Some of the most prestigious awards given by The University of Texas at Austin were presented to recipients Wednesday, Jan. 23, during an honors dinner at the Blanton Museum of Art.
The 2006-07 awards presented at the event hosted by William Powers Jr., president of the university, included the Presidential Citation, Civitatis Award, Nowotny Medal, President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award and Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award. The university’s Tower was illuminated in orange light Wednesday night in honor of the recipients and their accomplishments.
The Presidential Citation for 2007 honored Hector De Leon, Earnest F. Gloyna and the late Mrs. Lyndon Baines “Lady Bird” Johnson. The award was created in 1979 to recognize 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. Three students will receive a Presidential Citation Endowed Scholarship, one each in honor of the recipients.
Johnson, who died July 11 at the age of 94, is best known as first lady of the United States during the presidency of Lyndon Baines Johnson, but she also is recognized locally for her important role in the founding of what is now the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center. De Leon, a native of Austin and an alumnus of The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Law, is founder and managing partner of the Austin law firm De Leon, Boggins and Icenogle, PC. Gloyna, professor emeritus of civil engineering and the Bettie Margaret Smith Chair in Environmental Health Engineering, has dedicated his career to teaching, research, administration and leadership of the university’s Cockrell School of Engineering. He also is an alumnus and a former dean of the Cockrell School of Engineering.
Professors Shelley Payne and Michael Granof received the Civitatis Award, which is presented to faculty members who have demonstrated exemplary campus citizenship throughout a career of service at the university. It recognizes dedicated and meritorious service to the university above and beyond the regular expectations of teaching, research and writing. Payne is the Lorene Morrow Kelley Fellow in Microbiology and Granof is the Ernst and Young Distinguished Centennial Professor in Accounting.
Dr. Sharon H. Justice and Dr. James W. Vick received the Arno Nowotny Medal, which recognizes staff members of the Division of Student Affairs who render meritorious service to students during their careers at the university. Justice is a lecturer in the Department of Educational Administration, College of Education and a former dean of students at the university. Vick is the Ashbel Smith Professor and Distinguished Teaching Professor, Department of Mathematics, and a former vice president for student affairs at the university.
Dr. Christopher J. Bell received the Chancellor’s Council Outstanding Teaching Award, which 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. Bell is the John A. Wilson Fellow in Vertebrate Paleontology in the Department of Geological Sciences, Jackson School of Geosciences.
The President’s Associates Teaching Excellence Award recognizes excellence in undergraduate teaching. Recipients include Dr. Thomas M. Cable, Department of English; Dr. Neville Hoad, Department of English; Dr. Stephen W. Keckler, Department of Computer Sciences; Dr. Mark G. Longaker, Department of Rhetoric and Writing; Dr. Helena Woodard, Department of English, and Dr. Jacqueline D. Woolley, Department of Psychology.