SMU is its own culture. It’s its own community, and if you buy into and you become a part of it, you’ll have the time of your life.
— Malcolm McGuire ’14
Meet Malcolm McGuire
Black Alumni of SMU Chair Malcolm McGuire ’14 is a leader with a passion for mentorship. He first came to SMU as a police officer and later became a patrol sergeant for the SMU Police Department. He earned a Master of Arts in dispute resolution at the Simmons School and made a seamless transition into a new career as an insurance fraud special investigator with the help of his SMU connections.
His one-year term as chair-elect began in June of 2020, coinciding with a renewed and urgent call for more diversity and the inclusion of all Mustangs on the SMU campus. Spurred by a series of tragic events that underscored racial and social injustice across the country, Black students, faculty, staff and allies came together to find a way forward. Against the backdrop of the pandemic and fear of COVID-19 spread, a multitude of demonstrations, talks and events occurred on and around campus.
During that time, the Black Alumni board was poised to act, launching a new mentorship program and increasing volunteer efforts to connect Black alumni with Black students early in their Mustang journey through the admission volunteers program, aka admitted student caller program, and send-off events.
In honor of Black History Month, we caught up with Malcolm to get his Mustang perspective and find out what’s on the horizon for Black Alumni of SMU.
Current SMU affiliation: Chair, Black Alumni of SMU
SMU grad year: 2014 from the Simmons School of Education and Human Development
Education: Master of Arts in dispute resolution, Bachelor of Arts in English with a criminal justice minor from Wiley College
Family: The youngest of six boys, Malcolm is one of five brothers who went into law enforcement. He also has four sisters. This August, Malcolm will have been married to his wife, Tysha, a clinical nurse supervisor, for 18 years. They have two sons, 16-year-old Miles, who plays football, and 14-year-old Mason, who plays soccer. Their family dog is a 3-year-old border collie and Anatolian shepherd mix named King.
Occupation: Senior special investigator at Liberty Mutual in California and Texas. Malcolm investigates insurance fraud, ranging from arson and workers’ compensation claims to stolen vehicle and general liability claims such as slip-and-fall or bodily injury.
Recreation: As a high school sports dad, Malcolm spends a lot of time at games and practices. The McGuire family also enjoys traveling, most recently visiting Jamaica.
Most beautiful place he’s visited: Rwanda. Kenya is also high on his list.
What he’s streaming: Lots of Disney. He’s a big fan of Marvel and Yellowstone, and his favorite show is Ozark, which he chalks up to the fraud investigator in him. He was also really into Narcos and knows people at the DEA who vouch for the series plotline.
What he’s reading: Most of his time is spent reading The1619 Project, and he also reads many biographies.
Q: When you get nostalgic about your time as student at SMU, what do you miss the most?
A: What I miss most about SMU, and even working with the SMU Police Department, is the camaraderie. It is a family atmosphere, and anyone who has actually spent any real time there will tell you that.
Q: You do a lot of work promoting the importance of mentorship. Why are you passionate about it?
A: A lot of the reasons that I am in the positions that I am in today is because of other people.
I want to build on the foundations that were set for me. There are very few things at SMU that bring me more joy than interacting with students, especially students of color, and faculty and staff, and creating more of a sense of community than what I’d seen in the past.
Q: What advice do you have for potential mentors or mentees?
A: From an alumni standpoint, try your best to remember what it was like to be a Black student at SMU, to not always feel like you’re supposed to be here. Think about how you would have benefited from having alumni take an interest in you, to ask you how you’re doing and to help you with resume building. That is the whole purpose behind having a mentorship program.
For students, take advantage of the wisdom and the accessibility that you have with these mentors. Foster those relationships, because you never know where that’s going to take you. There are Mustangs all over this country, all over this world. When you leave here, get involved with the alumni groups and take advantage of that network.
Q: Is there anything that surprised you since taking on your role as board chair?
A: I have had a chance to be a part of the Black Unity Forum, which did not exist until 2020. It’s a group that encompasses Black faculty and staff, Black alumni, the Association of Black Students and pretty much every other Black organization on the campus. It’s led by a student, which I think is amazing. Dr. Maria Dixon Hall takes a major role in it, as well as one of our most supportive trustees, David Huntley.
I’m just proud of the progress that has been made. We have quarterly meetings with President Turner, where we get a chance to air out the things that we would like to see different around the campus, things that pertain to the Black faculty, students and staff. He’s been very open. We’ve seen a lot happen. I think that’s the most surprising to me, how we’ve been able to band together, all these different organizations, to spur change.
Q: What would you rate as the top accomplishments through the Black Unity Forum?
A: It’s really a subjective thing. Each group has its own priorities. For me, I would say the appointment of Maria Dixon Hall to chief diversity officer and getting our mentorship program off the ground.
Q: What do you look forward to most during Black History Month at SMU?
A: Black Excellence Ball is the crown jewel of events for us on the Hilltop. The students are doing an amazing job putting it together. Our job is to get the word out and help make sure it is well attended. Last year Black Alumni gave out about $31,000 in scholarships at BEB. I’d love to be able to top that this year. The giving period is open. Through the Black Unity Forum, gifts will be matched, and I’m looking forward to seeing what number we end up with this year.
Q: As the Black Alumni of SMU Board chair, what goals are you seeking to accomplish?
A. Our primary focus is supporting the Association of Black Students on the campus and we want to create new Black alumni from them. We want to show them that it’s OK to have a love for this University. It’s OK to come back and contribute. And it starts with the alumni. We have to set the example. We have to come back. We have doctors, lawyers, judges, senators all over this country whom I’d love to see interact with us a little more.
That’s why I keep doing it. That’s why I stay involved. Even when my term as chair is up, I’ll still be involved.
Black Alumni of SMU is an official affinity group in the SMU alumni network that is run by an all-volunteer, 14-member board. For more information on getting involved or upcoming events, visit the Black Alumni of SMU website. You can also join the official Black Alumni of SMU Facebook page. To connect with Malcolm, email him here.