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2016 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Services Award Winners Announced

December 2016

2016 Distinguished Alumni and Distinguished Services Award Winners Announced

Texas Tech Law is privileged to announce the 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award recipients, Rankin Gasaway (’88) and Bill Mateja (’86), and the 2016 Distinguished Services Award recipients, Chester Grudzinski (’81) and Justice Mackey Hancock (’74).

The four award winners will be honored at the law school’s annual gala on March 4, 2017 at the Overton Hotel and Conference Center in Lubbock. The featured speaker will be Jeffery Toobin, award-winning author and legal analyst for CNN.

Toobin is a staff writer at The New Yorker, senior legal analyst at CNN, and the bestselling author of The Oath: The Obama White House and the Supreme Court, The Nine, Too Close to Call, A Vast Conspiracy, The Run of His Life and Opening Arguments. The Nine spent more than four months on the New York Times Best Seller list and was named one of the best books of the year by Time, Newsweek, Entertainment Weekly and the Economist. As an unbiased, deeply analytic (and often very funny) expert on all matters of American law, Toobin will provide a unique look into the inner workings of The Supreme Court and its influence.

Please contact Ashley Langdon, Director of Alumni Relations, at or 806-834-7533 for more information about sponsorship opportunities.


Rankin Gasaway (’88), 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

Rankin Gasaway is Senior Vice President, General Counsel, and Secretary for the 7-Eleven, Inc. management team. In his 21-year career with 7-Eleven, Inc., Gasaway has overseen legal support for human resources, merchandising, trademarks, logistics, information systems, and several other areas. He now is responsible for the legal and government affairs team.


Bill Mateja (’86), 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award Winner

Bill Mateja, shareholder at Polsinelli, currently practices as a trial lawyer, specializing in white-collar issues such as healthcare fraud and securities enforcement. Before entering private practice, Mateja served as Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of Texas and as Senior Counsel for the Office of the Deputy Attorney General. During his time with the Office of the Deputy Attorney General he focused on health care fraud and was the point person for President George W. Bush’s Corporate Fraud Task Force.


Chester Grudzinski (’81), 2016 Distinguished Services Award Winner

As partner at Kelly Hart & Hallman, Chester Grudzinski focuses his practice on tax issues that range across federal and state matters. Grudzinski has assisted several business and entities through formation, operation, and liquidation processes. He also serves as the Chair for the Partnership and Real Estate Tax Committee for the Tax Section of the State Bar of Texas, volunteers for the Boy Scouts of America, and serves as a Texas Tech Law School Foundation Trustee.


Justice Mackey Hancock (’74), 2016 Distinguished Services Award Winner

Justice Mackey Hancock has served on the Seventh Court of Appeals since 2005 and was judge of the 99th District Court before his appointment to the Seventh Court of Appeals. After 31 years in the U.S. Army Reserve, Hancock began his legal career as the assistant criminal district attorney for Lubbock County and then entered private practice. Hancock returned to public service in 1989 as a Lubbock County judge and has remained on the bench since then. He retires on December 31, 2016.

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