AUSTIN – Officials on Tuesday honored three long-time public servants for their contributions to transportation throughout Texas, making E. Neveille Colson, Doug Pitcock, Jr. and Ray Stoker, Jr. the three newest members of the Texas Transportation Hall of Honor.
The three were recognized during a ceremony and luncheon featuring State Senator Todd Staples, chairman of the Senate Committee on Transportation and Homeland Security, and several past Hall of Honor inductees.
Colson, a native of Bryan, was the first woman elected to both chambers of the state Legislature, serving in the Texas House of Representatives from 1939 to 1948 and the Texas Senate from 1948 to 1966. She introduced the Good Roads Amendment that dedicated 75 percent of road user taxes to the building and maintenance of Texas highways, and also co-sponsored the Colson-Briscoe Act, providing an expansive network of rural paved highways throughout the state. Those Farm to Market roads, designed to move rural transportation and mail delivery “out of the mud,” as Colson said, now comprise more than half of the state¿s roadway system.
Stoker, a lifelong resident of Odessa, is one of only four people named to the state transportation commission by two different governors — Governor Mark White in 1985 and Governor Ann Richards in 1991. He helped lead successful initiatives to boost the state motor fuel tax in 1986, 1987 and 1991, and was instrumental in the development of the Texas Highway Trunk System, a 10,500-mile network of rural highways. He is credited with expanding TxDOT’s scope through the establishment of new divisions focused on civil rights, environmental affairs, aviation and public transportation. He was the longest-serving chairman of the Texas Good Roads / Transportation Association, leading that organization from 1993 to 2003.
Pitcock, along with Claude and John Williams, formed Williams Brothers Construction Company in Houston in 1955. He currently serves as owner, chairman and chief executive officer of the company, which is one of the largest highway and heavy construction contractors in the nation. Pitcock chaired the Houston Chamber of Commerce Transportation Committee, was twice president of the Texas Highway Branch of the Associated General Contractors (AGC), and served as national president of AGC in 1984. He was named to the National Transportation Policy Study Commission by President Gerald Ford. A distinguished civil engineering alumnus of Texas A&M, Pitcock has been named one of the “Top 100 Private Sector Transportation Construction Professionals of the 20th Century” by the American Road and Transportation Builders Association.
The Texas Transportation Hall of Honor, established in 2000, was set up to recognize in a formal and permanent manner those visionary leaders who have helped to provide Texas with an outstanding transportation system.
“The Hall of Honor is intended to recognize that small group of people whose exceptional leadership and vision made possible the outstanding transportation system we enjoy in Texas today,” TTI Deputy Director Dennis Christiansen said during the induction ceremony. “Past, present and future Texans owe many thanks to Neveille Colson, Ray Stoker and Doug Pitcock for the lasting impact they’ve had on our great state.”