Peter O’Donnell, president of the O’Donnell Foundation and namesake for the O’Donnell Building for Applied Computational Engineering and Sciences, received a Presidential Citation from The University of Texas at Austin.
University President Bill Powers presented the Presidential Citations along with other major university awards in a ceremony March 6.
The university created the citations in 1979 to recognize the extraordinary contributions of individuals who personify the university's commitment to transforming lives. They salute those whose service exemplifies the values shared by the university community. The university does not award honorary degrees.
The O’Donnell Foundation, started by Peter O’Donnell and his wife Edith, is the fifth largest independent foundation in Dallas. It primarily supports engineering, science and math education at the graduate level along with arts programs in higher education. Peter O’Donnell served in the Navy and was appointed to President Ronald Reagan’s President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
Three others received 2013 Presidential Citations as well: Pamela Willeford, a former U.S. ambassador to Switzerland and Liechtenstein; Judith Zaffirini, the second longest-serving senator (and highest-ranking female and Hispanic senator) in the Texas Senate; Joe Jamail, a well-known Texas attorney and long-standing university patron.