AUSTIN, Texas—The University of Texas Friar Society awarded English Professor Elizabeth Richmond-Garza the 16th annual Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship (FCTF) on Thursday, March 28. The $12,000 award is the university’s largest for undergraduate teaching excellence and derives from the nearly $500,000 FCTF endowment.
In keeping with tradition, the Friar Society interrupted Dr. Richmond-Garza’s class with a trumpet parade and gave her an over-sized check. Immediately following the ceremony the Friar Society dismissed the entire class for the rest of the period.
“There are no strings attached to the $12,000, and Dr. Richmond-Garza has earned the right to pamper herself. She could buy a brand new Harley, and we would applaud her choice,” said Ian Davis, FCTF Co-Chair.
The Friar Society, founded in 1911, is UT Austin’s oldest and most respected honor society. The award recognizes professors who go above and beyond the call of duty in reaching out to undergraduate students. Unlike other awards, the FCTF does not seek to honor professors for their research or publications, but instead for their true dedication to students.
"Dr. Elizabeth Richmond-Garza is the type of rare teacher that most of us only run across once during our educational careers," said Rob Addy, Friar Society member and former Daily Texan editor. "For her, there’s no distinction between teaching and learning. It’s a two way street that student and instructor share alike."
Students across campus nominate their favorite professors, and a committee of Friar Society student members selects the award recipient. Members spent three months reviewing several thousand pages of materials from more than 200 nominations.
For further information, contact Ian Davis, FCTF Co-Chair, at (512) 585-4260.