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Texas Exes bestow highest honor to six alumni

On Friday (Sept. 17), The Ex-Students’ Association of The University of Texas will bestow its highest honor of the year, the Distinguished Alumnus Award, to six alumni.

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AUSTIN, Texas—On Friday (Sept. 17), The Ex-Students’ Association of The University of Texas will bestow its highest honor of the year, the Distinguished Alumnus Award, to six alumni.

The ceremony will take place at 7:30 p.m. at Bass Concert Hall on the UT campus. A cocktail buffet will follow at the Alumni Center. Tickets may be purchased for $85 by calling Kirsten Beals at 512/471-3808. The Distinguished Alumni also will be recognized the following day during the UT-Rice football game. The six honorees are:

  • Jamie Clements, BA ’53, JD ’55, recently retired after serving as general counsel for nearly 30 years to Scott & White Medical Center in Temple, where he also was mayor. He is a nationally recognized authority on health law and founded the National Health Lawyers Association in 1971. While attending UT’s law school, Clements became the youngest member of the state legislature and served two terms as a representative. He has been active in the Bell County Texas Exes for more than 40 years and is a member of the President’s Associates and the Executive Committee of the Chancellor’s Council. He and his wife, Ann, have three children.

  • Edwin Dorn, BA ’67, became dean of UT’s LBJ School of Public Affairs in 1997, a logical career move for this highly regarded public policy maker. He has been the deputy director for research at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies, a senior staff member at the Brookings Institution, and from 1994-97, the under secretary of defense for personnel and readiness, which placed him in charge of human resources for more than three million employees. He was a Fulbright Scholar and received his master’s in African studies from Indiana University and his Ph.D. from the Yale Graduate School in Political Science. He and his wife, Fran, have three daughters.

  • Shirley Strum Kenny, BA ’55, BJ ’55, has worked in and for public education almost exclusively since she entered kindergarten in Tyler. Now the president of the State University of New York at Stony Brook, she has published five books and held teaching positions at schools around the country. In 1973, she became the head of the English department at the University of Maryland, beginning a new career in academic administration. She was promoted to provost at Maryland, and, in 1985, Kenny became the president of Queens College. Kenny and her husband, Bob, have five children.

  • Ronald G. Steinhart, BBA ’62, MBA ’63, is chairman and CEO of Bank One’s commercial banking group, the culmination of a 35-year career in banking. Steinhart’s impeccable reputation and self-confidence helped him flourish during one of the worst banking periods in Texas history. In 1981, he received the Ex-Students’ Association’s Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award. He supports the University as chair of the UT Development Board and chair of its $1 billion “We’re Texas” capital campaign. Bank One also has created an excellence fund in his honor for the dean of the College and Graduate School of Business. He and his wife, Phyllis, have three sons.

  • Howard Terry, BBA ’37, has been a successful businessman in a variety of fields: real estate, development, manufacturing, banking and oil. In 1986, Terry and his wife, Nancy, created the Terry Foundation, dedicated to easing the financial burden of higher education for more than 500 students since its inception. Each year the Terrys and the foundation’s board members personally interview each candidate and review their applications. A former football player at the University and a member of the Longhorn Hall of Honor, Terry also has been an integral member of the Longhorn Foundation. The Terrys have four children.

  • James T. Willerson, BS ’61, is medical director, chief of cardiology and director of cardiological research at the Texas Heart Institute. He also is a professor and chair of medicine at the UT Health Science Center in Houston, and is editor of Circulation, the largest publication of the American Heart Association. A champion swimmer both in high school and at UT, Willerson graduated from Baylor College of Medicine and did his residency and internship at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Willerson then became a full professor of medicine within four years and eventually the head of cardiology at Southwestern Medical School in Dallas. Willerson and his wife, Nancy, have two daughters.

    These six Texas Exes join an elite group including Walter Cronkite, Bill Moyers, Lady Bird Johnson, former Peruvian president Fernando Belaunde-Terry, writer Shelby Hearon, sculptor Luis Jimenez and James Baker.

    As one of the nation’s strongest alumni associations, UT’s Ex-Students’ Association, comprised of more than 75,000 members, works to connect its members to each other and to the past, present and future of The University of Texas. Its many programs supporting UT Austin include the awarding of more than $1.7 million in scholarships during the past year.