not a job that’s easy. But then again, Cindy Olson Bourland is no stranger to rolling up her sleeves.
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    Marc Erck embodies a love of music and a passion for teaching. His influence reverberates throughout the world, in the lives of the many students he has inspired, from middle school choir students in Austin to adult singers in Cameroon.
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    Laura Cordes’ work toward ending sexual violence and expanding the rights and services for victims and survivors of these crimes has helped thousands of people. She has dedicated her career to change the world for the better—both through her own efforts and by inspiring people to work together to do the same. A 1991 graduate of Southwestern University, Cordes is Executive Director of the Connecticut Alliance to End Sexual Violence.

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    There’s purpose. And there’s social purpose. Anita Fernandez has both. Fernandez is one of the founders of The OCI Group, a consulting firm that guides businesses, educational institutions, individuals and organizations on increasing their social presence in the community and their respective industry. She focuses on nonprofit management, history and art.

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    How many Southwestern alumni have contributed to the U.N. Secretary General’s report on the protection of civilians in armed conflict? By our count, just one: Jacob Beswick, a 2007 magna cum laude graduate with a double major in political science and Spanish.
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    Carlie Sulpizio’s energy and enthusiasm is contagious. Her interest in the world and its people knows no bounds—as evidenced by her three-year term in the Peace Corps as the Community Health Development Agent in Burkina Faso and her studies in anthropology, theatre and global health.
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    Blake Stanford is a community leader, a husband and dad, a proud Kappa Sigma brother, and a fierce advocate for child nutrition. He is this year’s recipient of the award for Distinguished Southwestern Service. Stanford serves Southwestern University as a member of the Board of Trustees, charged with overseeing the system of governance, academic life, student life and the University’s fiscal affairs and served as president of the Southwestern University Alumni Association from 2012 to 2014.
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    This year’s Mr. Homecoming Bob Bednar, associate professor of communication studies, is a much beloved figure on campus known for his quiet, thoughtful, and intentional approach. His colleagues know him for playing a major role in building communication studies into the robust program it is today at the University.