Four alumni to be presented Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award

May 16, 2006

AUSTIN, Texas—Four University of Texas at Austin alumni will be presented with the 2006 Outstanding Young Texas Ex Award this Saturday, May 20, prior to the university-wide commencement ceremony. The Texas Exes inaugurated the award in 1980 to recognize young alumni who are distinguished in their fields and have demonstrated a continuing interest in The University of Texas at Austin and the Texas Exes. A recipient must be under the age of 40 to receive the award.

Mary Dunleavy, M.M. ’90, is praised as one of the most exciting singers in this generation of lyric coloratura sopranos. She is lauded for her varied and vivid gallery of operatic heroines seen on many of the leading stages throughout the world.

Alisa Manning Peppers, B.A. ’90, is president of URBAN Athletics, a Houston-based company she founded in April of 2003. The company specializes in sports apparel, youth sports and sports competition. She is also the current president of the Texas Exes Houston Chapter.

Dina Habib Powell, B.A. ’95, at the age of 32, has already spent a decade in public service and served at the highest levels of the U.S. government. Dina was in the summer of 2005 unanimously confirmed by the U.S. Senate to serve as Assistant Secretary of State for Education and Cultural Affairs. Prior to joining the State Department, Dina served as Assistant to the President for Presidential Personnel.

Lieutenant Commander John Mason Ward, B.S. ’92, enlisted in the Navy in 1987. Commander Ward recently assumed duties as commander and pilot of the Advanced Seal Delivery Vehicle with Seal Team One in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. He has been honored with 12 awards for his service in the last 11 years.

All four alumni will be honored at a ceremony to be held this Saturday at the alumni center. After the ceremony, they will join William Powers Jr., president of The University of Texas at Austin, on the stage at commencement where they will be recognized again for receiving the award. For more information on this year’s honorees, visit the Texas Exes Web site.

Note to editors: Electronic photos of this year’s recipients are available upon request. Recipients will be available for interviews from 6-7 p.m. on Saturday, May 20 in the Alumni Center.

For more information contact: Erin Crook, Texas Exes, 512-471-3805.