Tech’s 2018 Outstanding Alumni Awards to honor five 

Retired physician Walter Derryberry will receive the Distinguished Alumnus Award at the 2018 Tennessee Tech University Alumni Awards and Recognition Banquet. Photo courtesy of TTU.
COOKEVILLE – Alumni of Tennessee Tech University will be honored for their service to their alma mater and their distinguished life’s works at the university’s Alumni Association Outstanding Awards and Recognition Banquet Friday, April 13.

There, five Tech alumni will join the more than 200 award recipients since this alumni recognition program began in 1975.

Tennessee Tech’s Alumni Association solicits and evaluates nominations in four categories. The 2018 recipients are professional golfer Scott Stallings, Outstanding Young Alumnus Award; retired businessman Dick Murphy, Outstanding Service Award; members of the TTU Foundation Board of Directors Ottis Phillips and John Rose, Outstanding Philanthropy Awards; and retired physician Walter Derryberry, Distinguished Alumnus Award.

“This is the most important event of the year for the Alumni Association,” said Brandon Boyd, director of the Crawford Alumni Center at Tennessee Tech. “It’s exciting to honor these individuals who are representing their alma mater so well.”

Scott Stallings rewrote the Tennessee Tech golf record books during his time as a Golden Eagle from 2003 to 2007. Tech’s only two-time Ohio Valley Conference Golfer of the Year, winning the award in 2006 and 2007, Stallings became the first and only Golden Eagle ever to advance to the NCAA Tournament, earning a spot in the 2006 East Regional. There, he became the first player in OVC history to qualify for the NCAA Championships. Since rewriting the Tech record books, Scott has enjoyed a successful career on the PGA Tour since 2011.

In 2012, Stallings helped establish the Tennessee Junior Cup, and in 2015, he started the Kids Play Free Junior Golf Initiative. He’s a 2017 Tennessee Tech Sports Hall of Fame inductee. Stallings graduated with a bachelor’s degree in business management in 2007. He and his wife, Jennifer, and their two children live in Knoxville.

Known as a “passionate supporter” of Tennessee Tech, Dick Murphy’s three decades’ worth of service to his alma mater spans two colleges, the iCube, the Child Development Lab and Tech athletics. A 1959 graduate in industrial management, he has served on advisory boards in the colleges of Education and Business. He and his wife, Mary Jo, have established scholarships for business and education majors. The Murphys fund eight iCube internships a semester, the annual budget of the College of Business Clothes Closet, and an award for the College of Business Entrepreneurship Competition. The couple also provided the substainial funding for the buildout of the Child Development Lab play space.

Founder and president of McIntosh-Murphy Company, Inc., in Nashville, Dick Murphy has since retired from his professional career but not from professional service to his alma mater. He’s a 2000 recipient of the College of Business Administration Outstanding Business Leadership award. He and Mary Jo live in Nashville.

Ottis Phillips’ support of Tech programs extends into the community as well. A 1974 mechanical engineering graduate of Tennessee Tech, Phillips played on the Golden Eagle football squad and earned an MBA in 1978. He has been a supporter of Tech Athletics since 1986 and has established endowments in athletics, the College of Business and the College of Engineering. A long-time member of the Athletics Hall of Fame Committee, Ottis joined the Tech Foundation Board of Directors in 2015. He recently retired as president of Cherokee Distributing Company in Cookeville. He and his wife, Cindy, live in Cookeville.

Former commissioner of the Tennessee Department of Agriculture, as well as Department of Wildlife Resources, John Rose’s support of Tech’s School of Agriculture is multi-faceted, from scholarship endowments in honor of his parents, to faculty development and initiatives, to a scholarship benefiting international students. While a fervent and long-time supporter of Tech, Rose also serves the larger community as chair of the Tennessee State Fair Association and, until recently, as a member of the boards of the Tennessee Heritage Conservation Trust Fund and Tennessee FFA Foundation. Rose earned a bachelor’s degree in agriculture at Tech in 1988, a master’s in agricultural economics at Purdue in 1990 and a J.D. from Vanderbilt University in 1993. He and his wife, Chelsea, live in Cookeville.

One of the first physician-specialists to open a practice in Cookeville, Dr. Walter Derryberry is a 1957 pre-med graduate of Tech. He is the son of former Tech President Everett Derryberry and First Lady Joan Derryberry, a born leader, as his father was, and a lover of the arts, as his mother was. In medicine, Walter Derryberry was among the first specialists to open a private practice in Cookeville. A Fellow in the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Walter served in various leadership positions at Cookeville Regional Medical Center, including Chief of Staff. In the arts, he’s an avid collector and an accomplished musician, serving as music director at St. Michael’s Episcopal Church for 37 years and a founding member of the Cookeville Mastersingers. A 1959 graduate of the University of Tennessee-Memphis, Walter interned at Cook County Hospital in Chicago, served his residency at Vanderbilt and worked with the U.S. Public Health Service in Massachusetts and Ohio. He is the father of two sons.

This year’s ceremony includes special recognition of two long-time Tennessee Tech administrators — Leo McGee, associate vice president and professor emeritus, and Marc Burnett, vice president for Student Affairs — as pathbreakers and role models for students, staff and faculty from diverse ethnic backgrounds. Other special guests are African-American alumni who were “firsts” in their respective areas — from student life and government to athletics and the arts.

“In addition to our individual awards, we’re very proud to recognize not only Dr. McGee and Vice President Burnett, but this special group of alumni and others who have contributed so much to the campus culture and diversity,” said Boyd.

The banquet is scheduled from 5:30 to 9 p.m. Friday evening at the Leslie Town Centre. Reservations are required.

The awards banquet is the capstone event of the university’s inaugural Alumni Weekend, which promotes campus and community activities scheduled between Thursday, April 12, and Saturday, April 14. Visit for a full schedule of events.

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