College of Liberal Arts

English Graduate Pamela Willeford Receives Distinguished Alumnus Award

Mon, May 9, 2011

AUSTIN, Texas - The Honorable Pamela Willeford (BA English, ’72) has been named one of six University of Texas Distinguished Alumni by the Texas Exes.

Willeford is a former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstea. She is also president and partner of Pico Drilling in Breckenridge.

Each year six alumni who have distinguished themselves professionally and through service to the university are honored with the award. This year’s other award recipients are:

  • John Barnhill, Jr. (BJ ’59), is a retired executive vice president of Blue Bell Creameries and a former University of Texas regent. In his career of almost 40 years, he helped lead the company from a small creamery to the number three brand of ice cream in the country.

  • I. Jon Brumley (BBA ’61) is chairman & CEO, Bounty Investments, LP. He has been integrally involved in eight companies listed on the New York Stock Exchange and was named, along with his son, as "Entrepreneurs of the Year" in 2005 by Forbes magazine.

  • Jane Chestnutt (BJ '73) is a civic leader and former editor-in-chief of Woman’s Day magazine. She has a special interest in issues of women’s health, women business leaders and the performing arts.

  • James Huffines (BBA ’73) is president and COO, PlainsCapital Corporation and former chairman of the university’s Board of Regents. He has a long record of civic involvement including service on the boards of the Austin Chamber of Commerce and the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum.

  • Jodie Jiles (MPA ’79) is managing director of RBC Capital Markets, LLC. He also served as chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership in 2005.

The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest alumni award of The University of Texas at Austin. This year’s recipients will be honored at a presentation to be held in Austin on October 14. Created in 1958 by the Texas Exes, this­­ award recognizes annually up to six alumni of The University of Texas at Austin. Recipients are chosen by a special Texas Exes committee from nominations submitted by alumni and other members of the university community. 

"The accomplishments of this group once again validate the University's vision of ‘What starts here changes the world,’ said Bill McCausland, interim executive director and COO of the Texas Exes. "Each of our six deserving recipients has proven yet again the lifelong benefits of an education from The University of Texas at Austin."

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