Wales H. Madden, Jr.

U. T. System News Release, August 8, 2002

Wales Madden to Receive Santa Rita Award

EL PASO - Wales H. Madden Jr., a statewide civic leader and a former member of the Board of Regents of the University of Texas System, will receive the U.T. System's highest honor, the Santa Rita Award, the board announced Thursday (Aug. 8).

Madden, an Amarillo lawyer who currently serves as chairman of the Texas Water Development Board, will be presented with the award at a dinner to be scheduled this fall. He will be only the 17th person to receive the award, which recognizes extraordinary contributions to the U.T. System and Texas higher education generally. "The Santa Rita Award is carefully reserved for those whose personal commitments, leadership, and example undeniably enhance the mandate of the Constitution of the State of Texas 'to establish, organize and provide a University of the first class,'" said Charles Miller, chairman of the Board of Regents. "Certainly Wales Madden more than meets these criteria. He has served the U.T. System in numerous capacities with the greatest distinction for more than 50 years. Texas higher education has no more loyal friend and no more visionary supporter."

Madden, 75, served on the Board of Regents from 1959 to 1965. He has the distinction of being the youngest person ever appointed to the board, having been 32 when appointed by Gov. Price Daniel.

Madden also was a member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board from 1969 to 1973, and he has participated in several statewide education planning groups, including the Governor's Committee on Public School Education (1966-69) and the State's Select Committee on Higher Education (1985-87).

He also chaired the Centennial Commission at U.T. Austin and has served as chairman of the U.T. System Chancellor's Council, chairman of the U.T. Austin Development Board, president of the Ex-Students' Association at U.T. Austin, and a member of the Board of Visitors of U.T.M.D. Anderson Cancer Center.

In addition to service related to the U.T. System, Madden has been a regent of Amarillo College, a trustee of Trinity University in San Antonio, and a member of a planning committee at West Texas A&M University in Canyon.

Madden earned two degrees from U.T. Austin - a bachelor's degree in 1950 and a law degree in 1952. He was the student body president in 1951. The Ex-Students' Association named him a Distinguished Alumnus in 1979.

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The Santa Rita Award is named for Santa Rita No. 1, the first producing oil well on University Lands in West Texas. Income from the well, which produced oil from 1923 to 1990, began the historic growth of the Permanent University Fund. The original drilling rig is on display on the campus of U.T. Austin. Previous recipients of the award are Peter T. Flawn, Bob Bullock, Jack S. Blanton, Jess Hay, Larry Temple, Peter O'Donnell Jr., William P. Hobby, John Erik Jonsson, Mary Moody Northen, John H. Freeman, John W. McCullough, Cecil H. Green, Harry H. Ransom, Hines H. Baker, Eugene McDermott, and Miss Ima Hogg.