Six Distinguished Alumni Join University of Texas at Austin Elite

Six alumni will be honored with the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award, the highest alumni award at The University of Texas at Austin, during a presentation to be held on campus on Oct. 14.

Created in 1958 by the Texas Exes, this award recognizes annually up to six alumni of The University of Texas at Austin who have distinguished themselves professionally and through service to the university. Recipients are chosen by a special Texas Exes committee from nominations submitted by alumni and other members of the university community. This year's recipients are:

  • John W. Barnhill, Jr., B.J. '59, Brenham, a retired executive vice president of Blue Bell Creameries and a former University of Texas regent. In his nearly 40-year career, he helped lead the company from a small creamery to third-best-selling brand of ice cream in the country.
  • I. Jon Brumley, B.B.A. '61, Fort Worth, chairman and CEO, Bounty Investments, LP. He has been integrally involved in eight companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and was named, along with his son, as "Entrepreneurs of the Year" in 2005 by Forbes Magazine.
  • Jane Chesnutt, B.J. '73, New York, a civic leader and former editor-in-chief of Woman's Day magazine. She has a special interest in issues of women's health, women business leaders and the performing arts.
  • James R. Huffines, B.B.A. '73, Dallas, president and COO, PlainsCapital Corporation and former chairman of the University of Texas Board of Regents. He has a long record of civic involvement including service on the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Foundation Advisory Board and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum Foundation Board.
  • Jodie L. Jiles, M.P.A. '79, Houston, managing director, RBC Capital Markets, LLC. He also served as chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership in 2005 and served for five years on the Houston branch of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas Board.
  • The Hon. Pamela P. Willeford, B.A. '72, Austin, a former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. She is also president and partner of Pico Drilling in Breckenridge.

The Texas Exes is one of the strongest and most active alumni associations in the country. Established in 1885, the organization's primary function is to promote, protect and preserve The University of Texas at Austin through scholarships, teaching and advising awards, advocacy efforts, student relations and alumni outreach.