Each year, Lamar University has the pleasure of honoring outstanding alumni leaders in community service and philanthropy, business and civic engagement. This year Mr. Larry Norwood has been selected to receive the highest award Lamar University bestows upon its graduates. He was honored on May 7 with a reception, dinner and award presentation program held both in person and virtually.
“It is an honor to congratulate and celebrate Larry by awarding him with the 2021 Distinguished Alumnus Award,” said Shannon Figueroa, director of Alumni Affairs. “His professional accomplishments, service to his community and loyalty to his alma mater exemplifies the Lamar University spirit.”
Larry Norwood is a native of Liberty, Texas, graduating from Liberty High School in 1968. He was drawn to Lamar University because of the university’s reputation as a good engineering school, reasonable tuition and good cooperative education program.
Norwood began working for Lubrizol as a cooperative education student while earning his Bachelor of Science degree in chemical engineering at Lamar University in 1973. In 2013, Norwood retired after a 39-year career with the international specialty chemical company. He started work at Lubrizol’s Texas Operation, the company’s largest manufacturing facility, and moved through successive roles of responsibility for operations and technology. In 1998, Norwood was named general manager for Lubrizol’s Texas Operation. In 2003, he was named vice president of operations for Lubrizol’s Additives Division with global responsibilities for operations, procurement and logistics. In 2008, Norwood was named corporate vice president of operations with global responsibility for operations, procurement and logistics for both Lubrizol Additives Division and Lubrizol Advanced Materials Division. In 2010, the company announced plans for a grassroots Lubrizol Additives plant to be built in Zhuhai, China, and Norwood was the Lubrizol executive responsible for the design and construction.
Lubrizol’s Zhuhai Plant received China’s Luban award, which is China’s highest recognition award for engineering and construction. Norwood is a trustee of the Lamar University Foundation, a member of the College of Engineering Advisory Council, and he and his wife, Cynthia, are members of Lamar University’s Spindletop Society and President’s Circle. The couple established the Larry and Cynthia Norwood Chemical Engineering Scholarship in 2012. To date there have been more than 100 undergraduate and graduate students who have received scholarships. Norwood has also contributed to faculty support through the Norwood Faculty Research Fellowship.
Lamar University is a family affair for the Norwoods. His wife Cynthia (Smesny) is a 1972 honors graduate of LU with a Bachelor of Arts with a double major in History and English. She is also a native of Liberty. Larry and Cynthia were married while students at Lamar University. This year will be their 50th wedding anniversary.
The Norwood’s are now retired living in Austin. They spend time between their homes in Austin and Colorado. They enjoy international travel, gardening and outdoor activities. Larry enjoys skiing, fly fishing and woodworking.