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 a 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. 

2021 Recipient

Suseth Muñoz

College of Liberal Arts; College of Education

“As a New Orientation Advisor (NOA) for our office, Suseth hit the ground running. During her first summer with our New Student Orientation Program, she assisted with 8,000 new freshmen and transfers. As an NOA, she was responsible for peer academic advising, group management and facilitation, coordination of events, and leading large campus tours. With an orientation student staff close to 100, it can sometimes be easy to just do the bare minimum but Suseth chose to not only do what was expected of her as an NOA, but she took part in enriching the program by problem-solving and offering suggestions when needed. In addition to program support, Suseth was also instrumental with the student staff because she would often challenge the other NOAs by sharing her own thoughts and feelings, which can be the best way to educate others on issues related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.

In order to become an OA, students must take an OA Leadership Class designed to teach them the skills needed to academically advise new students, facilitate meetings with new students in residence life halls, lead large groups through activities and work on certain aspects of the program such as live shows and event program planning. The class meets twice a week and students were expected to attend two-weekend retreats and additional meetings outside of class. Many students took this class in addition to their regular academic course load. The fact that Suseth was able to stay on track academically, while also training to be an OA, and be involved on campus, is a testament to her commitment and drive for personal success. It’s also important to note that the learning didn’t stop after class, the OAs would continue to have tough conversations all summer. Suseth was often the voice of reason and was able to provide insight for OAs when needed.

Suseth is committed to social justice and is a poised and articulate individual who likes to think outside the box and challenges others to do so as well. Among her Orientation Advisor (OA) peers, Suseth stood out because she was a well-spoken reflective individual with a desire to expand her own mind. Her uncompromising passion for inclusivity and diversity awareness is apparent which is why it is no surprise that she is involved with and serves in the following roles on campus: First-Gen Longhorns; Diversity Coordinator, Senate of College Councils; Equity and Inclusion Policy Director, Student Government; Community Advocate, Jolt Action Committee; and Resident Assistant, Jester West.

Suseth is someone who doesn’t have to say much for her peers to respect her. She is a hard worker and a natural-born leader because she leads when others do not, and she follows in order to let others lead. Just last semester, Suseth was one of the students leading the charge to write the “list of demands” to UT that called for diversity and inclusion of students of color – especially our Black and Indigenous students. She was featured in the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement Access Magazine and website.”

—Dr. Desiree Alva, Director, Transition Initiatives, New Student Services of Student Affairs

Past Recipients


Brandon Chukwunyelu Okeke
BSA ’20



Kelsey Mumford
BSA, BSN ’19, Life Member



Jonathan Kyle Monk
BS ’19, Life Member



Marilu Sanchez
BS ’17



Joseph Lingren
BS ’17



Jacob Spangler
BA ’14, BBA ’15, Life Member



Emily Hunter Smith
BA ’15



Katherine Layton
BS ’14, Life Member



Andrew Nash
BA ’12, Life Member



Darcy Kues
BA ’11



Natasha Immaraj
BA, BBA ’10, Life Member



Joseph Grasso
BS ’09, MA ’12, PhD ’14



Danielle Bartz
BA ’08, MPAFF ’15



Michelle Robinson
BA ’07



Tepera R. Holman
BA ’07, MED ’09, Life Member



Julie Wimmer
BA ’05



Slyman M. Majid
BA ’04, Life Member



Ty Wesley Cobb
BBA, BA ’03, JD ’06, Life Member



Keith Rainwater
BA ’02



Andrew Friedberg
BA, BBA ’02, Life Member



Aurora Lora
BA ’00, Life Member



Marianna Vishnevetsky
BA ’99



Paul Navratil
BS, BA ’99, MS ’06, PhD ’10, Life Member



Kimberly Jones
BA ’97



Marcus Escobedo
BA, BA ’97



Brian Siegal
BA ’95, JD ’98, Life Member



Lisa Epifani
BA ’94, Life Member



Howard Nirken
BA ’93, MPAFF, JD ’97, Life Member



Lara Johnson
BA ’82, Life Member



Jennie Germann
BA ’92, Life Member



Chris Bell
BA ’90, JD ’96



Monica Neumann
BA ’90, Life Member



Michael Cohen
BA ’88, Life Member



Paul Tobias
BA ’87, JD ’90, Life Member



Trent Thomas
BBA ’86, JD ’90, Life Member



Ann Gill
BA ’85, JD ’88, MPAFF ’88, Life Member



Denise Abend
BA ’84, Life Member



Julie Tindall
BA ’81, MBA ’83, Life Member



Phil Nenon
BA ’82, Life Member



Eric English
BA ’80, JD ’85, Life Member



Rob Walters
BA ’80, JD ’83, Life Member



Starr Braun



Terree Bowers
BA ’76, JD ’79, Life Member



William Parrish
BA ’75, JD ’78, Life Member