UT President ad interim Peter T.
Flawn has been chosen to receive a
newly created award from UT's
alumni association. The University
of Texas Distinguished Service
Award will be The Ex-Students'
Association's highest honor for a
non-alumnus, reserved for one who
has served UT Austin in a profound
way. It will not be given on a
regular basis, but only by consensus
of the past presidents of the
Association. The award will be
given in conjunction with the
Alumnus Awards, the highest
honors it bestows to alumni. This
year's ceremony will be Oct. 2nd.
Ex-Students' Association to honor Flawn
The award description reads, in part: "From time to time, there
emerges an individual who was not a student at the University of Texas,
but whose service makes a profound and positive difference to the University."
Flawn has served as president of UT Austin during two crucial
periods in its recent history. He is widely credited with moving UT
into the top tier of American universities by spearheading a
capital campaign during his first administration from 1979-85.
Dubbed the "war on mediocrity," it created more than
750 endowed faculty positions across campus. After 12 years of
retirement, he returned in 1997 to serve a year as president ad interim
at a salary of $1. His experienced hand steadied a University that had
just lost not only its president, but its provost, the second in command.
While doing so, Flawn successfully launched UT's most ambitious
capital campaign ever, a quest for $1 billion.
"A recipient like Peter T. Flawn sets the standard for people who will
receive this award in the future," said Jim Boon, executive director of
The Ex-Students' Association.
Larry Temple, the association's president, agreed: "In its 115 years
of existence, no individual has been more important to the University of Texas
than Peter Flawn. The fact that the University has achieved eminence
and is on the threshold of preeminence is attributable in large
measure to Dr. Flawn's leadership, drive, and commitment. He
epitomizes the very best of this University. In honoring him, The
Ex-Students' Association recognizes a unique individual who combines
dignity and grace with rare accomplishment."
Flawn came to UT in 1949 as a professor of geology and, in 1960,
became director of its Bureau of Economic Geology until being made vice president in 1970. In 1972, he was named executive vice president,
and left the next year to serve four years as president of UT-San Antonio.