Best of the Best: The 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Awards

Best of the Best: The 2016 Distinguished Alumnus Awards

Each year, some of the best and brightest return to the Forty Acres to receive the most prestigious award bestowed upon UT-Austin alumni: the Distinguished Alumnus Award. The annual celebration honors six recipients, and this year’s class includes a news anchor, a vaunted ballet choreographer, a current governor, a former UT System regent, a successful entrepreneur, and a former U.S. representative.

About 600 attendees arrived at the Frank Erwin Center on Friday night, with mood lighting and a stage replacing the normal hardwood and basketball hoops. As the honorees gave their speeches, reflecting on the way UT shaped them into the successful leaders they are today, even more watched the live broadcast on Longhorn Network. The ceremony honored Texas Governor Greg Abbott, BBA ’81, Life Member; The Honorable Preston “Pete” Geren, BA ’75, JD ’78, Life Member; Woody L. Hunt, BBA ’66, MBA ’70, Life Member; Arthel Neville, BJ ’86, Life Member; Bobby Stillwell, BBA ’59, LLB ’61, Life Member; and Septime Webre, BA ’84.


In addition to six Distinguished Alumni, former UT-Austin president Bill Powers was recognized as the eighth recipient of the Distinguished Service Award.

“It’s very rare for the Texas Exes to reach out and recognize a non-alumnus for their service to the university,” UT president Greg Fenves said, before introducing Powers. “But there is no doubt that my friend, my colleague, and my president Bill Powers should be among the small and esteemed group.”

Read more about the nominees here. Watch the tribute videos played for each recipient at the ceremony and see social media highlights of the evening below.

Governor Greg Abbott

The Honorable Preston “Pete” Geren

Woody L. Hunt

Arthel Neville

Bobby Stillwell

Septime Weber

William Powers, Jr.




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