The 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 2015 Pro Bene Meritis award closed on January 9, 2015. Winners of this year's award have been notified.
The College of Liberal Arts is proud to announce the 2015 Pro Bene Meritis Award recipients. Peggy Beckham, Austin Gleeson and President Bill Powers were chosen for their outstanding service to the college.
Peggy Beckham is an alumna of the Plan II Honors Program. A lifelong member of the Liberal Arts Advisory Council, she has been a strong supporter of and champion for the Plan II and Liberal Arts Honors Programs. Beckham has dedicated much of her life to being an advocate of the arts and humanities, actively serving in various board positions in the Abilene community.
Austin Gleeson, Ph.D., teaches in the Plan II Honors Program and has served as chair of the Department of Physics. As a result of his passion for engaging his students and making leading a top priority he has won numerous teaching awards, including the Jean Holloway Teaching Excellence Award and the Chad Oliver Plan II Teaching Award.
President Bill Powers has made liberal arts and diversity top priorities at The University of Texas. During his tenure, he has been a driving force in the capital campaign for the new Liberal Arts building, the integration of the Liberal Arts perspective into the curriculum of the new Dell Medical School and the development of the Department of African & African Diaspora Studies, the Institute for Urban Policy Research & Analysis, and the Department for Mexican American & Latina/o Studies.