Special to the Register
Gainesville Daily Register
Gainesville resident and former Texas Tech University track letterwinner Charles Draper received the Heritage Award at the 2012 Texas Tech Athletic Hall of Fame induction ceremony this past weekend in Lubbock.
Draper, along with football letterwinner Dr. Bob Stafford, were honored at the Hall of Fame banquet on Friday night at the McKenzie-Merket Alumni Center. Both were also recognized prior to the Texas Tech-University of Texas football game on Saturday.
Draper, a 1961 graduate of Texas Tech, was a three-year track and field letterwinner and the school record holder in the 880 yard run with a time of 1:50.60. That event has since been changed to the 800 meter run, so his record still stands. He finished third in the 880 at the 1959 Southwest Conference meet, was fourth in 1960 and second in 1961 when he was nationally ranked.
He has been active in the Gainesville and Cooke County area since his days at Texas Tech. He has tirelessly served the Cooke County community since 1970 when he moved his family to Gainesville to begin working as Vice-President of Operations at Southland Paint Company. He later went to work for Gainesville National Bank and recently retired from Landmark Bank.
Draper has served as a member of the Gainesville City Council, the Gainesville Independent School District board of trustees and the North Central Texas College board of regents.
He has also been a member of the NCTC Foundation board and he was a founding board member and past president of the Gainesville ISD Educational Foundation.
Draper served as president of the board for the Boys and Girls Club of Cooke County. He was also a member of the board of the Gainesville Economic Development Corporation, the Texoma Council of Governments and the Hatcher Charitable Trust honoring breast cancer survivors.
He has also served his alma mater as president of the Cooke County chapter of the Texas Tech Alumni Association and was named to the Tech Alumni Association’s national board. He has served as a USA Track and Field official and was an official at the prestigious Texas Relays for 39 years.
Draper has also served on the board of directors for Abigail’s Arms, the North Texas Medical Center Foundation and the Texoma Emmaus Community.
In 2009, he was a recipient of the Community Service award given by the NCTC Ex-Students Association to recognize him for his service to the college and the community. Just last month, he was named as a Distinguished Educator by the Gainesville High School Alumni Association.
“To borrow an old truism, if you were to look up the terms ‘community service’ and ‘civic leadership’ in the dictionary, they would have a picture of Charles Draper next to them,” said Ronnie Herr, a long-time friend of Draper and former Tech football letterwinner.
Draper is now one of just five people to receive the Heritage Award.