Hunt Leadership Scholars Program

spacer

History and Profile


As time passes and you look back upon the years that you spent on this campus, you will find that, while you were here, you developed some of your closest enduring friendships, realized some of the more important truths that subsequently fashioned your life, and refined many of the skills which, hopefully, will allow you to compete successfully in the rapidly changing world in which you will live. This is what the college experience is designed to do—and this is what SMU does particularly well.


--- Ray L. Hunt
The Hunt Leadership Scholars Program began in 1993 from the vision and generosity of Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt. Even when they were students at SMU, the Hunts hoped someday “to give back to the university that had done so much for us.” They believed that an SMU education fosters, and benefits from, the kind of student with a combination of qualities:
  • Demonstrated leadership ability
  • Intellectual ability coupled with the desire to apply that ability to leadership and community participation
  • A strong work ethic and willingness to accept responsibility
  • A desire to grow in one’s leadership skills within the SMU community and eventually beyond
Thus, the Hunts founded a scholarship program that would attract, and make an SMU education available to, students with these qualities.

Hunt Scholars in Academics


I will forever be grateful for the Hunt program allowing me the opportunity to learn from some of the best professors in the nation, meet and interact with former U.S. Presidents and other international leaders, intern in London, travel Europe and, upon graduation, providing a million avenues into the 'real world' for me and my fellow scholars.



--- Jack Benage, Hunt Leadership Scholar, Class of 2012
From an extraordinarily talented group of young leaders, approximately 20 - 25 students receive the Hunt Leadership Scholarship each year. In 2012-2013, we have 103 Hunt Leadership Scholars, first-year through senior, from over 60 different high schools across the U.S.

The Hunt Scholars span the majors of the curriculum and have widely varying backgrounds, interests, and activities. Their majors (or double majors, or majors with minors) include the fields of History, Theater, Anthropology, Public Policy, Biology, Advertising, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, Engineering, Business, Finance, Economics, and numerous interdisciplinary studies.

Hunt Scholars in Campus Leadership


Being a Hunt Scholar was a defining part of my experience at SMU. I was inspired by meeting and working with like-minded, motivated, and passionate leaders who wanted to make a positive impact on campus. My involvement with the Hunt Scholars program led to opportunities on and off campus, and enhanced my leadership and communication skills so that I could be positioned for greater success in the workplace.



--- Marlee Klein, Hunt Leadership Scholar, Class of 2012
Hunt Scholars are also leaders in all spheres of campus life. Hunt Leadership Scholars have served as President, Vice-President, and Secretary of the Student Body; Senior Class President; Program Council, Student Foundation, and University Honors Council. They have been leaders across the spectrum of SMU’s hundreds of student organizations, including organizations focused on academics, student life, politics, community service, and the faith-based community. They have served as editors for campus newspapers and publications, Residence Hall Assistants, and tutors for numerous academic areas. Many have served key roles in the area of new student programs, such as orientation and advising.

Hunt Scholars in the Community

In addition to being leaders across campus, Hunt Scholars take on leadership roles in various facets of the Dallas community. A group of Hunt Scholars founded Mustang Heroes, a community service group that works with such organizations as Head Start, KIPP, and Family Gateway. Two Hunt Scholars also serve as officers for “Tale of One City,” a literary magazine to which Dallas high school students can submit work to compete for scholarships. Aside from these Hunt Scholar-run projects, many students are mentors at the Barack Obama Male Leadership Academy, hold student seats on various United Way task forces, and are involved in community service on many different scales. Hunt Leadership Scholars have a passion for giving back to the Dallas community and use their leadership skills to make the biggest impact possible.


Hunt Scholars after Graduation


Once you leave this campus, whatever it is you do, whether it’s in business, not-for-profit, or any aspect of life, become known as the person who never hesitates to take the job that’s not going to get any publicity, the job that others don’t want to take on. If you develop a reputation that you’re always willing to take it on, and that anytime you take on a job, everybody else can forget about it, then you will rise up in any organization in a business or non-business environment.



--- Ray L. Hunt
The first Hunt Scholars graduated in 1997; we now have 16 alumni classes. Where are they now, and where have they gone in the past one to eight years? A sampling:
  • Medical school
  • Law school
  • Divinity school
  • Management consulting
  • Graduate programs in national security studies, English, psychology, education, and American studies
  • Teaching
  • Not-for-profit sector
  • Newspaper reporting
  • College professor
  • Press secretary to U.S. congressman
  • Public relations firm
  • Coro Fellow; Fulbright Scholar
  • Intern with U.N. War Crimes Tribunal in Rwanda
  • Teach for America
  • Peace Corp