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College of Liberal Arts honors 5 outstanding alumni

By Ann Friou
University News Service
April 20, 2010

The College of Liberal Arts at Texas State University-San Marcos has honored five alumni with the Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award.

The award, which has been given annually since 2008, recognizes the accomplishments of alumni in their professions and communities. Honorees included:

  • Michelle T. Brown of New York, NY. Through the organization Refugees International, Brown has conducted some 30 missions to countries in Africa, Asia, and Latin America to identify human rights violations and assess what refugees need in order to live. Her firsthand accounts of conditions facing refugees are used by the U.S. government, the U.N. Security Council and policy makers around the world in meeting humanitarian needs and protecting war-affected people.
  • Patrick Cox of Austin. Cox, a noted scholar of Texas and American political and media history, serves as associate director of the Dolph Briscoe Center for American History at the University of Texas at Austin. He is the award-winning author of books on former Texas Senator Ralph Yarbrough, Texas’ news barons, influential Texans in Washington, D.C., and the evolution of the Texas House Speaker’s role into one of the most powerful offices in the state. As a member of the board of the Pedernales Electric Coop, the nation’s largest electric coop, Cox has spearheaded reforms to ensure open meetings, open records and fair elections, and he is helping to direct the coop’s development of clean and efficient energy sources. He is a founder and former editor of the Wimberley View.
  • William Cliff Davis III of Cuero. As president and CEO of Davis Medical Resources, Davis distributes orthopedic products and a wide range of equipment that surgeons use to conduct open-heart surgeries. The Japanese company Terumo, which manufactures much of the equipment Davis distributes, named Davis national sales representative of the year, three years in a row. On his Cuero ranch, Davis raises cattle and grows fruit and vegetables organically. He has helped to launch the Chisholm Trail Heritage Museum in Cuero and to buy medical equipment for the local hospital.
  • Terri LeClercq of Austin. One of the first professors to be invited to teach legal writing in the University of Texas School of Law, LeClercq is a recognized authority on legal writing who helped to establish legal writing as an essential field of study for law students. She is frequently called as an expert witness to interpret meaning when court cases rest on points of grammar. LeClercq, who retired from the UT School of Law in 2009, continues to lecture and teach around the country. Through the Texas Civil Rights Project, she works on behalf of prisoners in the Texas prison system. On 30 Saturdays each year, she builds houses for Habitat for Humanity.
  • William Steuer of Johannesburg, South Africa. Steuer, whose career with the U.S. Department of State has taken him around the world, currently manages the U.S. Consulate General in Johannesburg, one of the largest U.S. consulates in the world. During his career, he has built secure locations for diplomatic negotiations, coordinated the activities of U.S. presidents and foreign dignitaries, and handled the emergency relocation of American refugees from war zones. In the communities where he’s worked, he has initiated charitable programs to relieve poverty, to counsel and treat victims of violent crime and HIV, and to keep children in school.

More biographical information about the honorees is available by visiting