2021 Award Recipient
Cary M. Maguire
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Business leader. Champion of ethics. Our founder.
Few individuals can equal the breadth and scope of Cary Maguire’s commitment to ethics education and thoughtful servant leadership. A legendary civic leader, Maguire’s influence on the conversation regarding integrity, morality and ethics is immeasurable.
In 1951, he drove into Wichita Falls, Texas, in a 1950 Pontiac to learn the oil business. Throughout the next half-century, the Maguire name became one of the most respected in the oil and gas industry. A commitment to ethical business principles has defined the legacy of one of the most successful independent energy companies in Texas, as well as its founder. Fortunately, Mr. Maguire’s passion for the study of ethics and leadership found a voice at SMU nearly 50 years ago.
Mr. Maguire’s involvement with SMU began in 1974 when he provided funding to establish the Maguire Oil and Gas Institute (now the Maguire Energy Institute) in what is now the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. That gift was followed by funding for the Maguire Endowed Chair in Energy Finance and major support for the Cary M. Maguire building that is home for undergraduate studies in the Cox School. In the years that followed, the depth and breadth of his impact on SMU grew and grew. Few benefactors have demonstrated greater involvement and dedication than Maguire has exhibited in matters related to the University’s rise to international prominence. He was a member of the Executive Committee for the Campaign for SMU, which surpassed its goal by raising nearly $542 million over a five-year period, at the time, the largest capital and endowment campaign in the history of SMU. Maguire was co-chair of the Cox School Campaign Committee. His other SMU leadership positions have included service as the Chair of Cox School of Business Executive Board, the Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Board, the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility Advisory Board, the Board of Trustees Investment Committee and its Audit Committee. He was also an active member of the President's Leadership Council, a director of the Foundation for Business Administration, and director of the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College. In 1995, he and his wife, Ann, were among the first recipients of SMU's Mustang Award honoring individuals whose longtime service and philanthropy have had a lasting impact on the university.
"Ethics permeates the entire fabric," says Maguire. "Initially you may think about ethics as separate, major issues, but I have learned that ethics permeates everything in our lives."
In 1995, Mr. Maguire made history with a $2.5 million gift to create SMU's Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Working alongside the offices of the President and the Provost, he founded the Center to provide students and faculty the opportunity to engage in robust inter-disciplinary studies of ethical behavior and its impact on our professional and personal lives. His passion for the study of ethics was born out of a belief a better understanding of ethical behavior and public responsibility will help develop students as leaders and world changers, two of the hallmarks of SMU’s undergraduate and graduate programs.
Upon the Center's founding, Maguire remarked: "The Center will not only address society's ethical issues but will also seek ways of bringing public responsibility to bear in solving them." To further advance these concepts, he also established an endowed a professorship in ethics at SMU.
Maguire is Chairman Emeritus of Maguire Oil Company, Maguire Resources Company, and Components Corporation of America. His national leadership positions include service on The National Petroleum Council, the Executive Committee of Mid-Continental Oil and Gas Association, the executive committees of the IPAA (Independent Petroleum Association of America) and TIPRO (Texas Independent Producers and Royalty Association), and membership of the Madison Council of the Library of Congress where he founded the Maguire Chair in Ethics and American History. He was the 2019 recipient of the Maguire Energy Institute's Pioneer Award for a lifetime of service to the energy industry, the 2016 recipient of the Greater Dallas "Spirit of Ethics" Award, and the 2005 recipient of the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Legends Award.
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 in this year of the 25th anniversary of the Center's founding.
Be advised that this celebration will be virtual.
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About the Award
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.
Past Award Recipients
Ross Perot, Jr. (2020)
Nancy Strauss Halbreich (2019)
Bobby Lyle (2018)
David Brown (2017)
Terry Flowers (2016)
Lyda Hill (2015)
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
J. 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.