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Professor Richard Butler’s many years at Trinity have been characterized by scholarly achievement, teaching excellence, and service contributions to his department, the university, and the greater San Antonio community.
Highlights of his service to Trinity include multiple terms as chair of the University Curriculum Council, chairmanship of the General Education Committee during the 3-year process of formulating and adopting a new common curriculum, his 12 years as chair of the Economics Department, 11 years as President of Trinity's Phi Beta Kappa chapter, and membership in an inestimable number of university standing committees. He provided timely and valuable leadership as the Chair of the Business Department from 2010-2013 and as the founding interim Dean of the School of Business from 2013-2015.
His community service is equally meritorious. Some of his most visible accomplishments have come through his role as Chairman of the Board of Directors and President of the Alamo Area Academies, an innovative program partnering the City of San Antonio, area school districts, colleges and employers to provide training and career opportunities to high school students. He has been a frequent addition to mayoral committees, commissions, and advisory groups. His extensive service record has been recognized externally by the Alamo Workforce as their 2005 Volunteer of the Year, and internally as the winner of the 2005 Trinity University Award for Distinguished University and Community Service.
Butler has also been an educational innovator, as evidenced by his founding of the Economists in the Schools program that sends Trinity students to area public schools to enhance the teaching of economics. Former students laud his challenging and valuable courses. He has won numerous teaching awards throughout his career, including the 2001 Dr. and Mrs. Z.T. Scott Faculty Fellowship recognizing his excellence in teaching and advising. In 2009, he was awarded the Kenneth G. Elzinga Distinguished Teaching Award by the Southern Economic Association.
He is currently serving as the Alumni Engagement Coordinator in the Office of Alumni Relations and Development. Known as 'The Singing Economist,' he is also an accomplished baritone soloist whose voice can be heard in area churches and auditoriums.
Joe C. Davis was a faculty member in the Department of Economics from 1969-2000 and held the titles of Assistant Professor, Associate Professor, and Professor. Until his retirement from Trinity in 2000, he taught primarily in the areas of Labor Economics and Comparative Economic Systems. His research covered a range of fields, but he is best known for his articles on labor economics and bibliometric studies of economic scholarship. Professor Davis was active in the Southwestern Economics Association and served as its President in 1984.
William Breit was the E.M. Stevens Distinguished Professor of Economics at Trinity from 1983-99, and the Vernon F. Taylor Distinguished Professor of Economics from 1999 until his retirement in May 2002. At Trinity, Breit taught History of Economic Thought and Antitrust Economics, and he also established the Nobel Economists Lecture Series.
Prior to coming to Trinity, he was on the faculty at the University of Virginia (1965-83) and at Louisiana State University (1961-65). Breit attended Trinity as a student in 1951, but transferred to the University of Texas, where he received his B.A. (1955) and M.A. (1956). He received his Ph.D. from Michigan State University in 1961. In 1999, MSU presented Breit with its Distinguished Alumni Award.
As a scholarly contributor in economics, Breit helped us understand issues of antitrust economics, market and non-market decision-making, and the history and intellectual development of modern economic thought. At Trinity, he established the Nobel Economists Lecture Series, which has brought 28 Nobel economists to campus. Their talks form the basis for the MIT volume Lives of the Laureates, currently in its sixth edition. Under the pen name Marshall Jevons, Breit and Kenneth Elzinga developed the economist as sleuth in a series of mysteries solved with the knowledge and tools of economics. Breit was also a gifted communicator whose witty talks and lectures were peppered with clever insights into our foibles.
In addition to numerous scholarly articles, Breit co-authored or edited the following books: The Academic Scribblers: American Economists in Collision; Lives of the Laureates; Readings in Microeconomics; The Antitrust Penalties: A Study in Law and Economics; and The Antitrust Casebook: Milestones in Economic Regulation. Marshall Jevons (aka Bill Breit and Ken Elzinga) is the author of Murder at the Margin, A Deadly Indifference, and The Fatal Equilibrium.
Among his many professional honors, he served as president of the Southern Economic Association, was a member of the Board of Directors of the Association for Evolutionary Economics and of various editorial boards, was awarded the Distinguished Service Award of the Southwestern Social Science Association, and was a long-time member of the market-oriented Mont Pelerin Society.