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Distinguished Alumni Achievement Awards 2013

College of Liberal Arts Honors Three Outstanding Alumni
with Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award

Three alumni of the College of Liberal Arts at Texas State University-San Marcos were honored with the College’s 2013 Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award Saturday, April 13. The award, which has been given since 2008, recognizes the accomplishments of alumni in their professions and communities.

The honorees included:

Richard Owen BaishMr. Richard Owen Baish, J.D., BA Political Science/History '69, Las Cruces, NM.
Rick joined El Paso Natural Gas Company in 1973 as a staff attorney in El Paso’s Office of General Counsel and was promoted to Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary. On January 1, 1991, he left the legal function to become El Paso’s Senior Vice President for Marketing, Gas Supply, Rates and Regulatory Affairs. In 1994, he was promoted to the position of Executive Vice President and assumed additional responsibility in the areas of operations and engineering. In April of 1996, Rick assumed the role of President of El Paso Natural Gas Company, the mainline gas transmission division of El Paso Energy Corporation.
Active in the community, Rick served as chair and board member from 1999-2005 for the New Mexico Chapter of the Nature Conservatory. In 2000, Rick was appointed to the Otero County Soil and Water Conservation District Board. He currently serves as Vice Chair of this board. In 2003, New Mexico’s Governor Richardson appointed Rick to the Task Force for Forest and Watershed Health. See full biography.

Richard CastroMr. Richard Castro, BA History '70, El Paso, TX. Castro joined McDonald’s in 1983 and is the company’s largest Hispanic owner/operator with 27 restaurants in Texas and more than 1,000 employees. He is credited with inventing the Breakfast Burrito for the chain. He has received numerous internal and external awards for his focus on McDonald’s core guiding principles of quality, service value, and cleanliness. In 2005, he received the Texas Association of Mexican American Chambers of Commerce (TAMACC) Chairman’s Community Support Award during the annual state convention held in Houston, TX. See full biography.
Diana HoltMs. Diana Holt, J.D., BA English '92, Columbia, SC. 
Attorney Diana Holt first came into the public eye in 1993 when she got involved with the death-row case of Edward Lee Elmore, an intellectually disabled black man with no previous felony record. She spent more than a decade fighting on his behalf until he was released March 2, 2012, setting a new precedent for fairness in the judicial system. This story is now a book, Anatomy of Injustice, written by Pulitzer Prize winner Raymond Bonner.
Diana Holt worked as an attorney at the Center for Capital Litigation in South Carolina, a nonprofit representing prisoners on death row. Having overcome great hardships in her own life, her reputation as someone who will work to save the lives of those wrongly condemned is legend. See full biography.