Cockrell School of Engineering
The University of Texas at Austin


Louis Beecherl

Louis A. Beecherl, Jr., former chair of The University of Texas at Austin Cockrell School of Engineering Advisory Board (1985) and former member and two-time chairman of The University of Texas System Board of Regents, was born in Dallas on February 10, 1926. He entered Tulane University under the new V-12 Navy engineering program in 1943. After graduating Tulane in two years with a degree in mathematics he served a short time with the Navy before being discharged in July 1946. Shorty thereafter, he enrolled in the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a BSPE in 1948.

Beecherl started his professional career as a district engineer for Republic Natural Gas in Corpus Christi. He left Republic in 1954 and moved to Dallas to begin working for a company that eventually became Texas Oil & Gas. Three years later he became the president and soon after served as chairman and chief executive officer of Texas Oil & Gas Corporation from 1957 to 1977. He remained on the board as Honorary Chairman until TXO was eventually sold to US Steel in 1986.

With his retirement from TXO, Beecherl directed his energy for the next 35 years serving the State and local institutions. Beecherl served as chairman of the Texas Water Development Board of the Department of Water Resources from 1980 to 1986. He was also a member of the Energy Resources Committee of the Interstate Oil Compact Commission. Appointed to a six-year term on the UT System Board of Regents by Gov. William P. Clements in 1987, Beecherl was elected chairman of the board in March 1989 and re-elected chairman in 1991. As a member of the board, he dedicated his time and talent to formalizing the Capital Improvement Program, enhancing the Management Information System to facilitate decision-making, encouraging efficiency and economy in the system's operations and advocating the funding which higher education needed to meet the technological developments of the future.

Beecherl was instrumental in helping develop the Chemical and Petroleum Engineering Building (CPE) at the University. He established several endowments at the Cockrell School and was the first individual to offer funding support for the world-class Biomedical Engineering Building that opened in 2008. He believed in higher education. He not only gave generously of his time and funding resources to the University and UT System, he also supported UT Dallas and UT Southwestern in multiple ways.

Beecherl received the UT Austin Cockrell School of Engineering’s Distinguished Graduate Award in 1987, the UT Austin Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993, the UT Austin College of Natural Sciences Hall of Honor Award in 2000, and was inducted into the Texas Business Hall of Fame in 2002. Louis A. Beecherl, Jr. passed away on July 5, 2011 at the age of 85

The University of Texas greatly benefitted from Beecherl’s leadership, wisdom, and generosity. Of all of Louis' many accomplishments, he took the most pride in his family. Louis and his wife of 61 years, Julie, had eight children, 35 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren. More than a dozen of them have graduated or are currently enrolled at UT Austin.

 

Questions?

Contact Catherine Campbell at 512-471-3208