Distinguished Alumni Join University of Texas at Austin Elite

The Texas Exes honored six alumni of The University of Texas at Austin on Oct. 22 with the Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest alumni award that recognizes those who have distinguished themselves professionally and through service to the university.

2010 Distinguished Alumnus Award and Distinguished Service Award Recipients
Pictured from left to right: Elizabeth "Libba" Shatto Massey, Hector De Leon, Diane Wood, DeLoss Dodds, Gary Kelly, Ernest Cockrell and David Beck. 

Recipients are chosen by a Texas Exes committee from nominations submitted by alumni and other members of the university community. This year's recipients are:

  • David J. Beck, L.L.B. '65, Houston, a nationally recognized attorney and founder of Beck, Redden and Secrest, L.L.P., a Houston-based firm. He has served since 2004 on the Judicial Conference Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, whose members include some of the leading judges, academicians and practitioners in the United States.
  • Ernest Cockrell, B.E.S. '67, MBA '70, Houston, chairman of Cockrell Interests Inc. and president and director of The Cockrell Foundation.
  • Hector De Leon, B.S. '70, J.D. '73, Austin, founder of the Austin-based law firm of De Leon and Washburn, P.C., as well as a civic leader and past president of the Texas Exes.
  • Gary Kelly, B.B.A. '77, Dallas, president and CEO of Southwest Airlines.
  • Elizabeth (Libba) Shatto Massey, B.S. '61, Dallas, a civic leader and philanthropist who has served The University of Texas at Austin and Texas Exes through numerous committee, board and council appointments.
  • The Honorable Diane P. Wood, B.A. '71, J.D. '75, Chicago, a federal judge on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit and a senior lecturer at the University of Chicago Law School.

A special Distinguished Service Award was presented to University of Texas at Austin Athletics Director DeLoss Dodds. The Distinguished Service Award recognizes meritorious service to the university. It is the highest honor that can be bestowed on a non-alumnus of the university. Only five other individuals have been honored with the award.

Videos of the recipients' acceptance speeches as well as video of their life stories can be viewed on the Texas Exes YouTube channel at YouTube.com/TexasAlumni




The Texas Exes was founded in 1885. The mission of the Texas Exes is to unite, inform and involve alumni and friends for the purpose of promoting, protecting and preserving The University of Texas at Austin. Today there are about 93,000 members whom the association strives to connect to each other and to the past, present and future of the university through career counseling, travel, reunions, continuing education, fellowship, legislative advocacy in support of higher education and The Alcalde magazine. For more information on the Texas Exes or to become a member, visit TexasExes.org.