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Address on the State of the University to highlight UTexas@120 celebration Wednesday, Sept. 17

Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin, will give his ‘Address on the State of the University’ at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Jessen Auditorium of Homer P. Rainey Hall near Littlefield Fountain. The program is free and open to the public.

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AUSTIN, Texas—Dr. Larry R. Faulkner, president of The University of Texas at Austin, will give his “Address on the State of the University” at 4 p.m., Wednesday, Sept. 17, in the Jessen Auditorium of Homer P. Rainey Hall near Littlefield Fountain. The program is free and open to the public.

Faulkner’s speech, his sixth since he became president in 1998, is part of UTexas@120, an anniversary celebration commemorating the University’s 120th birthday. The University of Texas at Austin opened on Sept. 15, 1883.

The University’s Tower will be illuminated in orange and white light Wednesday night honoring the teaching award recipients and others honored on this occasion.

The ceremony will include the presentation of several prestigious awards and special recognitions, including the Presidential Citation, the Civitatis Award, the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award, the President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Awards and introduction of new members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers.

A reception will be held following the program. Complimentary parking will be available in the Brazos Garage (BRG) east of the intersection of Martin Luther King and Speedway Boulevards.

The Presidential Citation was created in 1979 to recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals who personify the university’s commitment to the task of transforming lives. The university does not award honorary degrees, and these citations are designed to salute those whose service exemplifies the values shared by The University of Texas at Austin community. In honor of each recipient, a Presidential Citation Endowed Scholarship will be awarded to three students. Presidential Citation recipients are Allen J. Bard, Jack S. Blanton and Bernard Rapoport.

Bard holds the Norman Hackerman-Welch Regents Chair in Chemistry in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at The University of Texas at Austin. In his 45 years at the university, he has written or co-authored three books, 703 scientific papers, 73 book chapters, and has edited 37 books. He is a recipient of the Priestly Medal, the highest honor conferred by the American Chemical Society.

Blanton, former chairman of the Board of Regents at The University of Texas System (1987-89), is president of Eddy Refining Company and chairman of the board of Houston Endowment, Inc. He is a 1977 recipient of the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award and has a longstanding commitment to the university. The new Jack S. Blanton Museum of Art that is under construction bears his name.

Rapoport, former chairman of the Board of Regents at The University of Texas System, (1993-97), is chairman emeritus and founder of American Income Life Insurance Company. He is a 1997 recipient of the Texas Exes Distinguished Alumnus Award and was instrumental in the creation of The University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), which invests the university’s financial assets. His philanthropy has established numerous endowed chairs and professorships in various disciplines throughout the university.

The Civitatis Award recipient this year is John R. Durbin, secretary to the General Faculty and a professor in the Department of Mathematics, College of Natural Sciences. For three decades, Durbin has held leadership positions on faculty governing bodies, including three years as chair of the Faculty Senate and six years as secretary of the General Faculty and Faculty Council. He has written six mathematics textbooks, the most advanced of which will soon appear in its fifth edition. Presented to a faculty member who has shown exemplary campus citizenship throughout a career of service at the university, the award’s name derives from the Latin motto that appears on The University of Texas seal—Disciplina Praesidium Civitatis—which translates as “Education, the Guardian of Society.”

The Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award recognizes a senior faculty member for a distinguished career in teaching at the undergraduate level. It is given to an individual who has demonstrated outstanding commitment and dedication to teaching excellence. This year’s recipient is Toyin Falola, the Frances Higginbothom Nalle Centennial Professor in History in the Department of History, College of Liberal Arts. He has published more than 50 books relating to Nigerian and African history. He has recently been elected to the Nigerian Academy of Letters for his contribution to Nigerian history.

The President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching. Recipients for 2003 are: Assistant Professor Joanna M. Brooks, Department of English; Assistant Professor Douglas C. Burger, Department of Computer Sciences; Assistant Professor Janet M. Davis, Department of American Studies; Assistant Professor Alison K. Frazier, Department of History; and Professor Christine L. Williams, Department of Sociology. This award was established in 1980 to recognize excellence in undergraduate teaching.

New members of the Academy of Distinguished Teachers are: Professor James P. Barufaldi, Department of Curriculum and Instruction; Associate Professor Thomas J. Garza, Department of Slavic Languages and Literatures; Professor Judith A. Jellison, School of Music; Associate Professor Prabhudev C. Konana, Department of Management Science and Information Systems; Professor Carol H. MacKay, Department of English; Professor John M. White, chair in materials chemistry, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry; and Professor Kristin L. Wood, Department of Mechanical Engineering.

The Academy of Distinguished Teachers award was established in 1995 to recognize and enhance teaching, particularly at the undergraduate level. Members are chosen on the basis of their outstanding teaching, their personal commitment to students and the learning process, and their ability to inspire and motivate in the classroom.

For more information, please visit the UTexas@120 Web site.

For more information contact: Robert D. Meckel, Office of Public Affairs, 512-475-7847.