The 12 Distinguished Alumnus Award recipients were recognized at the Oct. 3 football game at Kyle Field.
Five business graduates are among the 12 given 2015 Distinguished Alumnus Award – the highest honor bestowed upon a former student of Texas A&M University, awarded since 1962 to fewer than 250 of Texas A&M’s 425,000 former students. Presented jointly by the university and The Association of Former Students, this award recognizes Aggies who have achieved excellence in their chosen professions and made meaningful contributions to Texas A&M University and their local communities.
Stanton P. Bell ’54, bachelor’s in business administration, built and leads Bell Hydrogas, a propane company serving San Antonio and six counties. He served five years as captain of the 12th Man Foundation’s Champions Council and, among the San Antonio organizations he has worked for and led, he was elected King Antonio of Fiesta 1989 and has been a director of Boysville and the Santa Rosa Children’s Hospital Foundation. He is a past president of the San Antonio Better Business Bureau and a former director of the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce. He has served as a director of Compass Bank, Mission Gas Corp. and the Valero Texas Open Golf Tournament. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration from Texas A&M. He served in the 24th Infantry Division in Korea and was selected as aide de camp to the commanding general. He is a past president of the Rotary Club of San Antonio and also a past president of the San Antonio Country Club, club golf champion and five-time club senior golf champion.
Lupe Fraga ’57, bachelor’s in accounting, built Tejas Office Products into one of Houston’s largest minority-owned businesses and has championed Houston and A&M through work that includes chairing the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce and the Federal Reserve Bank’s Houston branch and serving as an Texas A&M University System regent from 2005 to 2011. His company made the Aggie 100 both in the list’s inaugural year and in 2011 and has been listed in the Hispanic Business Magazine Top 500 Companies. He has chaired the Greater Houston Visitors and Convention Bureau and Harris County Child Protective Services and was honored as one of 2004’s Fathers of the Year by Community Partners. He received a bachelor’s degree in accounting at Texas A&M and in 2003 was named a Texas A&M Mays Business School Outstanding Alumnus. He was honored by the Houston Aggie Moms’ Club in February 2015. He has been a trustee of St. Thomas University and has served other organizations including the Galveston-Houston Catholic Diocese, Metropolitan and National YMCA, Sam Houston Area Boy Scouts and United Way Gulf Coast Chapter.
Ray Hannigan ’61, bachelor’s in general business, rose to CEO of an international hospital equipment company and has used his abilities to educate and create opportunities for other Aggies to succeed globally. His involvement with Texas A&M’s Mays Business School has included serving on the advisory council to the Center for International Business Studies, serving as a guest lecturer and, in 1997, receiving the Outstanding Alumnus Award (he received a bachelor’s degree in general business from A&M).
He was president and CEO of Kinetic Concepts Inc. from 1994 to 2000; before that, he was president of the international division of Sterling Drug (Eastman Kodak) and president of Beecham SmithKlein Canada. Appointed by Gov. Rick Perry ’72 to the State Board of Health in 2001, he served four years. In San Antonio, he has served on the board of directors for Christus Santa Rosa Hospital, Our Lady of the Lake University and Southwest Research Foundation. He serves as a Meals on Wheels volunteer in Bryan and has served on the leadership council of St. Mary’s Catholic Center in College Station.
Frederick W. Heldenfels IV ’79, bachelor’s in business administration, has served Texas colleges and universities as chair of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating board and has served as chairman of the 12th Man Foundation board of trustees and twice as a member of its executive committee. He is the current chairman of the A&M PAC Board. He is founder, president and CEO of Heldenfels Enterprises, Inc., an Aggie 100 award recipient in 2005, 2006 and 2010. He has chaired the industry’s national trade organization, the Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute, and was inducted into the Corpus Christi Business Hall of Fame in 2010. He is a past chairman of both the Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi Foundation and the Corpus Christi Chamber of Commerce, where he helped initiate support for tort reform in the Coastal Bend and creation of a four-year university within the Texas A&M University System. He received a bachelor’s degree in business administration at Texas A&M. He has long taught Sunday school classes at Hyde Park Baptist Church and serves on the Austin Chamber of Commerce board as vice chair of state advocacy.
Carri Baker Wells ’84, bachelor’s in marketing, is COO for the San Antonio office of Linebarger Goggan Blair & Sampson, LLP, a firm she has helped lead to national recognition in serving governments at all levels in collecting receivables. She was chairman of the 12th Man Foundation and led projects such as Kyle Field’s successful Zone Club, a critical asset to raising funds for expansion. She chaired the Greater San Antonio Chamber of Commerce and has been inducted into the San Antonio Women’s Hall of Fame. She has held numerous civic leadership roles including co-founder and chair of the San Antonio ISD Foundation, an organization that is investing more than $1 million annually to ignite innovation and excellence in inner city schools. She is a board member for Girl Scouts of the USA and has received the highest honor given by a Girl Scout Council, the Trefoil Award. She served on the board of the San Antonio A&M Club and currently serves on the development council of A&M’s Mays Business School.
Since the inception of the award in 1962, fewer than 250 of Texas A&M’s 425,000 former students have been recognized with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest honor Texas A&M University bestows upon a former student.
ABOUT MAYS BUSINESS SCHOOL
Texas A&M University’s Mays Business School educates more than 5,900 undergraduate, master’s and doctoral students in accounting, business, finance, management, management information systems, marketing and supply chain management. Mays consistently ranks among the top public business schools in the country for its undergraduate and MBA programs, and for faculty research. The mission of Mays Business School is creating knowledge and developing ethical leaders for a global society.