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UT System Board of Regents names three former presidents to emeritus status

The University of Texas System Board of Regents Thursday unanimously voted to bestow the prestigious President Emeritus designation to three former presidents who made extraordinary contributions to UT Austin, UT Health Science Center at Houston, and UT Tyler.

They include William C. Powers, Jr. who served as president of UT Austin from 2006 to 2015; James T. Willerson, M.D., who served as president of UTHealth from 2001 to 2008, and Rodney H. Mabry, Ph.D., who served as president of UT Tyler from 1998 to 2016.

“The UT System – and by extension the state of Texas – are forever changed for the better because of the leadership and vision of these three individuals,” Board of Regents Chairman Kevin P. Eltife said. “It’s a privilege for the regents to honor these presidents today, who shared a passion for service and a relentless commitment to advancing their UT institutions.”

Per Regents’ Rules, the Board of Regents may bestow the honorary title of President Emeritus to former UT presidents to recognize exemplary service and significant contributions that have made a lasting and positive impact on their institution.

William C. Powers, Jr.

A beloved teacher, a nationally recognized legal scholar, and an advocate for top public research institutions, Powers was the second-longest-serving president in UT Austin's history.

See news release on UT Austin President Emeritus William C. Powers, Jr.

James T. Willerson, M.D.

Willerson, a renowned cardiovascular clinician scientist and leader in academic medicine, guided UTHealth through one of its most important eras of development, discovery, scientific reputation, and stability.

See news release on UTHealth President Emeritus James T. Willerson, M.D.

Rodney H. Mabry, Ph.D.

During Mabry’s 18-year tenure at UT Tyler, his leadership transformed the university through growth in enrollment, academic programs, and facilities.

See news release on UT Tyler President Emeritus Rodney H. Mabry, Ph.D.

About The University of Texas System

For more than 130 years, The University of Texas System has been committed to improving the lives of Texans and people all over the world through education, research and health care. With 14 institutions, an enrollment of nearly 240,000 students and an operating budget of $21.7 billion (FY 2021), the UT System is one of the largest public university systems in the United States. UT institutions produce more than 64,000 graduates annually and award more than one-third of the state’s undergraduate degrees and more than half of its health professional degrees. Collectively, UT-owned and affiliated hospitals and clinics accounted for more than 9.2 million outpatient visits and 1.8 million hospital days last year. UT institutions also are among the most innovative in the world, collectively ranking No. 3 for most U.S. patents granted in 2019, and the UT System is No. 1 in Texas and No. 2 in the nation in federal research expenditures. The UT System also is one of the largest employers in Texas, with more than 21,000 faculty – including Nobel laureates and members of the National Academies – and more than 85,000 health care professionals, researchers and support staff.

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