Five named Distinguished Alumni of Texas State

Posted by University News Service

June 20, 2011

Five graduates of Texas State University-San Marcos have been selected to receive the Texas State Alumni Association’s Distinguished Alumnus Award.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the most prestigious award given by the Alumni Association. It dates to 1959 when it was presented to then-U.S. Sen. Lyndon Baines Johnson. The award acknowledges outstanding accomplishments and leadership in the individual’s chosen business, profession or life work on a national or international level.

The 2011 honorees are Connie “C.R.” Arnold of Yorktown, Texas; Michael Bowman of Houston, Texas; Karen Chisum of New Braunfels, Texas; Jeff Foster of Noblesville, Ind.; and Thomas Kowalski of Austin, Texas.

Arnold received a bachelor’s degree in biology at Texas State in 1962 and followed that with a master’s degree in the same field in 1963. He is the former director and now Perry R. Bass Chair Emeritus in Fisheries and Mariculture at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.

Bowman received a bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree with a major in occupational education from Texas State in 1978. He is president of Hunt and Hunt, a Houston-based precision machine work company. He has also been an industry leader with Fortune 500 companies such as Schlumberger and Halliburton.

Chisum received a bachelor of science degree in physical education in 1972 and a master of education with a major in physical education in 1978. She has served as Texas State’s head volleyball coach for 31 years and is the longest tenured head coach at Texas State. She ranks among the top six NCAA Division I head coaches with 716 career wins.

Foster received a bachelor of applied arts and sciences degree with a major in technology in 2009. He is a former first-round draft choice of the National Basketball Association and has played his entire 12-year career with the Indiana Pacers. A former All Southland Conference player, he ranked third nationally in rebounding as a senior at Texas State. He returned to college mid-career to complete his degree.

Kowalski received his bachelor of arts degree with a major in political science in 1978. He is the president and CEO of Texas Healthcare and Bioscience Institute, a statewide public policy research organization that promotes medical research, development and manufacturing in Texas. He is a former chairman of the Texas State University System Board of Regents.

The awards will be presented at the Distinguished Alumni Awards Gala (black tie optional) on Oct. 28 during homecoming weekend at Texas State.