GALVESTON, Texas – The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston recently recognized five alumni for their accomplishments by presenting them with the Ashbel Smith Distinguished Alumnus Award.

Established in 1965, the ASDA Award is the highest honor bestowed by the School of Medicine Alumni Association.

The award honors the memory of Dr. Ashbel Smith, a prominent figure in Texas politics, medicine and education. Smith was instrumental in establishing The University of Texas at Austin in 1881 and, in 1891, a medical department in Galveston that would later become UTMB.

The newly inducted awardees are:

Dr. Bruce Bauknight
Class of 1968

A second generation UTMB graduate, Bauknight practiced general internal medicine, medical oncology, geriatrics and hospice and palliative care in Victoria for 36 years. During his career, he served as chief of staff at two medical centers and was president of the Victoria Goliad Jackson Counties Medical Society and The Intercounty Clinical Society. He remains connected with UTMB through is role on the Development Board and the School of Medicine Alumni Association Board of Trustees. Bauknight and his wife, Vicki, also were instrumental in establishing the Bauknight Family Professorship in the department of internal medicine.

Dr. Carlos J. Cardenas
Class of 1985

Raised in McAllen, Cardenas received his undergraduate degree from Austin College in Sherman. After graduation from UTMB, he completed his post-graduate training at Scott and White Memorial Hospital in Temple and then returned to the Rio Grande Valley in 1992 where he co-founded South Texas Gastroenterology Associates. In January 2017, Cardenas became the 152nd president of the Texas Medical Association. During his career, he has been praised for his dedication and service to the community receiving awards from the McAllen Chamber of Commerce, The University of Texas Rio Grande Valley, the City of McAllen, Boy Scouts of America and the Easter Seals.

Dr. Jack H. Henry
Class of 1964

After graduation from UTMB, Henry completed a general surgery residency in Pennsylvania and an orthopaedic residency in New York before serving in the U.S. Air Force during the Vietnam War. During his time in the military, Henry studied sports medicine. He returned to Texas in 1972 and started his own orthopaedic practice in San Antonio where he also served as the team physician for the San Antonio Spurs for two decades. Considered the “Father of Sports Medicine” in San Antonio, Henry was inducted into the Alamo Area Athletic Trainers Association hall of fame.   

Dr. Susan D. John
Class of 1984

John, an internationally known pediatric oncologist, completed a residency and fellowship at UTMB and then joined the faculty as an assistant professor where she worked until 1998. Later she served as chief of pediatric radiology at the University of Texas Medical School at Houston. In 2003, John was honored with fellowship in the American College of Radiology. Today she serves as professor and chair of the Department of Diagnostic and Interventional Imaging at the University of Texas McGovern Medical School at Houston and chief of staff at Memorial Hermann Hospital-TMC, Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and Lyndon B. Johnson General Hospital in Houston.

Dr. J. Gregory Stovall
Class of 1978

Stovall graduated Cum Laude from the University of Texas at Austin and UTMB. He went on to practice internal medicine in Tyler and was co-founder of the Trinity Mother Francis Health System, where he served as senior vice president for 20 years. Stovall is credited with creating and leading multiple strategies to enhance physician and mid-level provider retention that resulted in Trinity Clinic having the highest retention rates among large health systems. Stovall is a certified diplomat with the American Board of Internal Medicine.