Powers Honors Five with Presidential Citations

Powers Honors Five with Presidential Citations

You might recognize the scenario. Dressed in caps and gowns, brimming with fringed regalia, administrators and academics gather to honor people who have made major contributions to a discipline, industry, or university by awarding them an honorary degree. It’s a common practice, but UT doesn’t do it.

The university’s highest honor is, instead, the Presidential Citation, and it’s awarded to those who have not only made a positive impact on the world, but who have also helped advance UT’s mission to transform the lives of others for the benefit of society.

This year, President Bill Powers is honoring five individuals with citations, including three Texas Exes. Powers presented the awards at a ceremony Thursday.

“Ted, Charles, Jim and Miriam, and Shannon are among the best friends the University of Texas has ever had,” said Powers. “I’m proud both of their career achievements and their devotion to the university, and it’s my privilege to honor them with our highest award.”

Here’s who picked up the top honors this year:

  • Edmund T. Gordon is chair of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department and associate professor of African and African diaspora studies and anthropology of the African diaspora.
  • Charles Matthews, BA ’67, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, is the President of the Texas Exes. He is a former vice president and general counsel at ExxonMobil, immediate past chair of UT Austin’s Development Board, and served on the Commission of 125.
  • James and Miriam Mulva are responsible for a $60 million gift to support a new engineering building and  graduate school of business, as well as a $15 million gift for the new Liberal Arts Building and its ROTC center. Jim, BBA ’68, MBA ’69, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, followed service in the Navy with a distinguished career in energy. Miriam is the director of the Mulva Family Foundation.
  • Shannon Ratliff, BA ’61, LLB ’64, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnus, served as a member of the University of Texas System Board of Regents from 1985-91. He is the owner of the Ratliff Law Firm and has served as lead counsel for Fortune 500 companies in a variety of statewide and nationwide class actions and other complex litigation.

Photo courtesy Sandy Carson.


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