University of Texas at El Paso Announces 2007 Distinguished Alumni
Credit Union CEO, One of First Microsoft Employees, Renowned Author Honored
EL PASO, Texas, Sept. 13 (www.allCUnews.com) -- The University of Texas at El Paso and the UTEP Alumni Association are proud to announce the 2007 recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award.
- Harriet May, President and CEO, GECU credit union
- Robert "Bob" O'Rear, Principal, Base Capital LLC; one of the first Microsoft employees; project leader of MS-DOS personal computer operating system
- John Rechy, award-winning author and playwright, including "City of Night"
The award honors some of the university's most accomplished alumni who have not only distinguished themselves professionally, but have also demonstrated dedication to the university or their community. The honorees will be recognized during the university's Homecoming Week Oct. 8-13.
May grew up in El Paso, graduated from Ysleta High School in 1967 and earned a bachelor's in mathematical sciences from UTEP in 1971. While at UTEP, she married Kenneth May, an Army captain stationed at Fort Bliss.
When her husband left the Army to sell insurance in El Paso, May began her 33-year journey to her current position as president and chief executive officer of GECU.
May, 58, has had the honor of attending the inauguration of former Mexican president Vicente Fox and has testified before the House Ways and Means Committee. Earlier this year, she met with President George W. Bush at the White House to discuss financial education.
May is a former UTEP Alumni Association board member and current chair of the university's Science Advisory Board and the UTEP Founders. She's a member of an international group dedicated to spreading the credit union philosophy around the world.
O'Rear switched his major from physical education to math soon after enrolling at Texas Western College (now UTEP) in the early 1960s.
The switch has proven positive: O'Rear made history as one of the first employees of Microsoft and the project leader for the company's legendary MS-DOS personal computer operating system. He later helped open company offices in Europe and other countries overseas until he bid farewell to the company in 1993.
Now 64 and retired from Microsoft, O'Rear makes his home in Washington. He maintains his ties to Texas through an 11,000-acre ranch he co-owns with his brother and is involved with commercial property development in the Austin area.
Before joining Microsoft, he earned a master's in mathematics from UT Austin and worked for a space and defense contractor on NASA's Apollo program.
O'Rear is married to Catherine "Cathy" O'Rear and has a son, David O'Rear.
An El Paso-born writer and playwright, Rechy is regarded as one of America's most courageous novelists. A controversial story about a young gay man's journey through major cities in the United States, "City of Night" was published in 1963 and is said to have opened the doors to gay fiction.
Now the author of 15 books and two plays, Rechy earned a bachelor's in English from Texas Western College (now UTEP) in 1952.
For his work, Rechy, 76, has received PEN USA West and Triangle Publishing Lifetime Achievement awards, and was awarded the first ONE National Gay and Lesbian Culture Hero Award. He is also a 2003 Gold Nugget Award recipient from the College of Liberal Arts.
He now lives in Los Angeles with his partner Michael Earl Snyder, and serves as a part-time lecturer at the University of Southern California.
ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF TEXAS AT EL PASO:
The University of Texas at El Paso is a major research university at the heart of the U.S.-Mexico border committed to the ideals of access and excellence. A leader among Hispanic-serving institutions, UTEP enrolls nearly 20,000 students and is the only doctoral research university in the nation with a student body that is a majority Mexican American. UTEP has graduated nearly 80,000 students since its inception in 1914.
CONTACT: Kimberly Miller, UTEP Communications, 915-747-5747 or 915-491-8907