Outstanding Alumni Awards: Stacey Abrams (MPAff '98) and Rudy Metayer (EMPL '16) talk public service, citizenship, LBJ legacy | LBJ School of Public Affairs | The University of Texas at Austin

The LBJ School honored two of its extraordinary graduates on Friday, Sept. 20, presenting Stacey Abrams (MPAff '98) with the Distinguished Public Service Award and Rudy Metayer (EMPL '16) with the Rising Leader Award in a reception that kicked off Alumni Weekend.

An invitation-only crowd of alumni and their families and friends, along with current students, gathered to hear Metayer and Abrams talk inspiringly and at length about how their experience at the LBJ School helped shape their careers, their world views and the way they think not only about public service but about citizenship. (Full transcript)

LBJ students chat during the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Awards reception on Sept. 20, 2019
Two LBJ School students talk with Letisha Metayer, wife of Rising Star Award winner Rudy
Metayer (EMPL '16). (Photo by Callie Richmond)

 

LBJ alum Nina Giudice (MPAff-DC '18) talks with Professor Ruth Wasem and Austin City Council member Alison Alter at the Outstanding Alumni Awards reception on Sept. 20, 2019
LBJ alum Nina Giudice (MPAff-DC '18) talks with Professor Ruth Wasem and Austin City Council
member Alison Alter at the Outstanding Alumni Awards reception on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo by
Callie Richmond)

 

LBJ alums applaud the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award winners at the reception on Sept. 20, 2019
LBJ alums, faculty and guests applaud the 2019 Outstanding Alumni Award winners at the
reception on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo by Callie Richmond)

 

LBJ Alumni Board President Lauren Oertel (MGPS '12), who assumed her post during the board's meeting on Friday, welcomed the group and introduced Dean Angela Evans, who presented the awards to both Abrams and Metayer.

The Outstanding Alumni Award winners were nominated and selected by their peers, joining an exclusive group of LBJ alumni who share a desire to shape policy and the drive to become leaders in their field.


"Policy on Purpose" podcast: Special episode recorded live — 2019 Outstanding Alumni Awards
Posted Sept. 24, 2019
The LBJ School honored two of its extraordinary graduates on Friday, Sept. 20, presenting former Democratic nominee for Georgia governor Stacey Abrams (MPAff '98) with the Distinguished Public Service Award and Pflugerville city council member Rudy Metayer (EMPL '16) with the Rising Leader Award in a reception that kicked off Alumni Weekend. Full transcript coming soon.


Abrams was the first black woman in U.S. history to become the gubernatorial nominee for a major party and won more votes than any other Democrat in Georgia's history. She served 11 years in the Georgia House of Representatives, including seven as minority leader, and in January 2019 became the first black woman to deliver the Democratic response to the State of the Union address. Following her gubernatorial campaign, Abrams focused her efforts on preventing voter suppression by founding Fair Fight. She has founded multiple organizations devoted to voting rights, training and hiring young people of color, and tackling social issues at both the state and national levels, including Fair Count, a nonprofit whose aim is to ensure that the 2020 Census is fair and accurate.

Luci Baines Johnson, former LBJ School Dean Max Sherman, Stacey Abrams (MPAff '98) and LBJ Dean Angela Evans at the Outstanding Alumni Awards reception on Sept. 20, 2019
Luci Baines Johnson, former LBJ School Dean Max Sherman, Stacey Abrams (MPAff '98) and LBJ Dean Angela Evans
at the Outstanding Alumni Awards reception on Sept. 20, 2019. (Photo by Callie Richmond)

 

Pflugerville city council member Metayer, the son of Haitian immigrants, is of the first generation in his family to complete higher education, earning a B.A. at The University of Texas College of Liberal Arts, an Executive Master in Public Leadership at the LBJ School, and a law degree from The University of Texas School of Law. As a community advocate, he has spoken and worked on issues ranging from teaching at-risk children, co-authoring an honor code for The University of Texas, helping forge a community policing partnership with local law enforcement and the State Bar of Texas, and creating pro bono legal advice clinics for U.S. military veterans. Metayer was recently named Outstanding Young Lawyer of the Year by the Austin Bar Association and a Fellow to the Texas Bar Foundation.

Rudy Metayer (EMPL '16) (center) and two of his supporters at the Outstanding Alumni Awards reception on Sept. 20, 2019
Hugh Metayer joins his son, LBJ Rising Star Award winner Rudy Metayer (EMPL '16), and Brian Cichon at the Outstanding Alumni reception. (Photo by Callie Richmond)