Liz Martin Armstrong ’82 and Bill Armstrong ’82 met as geology majors at SMU and married in 1984. While at SMU, Bill was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity, the Honor Council and the Phi Beta Kappa Society. Liz served as treasurer of Pi Beta Phi and performed in Pigskin Revue and Parents’ Weekend with its song group. She also served as an AARO, or orientation, leader. Both attended geology field camp at SMU-in-Taos, where they fell in love and later provided the funding for Casita Armstrong. Together, they propelled a startup into Armstrong Oil and Gas, an energy exploration juggernaut; founded the award-winning Epoch Estate Wines; and established The Armstrong Foundation, which focuses on arts and education philanthropy. Over the years, their farsighted generosity has enriched countless lives at SMU and across the nation.
Through their leadership and loyal support, the Armstrongs have been change makers at SMU. Bill Armstrong serves on the SMU Board of Trustees and co-chairs the Campaign Steering Committee for Athletics. He currently spearheads the Vision 2025 campaign for football excellence. Liz Armstrong serves on the Development and External Affairs Standing Committee of the SMU Board and co-chairs the Campaign Steering Committee for Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Both also serve on the executive boards of SMU-in-Taos and Dedman College for which Liz is a former chair. Their past service includes co-chairing the Parent Leadership Council and the Second Century Campaign Steering Committee for Denver.
The Armstrongs are among three generations of family to attend the University – including their daughters Lindsey Strawn ’10 and Leigh Young ’11 – and their investments across the campus reflect their commitment to enhancing the student experience. In 2011, they were the first to commit toward the construction of Armstrong Commons, a cornerstone of SMU’s living-learning community. More recently, they made possible Armstrong Fieldhouse, the primary component of the Indoor Performance Center, the setting for this year’s Distinguished Alumni Awards celebration. A passion for ballet led them to fund the Armstrong Visiting Artist-in-Residence in Ballet at Meadows School of the Arts during the 2020–21 academic year, and they also endowed a Dedman College Scholarship.