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Hall of Distinction Adds Three Saturday

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Arkansas Tech University will add three new members to its Hall of Distinction during spring 2011 commencement ceremonies at John E. Tucker Coliseum on Saturday, May 14.  James Bibler of Russellville (photographed, top right) will be inducted under the Distinguished Alumnus category, Dr. Jack Hamm of Russellville (photographed, middle right) will be inducted under the Distinguished Alumni Service category and Lyndall Stout of Stillwater, Okla., (photographed, bottom right) will be inducted as an Outstanding Young Alumna.

The trio, which was selected for the honor by the Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees, will be inducted during the 10 a.m. ceremony on Saturday. Selection for the Arkansas Tech Hall of Distinction is the highest honor that the university can bestow upon an alumnus. James Bibler

After starting out as a lumber stacker, Bibler rose through the ranks of his family’s company and became president of Bibler Brothers, Inc. in Russellville at the age of 33. The company became a division of Great Northern Nekoosa in 1973, but 13 years later Bibler formed James Bibler Enterprises and purchased all of the stock in Bibler Brothers, Inc. His action saved the mill and the jobs of those who worked there. From 1986-98, Bibler led major renovations of the mill, brought state of the art equipment online and oversaw the construction of a new office facility just south of the mill on Arkansas Avenue in Russellville. Bibler sold 90 percent of the company to Freeman Brothers, Inc. in 1998, but he remained active in the business. Today, he serves as chairman of the Ouachita Timber Purchasers Group and as a member of the Southern Pine Inspection Bureau Board of Directors. He is a past chairman of the Arkansas Forestry Commission, having been appointed to that board by Gov. David Pryor and re-appointed by Gov. Bill Clinton. Bibler is a past president of the Southern Forest Products Association and the Arkansas Forestry Association. He served as vice chairman of the public timber division of the National Forest Products Association. Jack Hamm Legendary head coach Sam Hindsman recruited Hamm out of Mount Judea High School to play basketball for Arkansas Tech in 1959. Hamm scored his share of baskets as a Wonder Boy, but the university benefitted from Hamm’s decision to choose Arkansas Tech far beyond the boundaries of a basketball floor. Hamm graduated from Tech in 1964 with a Bachelor of Science degree in mathematics and physics. He went on to earn a Master of Science degree in applied mathematics (1968) and a Ph.D. in mathematics (1972) from the University of Missouri at Rolla. Shortly after attaining his terminal degree, Hamm joined the faculty at Arkansas Tech. He remained for 36 years, serving as assistant professor of mathematics (1972-77), associate professor of mathematics (1977-81), professor of mathematics (1981-2008), head of the Department of Mathematics (1977-82), dean of the School of Systems Science (1982-2001) and vice president for academic affairs (2002-08).

Upon his retirement, Hamm became the first faculty member in Arkansas Tech history to receive the title of Distinguished Professor. The Arkansas Tech Board of Trustees bestowed the title of professor emeritus of mathematics upon Hamm in March 2011. Lyndall Stout She has built her career in television, but in many ways Lyndall Stout has built her reputation through her charitable works. Stout has given her time to benefit such projects as the Make-A-Wish Foundation, the Arkansas Children’s Hospital, breast cancer awareness, public libraries and the arts. In her professional career, Stout has been nominated for three Emmy awards as a television anchor and reporter. She was recognized by the Arkansas Press Association for outstanding documentary reporting, and the YMCA/YWCA gave her its Pearl Award for career and community achievements. After earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and speech communication from Arkansas Tech, Stout began her television career at KTEN in Denison, Texas. She returned to Arkansas in April 1999 and worked as a weekend anchor, general assignment reporter and morning anchor at KARK in Little Rock until September 2003. Then it was on to WBRE/WYOU in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., where she served as main anchor, reporter and managing editor for six years. Today, Stout is back in her native Oklahoma and working as the host and senior producer for SUNUP, a weekly agriculture television program that airs on public broadcasting stations throughout the Sooner State.