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.

2017 Recipients

Robert (Bobby) Patton is a Partner of Guggenheim Baseball Management LLC and a Co-Owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bobby was born and raised in Fort Worth, Texas, where he graduated from Paschal High School before attending the University of Texas at Austin. After graduating with a BBA in 1985, he earned a JD from Saint Mary’s University in 1988, and then his Master of Laws (LL.M.) from Southern Methodist University in 1989. He also serves on the College of Liberal Arts Advisory Council. Bobby and his wife, Sherri, were married in 1997 and have two children, Robert Louis Patton III and Rachel Lee Patton. Bobby and Sherri contributed the largest gift to the college’s history --$20 million-- which created the Sherri and Bobby Patton Challenge Campaign, the first-ever matching program in the college.
This year, the college awarded its first Pro Bene Meritis Young Alumnus Award to Keith Sharman, an award winning producer for 60 Minutes. In 16 years at CBS NEWS, he has won two Alfred I. duPont-Columbia Awards for excellence in broadcast journalism, the equivalent of the Pulitzer Prize, the first for a 2006 investigation into corruption in the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the second as part of the CBS NEWS team that covered the Newtown shootings in 2012.  Mr. Sharman has received nine Emmy nominations and recently won his first for 60 Minutes’ coverage of the 2015 Paris terrorist attacks. He graduated with a B.A. in History with Special Honors from the University of Texas in 1998.
Ted Gordon, inaugural Chair and Associate Professor of the African and African Diaspora Studies Department at The University of Texas. Dr. Gordon is also the former Associate Vice President of Thematic Initiatives and Community Engagement of the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement as well as the former Director of the Warfield Center for African and African American Studies. Dr. Gordon was instrumental in encouraging his family to donate to UT Austin an important collection of works by the celebrated African American artist, Charles White. He received his Doctorate and Masters in Social Anthropology from Stanford University, a Masters in Marine Sciences from the University of Miami, and a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and Sociology from Swarthmore College. Since joining our faculty, Dr. Gordon has been an extraordinary leader in promoting diversity on the UT campus.
This year's recipients will be honored at an awards ceremony on the evening of Thursday, April 27, 2017.


The registration period is now open until September 29th, 2017 at 5:00pm. To submit your nomination, click here. Click here for a list of all Past Recipients