SMU honors distinguished alumni and emerging leader

 

October 16, 2012

Dallas Hall at Southern Methodist UniversityDALLAS (SMU) — Philanthropic, civic and business leaders will receive the Southern Methodist University Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the University bestows upon its graduates.

The 2012 Distinguished Alumni are philanthropic leader Jeanne Tower Cox (’78), former University Park Mayor James H. "Blackie" Holmes III (’57,’59), and entrepreneur Paul B. Loyd, Jr. (‘68).  Medical physicist Alonso N. Gutiérrez (’03) will receive the University’s Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes an outstanding alumnus or alumna for achievements within the last 15 years.

The Distinguished Alumni Award presentation and dinner will be at 7 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 25, on the SMU Main Quad. The event is sold out, but individuals may be added to the waiting list by contacting the SMU Alumni Relations Office at 214-768-4575.

During the ceremony, past Distinguished Alumni Award recipients will be honored as History Makers as part of SMU’s ongoing Centennial celebration. Honorees attending this year’s ceremony include Lindalyn Bennett Adams, historic preservationist and humanitarian and civic leader; Fritz E. Barton, Jr., physician, teacher and researcher; Don R. Benton, minister; Donald D. Clayton, astrophysicist; Allison Allen Holland, interior decorator; Nancy Ann Hunter Hunt, philanthropist and civic leader; Ray L. Hunt, business leader and philanthropist; William L. Hutchison, investor and oil and gas producer; Sally Rhodus Lancaster, philanthropist and civic leader; Virginia Holt McFarland, philanthropist and humanitarian; Ruth Ann Rogers Montgomery, preservationist, civic leader and philanthropist; Carl Sewell, business leader and author; William T. Solomon, business leader and philanthropist; Ellen Coleman Terry, real estate leader and philanthropist; Gail Griffin Thomas, philanthropist and civic leader; Robert Hyer Thomas, attorney; and Temple W. Williams, Jr., physician.

Jeanne Tower Cox

Jeanne Tower CoxJeanne Tower Cox exemplifies the dedicated volunteer leadership that is vital to the University and the community. She followed a family tradition of attending SMU and graduated in 1978 with a B.B.A. degree from the Cox School of Business.  She later played a major role in the creation of The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, established in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in 1992 in honor of her father, the late United States senator. Cox has continued to be a driving force behind the Tower Center’s advancement and has facilitated its development of programs in national security and defense, areas of special concern to her father. As a founding board member, she serves on the Tower Center’s Executive Committee and as co-chair of its long-range planning committee.

Cox is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, elected to a new term in 2012 after serving previously from 1996-2008. She has chaired the board’s student affairs committee and was elected Outstanding Trustee by the SMU student body in 2004. She also serves on the advisory board of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and on the Second Century Campaign Steering Committee for Dedman College. A tireless volunteer, Cox serves diverse causes as a member of the board of trustees of the Communities Foundation of Texas and the National Advisory Board of the Laura Bush Institute for Women’s Health.

James H. “Blackie” Holmes III

James H. HolmesJames H. Holmes, III, known to many as “Blackie,” has served his profession and his community with dedication and distinction. He earned two SMU degrees — a B.B.A. in 1957 and the L.L.B. in 1959. As an undergraduate, he was a letterman on the varsity swimming team, member of Blue Key National Honor Society, and a distinguished military graduate. As a graduate, he was honored by Dedman School of Law with its Distinguished Alumni Award and has served on the SMU Alumni Board.

Now a senior partner with Burford and Ryburn LLP, Holmes is known as a consummate trial attorney, practicing primarily in civil defense tort litigation. He co-authored The Texas Lawyer’s Creed, promoting civility and ethical standards for the profession. His roles have included president of the Texas Association of Defense Counsel and fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers. Holmes has received numerous professional honors, including American Board of Trial Advocates Texas Trial Lawyer of the Year, Lola Wright Foundation Award for Outstanding Public Service, Texas Super Lawyer, Morris Harrell Professionalism Award and Texas Legal Legend.

In addition to his distinguished 50-year legal career, Holmes has devoted 30 years of service to University Park in leadership positions ranging from the Planning and Zoning Commission to the City Council. As mayor from 2004-10, he supported numerous projects in University Park, from the renovation of city hall to enhanced park and recreation areas.

Paul B. Loyd Jr.

Paul B. LoydPaul B. Loyd Jr. has used his extraordinary professional success to benefit his alma mater and other causes. Currently principal of the Houston-based private investment firm he founded in 2001, he previously served as chair and CEO of R&B Falcon Corporation, the world’s largest and most diversified offshore drilling company. He has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry in the United States and overseas and served as a consultant to the Saudi Arabian government.

Loyd earned a B.B.A. in economics from SMU in 1968 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He was a member of SMU’s 1966 Southwest Conference championship football team and captain of the team that played in the 1967 Cotton Bowl Classic. A member of SMU’s Board of Trustees since 2000, Loyd is chair of the trustee athletics committee and serves on executive boards for the Cox School of Business and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Loyd’s service extends from local to global causes through membership on boards of Houston Children’s Charity, Boys and Girls Clubs of American Samoa, and Marshall Plan Charities for Afghanistan Recovery. Army personnel returning to Fort Benning from Iraq and Afghanistan named him “Man of the Year” for his aid in setting up satellite computers for troops to communicate with loved ones back home.

Alonso N. Gutiérrez

Alonso N. GutierrezAlonso N. Gutiérrez has at an early age achieved a distinguished career in medical research, clinical service and teaching at an early age. He holds dual positions at the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as assistant professor and educational director of the Medical Dosimetry Program in the Department of Radiation Oncology.

Gutiérrez earned B.S. degrees summa cum laude in both mechanical engineering and physics from SMU in 2003. While at SMU, he was a President’s Scholar, Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and Frank C. McDonald Physics Scholar. He was honored with the Harold A. Blum Award in Mechanical Engineering and the Robert S. Hyer Award in Physics. After graduating from SMU, he earned Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in medical physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gutiérrez joined the faculty of UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2007. His expertise in clinical radiation oncology physics includes stereotactic radiotherapy and image-guided radiation therapy. His teaching focuses on the training of future medical physicists, radiation oncologists and medical dosimetrists. He has published numerous journal articles and is a reviewer for several professional journals. Gutiérrez has made presentations at both national and international meetings. He has mentored doctorate students, medical physics and radiation oncology residents as well as high school and undergraduate minority students. Recently, he was an honoree of San Antonio’s Jubilee Academic Center at its 2011 Hispanic Assembly for Higher Education.

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SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.

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