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awards and recognition

Edward S. Guleke Student Excellence Award

2014 recipient Emily Hunter Smith and 2013-2014 President Charles Matthews

About the Edward S. Guleke Student Excellence Award

The Edward S. Guleke Student Excellence Award, established by the Friar Society in partnership with the Texas Exes in 1977, honors the memory of Edward S. Guleke, a dedicated University of Texas student and leader. Each year, the award recognizes an individual at the junior level of undergraduate studies or above who has distinguished academic credentials, has made significant contribution to the University through campus-wide activities, and evidences the personal attributes of character and integrity that have earned the respect and admiration of his or her peers.

Edward Seewald Guleke, a native of Amarillo, was one of the most outstanding young men ever to attend The University of Texas.  As a student, he was a member of the Government, Economics, and German honor societies.  He also participated in intramural and intercollegiate athletics, and served as an Orientation Advisor and SCOOP member from 1970 to 1972.  In addition to being active in the Texas Union and Student Government, Edward was pledge class president and a national representative for the Texas chapter of Delta Tau Delta Fraternity.

Many organizations recognized Edward’s unique contribution to The University.  He was selected for membership in the Friar Society in 1971.  In subsequent years, he received the Dad’s Day Association and the Cactus Outstanding Student Awards, as well as the Texas Cowboys’ Arno Nowotny Award.  Edward’s superlative performance in academics, athletics, and leadership led to national recognition in both 1973 and 1974 when he was a finalist for the Rhodes Scholarship.  After graduating Phi Beta Kappa from the University in 1973, Edward received an M.A. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy in 1974.  Until his death at age 24, he was an international economist with the U.S. Treasury Department.

However, tales of collegiate glory and awards don’t tell the whole story.  Edward was also a mountain climber of considerable accomplishment.  He had climbed mountains in Europe and South America, as well as the United States, and seemed to take an almost spiritual approach to the challenge of nature.  His intellect grasped with relative ease the "what" of things, and went on to engage the more difficult issue of "why" with the same enthusiasm that marked his every endeavor.  Perhaps more than any other attribute, Edward’s enthusiasm for life marked him as a special person.

When Edward died on an expedition to climb Mt. McKinley in July 1976, a number of his friends felt that the most fitting memorial would be an annual scholarship award recognizing the student whose enjoyment of life and pursuit of excellence mark him/her as an extraordinary person also.  The Friar Society, Delta Tau Delta Fraternity, the Orientation office, and the Texas Exes requested contributions from their members and alumni.  The response was enthusiastic and in less than four months enough money had been contributed to endow the scholarship.

The purpose of the award is to recognize the student whose excellence in academic, extracurricular, and personal achievement is in keeping with the memory of Edward S. Guleke. 



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