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Campaign Leadership Council

Meet the Campaign Leadership Council, a coalition of long-standing SMU supporters leading The Second Century Campaign. Beginning in 2006, a 15-member Campaign Leadership Council has assisted the University in the execution of the campaign's quiet phase, which focused on solicitations of leadership gift commitments of $1 million or more. Going forward, the Campaign Leadership Council will continue to oversee the campaign's leadership gift solicitations, as well as provide general oversight of the campaign's volunteer organization.

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler '48
Co-Chair

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler

Ruth Altshuler is a Dallas civic and philanthropic leader. She has served as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1968-87 and 1988-present. She was the first woman to serve as chair of the SMU Board of Trustees from 2000-02 and is a recipient of the University's Distinguished Alumni Award. She is chair of the Board's Development and External Affairs Committee, vice chair of the Trusteeship Committee and a member of the Academic Affairs and the Executive committees of the Board. She also is a member of the Maguire Ethics Center Advisory Board and the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board. The Ruth Collins Sharp Drama Building is named in her honor, as is the Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center and the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Award. In the University's last campaign, Mrs. Altshuler served as one of five general co-chairs.

Gerald J. Ford '66, '69
Convening Co-Chair

Gerald J. Ford

Gerald Ford is the chairman of the board of Diamond A Ford Corporation. He is a current member and the immediate past chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. He is the chair of the Finance Committee and a member of the Executive, Investment, Trusteeship and Real Estate committees of the Board. Mr. Ford has been awarded SMU's Distinguished Alumni Award. Over the years, his significant support of the University has resulted in the Gerald J. Ford Stadium and the Ford Research Fellows Program, among other projects. In the University's last major gifts campaign, A Time to Lead, Mr. Ford served on the Campaign Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Dedman College campaign committee.

Ray L. Hunt '65
Co-Chair

Ray L. Hunt

Ray Hunt serves as chairman and CEO of Hunt Oil Company. Mr. Hunt has served as a member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 1976-present. He is the chair of the Trusteeship Committee and a member of the Executive, Finance and Presidential Library Special Advisory committees of the Board. He also is a member of the Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Board and the Maguire Ethics Center Advisory Board. Mr. Hunt has been awarded SMU's Distinguished Alumni Award. Among numerous gifts, he and his wife, Nancy Ann, created the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program, offering one of the most prestigious merit-based scholarships at SMU, which allows students to combine learning and leadership. In the last campaign, Mr. Hunt served as one of five general co-chairs.

Caren H. Prothro
Co-Chair

Caren H. Prothro

Caren Prothro is a Dallas civic and philanthropic leader. She has served as a member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 1992-present, and was chair from 2010-2014. She is the chair of the Academic Affairs Committee and a member of the Buildings and Grounds, Executive and Trusteeship committees of the Board. She also is a member of the SMU-in-Taos and Dedman College Executive Boards and the Maguire Ethics Center Advisory Board. Mrs. Prothro's most recent gifts include support of the new Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall and its Charles and Mac Cullum Lecture Hall, as well as the C. Vincent Prothro Biological Sciences Initiative in Dedman College. Mrs. Prothro served as one of five general co-chairs of SMU’s previous major gifts campaign.

Carl Sewell '66
Co-Chair

Carl Sewell

Carl Sewell is chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies. He is the former chair of the SMU Board of Trustees and has been a member of the Board since 1996. As the chair, he is an ex officio member of all SMU board committees and all executive boards for the University's schools and centers. He also is the chair of the Executive Committee and a member of the Presidential Library Special Advisory Committee of the Board. Mr. Sewell has been awarded SMU's Distinguished Alumni Award. He has been a strong advocate of the strategic initiative to recruit higher-achieving students and improve academic quality at SMU and helps to support the President's Scholars Program, the Department of Athletics and student career services, among other areas. In SMU’s previous campaign, he served as Annual Fund co-chair, as a member of the Campaign Executive Committee and as a member of the campaign committee of the Cox School of Business.

Michael M. Boone '63, '67
Co-Chair

Michael M. Boone

Michael Boone is a co-founder and member of the board of directors of the law firm Haynes and Boone, LLP. He is currently chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. He earned both his undergraduate and J.D. degrees at SMU. He has been awarded SMU's Distinguished Alumni Award and, most recently, the 2008 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU's Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. His service to SMU includes membership on the Board of Trustees, chairing its Legal and Government Affairs Committee and serving as a member of the Executive, Finance, Trusteeship, Real Estate and Presidential Library committees. He also is a member of the Dedman School of Law Executive Board, which he previously chaired. In the previous campaign, Mr. Boone served on the Campaign Executive Committee and as co-chair of the Dedman Law campaign committee.

Gary T. Crum '69

Gary T. Crum

Gary Crum is president of the CFP Foundation, a charitable foundation focused primarily on educational issues related to Texas. He is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and its Athletics and Finance committees. He also is a member of the Cox School of Business Executive Board and provided funding for the Crum Auditorium in the James M. Collins Executive Education Center. Named in recognition of a lead gift from Gary and Sylvie Crum, the new Crum Basketball Center was dedicated in February 2008.


Linda Pitts Custard '60, '99

Linda Pitts Custard

Linda Custard is the general partner of Custard/Pitts Land and Cattle Company and an active civic and philanthropic leader. She is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and serves on its Student Affairs, Academic Affairs and Audit committees. She chairs the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board and chaired the International Festival of Opening Events for the Meadows Museum and the Jubilee Opening of the Greer Garson Theatre. Mrs. Custard was awarded the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. Mrs. Custard, along with her husband, William Custard, and her father, L. Frank Pitts, established the first endowed scholarships of The Second Century Campaign.

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. '80, '84

Robert H. Dedman, Jr.

Robert Dedman is president and CEO of DFI Management, Ltd. A trustee since 2004, Mr. Dedman serves on the Board’s Academic Affairs, Audit and Legal and Government Affairs committees, and is a member of the Dedman School of Law Executive Board. Mr. Dedman continues the leadership of his parents, the late Robert H. Dedman, Sr. and Nancy McMillan Dedman, whose gifts included endowments naming Dedman College and the Dedman School of Law; the lead gift constructing the new Dedman Life Sciences Building dedicated in 2001; and $1 million toward the construction of the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, a multi-use sports complex for SMU students, faculty and staff; among other projects.

Milledge A. Hart, III

Milledge A. Hart, III

Mitch Hart is chairman of Hart Group, Inc. He is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, chairs its Investment Committee and is a member of its Academic Affairs, Development and External Affairs, Executive and Real Estate committees. He is a member and former chair of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Board and is a member of the Lyle School of Engineering Executive Board. With his wife, Linda, he endowed the Hart Global Leaders Forum, which enables SMU and selected local high school students to learn from world figures such as former British Prime Minister Tony Blair, as well as other innovative projects like the Hart eCenter. In the last campaign, Mr. Hart served as a member of the Campaign Executive Committee and co-chaired the Dedman College campaign committee.

Gene C. Jones

Gene C. Jones

Gene Jones is a Dallas civic and philanthropic leader. Her service on the SMU Board of Trustees includes membership on the Academic Affairs, Development and External Affairs and Student Affairs committees of the Board. She is a member of the executive board for the Meadows School of the Arts and the board of directors for the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. Her support of the University includes the creation of the Gene and Jerry Jones Great Hall in the Meadows Museum, which allows the museum to welcome thousands of individuals each year from around the world for special events and programs. Mrs. Jones and her husband, Jerry, have graciously provided their home for SMU special events, including dinners honoring SMU's Tower Center Medal of Freedom recipient President George H. W. Bush and actress Lauren Bacall, who was featured at a campus event benefiting Meadows School of the Arts.

Paul B. Loyd, Jr. ’68

Loyd

Paul Loyd is founder and principal of Loyd & Associates. He earned a B.B.A. degree in economics from SMU in 1968. In 1999, SMU honored Mr. Loyd with the Foundation for the Future Award in recognition of his service and gifts to the University, including the establishment of the Paul B. Loyd, Jr. All-Sports Center. He is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and the Cox School of Business Executive Board.

Bobby B. Lyle ’67

Lyle

Bobby Lyle is chairman, president and CEO of Lyco Holdings Inc. and a director of Hiland Partners. He earned a B.S. degree from Louisiana Polytechnic Institute in 1963, an M.S. in engineering administration from SMU in 1967 and an Ed.D. from the University of Massachusetts in 1976. Dr. Lyle received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and joined the Lyle School of Engineering Hall of Leaders in 2006. He serves on the SMU Board of Trustees, the Cox School of Business and Lyle School of Engineering executive boards and the board of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man.

David B. Miller ’72, ’73

Miller

David Miller is co-founder and partner of EnCap Investments L.P., a leading provider of private equity capital to the oil and gas industry. He earned B.B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from SMU and received the Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award in 2000. Mr. Miller serves on the SMU Board of Trustees, the Cox School of Business Executive Board and the Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Board.

Sarah Fullinwider Perot ’83

Perot

Sarah Perot is a Dallas arts and cultural leader. She earned a B.F.A. degree in broadcast journalism from SMU in 1983. Mrs. Perot is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and a member of the board of directors of the SMU Tower Center for Political Studies. She has served on the executive board of Meadows School of the Arts, the advisory panel of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies and as a member of the 21st Century Council.

Jeanne L. Phillips '76

Jeanne L. Phillips

Ambassador Phillips is senior vice president of Corporate Affairs and International Relations at Hunt Oil Company. She served as U.S. Ambassador and Permanent Representative to the Organization of Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris, France (2001-03). Ambassador Phillips was executive director of the 54th Presidential Inaugural Committee (2000-01) and chair of the 55th Presidential Inaugural Committee (2005). She recently was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Cancer Prevention and Research Institute of Texas. She has received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Her service to SMU includes membership on the SMU Board of Trustees and its Academic Affairs, Buildings and Grounds, Development and External Affairs and Presidential Library Special Advisory committees. She also is a member of the executive board of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies and the Dedman College Executive Board.

John C. Tolleson '70

John C. Tolleson

John Tolleson is chairman and CEO of Tolleson Wealth Management. As a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, Mr. Tolleson is vice chair of the Investment Committee and serves on the Academic Affairs, Audit and Real Estate committees. He is chair of the executive board of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business and a member of the board of directors of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. He also is a member of the Parent Leadership Council. His support of SMU includes an endowed deanship as well as endowed BBA Scholarships in the Cox School of Business. In SMU’s previous campaign, he served as a member of the Cox School campaign committee.

R. Gerald Turner
Ex officio

R. Gerald Turner

As president of SMU since 1995, R. Gerald Turner is overseeing an era of unprecedented progress at the University. Under his leadership, the University's endowment has grown to more than $1 billion; SMU has completed its most successful campaign to date, A Time to Lead (1997-2002); a new strategic plan has been developed for the University's advancement in its second century; and the Centennial Master Plan is guiding the physical development of campus. He co-chaired the Presidential Library Special Advisory Committee of the Board.

Richard Ware '68

Richard Ware

Richard Ware is president of Amarillo National Bank. He has served SMU as a member of the Board of Trustees from 1980-92 and 1994-2008. During his term he chaired three committees of the Board and was Board Vice Chair from 2006-08. He led the University's Annual Fund for two years, serves on the Dedman College Executive Board, co-chairs the upcoming campaign's steering committee for campus and student life and is a member of the Campaign Leadership Council. He will receive SMU's Distinguished Alumni Award in fall 2008. Mr. Ware's support of the University extends across SMU, with a special emphasis on programs and projects that benefit students, such as career services, recreational facilities and the Department of Athletics, among other areas.