Angel Ruiz credited the University with providing Ericsson with some of its most talented employees.
Angel Ruiz credited the University with providing Ericsson with some of its most talented employees.
Eight alumni and two of UT Dallas' most ardent supporters were honored in front of a crowd of nearly 300 at the University's annual Awards Gala held earlier this month.

Sara T. Martineau and Angel Ruiz received the new Gifford K. Johnson Community Leadership Award — named for the former president of the Southwest Center for Advanced Studies, the institution that Johnson helped mold into UT Dallas in 1969. Gifford Johnson died on July 26, 2009 at the age of 91. Alumni received the traditional Distinguished Alumni Award and the Green & Orange Award for Alumni Service.

Christian Belady (MA '90) called getting his business degree at UT Dallas — paired with his engineering experience — the "inflection point" in his career, especially as it relates to his current position as a partner in Microsoft and the company's director of hardware architecture. "Ironically, my career didn't really start until I finished my degree in business from UT Dallas. Mixing disciplines is one of the most valuable things you can do in your career."

For Elizabeth Ann Graves (BA '83), juggling motherhood and classes made the University a place for academic and life lessons. "Over the last 27 years, I've been grateful that UTD had a whole set of night classes. That certainly gave me the incentive to get my bachelor's.

"I worked days and took night classes. My two children learned the importance of a great education that way."

Sara T. Martineau was presented her award by President David E. Daniel and Dr. Thomas Campbell, executive director of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.
Sara T. Martineau was presented her award by President David E. Daniel and Dr. Thomas Campbell, executive director of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders.
Flanked by his college roommate, Naveen Jindal (MBA '92) said coming to UT Dallas as a young man helped him get in touch with his Indian roots. Moved by the common sight of both the American and Texas flags during his time in Dallas, Jindal, now a member of India's Parliament, successfully campaigned for the right of all citizens of India to fly their nation's flag.

"I was 21 years of age and I had never held an Indian flag in India," he said. But a UT Dallas classmate gave him the Indian flag that inspired Jindal to advocate changes in his native country. "It was the best gift I ever got."

Martineau, a civic leader, has watched the University evolve over the nearly 20 years she's been a volunteer and supporter of the Callier Center for Communication Disorders. "It's thrilling and gratifying to witness the spiraling achievement of this University and its leaders who are determined to bring UTD to the forefront of undergraduate and graduate education."

To view a video of the event, click here.


Distinguished Alumni Award
Green & Orange Award for Alumni Service
Gifford K. Johnson Community Leadership Award
Office of Development and Alumni Relations
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