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Pro Bene Meritis

PBM AwardThe Pro Bene Meritis award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. The purpose of the award is to honor individuals 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 of Liberal Arts. In addition to expressing appreciation to those distinguished individuals so honored, the College of Liberal Arts, through this award, is seeking to heighten public awareness of the critical role played by the liberal arts in education and society today.

The award is presented annually at a dinner in the spring. The alumni, faculty, students and staff of the college take pride in these individuals and the legacy of their character and achievements.


Nominations for the 2014 Pro Bene Meritis Awards are closed. 

2013 Pro Bene Meritis Award Recipients

On Thursday, April 11, 2013 the College of Liberal Arts awarded its highest accolade, the Pro Bene Meritis award, to four honorees at the Texas Union Ballroom on the University of Texas campus.

The Honorable Ben Barnes

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. Governor 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.

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 over 100 books, Dr. 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, Marion 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.

Click here for a list of all Past Recipients