The University of Texas at Austin has selected U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk, philanthropists Joe and Teresa Long, university Senior Vice President Shirley Bird Perry and Ransom Center Director Tom Staley to receive the prestigious Presidential Citation for 2010.
William Powers Jr., president of the university, will present the Presidential Citation and other major university awards to recipients in a ceremony later in the academic year.
The Presidential Citation was created in 1979 to recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals who personify the university’s commitment to transforming lives. The university does not award honorary degrees. These citations salute those whose service exemplifies the values shared by the university community. Four students will receive a Presidential Citation Endowed Scholarship honoring the recipients.
As United States trade representative, Kirk is a member of President Barack Obama’s Cabinet and is the president’s principal trade adviser, negotiator and spokesperson on trade issues. He was born and raised in Austin, Texas, and received his bachelor of arts degree in political science and sociology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas and his law degree from The University of Texas at Austin’s School of Law in 1979.
Prior to becoming U.S. trade representative in 2009, Kirk was a partner at Vinson and Elkins LLP. He was the first African American mayor of Dallas from 1995-2001. Previously, Texas Gov. Ann Richards appointed him as Texas secretary of state, he was a legislative aide to U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen and he was named chair of Texas’ General Service Commission. Kirk also served as a City of Dallas assistant city attorney.
Kirk was named one of “The 50 Most Influential Minority Lawyers in America” by the National Law Journal in 2008, and one of the nation’s top government relations lawyers by The Best Lawyers in America from 2007-09. He also received The University of Texas Distinguished Alumni Award in 2001, the Woodrow Wilson Center for Public Policy’s Outstanding Public Service Award in 2000, the Young Texas Exes Award in 1995 and the Austin College Distinguished Alumni Award in 1994. Kirk received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters Degree from Austin College in 2006 and the Mickey Leland Leadership Award from Texas Southern University in 2004.
Joe R. and Teresa Lozano Long are two of the university’s most prolific philanthropists. They each have received The University of Texas Distinguished Alumnus Award for their extraordinary contributions and service throughout the university and the Austin community. Both completed their undergraduate work at The University of Texas at Austin. Teresa earned a master’s degree and a doctorate in education at the university as well, and Joe is a 1958 graduate of the School of Law. They married while Joe was in law school and Teresa was working on her Ph.D.
Joe and Teresa Long have received the Texas Medal of Arts Award. Jointly and individually, they have served on a broad range of boards and committees and have received numerous honors recognizing their philanthropy and leadership. As a part of their philanthropy, they created the Long Foundation, which supports programs that provide opportunities for children and young adults to improve their economic and social potential, programs for the visual and performing arts that add to the cultural enrichment of the state and educational programs with an emphasis on higher education and those that target the removal or avoidance of barriers to education.
Perry has been senior vice president of The University of Texas at Austin since April 2004. She joined the university’s administration after her graduation in 1958, serving first as program director and then as director of the Texas Union.
University of Texas at Austin President Peter T. Flawn appointed her assistant to the president and coordinator of Centennial programs in 1979, promoted her to vice president and coordinator of Centennial programs in 1981 and changed her title to vice president for development and university relations at the culmination of the institution’s highly successful centennial observance in 1983.
When former University of Texas at Austin President William H. Cunningham became the University of Texas System chancellor in 1992, he named her vice chancellor for development and external relations, a position she held until 2004. The Texas Union named a special student leadership award in her honor in 2003 and she received the Distinguished Alumnus Award from the Texas Exes in 2005. A fifth generation Texan, Perry is a member of the Daughters of the Republic of Texas.
Staley is director of the Harry Huntt Ransom Humanities Research Center and as a professor in the Department of English is the C. B. Smith, Sr., Nash Phillips, Clyde Copus Centennial Chair honoring Harry Huntt Ransom.
Staley has written or edited 15 books on James Joyce, Italo Svevo, modern British women novelists, including Jean Rhys and Dorothy Richardson, and modern literature in general. His articles on a wide range of subjects have appeared in journals in this country and abroad. He has been the chairman or co-chairman of four international James Joyce symposia in Dublin and Trieste, and is a board member and former president of the James Joyce Foundation. He was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Trieste in 1966 and again in 1971. Among his books are “An Annotated Critical Bibliography of James Joyce” (1989), “Reflections on James Joyce: Stuart Gilbert’s Paris Journal” (1993) and “Writing the Lives of Writers” (1998).
Staley is the founding editor of the James Joyce Quarterly, which he edited for 26 years. In 1990, he initiated Joyce Studies Annual, published under the auspices of the Ransom Center at The University of Texas Press until 2004. He edits a series on literary modernism at The University of Texas Press.