Richard A. “Porky” Haberman Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Teacher Education

Jul 3, 2014 | Graduate Fellowships

A proud graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, Richard “Porky” Haberman earned a bachelor’s degree in English and did graduate work in the McCombs School of Business, but his true calling may have been as a teacher. Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Encouraged by his father to pursue a career in business, Porky went on to work as a salesman, contractor, developer, bank owner, investor, and real estate broker. He even cofounded the popular PoK-e-Jo’s Smokehouse, but he never found himself in front of a blackboard. Nevertheless, he held the utmost respect for teachers, and he maintained this appreciation throughout his life.

In 1987, Porky chaired the steering committee that came up with a way to show support for the many wonderful teachers working throughout the state of Texas, pairing with UT Austin’s College of Education and its Ex-Students’ Association to create the Texas Exes Awards for Outstanding Teachers. Each year, 10 high school teachers and two elementary school teachers would receive recognition for their hard work and achievements, resulting in more than 3,000 nominations and 299 awards throughout Porky’s 27 years of involvement. It became a well-loved institution, and each year teachers would look forward to attending the awards and conference. His commitment to teachers and students did not end after the awards ceremonies. Porky wrote letters to award winners and visited their classrooms, where he also met their students and encouraged them to apply for college scholarship opportunities. Porky was a part of it all.

Richard A. “Porky” Haberman
In 1985, Porky and his wife, Pat, helped endow a chair for her father, Herbert E. Hartfelder, in recognition of his business leadership. Gifts to this chair were eligible for matching funds for the College of Education. Porky set this up because he felt that education endowments were less likely to bring in funding than business-related ones.

Porky changed the destiny of many high school teachers and their students across the state. He was a man who knew how to make a difference in people’s lives.

Now, Porky is the honoree of his own endowment, the Richard A. “Porky” Haberman Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Teacher Education. Pat created this tribute to honor her husband of 53 years; the two were happily married until his death in November 2013. Pat attended UT from 1958 to 1960, pursuing a major in music and English, and although she did not complete her degree, she did find true happiness upon meeting her husband. After watching him cherish and support local teachers for so many years, she could think of no better way to honor her husband than by establishing this endowment.

The Richard A. “Porky” Haberman Endowed Graduate Fellowship in Teacher Education is used to benefit graduate students pursuing advanced degrees in secondary education-related fields in the College of Education, with a preference for past recipients of the Texas Exes Award for Outstanding Teachers.

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