Hunt Leadership Scholars Program

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Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt


Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt
Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt married the week after graduation from SMU, have been married for 40 years, and remain active and enthusiastic SMU supporters. They have five children and eight grandchildren. In addition to their long support and involvement with SMU, they have contributed in a myriad of ways to the civic, community service, educational, and business dimensions of Dallas and beyond.

Nancy Ann Hunt’s work has received numerous leadership and service awards, including the 2006 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System Foundation, the Special Care and Career Center Milton P. Levy Award; the Maura Award from the Women’s Center of  Dallas; the Genesis Women’s Shelter Jane Doe Award; the Parish Episcopal School Honorary Trustee Award, and the Kappa Alpha Theta Twin Star Award for volunteer work in the community.

When longtime friend and minister Reverend Don Benton was asked to describe Nancy Ann Hunt when she received the 2006 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System Foundation, the following image came to his mind:


If you ever fall into the trap of making day-to-day decisions based upon the opinions or the expectations of other people, then you are in reality allowing third parties to govern your life and, at that very moment, you run the risk of losing your own identity.




--- Ray L. Hunt
British critic and social theorist John Ruskin (1819-1900) once sat with a friend in the dusk of an evening and watched a lamplighter, torch in hand, lighting the street lights on a distant hill.  Very soon the man’s form was no longer distinguishable in the distance, but everywhere he went he left a light burning brightly.  “There,” said Ruskin, “that is what I mean by a real Christian. You can trace his course by the light that he leaves burning.”

Ray L. Hunt

Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt have often cited a favorite expression:


There are two things of real value we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.




Ray L. Hunt’s leadership abilities and efforts were evident even when he was a student at SMU.  At SMU, he was designated a University Scholar, served on the Student Senate, received the Outstanding Business Student Award, and was president of his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta.  His association with Hunt Oil began while working during the summers in the oil fields in 1958.  He now is chairman of the board, president, and chief executive officer of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., and chief executive officer of Hunt Oil Company and other related companies.  In addition, his business leadership has included membership on the boards of directors of Electronic Data Systems, Halliburton, King Ranch, Inc., and PepsiCo.

He has served our government in a variety of ways. In October 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He also serves as chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council (an industry advisory organization to the Secretary of Energy) and served as its chairman from June 1991 to July 1994.

Ray’s leadership has also contributed greatly to civic and community life in Dallas. He has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University, chairman of the Dallas Citizens Council, chairman of the North Texas Commission, and chairman of the Central Dallas Association. He is currently chairman of The Dallas Medical Resource.


Never believe your own press clippings.



--- Ray L. Hunt
By their generous creation and funding of the Hunt Leadership Scholars Programs, the Hunts have attracted student leaders who help grow and deepen the roots of the SMU community. And, through their example and the experiences provided by the Hunt Leadership Scholars program, they have strengthened the roots of the Hunt Scholars themselves, and have helped them develop the leadership skills that will give them the wings to provide leadership and service beyond SMU.