|Awards 2000 - 2004|
Edith S. McAllister
Civic Leader, Philanthropist and University Benefactor
Edith Scott McAllister was born in Madisonvaille, Texas and raised in Davenport, Iowa and San Antonio, Texas. She attended Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio where she met her husband, Walter McAllister. She graduated in 1934 , and went to Westmoreland College, which is now Trinity University. After a year at Trinity, Mrs. McAllister transferred to The University of Texas at Austin and then to St. Mary’s University. Her long record of civil service includes organizations of all types and dates back to the early 1960s. In 1972, she was the first woman to chair a United Way campaign in a major city, and was profiled nationally. She was the first member in the Marine Science Advisory Council, joining at the invitation of Charles Butt. After seeing the adverse conditions under which staff member Tony Amos and others were battling to rehabilitate injured animals, Mrs. McAllister decided to begin raising funds to build a new, indoor facility. The Animal Rehabilitation keep, or Ark, became a reality three years later. And since then, Mrs. McAllister has focused on providing and raising funds to support the animal rehabilitation program.
Ben F. Vaughan III
Attorney and University Benefactor
Ben F. Vaughan III received a Bachelor of Laws degree with honors in 1967 from The University of Texas at Austin. Mr. Vaughan has practiced a general civic practice with Graves, Doughorty, Hearon & Moody for over thirty-five years. He has argued cases in the U.S. Supreme Court, and the Texas Courts of Appeals. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a fellow of the State Bar and a Life Member of the Texas Bar Foundation. He has long had an interest in environmental issues. Mr. Vaughan began his association with the Marine Science Institute in 1988 when he joined its Advisory Council. He became chairman in 1991 and continued in that leadership position until 2002. During his tenure as Chairman, Mr. Vaughan made responding to the needs of the institute his top priority. Endowment levels at the institute rose approximately $2 million in 1991 to over $7 million in 2004. He has also labored to raise the awareness level of funding of the institute by the state legislature.
L. Decker Dawson
Geophysicist, Businessman and Civic Leader
A prominent businessman, a successful geophysicist, and a generous civic leader, L. Decker Dawson has contributed to society in many ways. He earned a civil engineering degree from Oklahoma State University in 1941 and served in WWII before relocating to Midland, Texas. The Dawson Geophysical Company he founded there in 1952, today exceeds 400 employees. His many honors include the Society of Exploration Geophysicists Enterprise Award and induction into the Petroleum Museum’s hall of Fame. He has also led the Midland Chamber of Commerce and the Petroleum Club of Midland. At The University of Texas at Austin, he has served on the Geology Foundation Advisory council since 1977 and is currently its chairman. Mr. Dawson has been a champion of geophysics education and recently established the L. Decker Dawson Endowed Fund in Exploration Geophysics.
William and Bettye Nowlin
Patrons of the Sciences, the Arts and the University
Bill and Bettye Nowlin have generously supported The University of Texas at Austin and numerous Austin social and cultural organizations. Both UT alumni, Bill and Bettye were raised in Littlefield, Texas, came to Austin in the late 60’s and married in 1971. Bill co-founded National Instruments in 1976. Bill serves on UT’s College of Fine Arts Advisory Council and on the Department of Astronomy and McDonald Observatory Board of Visitors while Bettye is a member of UT’s Commission of 125 and the Austin Community Foundation where she is currently president of the board of governors. The Nowlin’s have established university endowments in engineering, photography, art and culture, and music, and contribute substantially to the local People’s Community Clinic. Their recent generous gift to the College of Natural Sciences allowed the completion of the Texas Astronomy Education Center at McDonald Observatory.
Steve McKnight, Ph.D.
Researcher in Biochemistry and Entrepreneur
Steve McKnight is a distinguished molecular biologist renowned for his research in genetics and the biochemistry of gene population. He is a native Texas from El Paso whose talent and passion for biochemistry was awakened while obtaining a B.S. in biology at The University of Texas at Austin in 1974. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Virginia in 1977 and conducted research at the Carnegie Institution of Washington and the Howard Hughes Medical Institute. In 1991 he co-founded the biotechnology firm Tularik, Inc. and later joined the faculty of UT Southwestern Medical Center as chairman of the Department of Biochemistry. His honors included election to the National Academy of Sciences. He recently created a biochemistry research endowment at UT Southwestern named for his parents Sara and Frank McKnight.
Inventor, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist
Mr. Marc Seriff triumphed in an information technology career whose groundbreaking innovations gave birth to one of the world’s larges media companies. A native of Austin, Texas, he received a Bachelor of Arts in mathematics from The University of Texas at Austin in 1971 and a Master of Science in electrical engineering and computer science from MIT in 1974. One of the first dozen employees at Telnet Communications-the company that pioneered the commericaliztion of data communications networks-Mr. Seriff led efforts to develop Telemail, the first commercially successful public electronic mail system. In 1985, he joined Steve Case and Jim Kimsey in founding Quantum Computer Services, later renamed American Online. Retiring from AOL in 1996, Mr. Seriff launched a new career as a volunteer and philanthropist, serving in the Texas Exes, the Longhorn Foundation, the Chancellor’s Council and the Advisory Council of the College of Natural Sciences. To honor his father, one of UT’s first computer scientists, Mr. Seriff created the Jack Seriff Endowed Presidential Scholarship in Computer Science. He and his wife, Carolyn, are active in Arts Center Stage and the Austin Musical Theatre and founded the Seriff Foundation to provide consulting services to Texas nonprofit organizations.
Sara Martinez Tucker
Corporate Executive, Educational Advocate and Hispanic Leader
Sara Martinez Tucker has made a singular contribution to higher education by helping thousands of Hispanic students realize their dreams of going to college with sponsorship support. She has persuaded others to join her struggle and inspired all with her example. Born in Laredo, Texas, she was raised to deeply prize education. After earning a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism in 1976 and an MBA in 1979 from The University of Texas at Austin, she joined AT&T where she rose rapidly through the ranks. She became the first Hispanic woman to reach the company’s executive level and ultimately lead a $400 million division as regional vice president of AT&T’s Global Business Communications. Her corporate planning and funding experience has given her and edge as the current president and CEO of the Hispanic Scholarship Fund (HSF). Since taking HSF’s helm in 1997, she has set an aggressive goal of doubling the rate of Hispanics earning college degrees. She secured a $50 million grant from the Lilly Endowment and negotiated HSF’s participation in the $1 billion gates Millennium Scholars program. A member of UT’s Chancellor’s Council and the advisory councils for the colleges of Communication and Natural Sciences, Mrs. Tucker returns annually to the campus to motivate students to pursue their personal goals through education. The Ex-Students Association named her an Outstanding Young Texas Ex and Hispanic Magazine honored her as the Hispanic of the Year in 2000.
Robert E. Boyer, Ph.D.
Scientist, Educator, and Academic Leader
Robert E. Boyer was born in 1929 in Palmerton, Pennsylvania. He completed and M.A. in geology from Indiana University and a Ph.D. in geology from the University of Michigan. In 1957, he came to the UT Austin Department of Geology and rose to full Professor in 1967. From 1971 to 1980, he served as Chairman of the Department and was Director of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council. Dr. Boyer was promoted to Dean of the College in 1980, serving until 1994. During his tenure as Dean, substantial program development occurred, with rapid growth in computer sciences and the emergence of a molecular biology program. Dr. Boyer also developed the Natural Sciences Foundation Advisory Council and several departmental visiting committees. He is an Honorary Life Member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council and is the Peter T. Flawn Centennial Chair Emeritus in Geological Sciences.
Marye Anne Fox, Ph.D.
Scientist, Administrator, and Educator
Marye Anne Fox was born in Canton, Ohio, in 1947. Graduating cum laude from Notre Dame College in 1969 with a B.S. in Chemistry, she went on to earn a master’s degree from Cleveland State University. She completed her Ph.D. at Dartmouth College in 1974. Dr. Fox joined the faculty of UT Austin in 1976 and became full professor in 1985. She won the College of Natural Sciences Teaching Excellence Award in 1986, was named to the Waggoner Regents Chair in Chemistry in 1992, and was appointed Vice President for Research in 1994. In 1998, she became Chancellor of North Carolina State University. A physical organic chemist, educator, and prolific author, she has served on 14 editorial boards and more than 70 advisory panels. Elected to the Council of the National Academy of Sciences in 1994, she serves on its Governing Board, as well as on the National Science Board.
John A. Jackson
Geologist, Businessman, and Philanthropist
John A. (Jack) Jackson was born in 1913 in Lufkin, Texas. He earned a B.A. in geology from UT Austin in 1940 and worked for ArkLa Gas Company in Shreveport, Louisiana. He then joined the U.S. Navy in 1942 and worked with the U.S. Geological Survey. Mr. Jackson later became an independent geological consultant. With business partner Ellison Miles, he discovered the Boonsville Field, a major source of natural gas, and soon formed the Katie Petroleum Company. Since the 1960’s, he has focused on oil management, real estate, investments, and philanthropy. He and his wife, Katherine, are generous supporters of many institutions across Texas. At UT Austin, they have established three endowments in geological sciences and made a major contribution toward expanding the Geological Sciences Building. Mr. Jackson is a Life Member of the Chancellor’s Council and an Honorary Life Member of the Geology Foundation Advisory Council.
Louis A. Beecherl, Jr.
Engineer, Businessman and University Benefactor
Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. was born in Dallas in 1926. He received a B.S. (1945) in Mathematics from Tulane University and, after serving in World War II, received a B.S. (1948) in Petroleum Engineering from UT Austin. Mr. Beecherl was President, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Texas Oil and Gas Corporation, one of the largest intrastate pipeline companies in the U.S. In 1987, he was appointed to the UT System Board of Regents and was elected Chairman of the Board in 1989. He has funded numerous endowments across The University and is currently and active member and former Chairman of the Engineering Foundation Advisory Council. Mr. Beecherl is a Distinguished Graduate of the College of Engineering and received The Universities Distinguished Alumnus Award in 1993.
Harry Lucas, Jr.
Investor, Businessman and Educational Advocate
Harry Lucas, Jr. was born in Beaumont, Texas in 1932. He is an independent investor and businessman in the oil and gas industry and is President of the Lucas Petroleum Group, Inc. While attending The University in the early 1950’s, he was inspired by UT Mathematics Professor R.L. Moore’s discovery method of teaching. He earned a B.S. in Mathematics from Lamar University and later taught Mathematics there, incorporating many of Moore’s techniques. In 1969, he founded the Educational Advancement Foundation, established to support innovative educational methods. Since 1996, he has been a major force behind the Discovery Learning Project in the College of Natural Sciences. He has donated generously to this effort and provides active counsel for the growth of the project.
Private Investor and University Benefactor
Ron Rhome was born in Fort Worth, Texas in 1922. He currently operates a private investment company in Houston. He received a B.A. with Highest Honors from The University of Texas at Austin in 1943 followed by an M.B.A. with Distinction from Harvard Business School in 1947. He served in the Marine Corps in both World War II and Korea, attaining the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. Mr. Rhome began his business career with U.S. Steel and then joined the chemical and plastic industry, where he organized and managed three corporations. He has been active in industry/government affairs and a frequent witness before committees of Congress. Mr. Rhome has served as Vice President and Treasurer of The University of Texas Foundation and is a former Chairman of the Natural Sciences Advisory Council. He has been a generous supported of The University and is active in the management of his endowments.