WT’s Bigham Named TAMUS Regents Professor

Chip Chandler Nov 09, 2023
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WT’s Bigham Named TAMUS Regents Professor

Copy by Chip Chandler, 806-651-2124,


WT’s Bigham Named TAMUS Regents Professor

CANYON, Texas — West Texas A&M University’s Dr. Gary Bigham has earned one of the most prestigious honors in The Texas A&M University System.

Bigham, dean of WT’s Terry B. Rogers College of Education and Social Sciences, was named one of 14 Regents Professors during the TAMUS Board of Regents’ Nov. 9 meeting.

Bigham and his fellow recipients were recognized for their exemplary performance during 2022-23 and throughout their career.

Additionally, 13 agency service, extension or research professionals were named Regents Fellows.

“From research to service, these individuals’ accomplishments over the last year exemplify the A&M System’s commitment to finding solutions and serving Texas,” said Bill Mahomes, Chairman of The Texas A&M University System Board of Regents. “I hope their example will inspire others.”

Bigham was chosen to be nominated by the WT Faculty Senate.

“The combination of peer recognition followed by confirmation from The Texas A&M University System highlights the distinctiveness of this honor,” said Dr. Neil Terry, provost and executive vice president for academic affairs. “Dr. Bigham is truly an outstanding faculty member and campus leader.”

Bigham said he is “honored beyond what any words can convey” by the appointment.

“I will strive every day to fulfill the responsibilities associated with this naming,” Bigham said. “This meritorious award represents the culmination of my life’s work and is the pinnacle of my career.”

The Board established the Regents Professor Awards program in 1996 and the Regents Fellow Service Awards program in 1998 to recognize employees who have made extraordinary contributions to their university, or agency, as well as to the people of Texas. Regents Professors are awarded a stipend and a special commemorative medallion bearing the seal of the A&M System.

To date, 306 Texas A&M system faculty members have been recognized with the Regents Professor Award—now including 12 at WT—and 188 agency professionals have received the Regents Fellow Service Award.

Previously named Regents Professors at WT have included Dr. Alex Hunt, professor of English, the Vincent/Haley Endowed Professor of Western American Studies and director of the Center for the Study of the American West; Dr. Lal K. Almas, professor of agricultural business and economics; Dr. Jean A. Stuntz, Professor Emeritus of History; Dr. William J. Rogers, professor of environmental science; Dr. John L. Pipkin, professor of animal science and equine industry program director; Dr. Bruce Brasington, professor of history; Dr. Darlene Pulliam, Professor Emeritus of Accounting; Dr. Robert Hansen, former director of the School of Music; Royal R. Brantley, former professor of theatre; the late Dr. Charmazel Dudt, former professor of Shakespeare studies; and the late Dr. Peter Petersen, Professor Emeritus of History.

Bigham, a Lockney native, was inspired to enter education by his admiration of a high school agriculture teacher. After beginning his degree at WT, Bigham completed his bachelor’s in agricultural education at Texas Tech University.

After two decades in public schools, Bigham joined the WT faculty, where he has served as director of the University’s educational leadership doctorate program and superintendent certification.

Bigham has presented his research at local, regional, state, national and international conferences, events, and workshops. He has also presented professional development workshops for teachers, administrators and school board members. He coordinates the annual school board workshop for Texas Panhandle school board members and superintendents, a collaborative effort involving WT, the Texas Association of School Boards and the Region 16 Education Service Center.

This year’s recipients of the Regents Professor Award also include:

  • Dr. Ananda S. Amarasekara, Prairie View A&M University
  • Dr. Ann O. Bowman, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Satish T.S. Bukkapatnam, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Noah D. Cohen, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Dilma Da Silva, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Kim E. Dooley, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Maribel González-García, Texas A&M University-Kingsville
  • Dr. Derald A. Harp, Texas A&M University-Commerce
  • Dr. Stephen Maren, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Jon T. Skare, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Michael R. Waters, Texas A&M University
  • Dr. Joshua C. Watson, Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi
  • Dr. Thomas H. Welsh, Jr., Texas A&M University

This year’s recipients of the Regents Fellow Award are: 

  • Dr. Juan Reymundo Anciso, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
  • Dr. Kevin N. Balke, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
  • Dr. Rukeia Draw-Hood, Prairie View A&M University Cooperative Extension Program
  • Mr. Joseph N. Dunn, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
  • Dr. William L. Eisele, Texas A&M Transportation Institute
  • Ms. Kathy Farrow, Texas A&M AgriLife Extension Service
  • Dr. Martin Ficken, Texas A&M Veterinary Medical Diagnostic Laboratory
  • Ms. Jackquenett Goetz, Texas Division of Emergency Management
  • Dr. Jaehak Jeong, Texas A&M AgriLife Research
  • Dr. Cindy Lawley, Texas A&M Engineering Experiment Station
  • Ms. Vicki Newlin, Texas Division of Emergency Management
  • Mr. Ronald K. Taylor, Jr., Texas A&M Engineering Extension Service
  • Mr. Bruce V. Woods, Texas A&M Forest Service

The selection process for the awards begins with a call for nominations from the chancellor. Final nominations are put forth to the chief executive officer of each respective entity. They are then subject to a system-level review consisting of academic vice chancellors and past recipients of the awards. Finally, nominations are forwarded to the chancellor and the board for final approval.

Prioritizing research and recruiting, retaining and rewarding the best faculty are key components of the University’s long-range plan, WT 125: From the Panhandle to the World.

That plan is fueled by the historic One West comprehensive fundraising campaign, which reached its initial $125 million goal 18 months after publicly launching in September 2021. The campaign’s new goal is to reach $175 million by 2025; currently, it has raised more than $150 million.


About West Texas A&M University

WT is located in Canyon, Texas, on a 342-acre residential campus. Established in 1910, the University has been part of The Texas A&M University System since 1990. WT, a Hispanic Serving Institution since 2016, boasts an enrollment of about 10,000 and offers 59 undergraduate degree programs and more than 40 graduate degrees, including two doctoral degrees. The University is also home to the Panhandle-Plains Historical Museum, the largest history museum in the state and the home of one of the Southwest’s finest art collections. The Buffaloes are a member of the NCAA Division II Lone Star Conference and offers 14 men’s and women’s athletics programs.