Recipients of 2022 Alumni Awards announced

President and CEO of Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America, Thasunda Brown Duckett, MBA '01, was awarded Baylor University's 2022 Alumna of the Year award.

By Matt Kyle | Staff Writer

Last week, Baylor University announced the recipients of the 2022 Alumni Awards. The university also announced that a celebration recognizing the recipients and “honoring the impact of alumni around the world” will be held on Feb. 18.

This year’s recipients include Thasunda Brown Duckett, MBA ‘01 as the Alumni of the Year and Alex Le Roux, BS ‘15 as the Young Alumni of the Year. Rebekah Naylor, BA ‘64, MD was the recipient of the Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service, and Susan Peters, BA ‘86 received the Pro Texana Medal of Service. Giancarlo Guerrero, BM ‘91 and Chris Charles Scott III, BA ‘04 each received the Medal of Service for Contributions to the Professions. Fran George was named the Merrie Beckham Alumni By Choice of the Year.

Amy Armstrong, associate vice president of alumni engagement, said the awards are meant to recognize graduates who excel in their field and have an impact on the world.

“Baylor alumni do amazing things,” Armstrong said. “They come to Baylor, they learn, they study and then they go out into the world. It’s our way to celebrate some of those alumni who are going above and beyond and have great success on all different kinds of levels — whether it’s business or nonprofit — within the Christian values.”

Armstrong said the celebration in February will include a banquet dinner where President Linda Livingstone will present each of the recipients with a medal. Armstrong also said Baylor’s social media and web pages will share stories about each of the award recipients and their accomplishments throughout the spring, and the Baylor Magazine will feature similar stories about the recipients.

Alumna of the Year Duckett is the president and CEO of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America — a Fortune 100 financial services organization. Duckett was included in Fortune’s and Forbes‘ list of the Most Powerful Women in 2021 and serves on the board of trustees for Sesame Workshop and on the board of directors for Nike. Inc, Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, the University of Houston Board of Visitors and the Dean’s Advisory Board for Baylor University’s Hankamer School of Business. In 2013, she founded the Otis and Rosie Brown Foundation in honor of her parents.

Naylor, recipient of the Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service, is a doctor and retired medical missionary who is currently a distinguished professor at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary. She spent 35 years in India working as a doctor and church planter, and she was an administrator and chief of the medical staff at Bangalore Baptist Hospital. She also oversaw the construction of the Rebekah Ann Naylor School of Nursing, served as a professor of anatomy and physiology at the school and helped plant 900 churches in the state of Karnataka, India, between 1999 and 2009.

Le Roux is the co-founder and CTO of ICON, a construction technology company that uses 3D printing, robotics, software and advanced materials to build houses. He invented the Vulcan printer — a large-scale 3D printer designed for constructing homes and other structures.

Peters, who received the Pro Texana Medal of Service, is the founder and executive director of Unbound Global, a multi-national organization focused on combating human trafficking that is headquartered in Waco. She founded Unbound out of Antioch Community Church in 2012 after seeing the effects of human trafficking around the world. She also serves as chair on the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition, which she also co-founded in 2014.

Guerrero is a six-time Grammy award-winning conductor and music director of the Nashville Symphony. Born in Nicaragua, Guerrero has appeared with many prominent orchestras and symphonies around the world.

Scott is the founder and head of documentaries at Strategy Films and has won awards as a director. He began his career in politics before finding a passion for filmmaking. Scott has directed “Shape of Shreveport,” “What About Waco,” “Class Action Park” and most recently “Ode to Joy, The Death and Resurrection of Baylor Basketball.”

George is the second-ever recipient of the Merrie Beckham Alumni By Choice of the Year, which is given to someone who was previously nominated and selected as an Alumni By Choice and has achieved distinction through service to the community. George’s daughters attended Baylor, and George helped form the North Carolina Chapter of the Baylor Parents Network. George and her husband were named Baylor Parents of the Year in 2018.

Naylor said she was surprised and humbled to receive the Pro Ecclesia Medal of Service. She also said her time at Baylor prepared her well for both her medical and theological missions.

“I consider it all a great privilege that God let me do that,” Naylor said. “Seeing people come to faith in Christ, of churches being started, of people being healed physically, meeting needs that otherwise might not have been met — those are privileges. God has directed me as He promised to do. I have submitted my life to Him. He directed my path. This recognition is so appreciated, and I want to bring honor and glory to God, who just made all of it possible.”