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TWU Home > Marketing & Communication > News Releases

TWU to recognize distinguished alumni during 2006 Homecoming celebration


DENTON —Texas Woman’s University and the TWU Former Students Association will recognize four distinguished alumni during Honors Convocation ceremonies Thursday, April 20 and at an awards luncheon on Saturday, April 22. The honorees are Dianne Baker of Denton, Dr. Elizabeth Hall Burns of Lubbock, Marie Chapman Martch of Belton and Barbara Dianne Nunneley of Hurst.

The ceremonies are part of TWU’s 2006 Homecoming celebration scheduled April 18-23. Convocation is at 10 a.m. April 20 in the Margo Jones Performance Hall, located at Oakland Avenue and Pioneer Circle on TWU’s Denton campus. The Distinguished Alumni Awards Luncheon is at 11 a.m. April 22 in the Southeast Ballroom of Hubbard Hall. Luncheon tickets are $25. For more information or tickets, call the TWU Office of Alumni Relations at (940) 898-2586 or visit www.twu.edu/alum.

Dianne Baker

Ms. Baker is the former TWU head softball coach and currently serves as the national promotions manager for softball for Schutt Sports. She has spent more than 27 years in women’s sports, impacting hundreds of student-athletes and coaches with her untiring work ethic and a passion for sports.

Ms. Baker is one of the winningest coaches in NCAA softball history and compiled a record of 285-165-2 (.633) during her nine years at TWU. She started her coaching career in the Lewisville Independent School District in 1975, followed by a remarkable 15-year coaching run at Stephen F. Austin State University, which included an NCAA Division II national championship in 1986.

Ms. Baker lettered in five sports and played shortstop on the softball squad as a Pioneer before receiving her bachelor of science in physical education and health in 1975. She returned to TWU in 1995 and the softball program was reinstated during the 1996-97 academic year. She was inducted into the TWU Intercollegiate Athletics Hall of Fame shortly thereafter.
Ms. Baker led the Pioneers to two NCAA tournament appearances in the South Central Regionals and one Lone Star Conference South Division championship.

Ms. Baker was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 1988. Her coaching honors also include being named the 1999, 2002 and 2004 LSC South Division Coach of the Year, 1986 NCAA Division II National Coach of the Year, 1985 and 1986 Regional Coach of the Year, and the 1984 Gulf Coast Conference (GCC) Coach of the Year. She was inducted into the SFA Ladyjacks Hall of Honor in 1987. She has coached 26 All-Americans and one Olympian: Sandy Green, a left fielder on the 1996 Canadian Olympic Team.

Dr. Elizabeth Hall Burns

Dr. Hall Burns’ distinguished career in higher education spans more than 25 years. She received her master’s in physical education from TWU in 1979 and her doctorate in the same field from the university in 1981.

Since 1981, Dr. Hall Burns has been affiliated with Texas Tech University in several capacities including associate professor of health, physical education and recreation; chair of the department of health, physical education and recreation; and assistant provost for academic affairs. Currently she serves as a vice provost for Texas Tech University where her duties include implementing the university’s strategic goals related to diversifying the faculty, serving as the compliance officer for the Americans with Disabilities Act and other budgetary and administrative duties in support of the Office of the Provost. In addition to overseeing the largest budget line at the university – faculty salaries – Dr. Hall Burns also represents the provost’s office on numerous university councils and committees, including the academic council.

Dr. Hall Burns has received several prestigious grants and fellowships and published a number of papers on issues in health and physical education. She also has been heavily involved in the Olympic Academy, sponsored by the United States Olympic Committee and has published several articles and contributed to many books and publications about the importance of the Olympics in society.

Dr. Hall Burns recently was selected by the U.S. Department of Defense to attend the Joint Civilian Orientation Conference - a week-long, multi-service orientation program for civilian public opinion leaders designed to familiarize them with command and control strategies of the various military services. As part of this group Dr. Hall Burns traveled to various bases in the European Command for a first hand look at the United States activities in the war against terrorism.

Marie Chapman Martch

Mrs. Martch, a former TWU regent, is a retired professional engineer whose lifetime contributions to the petrochemical industry have had a global impact. She received her bachelor of science in chemistry from TWU in 1965 and successfully pursued a career in science during a time when women were seldom seen in the field. She worked as an environmental and process safety engineer in the engineering/construction arena for more than 24 years, rising through the ranks to become manager of environmental safety for ABB Lummus and a principal engineer for Brown & Root Braun.

During her distinguished career, Mrs. Martch was responsible for the planning, integration and design of water, pollution abatement, and process safety systems for grassroots refineries and petrochemical complexes worldwide. Her work has made refineries and petrochemical complexes safer throughout the world.

Mrs. Martch served as an elected director and Vice Chairman pf the Clearwater Underground Water Conservation District. Her other civic contributions include service to the Belton Senior Citizens Center – Meals on Wheels Program, Belton Helping Hands – the Belton Interdenominational Food Bank and a member of the board of the Killeen Free Clinic.

She also has been involved with the Texas Federation of Republican Women and the Central Texas and Salado Area Republican Women.

Ms. Martch also served as a member, vice-chair and chair during her tenure on the TWU Board of Regents from 1999 to 2003.

Barbara Dianne Nunneley

After receiving her bachelor of arts in political science from TWU in 1975, Ms. Nunneley went on to receive a master’s degree from Southern Methodist University and her law degree from the Thurgood Marshall School of Law. She is a certified specialist in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and has been practicing for more than 25 years. She has dedicated thousands of hours to underprivileged and impoverished children in Tarrant County and was honored as an Outstanding Attorney Ad Litem by the Child Advocates of Tarrant County in 1994 in recognition of her tireless efforts on behalf of Tarrant County’s needy children.

Ms. Nunneley is a fellow of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers and serves as secretary of its Texas chapter. Ms. Nunneley is a frequent and popular speaker for the Texas State Bar. She also has served as secretary, treasurer and on the board of the Texas Academy of Family Law Specialists. Ms. Nunneley was chosen a “Super Lawyer” by Law and Politics Magazine and Texas Monthly in 2003, 2004 and 2005. She also was named a “Top Attorney” by Forth Worth, Texas magazine in 2003.

Ms. Nunneley is one of a long line of women in her family to graduate from TWU – her mother, two sisters, aunt and two great aunts all graduated from the university. Since her graduation, she has been a life member of the TWU Former Students Association and has served on the TWU Foundation Board in various offices, including past chair of the foundation. Ms. Nunneley has been member of the Chancellor’s Circle for more than a decade, and 20 years ago she established the Shaun Burns Memorial Scholarship at TWU in memory of a friend’s child and has funded the scholarship every year.


For Further Information Contact:

Amanda McKeen Simpson
Director of News and Information
Tel: (940) 898-3456
e-mail: asimpson1@twu.edu

Page last updated January 22, 2009

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