Briscoe el­e­vated state of Texas and the Uni­ver­sity of Texas

Austin American-Statesman - - OPINION -

This week, we lost a quin­tes­sen­tial Texan, a true states­man, and a gen­tle man with grit and de­ter­mi­na­tion who made The Uni­ver­sity of Texas Sys­tem and all of ed­u­ca­tion in Texas stand taller. Our friend, the hon­or­able Dolph Briscoe Jr., ded­i­cated his life to pub­lic ser­vice based on re­spect, in­tegrity, hon­esty and a grand vi­sion that ad­vanced Texas to new heights.

His im­pact on Texas is im­mea­sur­able: He suc­cess­fully fought to re­or­ga­nize pub­lic schools, raised teacher salaries, helped es­tab­lish a vast net­work of farm-to-mar­ket roads and brought tele­phone sys­tems to ru­ral Texas.

He also gave so gen­er­ously of his per­sonal as­sets to en­sure that Texas could pre­serve its rich his­tory and share it with the world. Gov. Briscoe sup­ported car­di­ol­ogy and women’s pro­grams at the UT Health Sci­ence Cen­ter-San An­to­nio and so many other pro­grams across the state and through­out the Uni­ver­sity of Texas Sys­tem, in­clud­ing one of the premier his­tory re­search cen­ters in the world — the Dolph Briscoe Cen­ter for Amer­i­can His­tory at UT-Austin, which also houses his his­tor­i­cal pa­pers.

In 2009, the UT Sys­tem Board of Re­gents hon­ored Gov. Briscoe with its high­est honor for ser­vice, the Santa Rita Award. One of the great­est ex­pe­ri­ences in my life was watch­ing the joy on his face — and the pride and love demon­strated by his fam­ily — when he re­ceived his medal­lion.

I will cher­ish that moment, and his friend­ship, for­ever, and I know that many of you have fond mem­o­ries of our true Texas leg­end that will carry you through the years ahead.

DR. FRAN­CISCO G. CI­GAR­ROA Chan­cel­lor of the Uni­ver­sity of Texas Sys­tem chan­cel­lor@ut­sys­ Austin

For­mer Texas Gov. Dolph Briscoe was hon­ored with the Santa Rita Award on Feb. 11, 2009. The Santa Rita Award is the UT Sys­tem Board of Re­gents’ high­est honor for ser­vice.

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