AUSTIN, Texas — University of Texas at Austin President Gregory L. Fenves recognized four leaders from business, public affairs, philanthropy and education with Presidential Citations.
Award winners for 2018 are Libba Massey, a prominent education philanthropist and community leader; James Huffines, former president and chief operating officer of PlainsCapital Corporation and former chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents; Jack Martin, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, a global public relations company; and Nancy Brazzil, deputy to two presidents of UT Austin.
“The Presidential Citations are awarded to the most exceptional friends of our university — the people who invest their time, passion and resources into our students and faculty, so Longhorns can go out and change the world,” President Fenves said. “This year, I am honored to present these awards to four of our very best: James Huffines, Libba Massey, Jack Martin and Nancy Brazzil. Each has made an impact on UT in a distinct way, but all have helped transform life on the Forty Acres for future generations.”
Fenves presented the Presidential Citations along with other major university awards during a ceremony Friday, April 27.
The university created the citations in 1979 to recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals who personify the university’s commitment to transforming lives. The citations salute those whose service exemplifies the values shared by the university community and who have helped the institution to achieve its mission.
About the 2018 Presidential Citation recipients:
- Libba Massey graduated from the College of Education at UT Austin in 1961 and has established herself as a community and civic leader with more than 57 years of experience as a teacher, education advocate, volunteer and philanthropist. Her prolific record of service and leadership at UT Austin includes serving as the chair of the College of Education Advisory Council, co-chair of the President’s Task Force on Volunteerism and Development, chair of the University of Texas Development Board and vice chair of the highly successful $3 billion university-wide capital campaign. In 2010 she received the UT Distinguished Alumnus Award. She and her husband John have been serial benefactors of Texas, with scholarship endowments, contributions for facilities improvements, permanently endowed excellence in education stipends and funds for support of the arts. Her civic involvement beyond UT includes serving as president of the Mortar Board of Dallas, president of the Junior League of Dallas and chair of the Dallas County Committee on Support Services for the Homeless.
- James Huffines, former president and chief operating officer of PlainsCapital Corporation, earned a bachelor’s in business administration from UT Austin in 1973. He served twice as the chairman of the UT System Board of Regents. The legacy of his leadership stretches across the university and includes laying the foundation for the establishment of Dell Medical School and service on boards and committees of the University of Texas Investment Management Company (UTIMCO), the Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center, the Performing Arts Center and College of Education. In 2008 he was inducted into The University of Texas McCombs School of Business Hall of Fame. In 2011 he received the UT Distinguished Alumnus Award. Other organizations that have benefitted from his community leadership include the Greater Austin Chamber of Commerce, Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum, Austin Caritas and the Dallas Mayor’s Committee on the Employment of the Disabled.
- Jack Martin, executive chairman and chief executive officer of Hill+Knowlton Strategies, is recognized as a thought leader in communications, politics and business. PR News in 2013 inducted Martin into its Hall of Fame as a pioneer who has “helped to shape the world of public affairs consulting, public relations and corporate consulting for more than 25 years.” Martin previously served as chairman of Public Strategies Inc., a public affairs consulting firm he founded after rising to prominence managing campaigns as a top adviser to U.S. Sen. Lloyd Bentsen. Long active in state and national politics and policy, Martin has served on the board of the Lyndon Baines Johnson Foundation, which supports the LBJ Presidential Library and LBJ School of Public Affairs. As a community leader, he has also served on the boards of Baylor Scott & White Health and the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, and he served as chairman of the Texas State University System’s Board of Regents.
- Nancy Brazzil is the deputy to the president of UT Austin. She graduated from the university in 1982 with a B.S. in education. After a teaching career, she returned to UT to work at the School of Law’s alumni association, later becoming the assistant dean for development under Dean Bill Powers. When Powers became president of the university, she moved to the Main Building as his deputy, a role she retains under Fenves. A devoted Longhorn, Brazzil has helped both Fenves and Powers with a number of strategic initiatives. She works closely with high-profile friends of the university, legislators and major donors, helping them find innovative ways to contribute to UT’s advancement. Outside of UT, she works with foster children through Foster Angels of Central Texas.
A list of previous Presidential Citation recipients is available on the president’s website.