Abilene Christian University has named its Outstanding Alumna of the Year and Young Alumnus of the Year and will present the awards Saturday, Feb. 19, to Kathy (Gay ’78) Halbert and Brandon Osborne (’05).
Kathy, cofounder of the Caris Foundation, is ACU’s Outstanding Alumna of the Year. Brandon, executive director of Abilene Youth Sports Authority, is the university’s Young Alumnus of the Year. Both will be honored at the Alumni Day Luncheon Saturday at 12:30 p.m. in the McCaleb Conference Center in the Hunter Welcome Center.
Kathy Halbert, Outstanding Alumna of the Year
This award honors timely recognition of lifetime achievement that brings honor to the university through personal and professional excellence and service to the university, church or community.
Kathy was an influential part of the initiative for Caris Foundation, a non-profit private foundation begun in 2002 to aid and empower impoverished people. Her passion for philanthropic work provides the leadership and direction in the management, application and use of Caris funds. The foundation establishes a local presence within communities in order to understand the people’s basic needs and implement solutions that are culturally relevant and sustainable.
Today, the Caris Foundation primarily operates in Kenya and Haiti and employs more than 435 compassionate people. The foundation also manages 3,500 health workers through Project Sante, a cooperative agreement with the United States Agency for International Development, providing integrated maternal and child care to Haitian families, with a particular focus on immunization, reproductive health, nutrition services, and HIV prevention, care and treatment.
Kathy met her husband, David D. Halbert (’78), while they were both taking classes in ACU’s College of Business Administration. David, a native of Abilene, is chair, founder and CEO of Caris Life Sciences. The couple lives in Colleyville, and their three children are all alumni of ACU: Kristen (Halbert ’04) Barstad, Patrick Halbert (’07) and Michael Halbert (’11).
Brandon Osborne, Young Alumnus of the Year
This award recognizes professional achievement and/or distinguished service to Abilene Christian University. To be eligible, a recipient must not be over 40 years of age at the time of selection.
Brandon, known more often as “Coach O,” is the founder of Genesis Athletics, the executive director of Abilene Youth Sports Authority at the Dodge Jones Youth Sports Center, and was named one of Abilene’s Top 20 Under 40 in 2021. He has also served as an elementary school physical education teacher, an assistant basketball coach for Hardin-Simmons, worked with several high school basketball programs, and played in a summer professional league.
In addition to his bachelor’s degree in exercise science from ACU, Brandon is a Certified Personal Trainer and Performance Enhancement Specialist through the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). In his training and coaching, he focuses on finding, creating and tweaking new drills, skills and techniques to help players perform at the highest level. Through the game of basketball, he has instructed and encouraged more than 75,000 athletes from around the world, several of whom went on to receive professional contracts.
Brandon is married to Kimberly (Roach ’03) Osborne, a native of Abilene, and they have three children: Myles, Karsyn and Blakely.
— Wendy Kilmer
Feb. 17, 2022