The following story first appeared on The Dallas Morning News.
Humann to receive prestigious Erik Jonsson Ethics Award
Robert Miller, Dallas Morning News, March 25 2012
Businessman and public servant Walter J. Humann will receive the 2012 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from Southern Methodist University at an April 2 luncheon at the Belo Mansion.
Presented each year by SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, the award is given for moral leadership and public virtue.
Humann is chiefly being recognized for creating the Dallas Area Rapid Transit system and helping desegregate Dallas schools with his vision and
He has worked to improve education, transportation, race relations, government organization, urban planning and infrastructure in North Texas. The award also recognizes his time as a successful businessman.
Humann leads his own firm, WJH Corp., and has held top management positions at Hunt Consolidated Inc., Memorex-Telex and the LTV Corp.
Longtime SMU board member Ray Hunt, award event chair, worked with Humann when Humann was president of Hunt Investments from 1975 to
1992 and chairman of the executive committee of Hunt Consolidated.
Hunt said that with quiet tenacity and perceptive vision, Humann played a pivotal role in the desegregation of the Dallas Independent School District
by founding the Dallas Alliance.
Humann said: “I felt strongly the way to go was by voluntary intermixing of the races, where you have quality education at the end of the bus rides.”
Nationally, Humann was selected in the late 1960s by President Lyndon B. Johnson as the first White House Fellow from Texas. In 1970, he was chosen one of the Ten Outstanding Young Men of America, primarily for chairing the national committee that helped create the U.S. Postal Service, the largest federal government reorganization in U.S. history at the time.
During his time in Washington, Humann also co-authored a report in 1968 on ways to heal the Vietnam War-based breach between the college student community and the federal government.
He also founded the Jubilee Project in the late 1990s and served for more than 10 years as its chairman, helping revitalize a 62-block inner-city South Dallas neighborhood by dealing with elements that can affect a blighted community — public education, crime, health, employment, housing, economic development and physical improvements.
Humann earned a physics degree from Massachusetts Institute of Technology, an MBA from Harvard and a law degree from the SMU Dedman School of Law. He has received numerous awards, including the Legacy of Leadership Award from the White House Fellows Foundation.
J. Erik Jonsson was a co-founder of Texas Instruments Inc. and mayor who worked from 1964 to 1971 to improve the morale and image of Dallas after the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
Tickets to the luncheon are $50, and sponsorship tables for 10 are $1,500. Contact Erin Sutton at 214-768-4575 or firstname.lastname@example.org.