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Previous Honorary Degrees

Lyndon Baines Johnson, 1962
Texas State awarded its first honorary doctorate in 1962, when we conferred upon Lyndon Baines Johnson the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. At the time, Mr. Johnson was vice president of the United States and had already served as a United States representative and a United States senator. He would go on, of course, to serve as president of the United States, the only president to have graduated from a Texas university. Mr. Johnson graduated from Texas State in 1930.

Lady Bird Johnson, 1983
The second recipient of an honorary doctorate from Texas State was Lady Bird Johnson. She received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, in 1983. Mrs. Johnson was honored as a beloved former first lady of the United States, a dedicated friend of Texas State and as a remarkable woman who devoted her time and energy to projects beneficial to Texas and the nation. Her personal warmth and strength brought her special recognition among former first ladies of the United States.

Gilbert M. Grosvenor, 2000
Texas State’s third honorary doctorate was conferred upon Gilbert M. Grosvenor, who received the Doctor of Geographic Education, honoris causa, in 2000. As a former editor of National Geographic magazine and longtime president of the National Geographic Society, Grosvenor’s name is synonymous with geographic education. He also played a pivotal role in helping Texas State secure its Ph.D. program in geographic education, the first such degree at this university. He has also allowed his name to be highlighted in the university’s Gilbert M. Grosvenor Center for Geographic Education and Grosvenor Distinguished Lecture Series in Geographic Education.

Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte, 2005
Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte were the fourth and fifth recipients of honorary degrees in 2005, both receiving the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa. Both are recipients of the Texas State University Distinguished Alumnus Award. They founded the Roy F. and Joann Cole Mitte Foundation and have been recognized internationally for their philanthropy.

George Strait, 2006
Country music superstar George Strait, Class of 1979, received the Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, at a private ceremony in 2006. Our most prominent living graduate, Mr. Strait by 2006 had had at least one single in the Top 10 every year since his first, “Unwound,” in 1981. He had sold more than 62 million albums, including 13 multi-platinum, 30 platinum and 33 gold albums. He held the Country Music Association record for most nominations with a total of 73 and was CMA Vocalist of the Year five times, the only artist in history to be so honored in two different decades. And the honors keep coming.

Emmett and Miriam McCoy, 2008
Emmett and Miriam McCoy received the seventh and eighth honorary doctorates conferred by the university in 2008, both receiving the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. Mr. and Mrs. McCoy are donors of a transformational $20 million gift to the university, the largest donation in our history. In recognition of their generosity, the College of Business Administration and the 125,000-square-foot building that is its home were named for them. The McCoy Endowment provides three endowed chairs, five professorships, faculty and student development support, undergraduate scholarships, graduate fellowships and program enhancement.

Bruce and Gloria Ingram, 2009
Bruce and Gloria Ingram received the ninth and tenth honorary doctorates conferred by Texas State, both receiving the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa, in 2009. Since 2006, the Ingrams have donated $9 million to Texas State in support of engineering programs. Those gifts have provided an endowed chair, two endowed professorships, faculty development support and merit-based and need-based endowed scholarships. Mr. Ingram is the founder of Ingram Readymix, a manufacturer of concrete with 26 plants in 22 Texas cities. Texas State’s Bruce and Gloria Ingram School of Engineering is named in their honor.

Jerry D. and Linda Gregg Fields, 2012
Jerry D. and Linda Gregg Fields were awarded the eleventh and twelfth honorary doctorates conferred by Texas State University in 2012, both receiving the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. Mr. Fields is a 1969 graduate of the university and is the founder, chairman and chief executive officer of J.D. Fields and Company, Inc., a worldwide supplier of steel products headquartered in Houston. Linda Gregg Fields is a 1966 graduate of the university. Linda and Jerry Fields are among Texas State’s most generous benefactors, having donated more than $11.5 million to the university. At a critical stage for Texas State, Mr. and Mrs. Fields served as co-chairs of the Pride In Action Campaign, providing valuable leadership in campaign planning and strategy development.

Patti Strickel Harrison, 2013
On May 11, 2013, Patti Strickel Harrison was awarded the thirteenth honorary doctorate conferred by Texas State University, receiving the Doctor of Laws, honoris causa. Mrs. Harrison is among Texas State’s most generous benefactors, having given more than $11 million to Texas State. Mrs. Harrison’s $8 million gift in support of the Performing Arts Center provided critical support that helped Texas State construct the beautiful facility that will include the Patti Strickel Harrison Theatre and will showcase outstanding artistic events for the university and the surrounding community for generations to come. Mrs. Harrison attended Texas State in 1947 and 1948.

William D. and Sally B. Wittliff, 2014
On May 10, 2014, William D. Wittliff and Sally B. Wittliff weree awarded the fourteenth and fifteenth honorary doctorates conferred by Texas State University, receiving the Doctor of Letters, honoris causa. In 1986, Sally and Bill co-founded the Wittliff Collections at Texas State University. In the years since its founding, the Wittliff Collections has become an internationally recognized repository for photography, literary papers and other rare, unique and important artifacts. The Wittliffs are also responsible for two important and inspiring statues on the Texas State campus: one honoring the writer John Graves at the Wittliff Collections, and the Vaquero statue on Old Main Plaza, which pays homage to the important enduring Hispanic culture in Texas.