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J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award


View the 2021 event program here


The SMU Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility
welcomes you to celebrate the 24th J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award recipient, our founder

Cary M. Maguire

Wednesday, April 14, 2021
Hosted virtually | 12:00 - 1:00 pm

Tickets and Sponsorships



Business leader. Champion of ethics. Our founder. 


As Chairman Emeritus of Maguire Oil Company, SMU Trustee emeritus and legendary civic leader, Cary Maguire has demonstrated a passion for ethics education and thoughtful servant leadership.  With the founding of the SMU Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, he has encouraged and facilitated the broadening of  conversations regarding the importance of integrity, morality, and ethics among our leaders throughout their personal, public and private lives. 


Locally, and throughout the nation, Cary Maguire’s impact has been  profound. In recognition of his civic and philanthropic contributions to our city, state, and nation, in addition to his lifelong commitment to ethical leadership practices, the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility is honored to recognize Cary M. Maguire with the 2021 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award during the year in which we celebrate the Center’s 25th anniversary.


The virtual award ceremony and celebration will take place on Wednesday, April 14, 2021 from 12:00 - 1:00 pm.


Read more about our honoree




Featuring keynote speaker

Arthur C. Brooks

Throughout his career as a best-selling author, Harvard professor and Ph.D. social scientist, Dr. Brooks specializes in using the highest levels of science and philosophy to provide people with actionable strategies to live their best lives. He has worked with top scholars, policymakers, and elected officials on bridging divides and learning not to disagree more or less, but to disagree better.



Since 1997, the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award luncheon has served as the Center’s sole fundraising event, supporting our dynamic programs that serve the SMU faculty, staff, and student body as well as our community at-large. The support from this event directly funds the Center’s annual operations and ensures its continued success.


The J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award is named in honor of the public-spirited former mayor of Dallas.  It is given to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.  The founders of our nation foresaw that the ideal of liberty alone would not sustain our country unless accompanied by the concept of "public virtue," a sacrifice of self and resources for the public good.  The Maguire Center is proud to present this award to people whose careers should be recognized, honored, and modeled.


Presenting Sponsors

Comerica Bank Maguire Resources Company
Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt      Pioneer Natural Resources


Platinum Sponsors

Ralph and Barbara Babb

Chris and Ashlee Kleinert

Bill and Linda Pitts Custard      Ross and Sarah Perot
Bobby and Lottye Lyle


Gold Sponsors

Jim and Hong Bass      Erle Nye


Silver Sponsors

Don Glendenning/Locke Lord LLP      Gene and Jerry Jones
Children's Health  David and Carolyn Miller 
Tracey Nash-Huntley and David S. Huntley   Caren Prothro 
Jones Day  William and Gay Solomon


Additional thanks to those individuals who have generously donated $1000+ to the Maguire Ethics Center in Cary's honor:

C. Fred Ball, Jr.  Douglas and Martha Hawthorne
Stuart and Jan Hart Black Albert and Rose Hrubetz
Talmage Boston  Ward and Mimi Huey
Linda Buford Jack and Deliane Lowe
Kenneth and Millie Cooper Curtis Meadows, Jr.
Harlan and Katherine Crow Grant Moise
Ruben Esquivel Margo Perot
Kathleen Gibson Kern and Margaret Wildenthal
Margo Goodwin
George and Abby Yates
Jeremy and Nancy Strauss Halbreich     
Security National Bank of Texas


Past Award Recipients

Ross Perot, Jr. (2020)
Nancy Strauss Halbreich (2019)
Bobby Lyle (2018)
David Brown (2017)
Terry Flowers (2016)
Lyda Hill (2015)Award 
Gail G. Thomas  (2014)
Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt (2013)
Walter J. Humann (2012)
Ruth Altshuler (2011)
Bob Buford (2010)
Ronald G. Steinhart (2009)
Michael M. Boone (2008)
Zan W. Holmes Jr., M.Th (2007)
Roger Staubach (2006)
Caren Prothro (2005)
Tom Luce (2004)
Ron Anderson, M.D. (2003)
Jack Lowe, Jr. (2002)
William T. Solomon (2000)
Stanley H. Marcus (1999)
Charles C. Sprague, M.D. (1998)
Curtis W. Meadows, Jr. (1997)






Mayor J. Erik Jonsson (1901 – 1995)

JonssonJ. Erik Jonsson, a founder of Texas Instruments, was a selfless civic worker, former Dallas mayor, and committed philanthropist.  He exemplified the highest ethical standards in his many business and civic endeavors. As a visionary, he sought to repay the debt that all businesses owe their community through selfless work as a civic leader and through his philanthropy in education.

Mr. Jonsson transformed Texas Instruments from a company offering geophysical services to one that pioneered the high-tech world of electronics and semiconductors. His accomplishments were recognized in 1975 when he was one of only four living Americans to be selected for the newly created National Business Hall of Fame, joining such historical luminaries as Henry Ford, J. Pierpont Morgan, Alfred P. Sloan, and Andrew Carnegie.

Mr. Jonsson insisted on the highest ethical standards for Texas Instruments. The company set an early example in formalizing a code of ethics for its executives and employees.

His own leadership in Dallas’s civic affairs culminated when he was selected to be mayor in the dark period following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Under his guidance from 1964-1971, the city built a new city hall, a new municipal library, and the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. He founded and largely financed the Goals for Dallas program that, for the first time in the city’s history, involved people of all races in establishing long-range municipal goals.

A mechanical engineer educated at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, Mr. Jonsson was born in Brooklyn of Swedish immigrant parents, spent his early life in New Jersey, and moved to Dallas in 1934 to join the company that was a predecessor to Texas Instruments.