This was originally published on Dec. 4 on The Horn.
Around this time of year, the editorial board of The Dallas Morning News (DMN) invites Texas to nominate influential Texans for their annual naming of “Texan of the Year.” On Dec. 2, UT President William J. Powers, who was nominated in 2012, nominated J. Tinsley Oden, Associate Vice President for Research at The University of Texas at Austin, for this year’s nominee list.
The DMN editorial board posted the letter of nomination from Powers, which describes Oden as “a high-impact Texan as one who pushes the frontiers of knowledge and educates our state’s young people.”
“It is usually safe to assume Tinsley is the smartest person in the room by a comfortable margin. And at 76, he is still the most active person in the room as well, often spotted pumping iron in one of UT’s gyms,” Powers wrote.
Oden, according to Powers’ letter, came to UT after working in Oklahoma and Alabama in 1973. Powers also praised Oden’s many responsibilities at UT, saying that “no single business card could contain his many titles.”
In his letter, Powers also recognized Oden’s impact outside the state. In addition, Powers wrote that Oden had written more than 5 hundred books, and highlighted his 1972 work, “Finite Elements of Nonlinear Continua,” which according to Powers, has been translated into Russian, Chinese and Japanese.
“Despite all of his successes and accomplishments, Oden still has a passion and gets a thrill from teaching students” Powers wrote.
According to the editorial board, a nominee must fit the description of having “either positive or negative” influence on Texas during 2013. The editorial board invited Texans to continue their nominations, and reported that it will be announcing the winner Dec. 29.
Many familiar names, including Texas State Senator Wendy Davis D-Fort Worth and U.S. Congressman Ted Cruz R-Texas, have already made the nominee list. Among other familiar names are Texas’ first lady Anita Perry and the late-President John F. Kennedy.
A list of the majority of 2013′s nominees can be found in this DMN story about how the late-President Kennedy, made it on their list on Nov. 29.