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UT Tyler Benefactors Awarded Mirabeau B. Lamar Medal

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January 31, 2012

Media Contact:  Hannah Buchanan
Public Affairs Specialist
Marketing and Communications
The University of Texas at Tyler
903.565.5769 or 903.539.7196 (cell)

January 31, 2012

Longtime UT Tyler benefactor Louise H. Ornelas of Tyler recently received the 2012 Mirabeau B. Lamar Medal and Award in Higher Education, President Rodney H. Mabry, announced.

The honor is annually presented to distinguished individuals, foundations and other organizations that have made extraordinary contributions to higher education in Texas.

UT Tyler, Tyler Junior College and East Texas Baptist University jointly submitted the award nomination.

Mr. and Mrs. Joseph Z. and Louise H. Ornelas have contributed $12 million to UT Tyler. Their gifts have provided for an endowed professorship, as well as nursing, engineering, fine arts and education scholarships. In addition, gifts have provided for the UT Tyler Ornelas Residence Hall, Fine and Visual Arts Complex and the Louise Herrington Patriot Center, which includes the Jean Lancaster Academic Wing named in honor of her sister.

“We join East Texas Baptist and Tyler Junior College in congratulating this deserving couple,” President Mabry said. “Louise and Joseph have been wonderful friends of our university for quite sometime now, and Louise is faithful in continuing to help UT Tyler become an even greater institution in East Texas, the state and beyond.”

Mrs. Ornelas is a lifetime member of the UT Tyler Development Board and board member of the UT Tyler R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center and Friends of the Arts.

Previous recipients include Red and Charline McCombs, Lieutenant Governor William P. Hobby, Professor Barbara Jordan, The Honorable Alan Shivers, the Houston Endowment, Inc. and Senator William Ratliff.

JOINING IN CONGRATULATIONS: Dr. Bill Holda, president of Kilgore College; UT Tyler President Rod Mabry; Dr. Mike Metke, president of TJC; Dr. Samuel “Dub” Oliver, president of ETBU; Dr. Kirk Calhoun, president of UT Health Science Center at Tyler; and the 2012 Maribeau B. Lamar Medal and Award in Higher Education recipient Louise Ornelas.

UT Tyler