Three receive 2016 Tarleton State University Legacy Awards

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STEPHENVILLE (February 13, 2016) — Tarleton State University President F. Dominic Dottavio presented 2016 Legacy Awards to three recipients during the university’s annual gala Saturday, Feb. 13.

The President’s Legacy Awards recognize individuals and supporters who exhibit Tarleton’s core values of integrity, leadership, tradition, civility, excellence and service. Recipients are selected by the university president.

Recipients are: The Texas Pioneer Foundation, Tradition of Service Award; Mike A. Myers, Excellence through Leadership Award; and Scott Summy (’86), Civility with Integrity Award.

The Tradition of Service Award recognizes the selfless giving of an individual or corporation that exemplifies the philanthropic ideals of the university’s founder, John Tarleton, and impacts the entire university.

This year’s Tradition of Service recipient, Texas Pioneer Foundation, provides funding to support access and success in post-secondary education for all Texas students. Based in San Marcos, this private, independent foundation has touched the lives of students from Texarkana to Laredo and from Amarillo to Brownsville.

Thanks to the foundation, Tarleton operates two Mobile Go Centers that take the university to communities throughout the state, supporting recruitment and enrollment.

A Texas Pioneer Foundation grant to Tarleton’s MENtal Freedom program helps African-American and Hispanic males graduate, and provides mentors and professional development to enhance learning.

Tarleton faculty and students will bring STEM education to public schools in a 90-mile radius of Stephenville via a mobile learning center later this year. Texas Pioneer Foundation gave the university a $174,879 grant to make the center a reality.

Texas Pioneer Foundation helped fund Tarleton’s new Department of Leadership and Strategic Studies, and generations of Tarleton students will realize the dream of a college education thanks to the foundation’s endowed scholarships.

The President’s Legacy Award for Excellence through Leadership recognizes an individual’s significant distinction and accomplishment in his/her field and achievements that have brought honor and credit to Tarleton.

Tarleton State University President F. Dominic Dottavio (left) presented the 2016 Legacy Awards to three recipients Saturday evening, including (l-r) the Hon. Don Jones who accepted on behalf of honoree Mike A. Myers, Scott Summy and Fred Markham, representing the Texas Pioneer Foundation.
Tarleton State University President F. Dominic Dottavio (left) presented the 2016 Legacy Awards to three recipients Saturday evening, including (l-r) the Hon. Don Jones who accepted on behalf of honoree Mike A. Myers, Scott Summy and Fred Markham, representing the Texas Pioneer Foundation.

This year’s Excellence through Leadership honoree is Olney, Texas, native Mike A. Myers, chairman and owner of Myers Financial Corporation since 1969. He attended Tarleton State College from 1954-1956 and continued his education at the University of Texas at Austin, where he received his bachelor’s in business administration in 1959 and a doctorate of jurisprudence in 1963. Upon graduation, Myers served as administrative assistant to Gov. John Connally.

While at Tarleton, Myers ran track, was on the first Tarleton football team to win a conference championship since 1928, voted a class favorite and served as student council vice president.

Myers’ successful business career has included owning and operating 13 community banks in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, developing thousands of residential lots in multiple communities in Texas, and owning and operating six country clubs, including The University of Texas Golf Club—home to UT’s national championship golf teams.

Myers has held numerous voluntary positions in organizations such as the Cotton Bowl Athletic Association, Dallas Assembly, Dallas Citizens Council, Dallas County Community College Foundation, Longhorn Foundation, Texas Interscholastic League Foundation and Parkland Hospital Foundation. His most noteworthy recognitions include his induction into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2008 and the naming of UT-Austin’s track and field stadium in his honor.

Myers is a Tarleton Distinguished Alumnus (1978) and Ring of Honor recipient (2004). He was inducted into the Tarleton Athletic Hall of Fame and received the President’s All-Purple Award in 2012. He is a founding member of Tarleton Foundation Inc. and a lifetime member of the university’s Alumni Association.

The President’s Legacy Award for Civility with Integrity recognizes significant contributions to the betterment of society through character, forthrightness, honorable actions and commitment to the well-being of others.

This year’s recipient, Scott Summy, is a shareholder at Baron & Budd, one of the largest and oldest firms in the United States that specializes in complex litigation. Summy, nationally and reverentially dubbed “the Water Lawyer,” won his reputation representing common citizens and public entities against corporate giants.

In 2010, Summy was appointed by the court overseeing all litigation related to the BP Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill to serve on the Plaintiff’s Steering Committee. He assisted in the legal work leading to the settlement that has paid billions of dollars for affected people and businesses. In 2012, he concluded a national class action settlement with Syngenta on behalf of public water providers across America.

In 1997, Summy tried the first MTBE, a gasoline additive, case in the U.S. in North Carolina, and he since has recovered over a billion dollars for his clients, representing some 200 cities and states with MTBE-contaminated wells.

Summy’s groundbreaking work in MTBE won him and his legal team the “Attorneys of the Year” award from California Lawyer in 2001. And Public Justice twice named Summy and his team as finalist for the organization’s Trial Lawyer of the Year Award. He has been recognized by the prestigious organization of Best Lawyers in America eight times and, in 2015, was named the Best Lawyer in the Metroplex for environmental litigation.

He graduated cum laude from Tarleton State University in 1986 and earned his juris doctorate from Texas Tech University School of Law in 1990. He is a member of the State Bars of Texas, North Carolina and New York.

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