06/22/2021 Alumni McMurry News

June 22, 2021 , Abilene, Texas – McMurry University is pleased to announce the 2021 Alumni Award Recipients. Presented annually, the Distinguished Alumni Award, the Young Alumni Achievement Award and the Outstanding Alumni Awards are presented to individuals who have made significant contributions to their profession, society and to McMurry University. This year’s presentation event will take place on October 14-16, 2021 during McMurry’s Welcome Back Homecoming weekend.

Distinguished Alumni Award: Judge Jorge A. Solis (ret.) ’73
Judge Jorge Solis, a former federal judge, serves as counsel for Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Law Firm’s litigation practice, focusing on trademark, oil and gas, and securities litigation and arbitration. He was nominated by President George H.W. Bush as a US District Judge for the Northern District of Texas. Judge Solis then served as chief judge for the Northern District of Texas.

During his judicial tenure, Judge Solis presided over hundreds of trials involving patent, trade secret, trademark, oil and gas, antitrust and securities litigation. He retired from the bench in May 2016. In 2020, Judge Solis received the Katten Muchin Rosenman LLP Pro Bono Service Award and in 2021, he was honored by Best Lawyers in America in commercial litigation.

Judge Jorge Solis earned his Bachelor of Administration from McMurry College and his JD from the University of Texas at Austin School of Law.

Young Alumni Achievement Award: Hunter Sims ’07
Hunter currently serves as Director of Athletics at Howard Payne University. Joining HPU in 2007 as a member of the football coaching staff, he served as Assistant Head Coach in 2012-15 and Head Coach in 2016 before becoming Athletic Director. A member of the National Association of Collegiate Directors of Athletics since 2016, Hunter oversees 12 intercollegiate sports and 25 full-time employees. He serves on the HPU President’s Cabinet and is an adjunct professor, teaching athletics administration and leadership.

Hunter is a board member for the Brownwood Area Chamber of Commerce and a graduate of Leadership Brownwood and has been selected as a recipient of the Brown County Top 40 Under 40 Award. He serves on the Fellowship of Christian Athletes Leadership Board. Hunter volunteers for several organizations including Good Samaritan Ministries’ Empty Bowls Project, FCA Fields of Faith, youth baseball, and Woodland Heights Watch Dog Program.

Hunter earned his Bachelor of Science in multidisciplinary studies in 2007 from McMurry University in Abilene followed by a Master of Science Sports Management from American Public University and is currently working toward his Doctorate in higher education leadership.

Outstanding Alumni Awards:
Leslie Chalmers’99 – Outstanding Alumni Award in Business
Aletha Lizette Williams ’04 – Outstanding Alumni Award in Math & the Sciences
Rory Peacock ’01 – Outstanding Alumni Award in Education
Tom Turner ’01 – Outstanding Alumni Award in Fine Arts
Rev. Zachary Harrison Kerzee ’11 – Outstanding Alumni Award in Religious & Spiritual Life

For a complete biography for each recipient and additional information on all Alumni awards including nomination criteria, visit our Alumni Awards page.

Press Contact

Alaisha Montanez ’11