College of Liberal Arts

Pro Bene Meritis Award

PBM Award

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.

2020 Recipients

Jacqueline Jones, Ph.D. is the Ellen C. Temple Chair in Women’s History and Mastin Gentry White Professor of Southern History. She is the author of several books, including, most recently, Goddess of Anarchy: The Life and Times of Lucy Parsons, American Radical (2017), and A Dreadful Deceit: The Myth of Race from the Colonial Era to Obama’s America (2013). A Dreadful Deceit and Labor of Love, Labor of Sorrow: Black Women, Work and the Family from Slavery to the Present (25th Anniversary Edition, 2010) were finalists for the Pulitzer Prize; Labor of Love won the Bancroft Prize for 1986. Her other works include Saving Savannah: The City and the Civil War, 1854-1872 (2008); Creek Walking: Growing Up in Delaware in the 1950s (2001); A Social History of the Laboring Classes from Colonial Times to the Present (1999); American Work: Four Centuries of Black and White Labor (1998); The Dispossessed: America’s Underclasses from the Civil War to the Present (1993); and Soldiers of Light and Love: Northern Teachers and Georgia Blacks, 1865-1873 (1992). She has won numerous grants and awards, including a MacArthur Fellowship (1999-2004). She served as Vice President for the Professional Division of the American Historical Association from 2011 to 2014, and beginning in 2020 will serve as AHA’s President-Elect. Her current project is a study of the African American community in Boston during the Civil War era. She has served as Chair of the History Department since 2014.

Michael B. Stoff, Ph.D. received his B.A. from Rutgers College and Ph.D. from Yale University. He is currently Associate Professor of History, University Distinguished Teaching Associate Professor and an Organization of American Historians Distinguished Lecturer. He was the director of the nationally acclaimed Plan II Honors Program at the University of Texas at Austin from 2006-2017. He is the author of Oil, War and American Security, co-editor of The Manhattan Project: A Documentary Introduction to the Atomic Age, series co-editor of The Oxford New Narratives in American History and co-author of five American history textbooks. He has been honored many times for his teaching, including the UT system-wide Regents Outstanding Teaching Award in 2012. In 2015, he was recognized for his contributions with induction into the Philosophical Society of Texas. In 2012, The Michael B. Stoff Plan II Excellence Endowment was created by students, professors, and alumni in honor of his 11 years as Director of the Plan II Honors Program. Dr. Stoff is currently working on a book about Nagasaki and the meaning of the atomic bomb.

Stuart W. Stedman is the president of Stedman West Interests, Inc., a family investment office that manages the assets of the Stedman West family. He attended The University of Texas at Austin where he received a B.A. in Plan II (1979), a J.D. (1985), and an M.B.A (1985). Stuart serves on the Advisory Board of the Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute and has been involved in wildlife research and conservation for many years. He has supported and designed numerous research projects focused on the white-tailed deer and has written numerous articles on white-tailed deer management. He received the Texas Outdoorsman of the Year award in 2009, the DAR Conservation Committee award in 2012, and the Harvey Weill Sportsman Conservationist of the Year award in 2014. He is also the past chairman of Texas Parks & Wildlife’s Operation Game Thief committee. In March 2016, Stuart was appointed to a three-year term on the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board by Governor Greg Abbott. Stuart served as the Chair of the Liberal Arts Advisory Council (2017-2019), and he is member of the University of Texas Development Board and the Blanton Museum’s National Leadership Board. He is also a member of The Methodist Hospital Research Institute board of directors in Houston. Mr. Stedman formerly served as a trustee of the Texas Children’s Hospital and the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.

Jason S. Lamin is the Founder of Lenox Park Solutions and oversees all aspects of the firm. Before founding Lenox Park, Jason was a Director in Merrill Lynch’s Fixed Income Structured Credit group in New York. In that role, Jason was instrumental to Asset Management due diligence for a highly selective Investor base. He began his career in Investment Banking working on M&A transactions for Financial Institutions, then helped launch a start-up group in London focused on deepening Merrill Lynch’s most lucrative institutional client relationships. Jason graduated from the University of Texas with a B.A. in Economics and was a member of the prestigious organization, The Texas Cowboys. He now serves on the advisory boards for the Department of Economics and the Department of Black Studies. Jason is an active member of the United Nations Private Sector Forum, where he has served as Co-Chair of the Private Sector Working Group for the 10th principle UN’s Global Compact – Anti-Bribery & Anti-Corruption; and delivered keynote speeches to the General Assembly on matters relating to Capital Access and Infrastructure Investing on the Continent of Africa. In 2008, Jason founded Nyawa Funding Group, a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization with a mission to improve living standards in Sierra Leone.


Inaugural Dean’s Pro Bene Meritis Award Recipients

Randy and Mary Diehl



The registration period is now closed and will not open until September 1, 2020. Click here for a list of all Past Recipients