HW Perry: Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship

H.W. Perry Surprised in Classroom with Friar Award

WATCH: Dozens of faculty and students gathered outside UT-Austin Department of Government associate professor H.W. Perry’s "Constitutional Interpretations" classroom earlier this month, ready to barge in and surprise him with news that he had been selected by students for this year’s Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship at The University of Texas at Austin.

Posted by College of Liberal Arts – University of Texas at Austin on Monday, April 30, 2018

Dozens of faculty and students gathered outside professor H.W. Perry’s Constitutional Interpretations classroom in April, ready to barge in and surprise him with news that he had been selected for this year’s Friar Centennial Teaching Fellowship at The University of Texas at Austin.

The annual award, established in 1983 by the Friar Society, goes to a full-time, tenured or tenure-track undergraduate professor, and is the largest award for undergraduate teaching excellence at the university. Perry was chosen from more than 65 nominations. He received $25,000 and will be honored at an awards reception later this month.

“I’m truly overwhelmed,” Perry said to the group gathered in his classroom. “What I understand about the Friar’s teaching award is that it is mostly nominated by students and mostly selected by students, and that makes the award even more deeply meaningful to me.”

Prior to coming to UT Austin in 1994, Perry taught at Harvard University and Washington University, receiving teaching awards at both institutions. At UT Austin, Perry is the field chair in Public Law and teaches both in the Department of Government and the Law School. He specializes in the U.S. Supreme Court, constitutional interpretation and the intersection of law and politics.

“My way of teaching is interactive, Socratic discussion, but it takes two to tango,” said Perry. “I’ve had the good fortune to have a lot of students who care a lot about what they’re learning and make the kind of teaching that I do work. I’m really deeply touched.”