College of Liberal Arts

2013 Pro Bene Meritis Award Recipients

By Michelle Bryant, College of Liberal Arts
Posted: March 12, 2013

The College of Liberal Arts is proud to announce the 2013 Pro Bene Meritis Award recipients. The Honorable Ben Barnes, Toyin Falola, Jeanne and Michael Klein, and Marion Mark were chosen for their outstanding service to the college.

The Honorable Ben Barnes is a graduate of The University of Texas Law School and was elected lieutenant governor in 1969, the youngest person to hold this office in Texas history.  Lt. Gov. Barnes is a longtime advocate for the liberal arts, serving on the College of Liberal Arts Development Council and was instrumental in the success of the new Liberal Arts Building.

Toyin Falola, Ph.D., is the Jacob and Frances Sanger Mossiker Chair in the Humanities and a University Distinguished Teaching Professor specializing in Africa and the African diaspora. The author of more than 100 books, Falola is known worldwide for his outstanding scholarship, teaching and academic leadership.

Jeanne and Michael Klein are both graduates of the university and have devoted much of their adult life to philanthropy in support their alma mater and causes promoting the liberal arts, including UT Elementary, The Blanton Museum of Art and Humanities Texas. The Association of Fundraising Professionals of Greater Austin recently honored the Kleins for their outstanding philanthropy in support of Central Texans.

Marion Mark, Ed.D., has dedicated her life to teaching and the advancement of liberal arts education, having taught students at every grade level. During her husband's tenure as UT System Chancellor, Mark led the effort to enhance the connection between the university and the community by hosting a variety of programs and events at the Bauer House, including the promotion and advancement of several liberal arts programs.

The Pro Bene Meritis Award is the highest honor bestowed by the College of Liberal Arts at The University of Texas at Austin. First granted in 1984,  it is given each spring to alumni, faculty and friends of the college 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.

Visit Life & Letters to read about past recipients.