Heritage: Fall 2021

A group of the distinguished alumni award recipients posing with President Alisa White.

Distinguished Alumni

Honoring Accomplished Bearkats

Six Sam Houston State University alumni, who have made significant contributions to their professions, communities and alma mater, were recognized at the 48th Annual Distinguished Alumni Gala during the 2021 homecoming festivities.

Learn more about our award recipients and view their videos at shsu.edu/alumnigala

Ray A. Burgess ’75


A staunch supporter of SHSU athletics, Ray Burgess has served as president of the Kat Pack and organized fundraising for many programs. He was inducted into the SHSU Lettermen Association’s Bearkat Hall of Honor, awarded the SHSU Alumni Association’s Service Award, and served as president of the Alumni Association Board of Directors. A four-year letterman in Bearkat baseball, his pitching accomplishments are still recognized in five categories.

Ray Burgess

James Surls

James A. Surls ’66

Internationally Acclaimed Artist

James Surls has been producing and exhibiting public sculpture nationally since the 1970s and is one of the most preeminent living artists in the United States. His sculptures, drawings and prints, which reflect his unique sensibility to natural forms, are found in major art museums and public/private collections throughout the world.

Terry Williams

Terry Williams ’83

Regional Vice President, H-E-B

With more than 30 years in the grocery industry, Terry Williams is regarded as an expert in his field, as well as a respected and influential leader and mentor. He is a two-time H-E-B Community Leadership Award winner and received the H-E-B Diversity Leadership Award.

Stephen Morgan

Stephen C. Morgan ’08

Chief Executive Officer and President, TransTex Treating

Stephen Morgan has been a driving force behind his company’s continued growth and success, navigating it through both public and private ownership. He is an active member of the Houston Producers Forum, Gas Processors Association, and serves as chairman of the board and president of Young Professionals in Energy.

Edgar Reeves

Edgar A. Reeves ’56

Retired Sales Agent, State Farm Insurance

Edgar Reeves is a role model. His strong civic involvement in local FFA, the Aldine School District, Lions Club and Harris County Department of Education encourages others to give back. Always supporting his alma mater, Reeves helped establish the State Farm Friends of SHSU Endowed Scholarship Fund and the Edgar A. and Carolyn Reeves Family Endowed Fund, to be used for student scholarships.

Brian K. Hall ’88

Manager & Small Business Liaison Officer, Shell Oil Company
President & Founder, Friday Harbour

Understanding the challenges families face when a loved one is fighting cancer, Brian Hall founded Friday Harbour, a Houston based non-profit organization providing free temporary housing for cancer patients and their families seeking treatment in the Texas Medical Center. With hundreds of families served, Hall plans to grow the program in Houston and bring the model to more cities.

Brian K. Hall