Life + Arts

Alumni honored at annual gala

The University of Houston Alumni Association honored five notable alumni on May 2 at the 61st Awards Gala hosted at the Westin Houston, Memorial City.

Aylwin Lewis, president and CEO of the sandwich company Potbelly Corp., graduated from the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Arts in 1976 and an MBA in 1990. He received his honor along with Bill Worrell, the 1969 graduate who is now in his 32nd season as an award-winning play-by-play announcer for the Houston Rockets.

Emmy-winning and “Steve Harvey Show” Executive Producer Rushion McDonald, a 1983 graduate, drew applause — along with Ken Bailey, another two-time graduated of the University (’69) and the Law School (’72). Bailey started as quarterback during the 1967-1969 seasons and earned the Charles Saunders Award for Outstanding Athlete; he is now a founding partner of Bailer Peavy Baile, PLLC, a law firm that specializes in civil litigation.

The association also celebrated Dominic Ng, a 1980 graduate who now works for East West Bancorp Inc. and East West Bank as chairman and CEO. Additionally, Ng serves on many boards, including the University of Southern California’s board of trustees, the Resnick Institute advisory council at the California Institute of Technology, the Bowers Museum board of governors and the Southern California Asia Society Inc.

The association warded a Distinguished Service Award to Laurie Rutherford, the director of Enterprise Risk Management at Centerpoint Energy. An Outstanding Volunteer Award recognized John McNabb — the chairman and CEO of the Willbros group, and Drue DaSilva — a manager of inside sales at ShoreGroup. ESPN Anchor Robert Flores accepted the Rising Star Award.

The association awarded the Chairs Award to the current student body as a thank you for improvements to the diversity and overall experience of the University.

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