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Former SWT Students Honored as Distinguished Alumni

Date of release: 10/26/98

SAN MARCOS, TEXAS — A school teacher, an entrepreneur and a historian were honored as Southwest Texas State University Distinguished Alumni, at a special ceremony and luncheon Saturday, Oct. 17, on the SWT campus.

Judy Bishop of San Antonio, Jesse Luxton of Leakey,and Roger Spiller of Leavenworth were selected to receive the SWT Alumni Association‘s highest honor, the Distinguished Alumnus Award, which was first presented in 1959 to then Lyndon B. Johnson.

Bishop set the pace for elementary school teachers across America when she won the 1996 Presidential Award for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching. Bishop graduated from SWT in 1963 with a bachelor of science degree in child development with a minor in science. After 34 years of teaching elementary math and science, she returned to her alma mater to receive her master‘s degree in elementary education in 1993. She has been a member of the faculty of St. Mary‘s Hall in San Antonio,where she has worked as an elementary math specialist, since 1994.

President and chief executive officer of National Picture & Frame Company, Luxton graduated from SWT in 1966 with a bachelor‘s degree in business administration. He began his work at the company in 1972 as a regional sales manager. He quickly moved to the top of the company and became president and CEO in 1987. Luxton increased sales in the company from $4 million in 1978 to $73 million in 1997. For 10 years he operated the company, then made a management transition, giving himself time to concentrate on his ranch located in Leakey, where he now resides. Currently, he is owner and operator of his ranch and serves as a consultant for the company.

Upon completion of his service in the United States Air Force, Spiller enrolled at SWT, where he received his bachelor‘s degree in English and political science in 1969 and a master‘s degree in history in 1971. In 1974, after studying at Louisiana State University, Spiller returned to his alma mater as an instructor in American history. In 1977, he was awarded a Ph.D. in history from LSU. In 1992, he was named the first George C. Marshall Distinguished Professor of History at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, a position he still holds. He has edited and contributed to 23 books and has been a contributing editor to American Heritage magazine and several publications in the distinguished Library of America series.