SMU law grad learns from, leans on mother’s legacy
In the past few months, Cathryn “CC” Copeland Wood has experienced three shining moments: Getting married, earning a law degree and landing a position with a prestigious Dallas legal firm.
But one accomplishment is even more special to her: Pulling off a wedding two weeks ahead of schedule in the unlikeliest of settings: MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. CC’s mission? Ensuring that her mother, who was fighting breast cancer, could be at her side for the wedding.
CC, a native of Midland, originally had planned to marry in Scottsdale, Arizona, Nov. 1. A month before the big day, however, Janet Copeland’s health wasn’t improving as the family had hoped. Not wanting to risk her mom being unable to travel to the wedding, CC took the wedding to her mom.
On Oct. 22, CC and her husband, Conner Wood, found themselves surrounded by 75 invited guests — and dozens of supportive strangers — in an MD Anderson garden. Holding a wedding in such a clinical setting was admittedly surreal, she says, but there was “such warmth shared by MD Anderson’s patients.” Many of them, in wheelchairs or accompanied by IV carts, gathered in the hallway to cheer CC in her bridal gown as she made her way from her mother’s room to the outdoor ceremony.
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Father, daughter share same mission for peace
Lisa Walters earned an undergraduate degree in human rights from SMU on Dec. 20 and will follow in the social justice path of her father, SMU Assistant Chief of Police Jim Walters.
Lisa is joining the U.S. Peace Corps and will work for two years in Mali, Africa, as a business development volunteer. Her father started off his career in Africa after being assigned there on a U.S. Air Force peacekeeping mission to the Congo.
During Lisa’s years at SMU, Lisa and her father worked together on projects aimed at combating human trafficking thanks to SMU’s unique relationship with the U.S. Department of Justice.