By Liz Hitchcock
To be recognized by the college you attended could be considered one of the most endearing honors you can receive post-graduation. The Baylor Alumni Association announced its newest honorees on Friday at the Phoenix Ballroom in Waco.
Among these awards given to previous Baylor students is the most honorable – the Distinguished Alumni Award.
“These alumni represent the beacons of what Baylor continues to offer to the world,” said Mark White, the master of ceremonies for the event.
This year the alumni association gave out five Distinguished Alumni Awards and out of these alumni was Timothy Hale, senior vice president of design management and marketing for Fossil and a student from the graduating class of 1984.
Terry Roller, who teaches graphic design as an art professor, introduced Hale at the event and took the audience through his career and just how meaningful Hale has been to Fossil.
Since the start of Fossil in 1984, the company has reached $2 billion in sales and has more than 10,000 employees, Roller said, but the company started with a mere five employees and would later acquire Hale as one of them.
When Hale started his employment at Fossil, he was a member of their relatively small sales team, and would eventually become their first and, since then, only art director.
“It was Tim’s design of the iconic tin toy car packages for Fossil watches,” Roller said. “That drove the company’s early success. … He also helped promote the idea that good design is good business.”
During his acceptance speech, Hale shared stories from when he was a student at Baylor and the hidden benefits of classes unrelated to graphic design.
Hale took advanced German courses in the last semesters he attended Baylor. These courses were surprisingly helpful, for the first country Fossil was distributed to outside the United States was Germany.
“Fossil has one of the largest, best-known and highly awarded in-house art department in the United States, if not the world,” Roller said.
Hale also spoke about the art department, realizing how far it has come since he was a student.
“It’s interesting to know that when I was at Baylor, if you were an art major you would start off in the basement of the Carroll Science Building,” he said, “which told me where art stood at Baylor.”
By the time Hale graduated, he was married with two children and was working several jobs.
“It’s amazing what responsibility can do for a person’s motivation,” Roller said, “to help mold them into what they want to become.”
Hale reminisced about his childhood, mentioning a babysitter that instead of allowing him to watch television, would make him sew and participate in creative activities. Later on he credited a high school teacher for first posing the question of whether he wanted to go into art as a career.
“You don’t get here alone,” said Hale, “and I certainly didn’t get here alone.”
The four other recipients of the Distinguished Alumni Award were Dr. Gerald Cobb, graduate of 1950 and recipient of his MS in 1955, Michael Johnson, alumnus of 1990, Dr. Patricia Mathes, alumna of 1984, and Maj. Gen. David Rubenstein, recipient of his MHA in 1989.