Hall of Honor

edwin dorn

Dr. Edwin Dorn

Edwin Dorn served as Dean of the LBJ School from 1997 to 2004. Before coming to the LBJ School, he held a number of senior posts in the federal government. In 1993, he was confirmed by the Senate to serve as an Assistant Secretary of Defense. The following year, he was confirmed as the Under Secretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness. He was responsible for policies governing recruitment, pay and benefits for DoD’s total force of more than three million military personnel and civilians. He also exercised authority, direction and control over the Defense Health Program, the Dependent Schools System, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute and the Defense Manpower Data Center. His innovations included new systems to monitor military readiness and new mechanisms to coordinate legislative proposals.

Prior to his presidential appointment in the Department of Defense, Dorn was a senior staff member at the Brookings Institution, where he developed executive education programs for government and private sector managers. From 1981 to 1990, he served as Deputy Director for Research at the Joint Center for Political and Economic Studies. He created the Joint Centers’ military affairs program. He initially went to Washington in 1977 to serve in the Career administration.

A native of Houston, Dorn graduated Phi Beta Kappa from UT Austin and completed his PhD in political science at Yale. He was named a Distinguished Alumnus of UT in 1998. His major publications include Rules and Racial Equality (Yale University Press) and Who Defends America?, ed. (Joint Center Press). He also is the author of dozens of articles, reports, and opinion pieces.

Dr. Dorn served as chairman of the board of the Kettering Foundation and chairman of the visiting committee of Institute for Defense Analyses. Other nonprofit involvements included the United Way, the Children’s Defense Fund, and the Atlantic Council.

Dorn passed away in 2004.


almetris duren

Almetris Duren

Upon the occasion of her retirement in August, 1981, Mrs. Almetris Marsh Duren was celebrated by The University of Texas at Austin community as an irreplaceable lady of energy, commitment, humility, devotion, compassion and integrity. Beginning as housemother for Black women students in off-campus co-op housing in 1956 and continuing from 1968-190 as a University Student Development Specialist and Resident Fellow in Jester Dorm, she was the guide, the inspiration, the comfort and the challenge for four decades of UT students. “Mama Duren” or “Mama D,” as she was affectionately called, extended her concern and caring to all students as well as to many faculty and staff, and all sought her advice.

Mrs. Duren helped establish the University’s first minority recruitment program, Project Info and started the Innervisions of Blackness Choir. In 1978, she received the Margaret C. Berry Award for outstanding contributions to student life at The University of Texas. UT President Lorene Rogers awarded her the 1979 Presidential Citation for outstanding service.

She received the Distinguished Service Award from the Southwest Association of College and University Housing Officers in 1980. Her friends granted her Texas Exes Life Membership – No. 10710. She was also presented with a key to the City of Austin. To this day, “Mama Duren” is given highest honors and thanks by the generations of students to whom she served as mentor and friend.

Almetris Duren assembled a sizable archive documenting the problems and issues faced by Black students at UT from 1950-1980, crucial decades of change. This is available to students, faculty, staff, and the general public, for research at the UT Center for American History located in SRH Unit 2.

Duren passed away in 2000. In January 2007, the Division of Housing and Food opened the Almetris Duren Hall named in honor of Almetris “Mama” Duren.

innervisions of blackness Innervisions of Blackness Choir organized by “Mama” Duren


darlene grant

Dr. Darlene Grant

Grant received her doctor’s degree in social work from the University of Tennessee at Knoxville after earning a bachelor’s degree from Wittenberg University and a master’s degree from Case Western Reserve University. Her area of teaching and research is women with addiction problems and their children.

Prior to joining The University of Texas at Austin in January 1994, she worked for 10 years as a psychotherapist with chemically dependent adults and their families, adolescents in a locked psychiatric unit, and child and adult survivors of sexual abuse.

“My teaching and research is grounded in my practice experience with some of the most marginalized members of our society,” Grant said. “Empowering people through education about themselves and their plights is what I’ve done for two decades of now.”

In August 2006, Dr. Grant received the Social Worker of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers (NASW) in Washington, D.C.



 james hill

Dr. James L. Hill

Dr. James L. Hill was appointed as the first African-American Senior Vice-President at The University of Texas at Austin. He provided leadership, supervision, and coordination for the general management of the following offices and programs: Hogg Foundation for Mental Health, University Interscholastic League, Neighborhood Longhorns, Community and School Relations, university Outreach Programs, and Pre-college Youth Development.

He participated in numerous community and university activities and has served as an advocate for the university administration. He served on the Task Force for Austin Major Employees, Martin Luther King Statue Committee, Barbara Jordan Historical Essay Competition, the Affirmative Action Working Committees, and the Austin Entrepreneurial Project and UT Faculty and Deans’ Council.

Dr. Hill received many awards, certificates and special recognition throughout this career. A few of these distinguished and deserving honors are: the Austin Area Urban League/Whitney M. Young, Jr. Award, Texas Alliance of Black School Educators Founding Member, Ex-Students’ Association Legacy Award and Commendation for the long and valuable service as a member of the State Agency Coordinating Committee. He received his bachelor’s degree in education from Huston-Tillotson College, and master’s degree in educational psychology and Ph.D. in educational administration from The University of Texas at Austin.

Dr. Hill was the recipient of the first Lifetime Achievement Award given by the Black Faculty and Staff Association. He retired from the university in January 2007, but still served as a special assistant to the president until his passing away in September of 2012. He was selected by the National Forum of Black Public Administrators Central Texas Chapter to receive the NFBPA-Marks of Excellence Award and by the Austin Independent School District’s African American Heritage Program Committee to receive its “Friend of Education Award.”



 barbara jordan

Barbara Jordan

Barbara Jordan’s career began with her election to the Texas Legislature in 1966. Jordan’s victory made her the first African-American woman to serve in the Texas Senate and the first African-American elected to that body since 1883.

In 1972, she became the first African-American woman from the South to be elected to the United States Congress, serving as member of the House of Representatives until 1979.

From 1979, until her death in 1996, Jordan served as a distinguished professor at the LBJ School, holding the Lyndon B. Johnson Centennial Chair in National Policy. Her students knew her as a rigorous mentor and a dedicated professor. The word “educator” is part of her epitaph, and serves as a potent reminder of her commitment to what she considered the most important role of her lifetime.

The list of accolades bestowed upon Barbara Jordan is rich and varied. She was the recipient of 31 honorary doctorates and numerous national awards. In 1994, President Bill Clinton presented her with the Presidential Medal of Honor, and in 1999 Texas Monthly magazine named her Role Model of the Century.

Jordan was born February 21, 1936, in Houston, one of three daughters of a Baptist preacher and warehouse clerk. She graduated from Texas Southern University where she majored in political science. She received her law degree in 1959 from Boston University.

The Barbara Jordan Statue is the first statue of a woman installed on the UT campus. The commemorative bronze statue, unveiled in the spring of 2009, is located at Battle Oaks near the Main Building.

bj statue Statue of Barbara Jordan located at The University of Texas at Austin



ervin perry

Dr. Ervin Sewell Perry

Erv Perry was the first African-American professor to gain tenure at The University of Texas at Austin. He was appointed Assistant Professor of Civil Engineering in 1964. It was a time of tense race relations, and Erv Perry—in a dignified but forthright manner—led the way in the integration of many public facilities in Austin. Upon completion of a brilliant, breakthrough dissertation, Perry’s intelligence, sensitivity, and character made him an obvious candidate for a faculty position in the Department of Civil Engineering.

Professor Perry was born in 1936 in Coldspring, Texas. His father was a cotton farmer and his mother a schoolteacher. All six of their children attended Prairie View A&M and became leading citizens through perseverance and application of their talents and training.

After receiving a bachelors’ degree, Dr. Perry served as an officer in the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and then eared both a master’s degree and a PhD from UT Austin while working at Balcones Research Center and carrying a heavy course load.

Perry was a brilliant engineer who became a specialist in structural materials. He received many distinguished honors and awards for both his research and his teaching. He was noted for his deep interest in student organizations and his availability to students. Just before his untimely death in December 1970, Dr. Perry was named the first recipient of the “Young Engineer of the Year Award” by the National Society of Professional Engineers.

In 1977, the Board of Regents named UT Austin’s major new research library in memory of Dr. Perry and the late Dr. Carlos Castañeda, a noted professor of Latin American history. The Perry-Castañeda Library is a fitting memorial to a man who spent his life in service to both knowledge and mankind.



barbara white

Dr. Barbara White

Barbara W. White was appointed Dean of the School Social Work at The University of Texas at Austin in 1993. She also holds the Centennial Professorship in Leadership. She is a former President of the 155,000-member National Association of Social Workers (NASW), and was a member of the Board of Directors of the International Association of Schools of Social Work. In 2003, she received the NASW Presidential Award for Leadership in Social work Education. She was recently appointed to chair the CSWE Council on Leadership Development and chairperson of the NASW Publications Committee.

In 1995, she was appointed by President Clinton to serve on the National Selective Service Appeal Board. She was inducted into the African-American Women’s Hall of Fame sponsored by the National Women of Achievement, Inc., and was a member of the 1998 Class of Leadership Texas. She was honored by being selected as the 1999 recipient of the international Rhoda G. Sarnat Award by the National Association of Social Workers for significant international or national contributions to advance the public image of professional social work.

Dr. White has authored articles and book chapters on issues dealing with cultural diversity, women, domestic violence, and social work education, and serves on numerous editorial boards and with community service organizations.

Dr. White hold a doctorate in political science and a master’s in social work, both from Florida State University. Since becoming dean, Dr. White has worked to position the School of Social Work toward national prominence. The School’s reputation, as indicated by U.S. News and World Report, has resulted in its ranking among the top ten graduate social work programs in the country.


Last updated: Spring 2013