Journalism Graduates Barnhill and Chesnutt to be Honored as Texas Exes Distinguished Alumni Tonight
AUSTIN, Texas—Oct. 14, 2011—John W. Barnhill and Jane Chesnutt, who earned bachelor of journalism degrees in 1959 and 1973 respectively, have been named University of Texas Distinguished Alumni by the Texas Exes. They are among six newly-designated distinguished alumni to be honored at a red-carpet ceremony in Austin tonight.
Barnhill, who lives in Brenham, is a retired executive vice president of Blue Bell Creameries and a former University of Texas regent. In his career of nearly 40 years, he helped lead the company from a small creamery to the number three brand of ice cream in the country.
Chesnutt, who lives in New York, 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.
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:
- I. Jon Brumley, BBA ’61, Fort Worth, 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.
- James R. Huffines, BBA ’73, Dallas, is president and COO, PlainsCapital Corporation and former chairman of the UT 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 L. Jiles, MPA ’79, Houston, is managing director, RBC Capital Markets, LLC. He also served as chairman of the Greater Houston Partnership in 2005.
- The Honorable Pamela P. Willeford, BA ’72, Austin, is a former U.S. Ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein. She is also president and partner of Pico Drilling in Breckenridge.
The Distinguished Alumnus Award is the highest alumni award of The University of Texas at Austin. 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."
The Texas Exes was founded in 1885. The mission of the Texas Exes is to unite, inform and involve alumni and friends for the purpose of promoting, protecting and preserving The University of Texas at Austin. Today there are about 91,000 members whom the association strives to connect to each other and to the past, present and future of the University through career counseling, travel, reunions, continuing education, fellowship, legislative advocacy in support of higher education and The Alcalde magazine. For more information on the Texas Exes or to become a member, visit TexasExes.org.
Director of Public Relations, The Texas Exes
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