South Plains College to honor 2023 Distinguished Alumni
LEVELLAND – South Plains College will honor three former students as the 2023 Distinguished Alumni: Charles “Bo” Outlaw of San Antonio, John Stoll of Harlingen and Heath Wright of Vian, Okla. All three were confirmed during the SPC Board of Regents meeting last month.
The public is invited to help honor the recipients at the come-and-go Presidential Reception from 10 to 11:30a.m. on Nov. 3 (Friday) in the Wilburn and Helen Wheeler Science Center at SPC. South Plains College bestowed its first Distinguished Alumni honor in 1987. Prior to 2016, the award was presented every five years but has now become an annual tradition.“Each of this year’s recipients has brought a particular level of distinction to themselves and to South Plains College,” said Dr. Robin Satterwhite, president of SPC. “They have been tremendously successful in their respective fields, and they have built upon the excellence that was instilled within them at SPC.”
Outlaw attended SPC from 1989 to 1991 after graduating from Jay High School in San Antonio. He was a standout player for the Texan Basketball team, and he received All-American honors during the 1990–91 season when the Texans finished with a 32-1 record. He graduated with an Associate of Science degree before transferring to the University of Houston.
Undrafted out of college, Outlaw played in the CBA before being picked up by the Los Angeles Clippers in 1993 and later traded to the Orlando Magic in 1997. Outlaw would go on to play for 15 years in the National Basketball Association. In 2008, Outlaw returned to Levelland when he was enshrined in the Western Junior College Athletic Conference Hall of Fame and the Texan Hall of Fame. Presently, Outlaw is Community Ambassador for the Orlando Magic.
Stoll graduated with an Associate of Applied Science degree in Sound Technology from SPC in 1997. He began his career as a DARS technician for Lockheed Martin five months before joining the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) as an audio engineer. In June 2000, Stoll became a lead audio engineer where he directed a team of five in the NASA Television Production facility at Johnson Space Center.
Utilizing his experience in audio systems engineering, integrating usability and highly robust, never-fail installations, Stoll has completed several purpose-built audio suites for broadcast, production and historical audio archival. He also works on audio for the music studio and live sound venues, as well as musical instrument amplifier design and construction.
In 2022 and while still working for NASA, Stoll completed his bachelor's degree in mathematical science at the University of Houston Clear Lake. Currently, Stoll works as a Broadcast and Multimedia supervisor for NASA. He has received numerous honors from NASA, and this year Stoll was presented the NASA Exceptional Public Achievement Medal and NASA’s Silver Snoopy Award.
Wright attended SPC from 1992 to 1993 and graduated with an Associate of Arts degree. He grew up in Vian, Okla. and received a bachelor’s degree in business management from Northeastern State University. Wright decided he wanted to study music, and he enrolled at South Plains College to prepare himself for a life as a professional musician.
After graduation, Wright headed to Nashville, Tenn., where he played with the band Lariat before starting what would become his longstanding band, Ricochet. Ricochet hit its stride during the 1990s when they earned the New Vocal Group of the Year award from the Academy of Country Music (ACM) as well as several other ACM and CMA nominations. During their peak, the band made numerous television appearances on Country Music Award shows as performers, presenters and nominees, including the Grand Ole Opry and the Tonight Show.
After years on the road, Wright moved his operations back to Oklahoma. He also revamped Ricochet making Wright the only original member still playing with the band. This year Wright won the 2024 CMA of Texas Director’s Choice Award for a song he co-wrote with Randy C. Moore called, “A Mother’s Prayer.”
For more information about the SPC Distinguished Alumni Program or the Presidential Reception on Nov. 3, contact Catherine Krueger, Assistant Director of Development and Alumni Relations, at (806) 716-2103 or firstname.lastname@example.org.