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Distinguished Alumni

The university’s Distinguished Alumni Award recognizes alumni who have achieved prominence and made a significant impact on the lives of others through their profession, accomplishments, affiliations, and service to society and the University. First awarded in 1959 to Senator Lyndon B. Johnson, former editor of The University Star and 36th President of the United States, this honor has subsequently been bestowed upon 17 alumni from the College of Fine Arts and Communication.


Carrie Hurt

2019 | Carrie A. Hurt

Mass Communication-Electronic Media `87

President/CEO Better Business Bureau, Austin. Named the 2016 Best Small Business CEO by Austin Business Journal and was named a 2011 Woman of Influence by the Austin Business Journal.


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  • 2016 | Ron MitchellFine Arts and Communication `72 

    Ron Mitchell is the Vice Chairman/President/CEO Horseshoe Bay Resort. He served as Vice Chair of the Texas State System Board of Regents. a Board Member and Vice Chair of the Texas State System Foundation, and is Past President of the Alumni Association.

    2015 | Mary Rose BrownMinor in Journalism `79 

    Executive VP & Chief Administrative Officer of NuStar  Energy L.P. She has donated much of her time to charitable and civic causes, including Haven for Hope, San Antonio’s unique homeless transformational center and also serves as a board member of the Center for Health Care Services, the Texas Business Hall of Fame, the Women’s Leadership Council of United Way of San Antonio, and the San Antonio Parks Foundation.

    2014 | Veronica Muzquiz Edwards, Journalism and Mass Communication `86 

    Founder and CEO of InGenesis a San Antonio-based company, Veronica guides one of the largest and most successful workforce solutions corporations in the nation. She is a member of the Texas State University Board of Regents, World Affairs Council, and the United States Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. 

    2013 | Virginia Ann Stevens, Journalism and Mass Communication `72

    Founding president of BioMed SA. Plays a key role in recruiting biomedical companies to San Antonio.

    2009 | Wayne Oquin, Music `99

    Internationally recognized musician, composer and professor at Juilliard; has premiered original compositions in London, Moscow, Toronto, Tokyo, Vienna and Warsaw.

    2007 | Steven Kemble, Journalism and Mass Communication`82

    Solutions magazine Event Planner of the Year; International Special Event Society International Volunteer of the Year; Event Planners Hall of Fame.

    2005 | Nina Vaca-Humrichouse, Journalism and Mass Communication `94

    National Hispanic Businesswoman of the Year; Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year; German Marshall Memorial Fellow, World Affairs Council.

    2003 | Tony Dieste, Journalism and Mass Communication `88

    Chairman and co-founder of Dieste, Inc. (NYSE: OMC); Recognized as pioneer and leader in US multicultural marketing and advertising. Named one of the 100 most influential Latinos in the US by the American Advertising Federation, he is in their “Hall of Achievement.”

    2000 | James E. Polk, Music `91

    Austin Music Hall of Fame; known for his collaboration with Ray Charles for 10 years as an orchestra director and arranger.

    1997 | Eugene Lee, Theatre ’74

    Stage, film and television actor; producer; playwright; plays produced at theaters throughout the United States and London.

    1997 | Mary-Agnes Taylor, Journalism and Mass Communication `40

    One of the most respected authorities on children’s literature in the U.S.; board member of the Children’s Literature Association; author.

    1994 | Dionicio “Don” Flores, Journalism and Mass Communication `73

    One of the nation’s most respected Hispanic journalists; president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

    1994 | Marcellus W. Alexander, Jr., Communication Studies `73

    Executive Vice President, Television for the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) and President, NAB Education Foundation; involved in numerous civic and charitable organizations.

    1993 | Chelcie Ross, Theatre/English `64

    Actor with 85+ movie/TV credits. Three top ten sports films: Rudy, Hoosiers, and Major League. Stage career 45 years on three continents. Screen Actors Guild Award recipient.

    1992 | Thomas Carter, Theatre `74

    Three-time Emmy-winning director, actor and producer; received Directors’ Guild Award and George Foster Peabody Award.

    1988 Powers Boothe, Theatre `70

    Emmy Award-winning actor in film, television, and theater; 1981 NATO New Star of the Year; Texas Film Hall of Fame; Walk of Western Stars; Golden Boot Award.

    1981 | Don Rains, Communication Studies `66

    Served as Texas State Representative for District 45; served in leadership roles in numerous civic organizations.