Each year the Texas A&M University-Texarkana Alumni Association honors several distinguished alumni and faculty for their success and contributions to both the university and to the community at large. The distinguished alumni and faculty are typically announced early in the fall and are honored at the university’s annual Eagle Roundup, a large, outdoor event with live music that raises money for student scholarships at A&M-Texarkana.

According to a press release, the annual Eagle Roundup, hosted by the TAMUT Alumni Association, was not held in its traditional form due to concerns caused by COVID-19. For the 2020 Eagle Roundup the university and community sponsors raised money by holding a drawing for a Honda Pioneer 500 side-by-side and a weeklong getaway at a Sandestin, Florida condominium. Dr. Craig Nakashian was the winner of the Sandestin vacation, and Dena Youngblood was the winner of the Honda Pioneer 500. This year’s fundraising efforts raised in excess of $26,000.

This year the TAMUT Alumni Association has decided to honor two groups, rather than present individual awards to a small group of alumni and faculty. The alumni being honored this year are all of the alumni of the TAMUT nursing program.

“We felt there was no better time to honor our nursing alumni for the work that they do every day,” said Alumni Association President Nicole Raley. “They work in a field dedicated to helping others that can be challenging under the best of circumstances. But the work they have done in the midst of a global pandemic is nothing short of inspirational. All of us have been touched by this disease, and all of us have had these incredible caregivers helping us, our family, or our friends. We owe them a debt of gratitude that can scarcely be repaid.”

The second group being honored this year is the collective faculty of Texas A&M University-Texarkana, for their rapid response in adapting their methods of instruction during the spring 2020 COVID-19 outbreak and following semester.

“We are exceptionally proud of our university faculty,” commented Raley. “The pandemic forced them to make unprecedented changes to their course delivery methods in a very short period of time. Understanding the need to continue our tradition of providing our students a world-class education, they discovered new ways to teach and explore their subjects and engage their students.”

“While we wish we could have had our annual Roundup event in its usual form, there was just no way to hold it safely during the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Mark Missildine, TAMUT Alumni Relations Coordinator. “I want to personally thank our amazing sponsors and everyone who purchased a ticket for the drawings.”

The proceeds from this year’s event, sponsored by Farmers Bank & Trust and the Patterson Troike Foundation, go to the TAMUT Alumni Association Endowed Scholarship. Additional sponsors included JCM Industries, TSD Logistics, State Bank, Bowie-Cass Electric Co-op, City of Texarkana, Texas, Drs. Emily and Tom Cutrer, Graphic Packaging, Guaranty Bank & Trust, Smith-Blaire Inc., Tatum Excavating, TexAmericas Center, and Texarkana Emergency Center.

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