WT Distinguished Alumni named for 2020

Local News

CANYON, Texas (KAMR/KCIT) — West Texas A&M University had announced, leaders in nursing, education, and philosophy were recognized as the 2020 recipients of West Texas A&M University’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Dr. Sally Carmen, Scott Doores, Rickey Harman, and David Schaeffer, all were selected by a University DAA committee for achievement in their respective fields as well as their contributions to the Texas Panhandle community.

“It is our privilege to honor outstanding alumni whose personal accomplishments and professional achievements are a source of great pride for WT,” said Ronnie Hall, executive director of alumni relations. “As distinguished alumni, they are not only recognized for their successes, but commended as faithful ambassadors of WT.”

The 57th ceremony has been rescheduled for Fall 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. WTAMU says the 2020 awardees will be invited to celebrate a legacy of excellence at WT with friends and family as well as University supporters.

Dr. Sally Carmen earned both bachelor’s and master’s degrees in nursing from WT and is the current System Director of Clinical Excellence at Texas Health Resources. She earned a Doctor of Nursing degree from Texas Christian University in 2011 and later that year was named as one of DFW’s Great 100 Nurses. As a registered nurse, Dr. Carmen earned certifications such as Nurse Executive Advanced, Clinical Nurse Leader, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse and Clinical Nurse Specialist.

Carmen helped earn more than $4 million in grant funds to promote health to communities in the Texas Panhandle and to develop the Children’s Medical Center. She serves as an adjunct educator, researcher and strategist for the Texas Organization of Nurse Executives.

“Dr. Carmen was the first person to really influence me to consider nursing as a career, and I might add she convinced me that WT was the place to come for that. She has a gift of grantsmanship, gift of persuasion for good ideas and developing teams,” said Heidi Taylor ’82, former dean of WT nursing.

Scott Doores earned a bachelor’s degree in education and English from WT, where he also played on the football and basketball teams. After graduation, he toured internationally as a professional basketball player before returning to the Texas Panhandle as a businessman, real estate developer and key member of the WTAMU Foundation Board of Directors.

In 1984, he founded AudioTel Corporation, a banking software company that has grown into a multi-million-dollar business named Best of the Best from Independent Bankers Association of Texas. Soon after, Doores was the driving force in revitalizing his hometown, Farnsworth. He demolished 20 dilapidated buildings and a two-acre junk yard to develop valuable properties including new homes.

“Scott and people like Scott are so important to our success because they’re the living proof that people can be an athlete here, then go out in the world and apply the things they learned to the business world and in their personal lives and become successful,” said Michael McBroom, director of WT athletics.

Rickey Harman earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree in mathematics from WT and a Doctor of Education degree from Texas Tech University in 1982. He is a founder, businessman and author. Shortly after earning his degrees, Harman became a well-regarded leader in education in the Texas Panhandle and helped establish Weatherford Christian School, a private K-12 school with more than 300 students.

Harman also is co-founder of ebank, one of the first banks to transition to image bank statements in 1982, which now serves approximately 25 banks. He authored a book of his life titled “Happy Days in Happy, Texas” and recently released his second book about girls basketball in the Texas Panhandle.

“I have known Rickey since he was a young boy and had the pleasure of watching him evolve into the very successful individual he is today. Rickey has always been proud of his WT heritage and attributes his education base and core values instilled in him at WT to be the true basis for his personal and professional success,” said Stanley Schaeffer, distinguished alumnus and supporter of WT.

David Schaeffer earned a degree in accounting from WT leading to a successful career as a CPA and cherished philanthropist for the University. He is the son of Stanley ’55, ’70 and the late Geneva Schaeffer ’55, who were recognized as DAAs in 2004 and 1997, respectively. A Texas Panhandle native, David Schaeffer began his career in Dimmitt and became highly involved in the surrounding communities through the boards of directors at First United Bank, Opportunity School and Amarillo Little Theatre.

Schaeffer was a key partner for the developments of WT scholarships, athletics, Old Main Society and renovation of the Joseph A. Hill Memorial Chapel. The Shawn David Schaeffer Memorial President’s Honor Scholarship was established in 2008 in memory of his son.

“When I came to WT, it was an environment where personal relationships existed between the students and professors, who wanted you to succeed. I loved my time at WT even though most of it was spent either in the classroom and the second floor of the Cornette Library,” Schaeffer said.

West Texas A&M University says, accomplished alumni such as these help WT reach the goals of the University’s long-term plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.


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