UT Tower glowing orange against a dark blue sky with fountains seen in the foreground

The University of Texas at Austin at Tower will be burnt orange on April 22 in honor of the recipients of the Presidential Citation Awards.

The award is given to individuals who personify UT Austin’s commitment to transforming lives. This year’s recipients include leaders from business, law, public service and philanthropy. They are:

  • Ernest H. Cockrell, former chairman and CEO of Cockrell Oil Corporation and president of The Cockrell Foundation
  • Wallace B. Jefferson, former Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Texas and noted civic leader
  • Janiece Longoria, a prominent Houston Lawyer and former vice chairman of the University of Texas System Board of Regents
  • Kirk Watson, state senator and former Austin mayor

“Each of these honorees has given UT superb leadership, exceptional service, and generous support,” President Gregory L. Fenves said of the recipients. “I am personally grateful for their friendship and their counsel. I look forward to celebrating their life-changing contributions to the university.”

Fenves will present the Presidential Citations with other major university awards during a ceremony on the same day as the Tower lighting.

Orange lights first covered the Tower in 1937, the same year it opened. Since then, the university has used different lighting configurations on the Tower to honor world-changing accomplishments by members of the Longhorn community, to mark notable events and to recognize solemn occasions.

Learn more about the Presidential Citation Awards and this year’s recipients.