Light the Tower: Presidential Citation Awards
The UT Tower will shine with burnt orange lights Friday, February 2nd in honor of this year’s recipients of the Presidential Citation Awards.
Four University of Texas at Austin alumni have been recognized by President Jay Hartzell for their dedication and support of the University. Jim Breyer, Charles D. Fraser Jr., M.D., Cloteal Davis Haynes and Dade Phelan have received the University’s Presidential Citation Award.
The Presidential Citation program was established to recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals who personify the University’s commitment to the task of transforming lives. The University does not award honorary degrees, and these citations are designed to salute persons whose service exemplifies the values shared by the University community.
The Presidential Citation honors those who have brought great distinction to the University and helped the institution to achieve its mission. The first Presidential Citations were bestowed on Honors Day in 1979.
This year’s honorees are:
Jim Breyer is the founder and CEO of Breyer Capital, a family office/venture capital firm based in Austin and Menlo Park, California. At The University of Texas at Austin, he is a member of the President’s Austin Innovation Board and the President’s Commercialization Advisory Board. Breyer received a Bachelor of Science degree from Stanford University and an MBA from Harvard University, where he graduated as a Baker scholar, in the top 5%. With him as a lead investor and director, many of Breyer Capital’s investments have returned more than 100 times their cost.
During the past several years, Breyer has developed a deep personal and investment interest in teams working in artificial intelligence and quantum technologies, and he has made more than 18 investments in this area since 2015. Since 2016, Breyer has served on the board of directors of Blackstone. He previously served as an investor and director at Dell, Etsy, Facebook, Legendary Entertainment, Marvel Entertainment, Spotify, 21st Century Fox and Walmart. He has also served as a fellow of the Harvard Corporation, Harvard’s senior governing board, as well as on several Harvard and Stanford advisory boards, including for Stanford’s HAI institute as a founding member.
Charles D. Fraser Jr.
Charles D. Fraser Jr., M.D., is one of the world’s leading pediatric heart surgeons, as he and his teams have performed more than 18,000 corrective operations in children and adults with congenital heart disease. He is the J.L. Hern Endowed Chair of Pediatric and Congenital Heart Surgery at Dell Children’s Medical Center in Austin. He also serves as the director of the Texas Center for Pediatric and Congenital Heart Disease and is a professor of surgery, perioperative care and pediatrics at UT’s Dell Medical School. Already a Distinguished Alumnus of UT, having received his bachelor’s degree in mathematics in 1980, Fraser was recruited to the University to develop an integrated center focused on pediatric and congenital cardiac care.
Fraser’s clinical career has included the development of leading pediatric heart and lung transplant and mechanical circulatory support programs. His research interests have included congenital heart surgery outcomes, cardiopulmonary transplantation, mechanical circulatory support, neurologic protection and bioengineering. He has contributed to more than 400 peer-reviewed professional publications and three textbooks. Before joining the UT faculty, Fraser was a professor of surgery and pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. From 1995 to 2018, he served as chief of the Division of Congenital Heart Surgery, and from 2010 to 2018, he served as surgeon-in-chief at Texas Children’s Hospital in Houston.
Cloteal Davis Haynes
Cloteal Davis Haynes is principal and CEO of Haynes-Eaglin-Waters LLC, a general construction, construction management and consulting firm established in Austin in 1988. The company also provides consulting services aimed at maximizing the participation of minority- and women- owned businesses in construction and construction-related projects. She earned a Bachelor of Music Education from UT in 1972 and a Master of Public Affairs from UT in 1977. Haynes is president of The Precursors Inc., an organization whose members are African American alumni who entered UT at least 40 years ago. The organization was formed in 2010 when a group of pioneering UT alumni came together with the goal of sharing their history and experiences and pooling their influence to recognize the achievement of the University’s African American alumni and to help current and prospective African American students succeed.
Haynes also serves on the UT Intercollegiate Athletics Council. In addition, Haynes serves on the board of directors of LifeWorks, a nonprofit organization that provides support services to Austin youths experiencing homelessness, and on the executive committee of the Austin Black Contractors Association. Before launching her company, Haynes was division manager for the City of Austin Housing and Community Services Department, program analyst for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, special assistant to HUD Assistant Secretary Donna Shalala, policy analyst for the White House Conference on National Growth and Economic Development and policy analyst for the White House Task Force on Women.
In 2021, Dade Phelan was elected the 76th speaker of the Texas House of Representatives and is currently serving his fourth term as state representative for House District 21, which covers Orange County, part of Jefferson County and Jasper County. He is a 1998 UT graduate with degrees in government and business. As House speaker, Phelan has worked to restore economic stability after COVID-19 and the February 2021 winter storm, in addition to passing legislation that fully funded public education, expanded rural broadband and telehealth, invested in workforce development programs, and helped to create the Texas University Fund to keep university research competitive and secure tuition reductions.
Phelan also has served as president of the Lower Neches Valley Authority and on boards including the Texas Lyceum, Southeast Texas CASA, Golden Triangle Coastal Conservation Association, the Jefferson Theater, St. Anne Catholic Church and Catholic Charities of Southeast Texas. He was named one of the best legislators of the 86th legislative session by Texas Monthly in 2019, Legislative Champion by the Boys and Girls Club of Texas, Most Valuable Legislator by the Texas Association of Community Schools, Fighter for Free Enterprise by the Texas Association of Business, and the 2019 Mental Health Champion by Mental Health America. Phelan is also a real estate developer in his family’s fourth-generation commercial real estate development firm, which owns and manages retail, industrial and office property in Texas and Arkansas.