Cathy Lester (1951-2006)
Cathy Lester served the University of Texas at Austin for 27 years as an administrative information technology professional, working tirelessly to develop systems that supported and advanced the University’s standards of excellence in education, research, and public service.
Cathy was known for her commitment to serving the university, her breadth and depth of knowledge in almost every topic she touched, her mentoring and educating of others, her partnering with business clients to provide strategic, innovative, and effective technical solutions, and her unrelenting insistence on quality and excellence.
During her career at UT, Cathy spearheaded significant changes in numerous business areas, changing business processes and software systems alike. Cathy worked in such areas as Payroll, Library Services and Resource Development, with her ultimate success coming in the two-time award winning project, Project Information Quest (IQ).
Seeing the need for post-training professional development for new Information Analysts, Cathy conceived and implemented the Analyst Apprentice program, which has overseen the career development of hundreds of training program graduates to strengthen the traits of disciplined, analytical thinking and reinforce the standards expected of a systems analyst in the University community.
An excellent supervisor and team leader, Cathy was ever-demanding but always principled and fair.
Cathy served on numerous state and national technology groups throughout her career and was well respected throughout the state and nation for her application of technology in cost-effective and innovative ways. Many people statewide know Cathy for her leadership in the state and at the University on the Y2K project. Cathy’s leadership during the Y2K conversion was inspiring.
While Cathy was dedicated to her career with the University, she was also very active outside work, playing the team goalie in a soccer league, bowling, and reading constantly. An avid Longhorn sports fan, Cathy frequently attended Lady Longhorn events. Cathy had a very tight-knit family, including her husband Leland, daughter Sonja and son Nick, and spent much time with her extended family in Castroville, where she grew up. In an attempt to preserve the Alsatian language of her heritage, Cathy and her mother together wrote an Alsatian Dictionary that is still used today by people wishing to learn the language.