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Forest Baskett – High-Tech Innovator and Investor

Dr. Forest Baskett joined New Enterprise Associates (NEA) as a Venture Partner in 1999 and became a General Partner in 2004. Forest focuses on information technology investments and serves on the Board of Directors for several private and public companies. Many of his investments became public companies, including Atheros Communications, Audience, Data Domain, Fusion-io and Tableau Software. Prior to joining NEA, Forest was Senior Vice President of R&D and Chief Technology Officer of Silicon Graphics, Inc. He founded and directed the Western Research Laboratory of Digital Equipment Corporation before joining SGI. Before that, he was a Professor of Computer Science and Electrical Engineering at Stanford University.

Dr. Baskett received his Ph.D. in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Austin. While at UT, Dr. Baskett supported himself as a programmer at the Computation Center, initially writing the billing system and eventually managing the systems programming staff. He and a group of fellow graduate students and staff designed and built the operating system that was in production for ten years at the Computation Center.


Emerging LEADER



Nikhil Advani – Advocate for Wildlife, People and the Planet

In 2013, DR. Nikhil Advani joined the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where he currently leads efforts on climate, communities and wildlife. During his time at WWF, Nikhil has founded and led a number of initiatives, including an effort to crowdsource data and implement climate adaptation projects for rural communities in developing countries, wildlife and climate assessment series to research vulnerability to climate change and a Wildlife Adaptation Innovation Fund to help at-risk species adapt to climate change. Nikhil also is a member of the International Union for Conservation of Nature, Species Survival Commission Climate Change Specialist Group.

Dr. Advani was born and raised in Kenya. He received his bachelor’s degree and Ph.D. at The University of Texas at Austin in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior. His thesis focused on gaining a better mechanistic understanding of species response to climate change, using the Glanville Fritillary butterfly as a model species. During his time at UT, Nikhil received the College of Natural Sciences teaching award from the Texas Exes, an outstanding teaching award from the School of Biological Sciences and a number of undergraduate and graduate fellowships.





Tyrrell Flawn – Nonprofit Leader and Education Advocate

 Tyrrell Flawn has more than 30 years of experience in nonprofit leadership. Most recently, she served as Executive Director of the National Mathematics Advisory Panel at the U.S. Department of Education, where she was charged with reviewing the best scientific research and making recommendations to improve mathematics education.

As Executive Director of The Children’s Inn at the National Institutes of Health, Ms. Flawn oversaw the doubling of the size of the Inn while continuing to provide care for 1,200 families annually. She also served as Executive Director of the RGK Foundation in Austin and as Director of Volunteer Services at the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

Ms. Flawn served as chair of the Advisory Council of the School of Human Ecology from 2009-2012, and she currently serves on the advisory councils of the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center, the College of Natural Sciences and the School of Human Ecology. She graduated cum laude with a B.S. in Nutrition. 





youngMichael W. Young – Geneticist and Nobel Laureate

Dr. Michael Young is a geneticist who contributed to the discovery of molecular mechanisms that regulate circadian rhythms, the 24-hour period of biological activity in humans and other organisms. Dr. Young’s elucidation of the relationships between genes and behaviors in the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster offered new insight into recurring, daily physiological processes in humans, including metabolism and sleep. For his discoveries, he was awarded the 2017 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, shared with Jeffrey C. Hall and Michael Rosbash.

Dr. Young currently serves as the Richard and Jeanne Fisher Professor, Head of the Laboratory of Genetics, and vice president of academic affairs at The Rockefeller University. He received his bachelor’s degree in Biology (’71) and Ph.D. in Zoology (’75) from The University of Texas at Austin. His postdoctoral research was completed at Stanford University School of Medicine in 1977.

Dr. Young’s elected memberships include the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the President’s Council of the New York Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Microbiology, and the Physiological Society, London (Honorary). He is also a recipient of the Gruber Neuroscience Prize (2009), Horwitz Prize (2011), Canada Gairdner International Award (2012), Massry Prize (2012), Wiley Prize, and the Shaw Prize (2013). 


nahmiasAndré (Andy) J. Nahmias – Medical Scientist, Pediatric Public Health Practitioner and Child Advocate

Dr. Andy Nahmias helped to discover the origins of HIV and pioneered local and global action on behalf of patients worldwide. As an undergraduate and master’s student at The University of Texas at Austin, he researched the mechanisms of resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to penicillin. He went on to study pediatrics, virology, immunology, and public health, always seeking to discover something new. In 1964, he joined the faculty of Emory University as the Director of the Division of Infectious Disease in the Department of Pediatrics. There he identified a new Herpes simplex virus, HSV type 2, involved with genital and neonatal herpes. He also adapted new methods of diagnosis in the laboratory and coordinated the first NIH Antiviral Herpes Program from 1973-1990.

Dr. Nahmias, working with colleagues, traced the origin of the AIDS virus; having detected it in a sample from Kinshasa, the team discovered the roots of the virus were in Central Africa. While at Emory, he also established the first clinic for children with AIDS in the South and helped to introduce early routine HIV screening for pregnant women. He organized the first world conference on AIDS in children, adolescents and heterosexual adults attended by the World Health Organization and the Centers for Disease Control. Dr. Nahmias is also the author of an award-winning play and cantata about children with AIDS.




LMNLeticia Nogueira – Epidemiologist and Population Health Researcher

Dr. Leticia Nogueira is the director of health services research at the American Cancer Society (ACS), responsible for investigating determinants of health disparities in the cancer care continuum that can be addressed by policy changes. Prior to joining ACS, Nogueira served as the director of the Environmental and Injury Epidemiology and Toxicology Unit (EIET), and as the epidemiology manager at Texas Cancer Registry, both at the Texas Department of State Health Services.

During her tenure at EIET, she directed five distinct state programs: the Texas Childhood Poisoning Prevention Program, the Injury Epidemiology and Surveillance Program, the Health Assessment Program, the Texas Occupational Health Surveillance Program, and the Texas Fluoridation Program. She also successfully secured $1.5 million as the principal investigator of two federal grants.

Nogueira holds a bachelor’s degree in Biology from Universidade Estadual Paulista Júlio de Mesquita Filho, a master’s degree in Public Health from the Harvard School of Public Health, and a Ph.D. in Molecular Biology from The University of Texas at Austin. She received the Woman in Cancer Research Award in 2013 and the Minority Scholar in Cancer Research Award in 2010, both from the American Association for Cancer Research. She also received the Fellows Award for Research Excellence from the National Institutes of Health in 2014 and was selected for the Executive Leaders Academy at the Texas Department of State Health Services in 2017.





kushnerBrian Kushner – Entrepreneur and Champion of the Freshman Research Initiative (FRI)

Dr. Brian Kushner is a successful entrepreneur who serves as the senior managing director at FTI Consulting where he leads the private capital practice, focusing on private equity, hedge, and activism funds and co-leads the technology practice, activism, and M&A solutions practice, and aerospace and defense practice. Prior to joining FTI, he co-founded CXO, L.L.C., a boutique interim and turnaround management company acquired by FTI in 2008.

Since 1992, Kushner has held a number of leadership roles including chief executive officer, chief restructuring officer, and director of more than 30 public and private technology, media, manufacturing, telecommunication, and defense companies. He has purchased or sold over 20 companies throughout his career. He also serves on the board of directors for a number of publicly-traded companies.

Kushner holds several degrees from Cornell University. In 1997, he received the KPMG’s Information, Communications, and Entertainment Entrepreneur of the Year award in Austin for Industry Leadership in Entrepreneurial Companies of less than 200 Employees. In the fall of 2014, he served as the commencement speaker for The University of Texas at Austin’s College of Natural Sciences. Kushner, now the chair emeritus for the Physics Task Force, is also a member of the college’s Advisory Council. He previously served as co-chair of the FRI Task Force and chair of the Physics Task Force.  



Michael Dawkins – Leader, Innovator and Extraordinary Advocate for FRI

Michael Dawkins is an accomplished software engineer and proud UT Austin alumnus. Upon leaving the Forty Acres in 1968, he joined IBM in Houston as a software developer, dedicated to supporting NASA’s Apollo and Skylab programs. Dawkins remained in Houston for 22 years primarily serving in management roles designed to support the development of NASA Space Shuttle Onboard and Mission Control Center software.

In 1990, Dawkins was promoted to General Manager of IBM Federal System in Manassas, VA. And from 1995 to 2007, he held various executive positions at IBM Global Services leading units including Application Services, Technology, and Global Services, Aerospace and Utility, and Energy Services. After 39 years of service, he retired from IBM in 2007.

Since completing his degree at UT Austin, Dawkins has maintained his connection to the university serving as a life member of the Ex-Students’ Association of the University of Texas and a member of the College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council. He also serves as a member of the UT Development Board, the President’s Associates, and Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee. He and his wife, Nancy, have lived in Austin since 2000 and have four children and one grandchild. Their interests are primarily family, travel, and philanthropy.


Distinguished Alumni


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Gail Dianne Lewis – Cancer Fighter, Scientist and Advocate

Gail Lewis received her bachelor’s degree in Microbiology from the College of Natural Sciences in 1978 and her master’s degree in Pharmacology from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in 1984. Since 1985, Ms. Lewis has worked as a scientist for Genentech, Inc., an industry-leading biotechnology company that specializes in the creation of medicines used to treat patients with serious or life-threatening medical conditions. There, she currently serves as Senior Scientist of Molecular Oncology.

Ms. Lewis’ research laboratory at Genentech, Inc. studies receptor tyrosine kinases as targets for the development of anti-cancer therapeutics, with emphasis on the HER/erbB family. Her early research efforts focused on the role of HER2 in HER2-amplified breast cancer, and the biological effects of antibodies directed against HER2. Studies by her lab demonstrated antibody-induced inhibition of breast cancer cell growth as a direct function of HER2 expression level. Her work led to the approval of several new drugs for breast cancer patients: Trastuzumab (HERCEPTIN®), Pertuzumab (PERJETA®), and Trastuzumab emtansine (KADCYLA®, T-DM1), all FDA-approved in the last five years. In addition, she is investigating an antibody that simultaneously targets EGFR and HER3 and is highly efficacious in cell culture and xenograft models of lung, head and neck, pancreatic, and colorectal cancer. Her role as laboratory director of a translational research lab has led to many publications in peer-reviewed journals and invitations to speak and present at international conferences.


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Alan Stern – Space Executive and Planetary Scientist

Dr. Alan Stern is a planetary scientist, space program executive, aerospace consultant, and author. He leads NASA’s New Horizons mission, which successfully explored the Pluto system and is now exploring the Kuiper Belt — the farthest worlds ever explored by a space mission. In both 2007 and 2016, he was named to the TIME 100, a list of the world’s most influential people. In 2007, he was appointed NASA’s chief of all science missions. Since 2009, he has been an Associate Vice President and Special Assistant to the President at the Southwest Research Institute. Dr. Stern currently serves as the chief scientist of both World View, a near-space ballooning company, and the Florida Space Institute. In 2016, he was elected to be the board chairman of the Commercial Spaceflight Federation. His career has taken him to numerous astronomical observatories, to the South Pole, and to the upper atmosphere aboard various high performance NASA aircraft. He has been involved as a researcher in 24 suborbital, orbital, and planetary space missions, including nine for which he was the mission principle investigator; and he has led the development of eight scientific instruments for NASA space missions.

Before receiving his doctorate from the University of Colorado in 1989, Dr. Stern completed twin master's degrees in aerospace engineering and atmospheric sciences (1980 and 1981) and two undergraduate degrees in physics and astronomy (1978 and 1981) from the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Stern has published over 270 technical papers and is the author of two books, The U.S. Space Program After Challenger (Franklin-Watts, 1987), and Pluto and Charon: Ice Worlds on the Ragged Edge of the Solar System (Wiley 1997, 2005).


Emerging Leader


franzi bwFranziska Roesner – Educator and Cybersecurity Champion

Dr. Franziska (Franzi) Roesner graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 2008 with bachelor’s degrees in Plan II and Turing Scholars Computer Science Honors. Dr. Roesner then went on to have a decorated graduate career as a student at the University of Washington, receiving a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship, a Microsoft Research Ph.D. Fellowship, the William Chan Memorial Dissertation Award, and the 2012 IEEE Security and Privacy's Best Practical Paper Award. Upon receiving her Ph.D. in 2014, she was hired by the University of Washington’s Computer Science and Engineering Department as faculty, making her the first person to join the faculty directly after graduation.

Dr. Roesner currently serves as Assistant Professor in Computer Science and Engineering, as an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Electrical Engineering Department, and as co-director of the Security and Privacy Research Lab at the University of Washington. Her research focuses primarily on computer security and privacy, particularly in improving computer security and privacy for end-users of existing and emerging technologies, including the web, smartphones, and emerging augmented reality and internet of things platforms. Her many published works on these subjects have gained her national attention, including in a featured cover article in the Communications of the ACM magazine. Her defense for web tracking was incorporated into the Electronic Frontier Foundation’s "Privacy Badger" tool, and Dr. Roesner serves as a member of the DARPA ISAT advisory group and as program co-chair of USENIX Enigma 2017. 





Reitze David Headshot June2016David H. Reitze - Physicist, Educator and Groundbreaking Researcher

Dr. David H. Reitze is the Executive Director of the Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory (LIGO); a research professor at the California Institute of Technology; and a professor of physics at the University of Florida.

Dr. Reitze received his undergraduate degree at Northwestern University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and with department honors in Physics in 1983. He earned his Ph.D. in Physics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1990. Dr. Reitze received an Outstanding Dissertation Award in 1991 for his research on the properties of liquid carbon. He spent two years as a postdoctoral member of the technical staff at Bell Communications Research and one year at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory before joining the faculty of the University of Florida as an assistant professor of physics.  

For the last five years, he has directed the LIGO Laboratory, a group of nearly 200 scientists and engineers from Caltech and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) who designed, built and operates the LIGO Observatories in Hanford, WA and Livingston, LA.  He is a Fellow of the American Physical Society and the Optical Society of America, and he is a member of the LIGO Scientific Collaboration. In 2016, he announced the first direct detection of gravitational waves from a pair of colliding black holes, one of the most significant and stunning scientific results of the past decade.  




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Iris B. Apfel - Fashion Mogul, Collector and Icon

Iris B. Apfel studied art history at New York University and attended art school at the University of Wisconsin. Early in her career, she worked for Women’s Wear Daily and interior designer Elinor Johnson.

In 1950, she and her husband Carl Apfel founded the textiles firm Old World Weavers, which they ran together until 1992. Their many high-profile projects included restoration work at the White House for nine administrations: Presidents Truman, Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan and Clinton. The Apfels’ search for rare and unusual textiles took them all over the world, and it was during these travels that Ms. Apfel began collecting non-Western artisanal clothing and jewelry. She became known in high-society circles for her bold sense of style, and in the fall of 2005, the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute premiered an exhibition about her titled, “Rara AvisThe Irreverent Iris Apfel.” The success of the exhibition propelled her into fame and made her into a cultural icon. Since then, she has been a mainstay in ads for companies such as MAC Cosmetics, Kate Spade, Macy’s, and Citroen automobiles. She has a successful line of clothing on the Home Shopping Network (HSN) and was the subject of the 2015 documentary Iris, directed by acclaimed filmmaker Albert Maysles.

In 2011, Iris came to The University of Texas at Austin, where she became a visiting professor in the Textiles & Apparel Division of the School of Human Ecology. Each May she leads the UT in NYC program, where students spend a week in the fashion capitol of the world visiting with industry leaders.


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The Welch Foundation - Chemistry Research Advocates and University Benefactor

The Welch Foundation was created from an endowment by Texas oilman and philanthropist, Robert Alonzo Welch, and has grown into one of the nation's largest sources of private funding for basic research in chemistry. For more than 60 years, the Foundation has supported chemistry in Texas through research grants and a variety of other programs.

Following the dictates of Mr. Welch’s will, the Foundation remains true to its mission of supporting fundamental scientific exploration that ultimately helps improve our world. The Foundation is guided by a board of directors, a scientific advisory board and professional staff all committed to building a robust scientific community in Texas that advances basic scientific knowledge.




NRConley headshot webNicholas R. Conley - Innovator, Biochemist and Executive

Dr. Nicholas R. Conley is CEO & Co-Founder of EpiBiome, a venture-backed startup based in South San Francisco whose mission is to curb the growing threat of multi-drug resistant “superbugs” by eliminating the use of shared-class antibiotics in agriculture.  

Dr. Conley spent several years doing undergraduate research at The University of Texas at Austin where he authored several publications and won numerous awards, including the UT Co-Op George H. Mitchell Award, the Dorothy B. Banks Scholarship, the Chemistry & Biochemistry Authors’ Scholarship, the Linus Pauling Award, and the American Chemical Society Outstanding Senior Award. He graduated in 2003 with a B.S. in Chemistry. In 2004, he won a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship and went on to pursue a graduate degree in Chemistry at Stanford University. In 2010, Dr. Conley did his post-doctoral research in Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

Before founding EpiBiome, Dr. Conley developed next-generation hard disk drive (HDD) technologies as a Research Staff Member at HGST (formerly Hitachi Global Storage Technologies), a Western Digital Company. He has published 17 peer-reviewed journal articles and holds several patents. He also has founded several skin care and oral health companies. During his free time, he enjoys competing in triathlons and spending time with his basset hound.


Distinguished Alumnus


Butler-Headshot John D. Butler - Navy Rear Admiral, Civic Leader and University Benefactor

John D. Butler, Rear Admiral, U.S. Navy (Retired) is the Vice President, Naval Strategic Systems for Lockheed Martin Space Systems Company in Washington, DC.  He joined Lockheed Martin in September 2005, after having completed a 31-year career as a Submariner and Engineering Duty Officer.

A native of Texas City, TX, he received his BS in Chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin in 1974 and his MS in Engineering Acoustics from the Naval Postgraduate School in 1986.  He is also a graduate of the Management Program for Executives at the Katz Graduate School of Business, University of Pittsburgh and the Professional Summer at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.  Butler was commissioned in the Navy via the Nuclear Power Officer Candidate Program in 1974.

He received his CBE (Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) from Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II in 2010.  His military awards include the Navy Distinguished Service Medal, Legion of Merit (3 awards), Meritorious Service Medal (3 awards), in addition to other service and unit awards.  

John is the Lockheed Martin Focus School Corporate Executive for the University of Texas at Austin and serves as a member of the College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council, Chancellor's Council, Commission of 125, Littlefield Society and President’s Associates at the University of Texas at Austin.  He also serves as a member of: the Board of Directors for the U.S. Navy Memorial, the Board of Directors for the Navy Historical Foundation, the Advisory Board of the National Defense Industrial Association - Undersea Warfare Division, and as an Admiral in the Texas Navy.  Butler is also a life member of the Texas Exes Ex-Students Association.

Spencer Wells - Geneticist, Explorer and Educator

At 19, Spencer Wells graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in Biology. He went on to earn a Ph.D. from Harvard University and conducted postdoctoral work at Oxford and Stanford where he trained with Luca Cavalli-Sforza, the “father of anthropological genetics.”  Wells is an Explorer-in-Residence at the National Geographic Society, a Scholar-in-Residence at Georgetown University, and owner of the iconic Austin nightclub, Antone’s.

As a scientist, author, and documentary filmmaker, Wells has devoted much of his career to studying humankind’s family tree and closing the gaps in our knowledge of human migration. He is a leading population geneticist and director of the Genographic Project, which is collecting and analyzing hundreds of thousands of DNA samples from people around the world in order to decipher how our ancestors populated the planet.  It is his hope that the Project will capture an invaluable genetic snapshot of humanity before modern-day influences erase it forever. Wells presents knowledge gained from the project around the world, including at a 2007 TED conference, where he spoke specifically about human diversity.



Distinguished Service


Rogers-Glenn-copy Glenn A. Rogers - Civic Leader, Medical Professional and University Benefactor

Glenn A. Rogers, a retired orthodontist, is a native of Big Spring, Texas, and has lived in Midland with his wife Louan since 1965. Rogers graduated Plan II from The University of Texas.  While at UT, he was a selected for membership in the Silver Spurs and was a recipient of the Cactus Goodfellow Award. Rogers received his D.D.S. and M.S.D. degrees from Baylor University College of Dentistry in Dallas.

Glenn is a past president of the Permian Basin Dental Society and is a retired member of the American Association of Orthodontists.  He served on the Texas Memorial Museum UT West Texas Leadership Council, Midland Texas Exes Board, and is an honorary member of the College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council, serving as chair in 2012-2014. He continues on the CNS Advisory council, Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, the Texas Leadership Society, the Littlefield Society and the Plan II Visitors Committee. Rogers is also a life member of the Texas Exes Ex-Students Association. In Midland, he serves on the Midland Memorial Hospital Foundation Board of Governors as well as the Midland College Foundation Board. Glenn served on the College’s Strategic Planning Task Force and initiated a Council task force to ensure Council actions were in alignment with the College’s strategic plan.

Glenn, a true friend of the College, has provided thoughtful leadership and support under three deans and an interim dean. He was the driving force, inspiration and host of the College’s inaugural Roadshow in Midland. Since then, the Roadshows have taken off across the country providing an opportunity for alumni and friends to reconnect to the College.  As Glenn says, "What starts in Midland changes the world!”  


Sarah Simmons Sarah Simmons - Visionary, Educator and Freshman Research Initiative Founder

Sarah Simmons graduated from Angelo State University with a BS in Biology in 1995 and completed her PhD in Molecular Systematics in 2002. Simmons is currently a Senior Program Officer at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI). 

Prior to joining HHMI, she was the assistant dean for honors and research where a new and innovative program was born – The Freshman Research Initiative (FRI). Under her leadership, Simmons led the growth of FRI from 45 students to more than 800 participating freshmen all doing cutting edge research. She worked tirelessly to integrate the research and teaching missions of the University of Texas into this program and our students. Simmons convinced faculty that freshmen could make meaningful contributions to their research; that curriculum committees should allow freshmen to earn lab credit for their research; and she was responsible for ensuring grant funding for this groundbreaking program.  She accomplished all this and more through her dedicated and innovative leadership.

Since 2005, more than 6,000 freshman students have participated in the FRI program. Simmons seeing the potential early in the program was the ‘nucleating agent’ that brought key players together and made the program into the national model for undergraduate science education that it is today.


Emerging Leader Award


Graham-Dan-Headshot Dan Graham - Innovator, Leader and Philanthropist

Dan Graham co-founded BuildASign.com in 2005 and oversees the company’s growth strategy and plays a key role in its philanthropic efforts and talent acquisition. Dan is a winner of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur Of The Year ® 2013 Central Texas award. He is also a recipient of the Austin Business Journal's 2012 Best CEO Award, and was named 2012 Austinite of the Year and the Business and Entrepreneurship category winner by Austin Under 40, recognizing his success as a business owner as well as his commitment to philanthropic work.

As a native Austinite, Dan personally gives back to the Austin community through participation on the Board of Directors for numerous philanthropic organizations including United Way for Greater Austin, Caritas of Austin, Greenlights and the Austin Chamber of Commerce among several others. He also acts as a mentor to aspiring young entrepreneurs working with Capital Factory and Owen’s Garage, an incubator space he opened in 2014 that serves as a co-working space for 10 companies.

Dan earned undergraduate degrees in computer science and philosophy from The University of Texas at Austin and a J.D. from The University of Texas at Austin School of Law.


Distinguished Alumni



allison-bw-square James P. Allison - Oncology Warrior, Researcher and Educator

James Allison is a professor and chair of The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center Department of Immunology in the Division of Basic Science Research. He directs MD Anderson’s Immunology Platform and is deputy director of the David H. Koch Center for Applied Research in Genitourinary Cancers, Department of Genitourinary Medical Oncology – Research. He also is a Howard Hughes Medical Institute Investigator. Allison earned his doctorate at The University of Texas, Austin, and did his postdoctoral fellowship in molecular immunology at Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation, La Jolla, CA. He came to MD Anderson in 2012 from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in New York. Allison’s research focuses on the mechanisms that govern T cell responses and applying that basic understanding to overcome cancer’s evasion of attack by the immune system. His fundamental discoveries include the T cell antigen receptor used by T cells to recognize and bind to antigens; the co-stimulatory molecule CD28 that must signal the T cell to launch an immune response to a bound antigen; and the immune system inhibitory checkpoint molecule CTLA-4, which inhibits activated T cells from attacking. Allison developed an antibody against CTLA-4 that became ipilimumab, the first drug ever shown to increase survival for patients with metastatic melanoma. It was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2011. Additional checkpoints and co-stimulatory molecules also have been identified. Allison is exploring combinations of immunological therapies and targeted drugs in preclinical studies to more effectively treat a variety of cancers.


kunii-bw-square Hideko S. Kunii - International Trailblazer, Corporate Executive and Educator

Hideko Kunii was corporate senior vice president of the Ricoh Corporation from 1982-2008. There she was in charge of research & development in the software, system and communication fields and responsible for technology strategy in several fields including document solutions, middleware, embedded systems and networking. After retiring from the Ricoh Corporation, she served as corporate senior vice president and chairperson of a major Ricoh software research center. She currently serves as deputy president and professor at the Graduate School of Engineering Management and is general manager of gender equality promotion at the Shibaura Institute of Technology. She has served as a member of councils to several Japanese Ministries, including Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology, and Internal Affairs and Communications.  In February 2014 she was appointed as the first female member of the Board of Directors of the Honda Motor Company. She received M.S. degrees from Ochanomizu University in 1973 and San Jose State University in 1976, and her Ph.D. in Computer Sciences from The University of Texas at Austin in 1983.


Distinguished Service



hull-bw-square Ralph T. Hull - Business Leader, Community Leader and Philanthropist

Ralph Hall has lived his entire life in Houston except for seven years in Austin, Texas, while attending the University of Texas. He started UT Law School in the summer of 1969 and joined the U.S. Air Force National Guards that fall.  Mr. and Mrs. Hull were married on January 24, 1970 in Dallas, Texas. Upon completion of law school, Mr. and Mrs. Hull moved to Houston, where Mr. Hull practiced law for four years before devoting his full time to handling his personal investments.  For over twenty-five years, his primary investments were in small Houston area community banks. Although Mr. Hull has contributed to and served on advisory boards of several Houston area charities, his primary interests have always been his church and the University of Texas.  Mr. and Mrs. Hull attend Second Baptist Church, Houston, Texas.  Mr. Hull serves on the advisory councils and is a life member of the College of Natural Sciences and the McCombs School of Business.  He also serves on the Longhorn Foundation and UT Health advisory councils and is a member of the Chancellor’s Council Executive Committee, the Littlefield Foundation and is a life member of the Ex Students Association. He received a B.A. in Finance in 1969 and a J.D. in Law in 1972 from The University of Texas at Austin. 


orear-bw-square Robert W. O'Rear - Mathematician, Tech Pioneer and Benefactor

Robert O'Rear was employed by TRW Systems in the Aerospace Division from 1966 to 1971. In TRW contracts with NASA, O’Rear helped to write the programs that guided the Command Module back through the Earth’s atmosphere during Apollo missions to the Moon. After finding success with an entrepreneurial venture, he interviewed with a software development start-up located in Albuquerque, New Mexico. In 1977 he became employee number seven at Microsoft, Inc. As Microsoft’s chief mathematician and project manager, O’Rear was the co-author of the first version of MS-DOS and helped place Microsoft’s software on the first IBM Personal Computer. He retired from Microsoft in 1993. O’Rear joined the College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council in 1994 and has been an active member since, traveling to Austin to participate in the life and initiatives of the college. His impact is best realized by walking into the stunning Gates-Dell Computer Science Building that he worked with friend, Bill Gates to fund in 2009.  He and his wife Cathy also funded a research stream in the college’s Freshman Research Initiative in Bill and Melinda Gates’ honor. He received a B.A. in Mathematics in 1964 from The University of El Paso and a M.A. in Mathematics in 1966 from UT Austin.


Emerging Leader Award



duswalt-bw-square Marissa Duswalt Epstein - Nutritionist, Advocate and Healthy Lifestyle Activist

Marissa Duswalt was awarded a Truman Scholarship in 2009 to recognize her leadership and curiosity regarding childhood obesity. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the College of Natural Sciences with a B.S. in Nutrition with Special Honors in 2010 and was chosen as a Dean’s Honored Graduate. While in Austin, Marissa immersed herself in food and nutrition experiences – she worked at Dell Children’s hospital in pediatric dietetics; she managed Austin High School’s cafeteria; and she worked with KIPP Austin schools to build a comprehensive program to teach kids about healthy eating, gardening, and cooking.  After becoming a registered dietitian, Marissa moved to Washington, D.C. to serve in the Office of the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture. She was soon asked to join the White House Office of the First Lady as Associate Director of Policy and Events for the Let’s Move! initiative. The initiative seeks to engage all members of society in an effort to ensure American children have the opportunity to reach a healthy adulthood. It intersects the disciplines of science, economics, culture, and policy. Duswalt served on the White House staff for over a year, implementing many successes of the Let’s Move! initiative through innovative policy programming, public-private partnerships, and public marketing. Currently, Marissa is enrolled in the MBA program at Stanford University where she is using skills learned at UT Austin, USDA, and the White House to further her passion of nutrition, consumer behavior, and culinary science to improve our American food culture. 


Mary Ann RankinMary Ann Rankin - Scientist, Educator and Academic Leader

Mary Ann Rankin is the eldest of five siblings, born in Gary, Indiana to musician parents Edward Richmond and Anne McIsaac. Her father was a professor of voice and her mother was an accomplished opera singer.

Rankin received her bachelor's degree in biology and chemistry from Louisiana State University, was a National Science Foundation pre-doctoral fellow at the University of Iowa and Imperial College Field Station, Ascot, England, and earned a doctorate in physiology and behavior from the University of Iowa in 1972. She was a National Institutes of Health post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University until joining The University of Texas at Austin in 1975 as an assistant professor of zoology.

Rankin spent 36 years at the University of Texas, 17 of which she served as the dean of the College of Natural Sciences. She implemented and oversaw many successful undergraduate programs including UTeach, which prepares future math and science secondary school teachers, and the Freshman Research Initiative, which integrates research experience into the freshman curriculum.

Rankin was also responsible for raising over $800 million in private funding for new research centers, academic programs, and academic buildings including the Norman Hackerman Building and the Bill & Melinda Gates Computer Science Complex and Dell Computer Science Hall.

After leaving The University of Texas at Austin, Rankin spent a year as CEO of the National Math and Science Initiative in Dallas, a public-private partnership dedicated to expanding the pipeline of science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) graduates and K-12 teachers.

In 2012, Rankin was appointed senior vice president and provost of the University of Maryland, College Park.

Rankin is a member of the American Entomological Society, the Royal Entomological Society, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. She serves on several non-profit boards including the Southwest Research Institute, the Science Education Advisory Board of the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the Advisory Committee for the Division of Education and Human Resources at the National Science Foundation.

To view photos from our 2013 Awards Ceremony please click here or to watch the ceremony in full, click here.


Tom BakerThomas L. Baker - Corporate Executive and Community Leader

Thomas L. Baker, 65, was born in Missouri and lived in the small town of Bismarck until his parents moved to Dallas, Texas just before his sixth birthday. Baker graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering in 1968.

Baker began his career as a plant engineer with Dallas Power & Light in 1968. He was elected vice president and then senior vice president of TU Electric and TU Services in the late 1980s. In 1987, he was elected to the board of directors of TU Electric and was made principal financial officer of Texas Utilities Company. He is currently chairman emeritus of Energy Future Holdings Corp., formerly TXU Corp.

Baker serves his community with the same energy and leadership he applies to his professional commitments. He is currently on the boards of Children's Health Services of Texas, the Children's Pediatric Research Institute at Southwestern Medical School and the Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America. Baker has been a member of the College of Natural Sciences Advisory Council Foundation for 19 years, serving as chairman from 2006 to 2008 and is currently the chairman of the Engineering Advisory Board of the Cockrell School of Engineering. He is a past president of the City of Dallas' Park and Recreation Board and past chairman of the board of the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

Baker has been married for 46 years, and he and his wife Nancy have two children and six grandchildren. In his spare time, he enjoys riding his Harley Davidson motorcycle.


James Dannenbaum

James D. Dannenbaum - Corporate Executive and Community Leader

James D. Dannenbaum, 72, was born in Houston, Texas. He attended The University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his bachelor of science degree in civil engineering in 1962. During his college days, Dannenbaum was selected as the Outstanding Senior by Tau Beta Pi Engineering Honorary. He was member of the Friar Society and was president of the Silver Spurs. In 1961, he was named the Outstanding Male Student of the university.

Dannenbaum currently serves as chairman of Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation, a Texas-based consulting engineering firm. Dannenbaum Engineering Corporation has been providing professional services to municipal, state and federal agencies, and private clients for 65 years.

Dannenbaum is an active member of the Houston community and has received numerous awards including "One of Four Outstanding Young Men of Houston in 1969" from the Houston Junior Chamber of Commerce, "Engineer of the Year for 2004" by the Greater Houston Chapter of Texas Society of Professional Engineers, and "2004 TSPE Outstanding Engineer of the Year for the State of Texas" by the Texas Society of Professional Engineers.

In 2007 Governor Perry appointed Dannenbaum to the UT System Board of Regents. He has been a member of the College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council for 32 years and served as chairman from 1984 to 1987.

He married his high school sweetheart, Shirley Kay in 1963. They have two children and five grandchildren. In his personal life, Dannenbaum has been a lay reader at St. John the Divine Episcopal Church in Houston since 1955, with interim service at the Church of the Good Shepherd in Austin from 1958 through 1962.


James Prentice

James A. Prentice - Physician and Community Leader

James A. Prentice, 75, was born in Brady, Texas, the son of public school teacher parents. He was accompanied into this world by his twin sister, Sharon. He attended The University of Texas at Austin, where he was active in Kappa Alpha Order and the Texas Cowboys, was inducted into freshman and pre-medical honor societies, and earned his bachelor's degree after three years in 1958. He continued his education at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas, receiving his M.D. in 1962. Specialty training at Bethesda Naval Hospital and Yale-New Haven Hospital led to board certification in anesthesiology, which he practiced until his retirement in 2002.

Prentice served in the United States Air Force Medical Corps in Texas and in Maryland from 1963 until 1970, resigning the rank of major to accept a staff position at Mayo Clinic and as associate professor in Mayo Medical School in Rochester, Minnesota until 1978, when he returned to Austin to continue in private practice with Austin Anesthesiology Group until his retirement.

Prentice's volunteer efforts on behalf of The University of Texas at Austin include service on the College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council since 1991, which he chaired from 2008 to 2010, and on The Commission of 125. He is currently a member of the Texas Exes Council, the University of Texas Development Board and the Board of the University of Texas Foundation.

Prentice also serves on the board of the Austin Symphony Orchestra and on the Community Health Access committee of St. David's Foundation. He is a past president of the Travis County Medical Society.

Prentice's marriage in 1967 to fellow Austinite Linda Gilbert Prentice, M.D. has blessed them with three children and six grandchildren. They are both are members of Chancellor's Council, Littlefield Society, 1881 Society and the President's Associates.


Kay Bailey Hutchison

The Honorable Kay Bailey Hutchison - U.S. Senator and Trailblazer

Senator Kay Bailey Hutchison is the first (and to date only) woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate, which she joined in 1993. Hutchison grew up in La Marque, Texas and graduated from The University of Texas at Austin and the University of Texas Law School. She was twice elected to the Texas House of Representatives and served as the Texas State Treasurer.

Senator Hutchison has established a well-deserved reputation as one of the Senate's leading advocates for science, education and competitiveness. She was instrumental in establishing The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST) in 2004. During her tenure in the Senate, Texas has moved to third in the nation in receipt of federal research and development expenditures.

As the Ranking Republican on the Senate Committee overseeing NASA, Senator Hutchison has been a strong, effective, supporter of space exploration. In 2010, Senator Hutchison negotiated a bipartisan NASA reauthorization bill that will safeguard America's human spaceflight capabilities while balancing commercial space investment with a robust mission for NASA.

Senator Hutchison is currently the Ranking Republican Member on the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee. Senator Hutchison also serves on the Appropriations Committee and leads the Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, and Science as the ranking Republican. In the 110th Congress, Senator Hutchison served as the Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, the fourth ranking position in Republican leadership. 


In 2010, we celebrated all 50 previous recipients of the Hall of Honor. No new recipients were named this year.


Crobin RobertsonCorbin J. Robertson, Jr. - Corporate Executive and Philanthropist

Corbin J. Robertson Jr., born in Houston, graduated from The University of Texas at Austin in 1969, receiving a BBA with high honors. He returned to his hometown of Houston and began working in the family business, Quintana Petroleum. Today he is President and CEO of Quintana Minerals Corporation and serves on the board of directors of many other companies and industry associations. Corby is a committed philanthropist who believes without a quality education and good health, one has little chance for success. Corby serves as chairman of the Cullen Trust for Higher Education and has been instrumental in the funding and vision of UT Austin's Texas Interdisciplinary Plan (TIP) through the creation of the Hugh Roy Cullen Excellence Fund. He is a representative for 16 endowments funded all or in part by the Cullen Trust for Higher Education that support UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences, Cockrell School of Engineering, School of Social Work, McCombs School of Business, and Graduate School. Corby is a current member and past chair of the Baylor College of Medicine Board of Trustees and has been involved with the Texas Medical Center, Texas Heart Institute and St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital. He is a member of the Littlefield Society, the Chancellor's Council, the President's Associates, and the Development Board and was honored in 2002 as a Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus.


Val WilkieValleau Wilkie, Jr. - WWII Veteran, Educator, Foundation Leader and Executive

Valleau Wilkie, Jr. was born in Summit, New Jersey on July 3, 1923. His father, Val Sr., graduated from Yale in 1915 and fought in World War I as a lieutenant in the U.S. Army. He later became a teacher and headmaster of a private school. Val's upbringing set the stage for a productive life with high standards set for academic accomplishments and values. In February 1942, after his freshman year at Yale, Val enlisted in the Army Air Corps and soon became co-pilot of a B-17 "Flying Fortress" based in the 351st Bomb Group in England. On January 11, 1944, on his third mission, his plane was shot down over Holland. He bailed out and evaded capture for five months, living with the Dutch Underground. On an informant's tip, Val was captured by the Gestapo and endured interrogation and a month in solitary confinement. "Behind the wire" for almost a year in two different German POW camps, Val never gave up hope and was eventually released.

Val's interest in teaching and history led him to continue the family tradition of education. After the war, he returned to Yale and completed his B.A. in history in 1948, and continued his education at Harvard, where he received his M.A. in history in 1953. From 1948 to 1959 he taught history at Phillips Academy in Andover, Massachusetts. In 1959, at the age of 36, he was recruited to become headmaster of The Governor's Academy in Byfield, Massachusetts, a post he held for 14 years.

In 1973, Val moved to Fort Worth at the urging of the late Perry R. Bass to serve as Executive Vice President of the Sid W. Richardson Foundation. He has guided the board in providing millions of dollars in grants to nonprofit organizations in Texas, with an emphasis on education, health, and human services. He established the Sid W. Richardson Foundation Forum in the late 1980's, a program that supports innovation in Texas schools and focuses state and national leaders on key educational issues. The Sid W. Richardson Foundation provides significant support to educational initiatives at UT Austin's College of Natural Sciences, including UTeach, the Charles A. Dana Center, and the Marine Science Institute. Val Wilkie's life is distinguished and rich. It is characterized by his optimism, great leadership, and dedication to education and the common good. 


Susie Jastrow

Susan T. Jastrow - Nutritionist and Community Leader

Susan Thomas Jastrow was born and raised in Austin, TX, by her mother, Martha Hall, and her father, Dr. John F. Thomas, who was a surgeon at St. David's hospital. Susie attended the University of Texas at Austin and received a B.S. in Home Economics and a teaching certificate in 1969. She met her husband, Kenny, in her first class, freshman English. They were married in 1968 before her senior year, and she worked at UT while Kenny finished his M.B.A. They have three children, Marty, Kenny, and Corby. All three are married, and have daughters of their own.

Susie received a B.S. in nutrition in 1995, and served as a research associate for UT from 1995-1997, working under the direction of Margaret E. Briley. She has contributed to many publications, including three articles in the Journal American Dietetic Association. In 1998 she joined and created the People's Community Clinic's Nutrition Services department, where she continues to work today as a nutritional consultant and diabetes educator.

She has served on the St. David's Community Health Foundation Board as secretary and is on their Health Access Committee, which decides how funds are distributed to the community. Susie is a past president and former member of the Kappa Kappa Gamma House Board. She believes that health care should be accessible to all central Texans with an emphasis on preventive care rather than crisis care. She believes that nutrition and an active lifestyle can be very effective in reducing health care costs.

UT has empowered Susie to accomplish goals she had not previously thought possible, and she hopes to effect positive change with the knowledge she has acquired. She continues to have a vibrant relationship with the University of Texas and the Department of Human Ecology. She has served on the College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council since 1998 and on the Department of Human Ecology's Visiting Committee since 1996. In 2007 her husband, Kenny, established the Susan T. Jastrow Excellence Fund in Human Ecology to honor Susie's achievements. Susie received the Community Service Award from the Texas Exes in Human Ecology in 1999, and their Alumna of the Year award in 2006. Susie is a loving mother, an advocate for public health and nutrition and a dedicated volunteer for the Department of Human Ecology and the College of Natural Sciences.


Norma LozanoNorma Martinez Lozano - Corporate Executive and Community Leader

Norma Martinez Lozano was born August 31, 1956 in San Benito, Texas. Her parents raised their children with strong family values and a strong work ethic and always stressed the importance of getting a good education.

Norma earned a B.S. in mathematics in 1979 and began her career with Southwestern Bell that same year as a network engineer in San Antonio, Texas. In 1990, she was appointed General Manager of a new subsidiary, Southwestern Bell Messaging Services, Inc. In 1994, Norma became the first Hispanic to be appointed an officer of the former SBC Communications. She also served as President and Chief Executive Officer of Southwestern Bell Messaging Services, Inc. and Vice President-Diversity Marketing for the former SBC Operations, Inc. She was later appointed to serve as President-Diversified Businesses, responsible for five distinct business units; Operator Services, Public Communications, Paging, Messaging, and Video Services. As Senior Vice President – Merger Transition, Norma's responsibilities include: ensuring the implementation of the AT&T/BellSouth merger commitments and overseeing the re-branding initiatives associated with the AT&T/BellSouth merger.

Over the past few years, Norma's business achievements and community involvement have earned her a number of prestigious awards and distinctive honors such as: the "Breaking Barriers Award." from the National Hispanic Employee Association, the "Hall of Fame Award" from Hispanic Women in Leadership, the VIDA Award from Hispanic Magazine and NBC, and the Texas Women to Watch Award. She was recognized by VISTA Magazine with their Corporate Achievement Award and also received the Latina Excellence Award from Hispanic Magazine for her achievements in the corporate arena. She also received the distinguished Eagle Award from the National Eagle Leadership Institute. In 2006, Norma was once again selected to the "Corporate Elite" for Hispanic Business magazine.

Norma and her husband, Rafael, reside in Dallas, Texas. She is currently a member of the University of Texas College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council, the Salvation Army Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex Command Advisory Board, and the Hispanic Association of Communications Employees. Norma dedicates this award in loving memory of her father Juan Martinez.


Matt Winkler

Matthew M. Winkler - Biologist, Entrepreneur and University Benefactor

Matthew M. Winkler was born June 22, 1952, in Boston, Massachusetts. During Matt's childhood, his father frequently took the family traveling around the world for extended periods of time. By the time he was 10, Matt had already been to the West Indies, Europe, Africa, Asia and South America. While still a young boy, Matt knew he would become a scientist, and by age 14, he had notebooks filled with observations of animals in the Berkeley hills.

Matt began his college career at UC San Diego, but later transferred to Berkley. He received a B.S. in Genetics in 1974. After taking some time off to travel, he returned to Berkeley, finishing his Ph.D. in Zoology by 1979. He received a Jane Coffin Childs Postdoctoral fellowship, which he spent at the University of Hawaii and the University of California at Davis.

He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1983 as an Assistant Professor of Zoology and became Associate Professor in 1988. He is the author of over 30 scientific publications and has 9 issued patents. He met his wife, Peggy, who was studying marine botany at UT, in 1983. They were married in 1989 and have three sons, Dan, Josh and John.

His career took a marked turn when he decided to create his own biotech company, Ambion Inc., a molecular biology tool company, in 1988. He steered Ambion toward making research tools for RNA. It has become the preeminent company in its field, with branches in Austin, Cambridge, England, and Japan. He left teaching full-time in 1991 to devote himself to Ambion.

Always hungry for a new challenge, Matt sold the research products division of Ambion to Applied Biosystems in March of 2006. As a condition of its sale, he made sure no jobs would leave Austin. He kept about 100 employees to start Asuragen, a new company which focuses around micro RNAs with the goal of developing early cancer diagnostics and cancer therapeutics. He is an accomplished scientist, incorrigible adventurer, successful entrepreneur, and devoted husband and father.


Larry FaulknerLarry R. Faulkner - Chemist, Educator and University President

Larry R. Faulkner, the 27th president of The University of Texas at Austin, was born in Shreveport, Louisiana on November 26, 1944. He received a Bachelor of Science degree from Southern Methodist University in 1966 and was awarded a Ph.D. in chemistry from UT in 1969. His research explored areas of electrochemistry and analytical chemistry. After serving as an assistant professor at Harvard University for four years, Faulkner joined the faculty of the University of Illinois in 1973. Except for a brief hiatus in 1983, when he returned to UT as a professor, Faulkner served the University of Illinois as provost, dean of the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, and professor of chemistry, in a career that spanned 25 years.

When Faulkner began his presidency at The University of Texas at Austin in 1998, he quickly established high standards for improving graduation and student retention rates, teaching quality and effectiveness, world-class research, and public service. Faulkner led a highly successful capital campaign—raising more than $1.6 billion from more than 130,000 individual contributions—that brought about unprecedented growth in the University's endowment. Some $728 million was added through the creation of 934 new individual endowments. During the campaign, UT constructed several major facilities, completed renovations, significantly increased its collections of art, photography, and historic archival materials, and established new academic centers and institutes.

Other significant achievements during his eight-year presidency included the acquisition of the world-renowned Suida-Manning Collection of European paintings and drawings, the re-opening of the observation deck of the UT Tower and the creation of innovative scholarship programs that have strengthened UT's minority student enrollment. He also assembled the Commission of 125, which completed a two-year process of examining the state of the University and giving direction to its future. The Commission delivered its report in 2004, and Faulkner created task forces to implement the Commission's recommendations.

Co-author of the prominent text Electrochemical Methods: Fundamentals and Applications, Faulkner also co-invented the cybernetic potentiostat, which was commercialized by several firms.

He received national recognition for his research, including the Edward Goodrich Acheson Award from the Electrochemical Society, the American Chemical Society Award in Analytical Chemistry, the U.S. Department of Energy Award for Outstanding Scientific Achievement in Materials Chemistry, and the Charles N. Reilly Award from the Society for Electroanalytical Chemistry. He was the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award and a Doctor of Science Honoris Causa from Southern Methodist University. In 2003, he was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.


Richard HawkinsRichard J. Hawkins - Entrepreneur and University Benefactor

Rick Hawkins was born the second of six children in the small rural community of Baltimore, Ohio. He attended Ohio University on a full football scholarship, where he majored in biology.

His career in the life sciences started at Johnson and Johnson, where he learned the discipline of drug development and managed clinical research projects around the world.

In 1981, Rick launched Pharmaco, a contract research organization that provided comprehensive drug development services to pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies. Within 10 years, Pharmaco was one of the top two contract research organizations in the world and was named #161 in the Inc. 500 Fastest Growing Companies in America in 1990.

In 1992, Rick sold Pharmaco. While maintaining close ties to his alma mater, he was introduced to Dr. John Kopcheck in the molecular biology department of Ohio University. He promptly formed Sensus Drug Development with the goal of developing a life-saving growth hormone antagonist therapy for Acromegaly. Unable to produce this innovative protein anywhere worldwide, he partnered with Corning and built the first contract recombinant protein manufacturing facility. This company, which is located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina is today the premier recombinant protein manufacturer in the world.

Rick enjoys serving on several scientific boards and councils, including President Larry Faulkner's Nanotechnology Advisory Council and Dean Mary Ann Rankin's College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council.

Recently, through Dr. Neil Iscoe and Dean Mary Ann Rankin, Rick was introduced to Dr. John McDevitt, a chemistry professor at UT who had developed a brilliant diagnostic technology that stages HIV/AIDS patients by measuring CD4 lymphocytes, allowing access to life-saving drugs in resource-scarce environments of the world. In 2004, Rick and his colleagues formed a new company, LabNow, licensing this technology from the University of Texas. In countries where patients do not have access to laboratories and where the current method of assessing CD4 cell counts requires many days and sophisticated equipment, this technology promises to greatly impact the quality of care HIV/AIDS patients receive.


Weldon KoenigJ. Weldon Koenig - Retired Navy Admiral, Community Leader and University Benefactor

J. Weldon Koenig, a native of La Grange, Texas in Fayette County, was born in the O'Quinn community during the great depression on September 26, 1935. He received a Bachelor of Business Administration from The University of Texas at Austin in 1958. After graduation he was commissioned as an officer in the United States Navy, and married his wife Nancy. During his naval career he served on surface ships, nuclear submarines, and naval staffs. While serving his country he received many awards including The Defense Superior Service Medal, The Legion of Merit, The Meritorious Service Medal, The Antarctic Service Medal, and The Sea Service Medal.

After his retirement from the United States Navy, Admiral Koenig served as President of two companies, and in 2000 chose to operate the K Bar K Ranch near O'Quinn to spend more time with his family. He has been a member of the College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council since September, 1988, and served as a past Chairman. He is also a member of the Chancellor's Council, the Littlefield Society, the UT NROTC alumni association, and the Longhorn Foundation.

He is a life member of the Ex-Students Association, the Navy League, the American Legion, the Veterans of Foreign Wars, and the Naval Order of the United States. He is the Chairman of the Board at St. Mark's Medical Center in La Grange. Admiral Koenig is also President of the Midshipmans Foundation, an organization that provides scholarships for the young men and women of The University of Texas Naval ROTC Unit. 


Edith McallisterEdith S. McAllister - Civic Leader, Philanthropist and University Benefactor

Edith Scott McAllister was born in Madisonvaille, Texas and raised in Davenport, Iowa and San Antonio, Texas. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio where she met her husband, Walter McAllister. She graduated in 1934 , and went to Westmoreland College, which is now Trinity University. After a year at Trinity, Mrs. McAllister transferred to The University of Texas at Austin and then to St. Mary's University. Her long record of civil service includes organizations of all types and dates back to the early 1960s. In 1972, she was the first woman to chair a United Way campaign in a major city, and was profiled nationally. She was the first member in the Marine Science Advisory Council, joining at the invitation of Charles Butt. After seeing the adverse conditions under which staff member Tony Amos and others were battling to rehabilitate injured animals, Mrs. McAllister decided to begin raising funds to build a new, indoor facility. The Animal Rehabilitation keep, or Ark, became a reality three years later. And since then, Mrs. McAllister has focused on providing and raising funds to support the animal rehabilitation program.


Ben VaughanBen F. Vaughan III - Attorney and University Benefactor

Ben F. Vaughan III received a Bachelor of Laws degree with honors in 1967 from The University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Vaughan has practiced a general civic practice with Graves, Doughorty, Hearon & Moody for over thirty-five years. He has argued cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Texas Courts of Appeals. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the State Bar and a Life Member of the Texas Bar Foundation. He has long had an interest in environmental issues. Mr. Vaughan began his association with the Marine Science Institute in 1988 when he joined its Advisory Council. He became chairman in 1991 and continued in that leadership position until 2002. During his tenure as Chairman, Mr. Vaughan made responding to the needs of the institute his top priority. Endowment levels at the institute rose approximately $2 million in 1991 to over $7 million in 2004. He has also labored to raise the awareness level of funding of the institute by the state legislature.


Decker DawsonL. Decker Dawson - Geophysicist, Business Leader and Civic Leader

A prominent businessman, a successful geophysicist, and a generous civic leader, L. Decker Dawson has contributed to society in many ways. He earned a civil engineering degree from Oklahoma State University in 1941 and served in WWII before relocating to Midland, Texas. The Dawson Geophysical Company he founded there in 1952, today exceeds 400 employees. His many honors include the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Enterprise Award and induction into the Petroleum Museum's hall of Fame. He has also led the Midland Chamber of Commerce and the Petroleum Club of Midland. At The University of Texas at Austin, he has served on the Geology Foundation Advisory council since 1977 and is currently its chairman. Mr. Dawson has been a champion of geophysics education and recently established the L. Decker Dawson Endowed Fund in Exploration Geophysics.


Steve McknightSteve McKnight - Biochemist and Entrepreneur

Steve McKnight is a distinguished molecular biologist renowned for his research in genetics and the biochemistry of gene population. He is a native Texas from El Paso whose talent and passion for biochemistry was awakened while obtaining a B.S. in biology at The University of Texas at Austin in 1974. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1977 and conducted research at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 1991 he co-founded the biotechnology firm Tularik, Inc. and later joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center as chairman of the Department of Biochemistry. His honors included election to the National Academy of Sciences. He recently created a biochemistry research endowment at UT Southwestern named for his parents Sara and Frank McKnight.


NowlinsWilliam and Bettye Nowlin - Patrons of the Sciences, the Arts and the University

Bill and Bettye Nowlin have generously supported The University of Texas at Austin and numerous Austin social and cultural organizations. Both UT alumni, Bill and Bettye were raised in Littlefield, Texas, came to Austin in the late 60's and married in 1971. Bill co-founded National Instruments in 1976. Bill serves on UT's College of Fine Arts Advisory Council and on the Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors while Bettye is a member of UT's Commission of 125 and the Austin Community Foundation where she is currently president of the board of governors. The Nowlin's have established university endowments in engineering, photography, art and culture, and music, and contribute substantially to the local People's Community Clinic. Their recent generous gift to the College of Natural Sciences allowed the completion of the Texas Astronomy Education Center at McDonald Observatory.


Mark SeriffMarc Seriff - Inventor, Entrepreneur and Philanthropist

Mr. Marc Seriff triumphed in an information technology career whose groundbreaking innovations gave birth to one of the world's larges media companies. A native of Austin, Texas, he received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1971 and a Master of Science in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 1974. One of the first dozen employees at Telnet Communications-the company that pioneered the commericaliztion of data communications networks-Mr. Seriff led efforts to develop Telemail, the first commercially successful public electronic mail system. In 1985, he joined Steve Case and Jim Kimsey in founding Quantum Computer Services, later renamed American Online. Retiring from AOL in 1996, Mr. Seriff launched a new career as a volunteer and philanthropist, serving in the Texas Exes, the Longhorn Foundation, the Chancellor's Council and the Advisory Council of the College of Natural Sciences. To honor his father, one of UT's first computer scientists, Mr. Seriff created the Jack Seriff Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Computer Science. He and his wife, Carolyn, are active in Arts Center Stage and the Austin Musical Theatre and founded the Seriff Foundation to provide consulting services to Texas nonprofit organizations.


Sara Martinez TuckerSara Martinez Tucker - Corporate Executive and Educational Advocate

Sara Martinez Tucker has made a singular contribution to higher education by helping thousands of Hispanic students realize their dreams of going to college with sponsorship support. She has persuaded others to join her struggle and inspired all with her example. Born in Laredo, Texas, she was raised to deeply prize education. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 1976 and an MBA in 1979 from The University of Texas at Austin, she joined AT&T where she rose rapidly through the ranks. She became the first Hispanic woman to reach the company's executive level and ultimately lead a $400 million division as regional vice president of AT&T's Global Business Communications. Her corporate planning and funding experience has given her and edge as the current president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). Since taking HSF's helm in 1997, she has set an aggressive goal of doubling the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees. She secured a $50 million grant from the Lilly Endowment and negotiated HSF's participation in the $1 billion gates Millennium Scholars program. A member of UT's Chancellor's Council and the advisory councils for the colleges of Communication and Natural Sciences, Mrs. Tucker returns annually to the campus to motivate students to pursue their personal goals through education. The Ex-Students Association named her an Outstanding Young Texas Ex and Hispanic Magazine honored her as the Hispanic of the Year in 2000.


Robert BoyerRobert E. Boyer - Scientist, Educator and Academic Leader

Robert E. Boyer was born in 1929 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. He completed and M.A. in geology from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Michigan. In 1957, he came to the UT Austin Department of Geology and rose to full Professor in 1967. From 1971 to 1980, he served as Chairman of the Department and was Director of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council. Dr. Boyer was promoted to Dean of the College in 1980, serving until 1994. During his tenure as Dean, substantial program development occurred, with rapid growth in computer sciences and the emergence of a molecular biology program. Dr. Boyer also developed the Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council and several departmental visiting committees. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council and is the Peter T. Flawn Centennial Chair Emeritus in Geological Sciences.


Marye Ann FoxMarye Anne Fox - Scientist, Educator and Academic Leader

Marye Anne Fox was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1947. Graduating cum laude from Notre Dame College in 1969 with a B.S. in Chemistry, she went on to earn a master's degree from Cleveland State University. She completed her Ph.D. at Dartmouth College in 1974. Dr. Fox joined the faculty of UT Austin in 1976 and became full professor in 1985. She won the College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award in 1986, was named to the Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry in 1992, and was appointed Vice President for Research in 1994. In 1998, she became Chancellor of North Carolina State University. A physical organic chemist, educator, and prolific author, she has served on 14 editorial boards and more than 70 advisory panels. Elected to the Council of the National Academy of Sciences in 1994, she serves on its Governing Board, as well as on the National Science Board.


John JacksonJohn A. Jackson - Geologist, Business Leader and Philanthropist

John A. (Jack) Jackson was born in 1913 in Lufkin, Texas. He earned a B.A. in geology from UT Austin in 1940 and worked for ArkLa Gas Company in Shreveport, Louisiana. He then joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and worked with the U.S. Geological Survey. Mr. Jackson later became an independent geological consultant. With business partner Ellison Miles, he discovered the Boonsville Field, a major source of natural gas, and soon formed the Katie Petroleum Company. Since the 1960's, he has focused on oil management, real estate, investments, and philanthropy. He and his wife, Katherine, are generous supporters of many institutions across Texas. At UT Austin, they have established three endowments in geological sciences and made a major contribution toward expanding the Geological Sciences Building. Mr. Jackson is a Life Member of the Chancellor's Council and an Honorary Life Member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council.


Louis Beecherl

Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. - Engineer, Business Leader and University Benefactor

Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. was born in Dallas in 1926. He received a B.S. (1945) in Mathematics from Tulane University and, after serving in World War II, received a B.S. (1948) in Petroleum Engineering from UT Austin. Mr. Beecherl was President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Oil and Gas Corporation, one of the largest intrastate pipeline companies in the U.S. In 1987, he was appointed to the UT System Board of Regents and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1989. He has funded numerous endowments across The University and is currently and active member and former Chairman of the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council. Mr. Beecherl is a Distinguished Graduate of the College of Engineering and received The Universities Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1993.


Harry LucasHarry Lucas, Jr. - Investor, Business Leader and Educational Advocate

Harry Lucas, Jr. was born in Beaumont, Texas in 1932. He is an independent investor and businessman in the oil and gas industry and is President of the Lucas Petroleum Group, Inc. While attending The University in the early 1950's, he was inspired by UT Mathematics Professor R.L. Moore's discovery method of teaching. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Lamar University and later taught Mathematics there, incorporating many of Moore's techniques. In 1969, he founded the Educational Advancement Foundation, established to support innovative educational methods. Since 1996, he has been a major force behind the Discovery Learning Project in the College of Natural Sciences. He has donated generously to this effort and provides active counsel for the growth of the project.


Ron RhomeRom Rhome - Private Investor and University Benefactor

Rom Rhome was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1922. He currently operates a private investment company in Houston. He received a B.A. with Highest Honors from The University of Texas at Austin in 1943 followed by an M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard Business School in 1947. He served in the Marine Corps in both World War II and Korea, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. Rhome began his business career with U.S. Steel and then joined the chemical and plastic industry, where he organized and managed three corporations. He has been active in industry/government affairs and a frequent witness before committees of Congress. Mr. Rhome has served as Vice President and Treasurer of The University of Texas Foundation and is a former Chairman of the Natural Sciences Advisory Council. He has been a generous supported of The University and is active in the management of his endowments.


kodoskyJeffrey Leo Kodosky - Inventor and University Benefactor

Jeffrey Leo Kodosky moved to Austin in 1970 to attend graduate school at The University of Texas at Austin, studying theoretical particle physics. In May of 1976, he founded National Instruments with The University of Texas at Austin graduate students Jim Truchard and Bill Nowlin. Jeff's research culminated in the invention of LabVIEW, which became the company's flagship product. Today National Instruments is a multinational company with offices in 25 countries, more than 1700 employees, and a billion dollar market capitalization. He is a member of The College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council. Jeff has given generously of his time and resources to The University, especially the Texas Memorial Museum and the UTeach teacher preparation program.


shockleyThomas V. Shockley III - Business Leader and University Benefactor

Thomas Valcour Shockley III received a Masters degree in Electrical Engineering from The University of Texas at Austin in 1969. He is President and Chief Operating Officer of Central and Southwest Corporation. Under his supervision, the corporation acquired SEEBOARD, a 2.5 billion dollar electric utility distribution company in Southeast England, and has also agreed to combine with American Electric Power of Columbus, Ohio, creating the largest electric utility in the United States. Tom's responsibilities have included not only these merger and acquisition activities, but the supervision of the service company, and the development activities and non-regulated investments. Tom has served on The College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council and is the current chairman.


wilsonSonia Wolf Wilson - Volunteer and Philanthropist

Sonia Wolf Wilson received a B.S. degree from the College of Natural Sciences in 1954. She has dedicated her adult life to her family and volunteer services. She is a member of The College of Natural Science Foundation Advisory Council and was Chairman from 1996-1998. She has been President of the Austin Women's Symphony League, the American Symphony Orchestra Volunteer Council, the Junior League Sustainers of Austin, and the Austin Community Foundation. She and her husband, Sam Wilson, established the Sonia Wolf Wilson Lectureship and the Sonia Wolf Wilson Regents Administrative Professorship in Human Ecology. Her generous donation of effort and resources have made the community and The University a better place. 


Roand BlumbergRoland Krezdorn Blumberg - Geologist, Physicist and University Benefactor

Dr. Roland Krezdorn Blumberg received a B.S. degrees in Petroleum Engineering and Mathematics in 1939, and a M.A. in Physics in 1942 from The University of Texas College of Arts and Sciences. He was a successful geologist, physicist, mathematician, banker, businessman, and educator. He helped develop sonar homing torpedoes during W.W.II. and invented the first direct reading seismograph. Dr. Blumberg established successful petroleum and banking businesses in Seguin, where he was raised and lived until his death in 1997. His service to The University includes the College of Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council and the Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors.


Don BoydDon R. Boyd - Geologist and Business Leader

Dr. Boyd received his B.S. in Geology from The University of Texas College of Arts and Sciences in 1958. He has been a successful independent geologist in petroleum exploration and production since 1966. He is President and Owner of Gulf Coast Exploration Company, founded in 1974, and Texan Drilling Company, Inc., founded in 1987. His contribution to the geological literature of the Gulf Coast Basin is substantial and includes a number of award winning papers. All three Boyd children are graduates from The University of Texas at Austin. He is a Distinguished Graduate of the Department of Geological Sciences and an Honorary Life Member and former Chairman of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council.



priscilla flawn square

Priscilla Pond Flawn - Civic Volunteer and Child Advocate

Priscilla Pond Flawn is a passionate advocate for young children. She was a teacher and head teacher at Good Shepherd School in Austin, helped found the Austin Association for the Education of Young Children, and served many other organizations dedicated to children's education. She has worked tirelessly to promote these causes during her tenure as First Lady of the University. The Priscilla Pond Flawn Professorship in Child Development in the Department of Human Ecology is a tribute to her interest. Other professorships in the Department of Education and Music also bear her name. Both her daughters have graduated from the College of Natural Sciences.






burdineJohn Alton Burdine, Jr. - Physician, Scientist and University Benefactor

Dr. John Alton Burdine, Jr. received his B.A. with honors from The University of Texas, College of Arts and Sciences in 1959. He completed his medical degree in 1961 and his residency in 1965 at The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. During his early medical career he played a pivotal role in the development of nuclear medicine as section chief in the Harris County Hospital District from 1965-1983. In 1984 Dr. Burdine became President and CEO of St. Luke's Episcopal Hospital, a position he held until his retirement in 1995. Dr. Burdine's ties to The University extend from his father, John Alton Burdine, Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences 1957-1967, for whom Burdine Hall is named; to his two sons who graduated from The University. Dr. Burdine and his family have been strong supporters of scholarship an other programs at The University.


Winifred JonesWinifred Small Jones - Microbiologist and University Benefactor

Mrs. Winifred Small Jones began her career as a microbiologist after graduating from The University of Texas in 1940 with a B.A. in Bacteriology, and later became a charter member of the Texas branch of the American Society for Microbiology. She was appointed to the Board of Regents of Texas Woman's University in 1953, and named Chairman in 1963, becoming the first woman to chair a board of regents in Texas. A strong supporter of the College and the Department of Microbiology, Mrs. Jones established a fellowship in 1989 to honor her good friend Lois Sager Foxhall. To provide support for research and teaching in microbiology, Mrs. Jones also created the Winifred Small Jones Endowed Excellence Fund in 1994. She is honored for a lifetime of singular achievements.


shiveWilliam Shive - Chemist, Educator and Professor Emeritus

Dr. William Shive began his illustrious association with The University of Texas at Austin sixty years ago as a graduate student in Chemistry. His Ph.D. was conferred in 1941 and he spent the next four years in academic positions at the University of Illinois and Tulane. Upon returning to UT Austin in 1945 he soon enriched the Department of Chemistry through service in many local and national committees, and as Chairman of the Department of Chemistry from 1961 to 1970. He became the Liaison Officer for the UT System to the Robert A. Welch Foundation in 1970, serving until 1986. He was named the first recipient of the Roger J. William Centennial Professorship at UT Austin in 1985, and named Professor Emeritus in 1987. Dr. Shive's contributions to the understanding of intermediary metabolism and nutrition have ensured his international reputation in the scientific community and brought get prestige to The University. 


gipsonWilliam E. Gipson - Geologist and Corporate Executive

Mr. William E. Gipson is a prominent Houston oilman with a distinguished record in the corporate and professional world. After earning a bachelors' and masters' degree in geology from The University, he began his career in Midland as a petroleum geologist consultant. In 1963, he joined Pennzoil and served in vigorous management positions for the next 14 years. Mr. Gipson is Director of Pogo Producing and has been with the company since 1977. He has served on many national petroleum boards including the American Association of Petroleum Geologists and the National Petroleum Council. An Honorary Life Member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council, Mr. Gipson is also a Distinguished Graduate of the Department of Geological Sciences, and a member of the President's Associates, the Chancellor's Council, and the Littlefield Society. He has given several major gifts and endowments to The University.



H. David Medley - Chemist and University Benefactor

Dr. H. David Medley began a long and successful career as a chemist and corporate executive after graduating from The University in 1952 with his doctoral degree. Upon completing his formal education, Dr. Medley spent 35 years at Celanese Chemical Company in various executive positions. He has been a member of the American Chemical Society for nearly 50 years and is also past Chairman of the Petrochemical Committee of the National Petroleum Refiners Association. Dr. Medley is a longtime University friend, serving as a charter and Honorary Life Member of the Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council. He serves on many UT Austin Committees, including the President's Associates, Chancellor's Council, Longhorn Foundation, and the Executive Council of the Ex-Students' Association.


stenglLorraine I. Stengl - Physician and University Benefactor

Dr. Lorraine I. (Casey) Stengl began her successful career as a physician after receiving her bachelor's degree in Chemistry and Secondary School Education from The University. After receiving her M.D. in 1947 from the Medical College of Pennsylvania, Dr. Stengl served a residency at Austin's Brackenridge Hospital for two years and began a long and successful family practice in El Campo, Texas. After retiring in 1974, Dr. Stengl focused her energies on community service and the formation of the Senior Ladies Golf Association of Texas. She has given generously to UT Austin through various endowments and scholarships to support life sciences studies. In 1991, Dr. Stengl donated a 200-acre land parcel to UT Austin: now known as Lost Pines Biological Station, a major resource in field biology studies. Dr. Stengl also serves on many UT Austin committees, including the Chancellor's Council and Littlefield Society.


Peter O'donnellPeter O'Donnell, Jr. - Investor and Philanthropist

Mr. Peter O'Donnell, Jr., has been an extraordinary friend to The University and the State of Texas. He cares deeply about the welfare of his country and its people and has expressed that concern by supporting excellence in education at every possible level through the O'Donnell Foundation. He earned a bachelor of science degree in mathematics from the University of the South in 1947 and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business in 1949. Among his many positions, Mr. O'Donnell is President of O'Donnell Foundation, a Member of the Board of the Texas Foundation for Higher Education, and is Co-chairman of the Presidents' Council of the National Academy of Sciences. He also serves on several academic advisory boards. He has been involved in the creation of over 100 endowments at The University, including those establishing the Institute of Cellular and Molecular Biology and the Texas Institute for Computational & Applied Mathematics. In recognition of his significant service to higher education, Mr. O'Donnell has received the University of Texas System Santa Rita Award (1986), The James K. Wilson Silver Cup Award (1989), the Linz Award (1993) and the Southwestern Medical Foundation Community Service Award (1993).


walterJoseph C. Walter Jr. - Corporate Executive, Geologist and Engineer

Mr. Joseph C. Walter, Jr., is a prominent businessman, petroleum geologist, engineer, and a civic leader in Houston. After earning his bachelor of science degree in petroleum engineering (1949) and a master's degree in geology (1951) from The University, Mr. Walter began work with Humble Oil and Refining Company in 1951 and has formed several major oil and gas consulting companies in his prestigious career. He has been active in many professional societies and serves on several major corporate boards. He and his wife, Elizabeth, have been great supporters of University programs through the giving of several significant endowments, including providing major gifts to the Geology Library, named the Walter Geology Library in 1982. He has been active with UT Austin, serving on many boards, an is an Honorary Life Member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council. Mr. Walter has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of The University, a Distinguished Graduate of the Department of Geological Sciences, and a Distinguished Graduate of the College of Engineering. 


christianGeorge Christian - Political Advisor and University Benefactor

Mr. Christian has served The University in his roles as a vigorous fundraiser for the Hobby-Eberly Telescope and as a member of the McDonald Observatory and Department of Astronomy Board of Visitors. A journalism graduate of The University, he has also supported UT Austin as a member of its Centennial Commission. His friends provided two endowed professorships in the names of Mr. Christian and his wife. He has been named a Distinguished Alumnus of UT Austin and an Outstanding Alumnus of the College of Communication. Mr. Christian has served Governors Price Daniel and John B. Connally and President Lyndon B. Johnson as Press Secretary. A former journalist, he has written and edited several books about the presidency and Texas politics.


JeanKasparJean Welhausen Kaspar - Civic Leader and University Benefactor

Since graduating in 1952 with a bachelor of arts degree in applied mathematics from The University. Mrs. Kaspar has served in several positions in business, and in numerous civic, historical, and educational organizations. She is a member of the Natural Sciences Advisory Council and has a long history of service to the Ex-Students' Association, including a termas theorganization's first woman president. Mrs. Kaspar has also served on the Chancellor's Council, the UT Centennial Commission, the UT Development Board, the President's Associates, and the Woman's Athletic Council. Outside the university, Mrs. Kaspar served as president of 4K Ranch Properties and Investments. Among her many distinctions she was named South Texas Woman of the Year in 1992.

Lorene RogersLorene Rogers - Biochemist, Educator and University President

As the first woman to head a major United States university, Dr. Rogers served as President of UT Austin from 1975 to 1979. She spent the previous eleven years in administrative roles such as President ad interim, Vice President, and Associate Dean of the Graduate School. Dr. Rogers was appointed as a professor of nutrition in 1962 at The University and her teaching abilities merited a UT Student Association Teaching Excellence Award in 1963. Outside of The University, she sat on the Texas Board of Directors for 13 years and was also Chairman of the Board of Trustees for the Texas Philanthropic Foundation. Dr. Rogers received a bachelor's degree in english (1934) from North Texas State College, and a masters in chemistry (1946) and doctorate in biochemistry (1948) from The University.


peterflawnPeter T. Flawn - Geologist, Educator and University President

Dr. Flawn, President Emeritus of The University of Texas at Austin and a member of the Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council, works actively with many scientific and professional groups, and has published extensively in the field of mineral resources. A National Academy of Engineering member, he has served The University of Texas System in many administrative capacities, including President of UT Austin (1979-85), President of UT San Antonio (1973-77), UT Austin Executive Vice President (1972-73), and Director of the Bureau of Economic Geology (1960-1970). Dr. Flawn joined the Bureau in 1949 after receiving graduate degrees (M.S., 1948; Ph.D. 1951) in geology from Yale University, and a bachelor's degree (1947) from Oberlin College.


Jack MyersJack E. Myers - Botanist, Zoologist and Educator

Dr. Myers, Professor Emeritus of Botany and Zoology, has received much recognition for his scientific and educational accomplishments. In addition to being named a National Academy of Sciences member and holding a National Institutes of Health Research Career Award, Dr. Myers has published 135 articles during 50 years of distinguished research of photobiology. He has served for more than 30 years as a science editor for Highlights for Children, a popular children's magazine distributed internationally. Dr. Myers joined UT Austin in 1941 as an Assistant Professor in Zoology, after receiving his Ph.D. degree (1939) from The University of Minnesota, a M.S. degree (1936) from Montana State College, and a bachelor's degree (1934) from Juniata College.


curtis vaughanCurtis T. Vaughan, Jr. - Corporate Executive and Research Benefactor

Mr. Vaughan, Chairman of the Board of Vaughan & Sons, Inc., is a member of the Department of Astronomy/Mc Donald Observatory Board of Visitors and served as its Chairman (1972-82). In 1983, he endowed the Curtis T. Vaughan, Jr. Centennial Chair in Astronomy to UT Austin. Mr. Vaughan is on the UT System Chancellor's Council and worked on the UT Centennial Commission. He is active in the San Antonio area with many professional and philanthropic interests. Mr. Vaughan received a bachelor's degree (1948), magna cum laude, from Harvard University, followed by an M.B.A. degree with Distinction (1950) from the Harvard Graduate School of Business Administration. He was elected to Phi Beta Kappa at Harvard and was named a Baker Scholar at the Business School.


don carltonDonald M. Carlton - Corporate Executive and Chemist

Donald M. Carlton, a native of Houston, is President and Chairman of the Board of Radian Corporation, a company he helped create in 1969. Dr. Carlton began his career at Sandia Corporation in 1962 and subsequently served as a senior scientist at Tracor, Inc. He earned a B.S. (1958) from the University of St. Thomas, and a Ph.D. (1962) in organic chemistry from The University of Texas at Austin. A member of the National Sciences Foundation Advisory Council since 1980, he served as a Chairman from 1987 through 1991. Strongly committed to civic affairs and a member of numerous boards, Dr. Carlton was honored as Austin Entrepreneur of the Year in 1990 and was named Chairman of the Texas Chamber of Commerce in 1991.


moffettJames R. Moffett - Corporate Executive and Geologist

James R. Moffett, born in, Houma, Louisiana, and raised in Houston, is chairman of the Board and Chief Executive Officer of Freeport McMoRan Inc. Before he directed the 1981 merger of Freeport Minerals Corporation and McMoRan Oil and Gas Co., Mr. Moffett led McMoRan Exploration Co., with two other partners for nearly 12 years. He received a B.S. (1961) with special honors in geology from The University and was a two-year letterman football player. Mr. Moffett also earned a M.S. (1963) in geology from Tulane University. He has established several endowments at UT Austin including three in the College of Natural Sciences, and has received many awards, including The University's Distinguished Alumnus Award (1989).


waggonerJ. Virgil Waggoner - Corporate Executive and Chemist

J. Virgil Waggoner, a native of Judsonia, Arkansas, is President and Chief Executive Officer of Sterling Chemicals, Inc., a company he and a small group organized in 1986. Mr. Waggoner previously served as President of El Paso Products Company and as a consultant in the petrochemical industry. Mr. Waggoner also worked for Monsato Company for 30 years, leading as Group Vice President in 1980. He received a B.S. (1948) in chemistry and mathematics from Ouachita Baptist University, and a M.S. (1950) in chemistry and mathematics from UT Austin. He is Vice Chairman of the Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council and a member since 1982. In 1991, he provided an endowment to the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry.


jean andrewsJean Andrews - Artist, Writer and Naturalist

Dr. Andrews received a B.S. degree in Home Economics from The University of Texas at Austin (1944) and a Ph.D. degree in Art from the University of North Texas (1976). Dr. Andrews is a prolific writer and is the author of the internationally recognized book Peppers: The Domesticated Capsicums. An accomplished artist, Dr. Andrews' paintings are extensively exhibited. The La Doctora Jean Andrews building in Monteverde, Costa Rica, symbolizes her many years of humanitarian work in that country. Other honors include a 1991 Distinguished Alumna Award from the University of North Texas, election to the Texas Institute of Letters, and appointment to the National Advisory Board of Leadership America.


tom barrowThomas D. Barrow - Geologist and Corporate Executive

Dr. Barrow received degrees in Petroleum Engineering (B.S., 1945) and Geology (M.A., 1948) from The University of Texas at Austin, and a Ph.D. degree in geology from Stanford University (1953). Dr. Barrow's corporate positions have included Senior Vice President and Director of Exxon Corporation, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Kennecott Corporation, and Vice Chairman and director of Standard Oil Company (Ohio). Dr. Barrow is a member of the National Academy of Engineering. The University of Texas at Austin has recognized his accomplishments by naming him a Distinguished Alumnus (1982), a Distinguished Graduate of Engineering (1970), and a Distinguished Graduate of Geological Sciences (1985).


bookoutJohn F. Bookout Jr. - Geologist and Corporate Executive

Mr. Bookout received the B.S. (1947) and M.A. (1950) degrees in geology from The University of Texas at Austin. He served as President and Chief Executive Officer for the Shell Oil Company from 1976-1988. He received the UT Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1981 and a Geological Sciences Distinguished Graduate Award in 1985. Mr. Bookout was elected to the Veterans of Foreign Wars Hall of Fame in 1976, received the Gold Medal for Distinguished Achievement from the American Petroleum Institute in 1988, and received the Excellence in Exploration Leadership Award of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists in 1990.



denton cooley

Denton A. Cooley - Physician and Cardiovascular Surgeon

Dr. Cooley received a B.A. degree in zoology (1941) with highest honors from The University of Texas at Austin and a M.D. degree (1944) from The John Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Cooley has pioneered open-heart surgery and surgical treatment of diseases of the aorta and heart. He performed the first successful human heart transplant in the United States in 1968, and the first implant of a totally artificial heart in 1969. Dr. Cooley is Clinical Professor of Surgery at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston and Surgeon-in-Chief of the Texas Heart Institute, which he founded.



norm hackermanNorman Hackerman - Chemist, Educator and University President

Dr. Hackerman received A.B. (1932) and Ph.D. (1935) degrees in Chemistry from the John Hopkins University. He joined the faculty of The University of Texas at Austin in 1945 and became Vice President and Provost in 1961. He later served as Vice Chancellor for Academic Affairs for the UT System and, in 1967, became President of The University of Texas at Austin. He was President of Rice University from 1970 until his retirement as President Emeritus in 1985. Dr. Hackerman is a distinguished chemist and has received many honors for scientific accomplishments including membership in the prestigious National Academy of Sciences. He continues to serve the nation through membership on numerous scientific and educational boards.