Six More Honored as Distinguished Alumni


Saturday’s win against Kansas capped off a victorious weekend for Longhorns both on and off the field. Shortly before the game that saw five touchdowns by Tyrone Swoopes, six University of Texas alumni were recognized for their outstanding accomplishments.


The diverse group of Distinguished Alumnus Award winners took the field at DKR before kickoff, clad in their coveted burnt-orange jackets. The latest round of awardees includes a cancer researcher, a filmmaker, a civic leader, an energy attorney, an astronaut, and a business leader.

Considered the university’s highest honor, the award was presented to recipients at a ceremony televised on Longhorn Network Friday night. More than 800 alumni and friends of the university packed the LBJ Library auditorium, where UT president Greg Fenves and Texas Exes board chairman Kay Bailey Hutchison, LLB ’67, BA ’92, Life Member, Distinguished Alumnacongratulated the winners: James Allison, BA ’69, PhD ’73, Life Member; Dan Burck, BBA ’56, Life Member; James C. Langdon, Jr., BBA ’67, JD ’70, Life Member; Robert Rodriguez, BS ’08, Life Member; Judy Tate, BS ’73, Life Member; Stephanie Wilson, MS ’92.

“Their many accomplishments … are a testament to their talents and passions, and to this incredible institution,” Hutchison said of the honorees.

The first award of the night was especially emotional, as Dan Burck, who played a lead role in creating ESPN, died on September 12 after a courageous fight with cancer. His wife, Penny Burck, and former UT president William Cunningham accepted the award on his behalf.

The room swelled with Longhorn pride, as recipients gushed about the university’s undeniable impact on their lives. “This university shaped my life in every conceivable way,” said James Langdon, an international authority on energy law.

Hit filmmaker Robert Rodriguez noted that more than anything, he’s most proud of graduating from UT. As the event came to a close, and the auditorium joined to sing the “The Eyes of Texas,” it’s clear that everyone agrees.

For more info on the nominees, click here. Watch the tribute videos played for each recipient at the ceremony below.

James Allison

Dan Burck

James C. Langdon, Jr.

Robert Rodriguez

Judy Tate

Stephanie Wilson

Photos by Anna Donlan

Above: The new class of Distinguished Alumni throws up the Hook ‘Em sign after being honored on Friday at the LBJ Library and again on the field before the Texas vs. Kansas game.


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