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Jacqueline Jones, Chair 128 Inner Campus Dr., Stop B7000, GAR 1.104 Austin, TX 78712-1739 • 512-471-3261

Toyin Falola recipient of 2013 Pro Bene Meritis Award and honorary doctorate

Posted: April 3, 2013
Prof. Toyin Falola

Prof. Toyin Falola

Professor Toyin Falola, the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor specializing in Africa and the African diaspora, is one of four recipients of this year's Pro Bene Meritis Award.

The Pro Bene Meritis Award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. First granted in 1984,  it is given each spring to alumni, faculty and friends of the college who are committed to the liberal arts, who have made outstanding contributions in professional or philanthropic pursuits, or who have participated in service related to the college.

The author of more than 100 books, Falola is known worldwide for his outstanding scholarship, teaching and academic leadership. He was also awarded an honorary doctorate degree from Adekunle Ajasin University in Nigeria for his "outstanding and wide-ranging contributions to humanity, especially through [his] scholarly engagements that have served, over the past four decades, to deepen global intellectual heritage in respect to the history of the different peoples of Africa."

"I'm deeply honored and humbled to receive these awards from two great universities, the Pro Bene Meritis Award from the University of Texas and an honorary doctorate from Adekunle Ajasin University in Nigeria," said Falola. "These awards represent the recognition of the importance, growth, and diversification of African Studies, including its ongoing globalization and linkages to numerous other fields of inquiry.  

"Scholarship and other forms of knowledge about Africa must continue to be circulated widely with more and more people from multiple locales given opportunities to participate in its production and dissemination.  I receive these awards on behalf of the army of scholars, teachers, students, administrators, and community members who have worked tirelessly in this generation to claim responsibility for the future of Africa."

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2013 Pro Bene Meritis Award Recipients:

The Honorable Ben Barnes is a graduate of The University of Texas Law School and was elected lieutenant governor in 1969, the youngest person to hold this office in Texas history.  Lt. Gov. Barnes is a longtime advocate for the liberal arts, serving on the College of Liberal Arts Development Council and was instrumental in the success of the new Liberal Arts Building.

Toyin Falola, Ph.D., is the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor specializing in Africa and the African diaspora. The author of more than 100 books, Falola is known worldwide for his outstanding scholarship, teaching and academic leadership.

Jeanne and Michael Klein are both graduates of the university and have devoted much of their adult life to philanthropy in support their alma mater and causes promoting the liberal arts, including UT Elementary, The Blanton Museum of Art and Humanities Texas. The Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Austin recently honored the Kleins for their outstanding philanthropy in support of Central Texans.

Marion Mark, Ed.D., has dedicated her life to teaching and the advancement of liberal arts education, having taught students at every grade level. During her husband's tenure as UT System Chancellor, Mark led the effort to enhance the connection between the university and the community by hosting a variety of programs and events at the Bauer House, including the promotion and advancement of several liberal arts programs.

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