Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt receive prestigious ethics honor

Longtime SMU supporters Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt receive the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award.

Ray and Nancy Hunt

DALLAS (SMU) – Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt – whose business, public service and education leadership has helped shape and strengthen Dallas for more than 40 years – received the Maguire Ethics Center’s 2013 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award at a sold-out luncheon at noon Monday, Feb. 25, at the Belo Mansion Pavilion.

Ray and Nancy Hunt
Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt
Presented each year by SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award is given to individuals who exemplify the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue. For the Hunts, the first couple ever to receive the award, the honor also reflects their longtime support of SMU, where they met 44 years ago and married three weeks after graduation.

“Over the years, Gail and I have been able to see up-close and personal some – and I do mean only some – of the tremendous good that Ray and Nancy Hunt have brought about in our community and the integrity with which they live their lives,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “To those who are most in distress, whether homeless, abused, suicidal, assaulted, or orphaned, either physically, mentally, or socially, Ray and Nancy have devoted a lifetime of commitment, support, and leadership to addressing their personal needs and the societal challenges both creating the problems and resulting from them.”

 “Without a doubt, we are living in a very troubled and challenging time,” Mrs. Hunt said in accepting the award.  “Never have clear ethical choices been so needed.”

“We come into this world a clean slate,” Mr. Hunt said, following his wife.  “The truly objective factors like values and ethics are not due to DNA.”  Values, he said, are acquired primarily during a child’s formative years.

“Individually, Nancy Ann and Ray have distinguished themselves as servant leaders, quietly influencing change that is benefiting Dallas in so many ways,” said Bobby Lyle, SMU Board of Trustee member and chair of the 2013 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award luncheon. “Together, they are truly remarkable, as they have combined their talents for the good of our community, most often without the knowledge of those around them.”

Among the Hunts’ many contributions to SMU is their namesake Hunt Leadership Scholars Program, a scholarship program that supports and enables community-minded students to enhance their leadership and learning skills.

“Over the years, I have had the privilege of teaching a number of Hunt Scholars. These academically talented students often need funding to enable them to focus on their educations full time and assume leadership roles within the University and our community. The Hunts make that happen,” said Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Ethics Center and distinguished communications professor. “These quiet heroes never asked for recognition; they just saw a need and set out to fill it. Each of us will benefit as the next generation of leaders is guided by the ethical, committed and visionary role models established by Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt.”

While at SMU, Nancy Ann Hunt was active in student government and campus life, serving on the Freshman Council, as a student senator, a senior class officer and as president of standards for her sorority, Kappa Alpha Theta. The Kansas City, Mo., native graduated with a degree in elementary education, and afterward taught second and fourth grade science and math. She has since been president of three PTA groups at three different schools within the Richardson Independent School District.

Mrs. Hunt has served as president of the Shelter Ministries of Dallas (which includes the Austin Street Center and the Genesis Women’s Shelter) and as president of CONTACT Crisis Line. She is president-elect of New Friends New Life. She has also served on the boards of the SMU Alumni Association, The Winston School of Dallas, the Shelton School of Dallas, the Parish Episcopal School of Dallas and the College of the Ozarks. She is currently a trustee for SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. She is also a past board member of Promise House and Special Care and Career Center. 

She has served on the board of the Boy Scouts of America Circle Ten Council, and currently is vice-chair of its capital campaign. She also has served on the boards of Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, Trinity River Mission, Methodist Mission Home of San Antonio and the Betty Ford Center. At C.C. Young Memorial Home, Mrs. Hunt is a board emeritus member for the Board of Trustees, current trustee for the C.C. Young Foundation and chair of the Vision Achievement Council. She was a founding trustee of Presbyterian Hospital in Plano and served as vice chair of its Dallas capital campaign. Mrs. Hunt is also a member of the Methodist Health System Foundation Board of Trustees.

Mrs. Hunt has received numerous leadership and service awards, including SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award and the Boy Scouts of America’s Silver Beaver Award. She is recipient of the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System Foundation; the Special Care and Career Center Milton P. Levy Award; the CONTACT Crisis Spirit of CONTACT Award; the Women’s Center of Dallas Maura Award; the Genesis Women’s Shelter Jane Doe Award; the Rainbow Days Service to Children Award; the Parish Episcopal School Honorary Trustee Award; and the North Dallas Kappa Alpha Theta Twin Star Award for volunteer work in the community.

An active member of the United Methodist Church for three decades, she has held numerous roles, including teaching Sunday school classes for 18 years and confirmation classes for 12 years. She currently is active in numerous activities at the First United Methodist Church of Richardson.

Mr. Hunt’s leadership abilities were evident when he was a student majoring in economics at SMU. Before his graduation in 1965, he was designated a University Scholar, served on the Student Senate, received the Outstanding Business Student Award and was president of his fraternity, Phi Delta Theta. His association with Hunt Oil began before college, when in 1958 he started working as a summer oilfield employee. He now is chairman of the board, president and chief executive officer of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., and chairman of Hunt Consolidated Energy and Hunt Consolidated Investments. His business leadership also includes his membership on the boards of directors of Bessemer Securities Corporation, King Ranch, Inc., and PepsiCo.

Mr. Hunt’s leadership has contributed greatly to civic and community life in Dallas. He previously served as chairman of SMU’s Board of Trustees and currently serves on SMU’s executive committee of the Board of Trustees. He also previously served as chairman of the Dallas Citizens Council, chairman of the North Texas Commission and chairman of the Central Dallas Association. He currently is on the Board of Trustees for the George W. Bush Foundation, the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington, D.C., as well as The Cooper Institute. He also is on the advisory council of the Communities Foundation of Texas.

Mr. Hunt was twice appointed by President George W. Bush to the President’s Intelligence Advisory Board. In 1998, he was appointed by the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System to the Board of Directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He served as chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas from 2002 to 2006. He also is a member of the National Petroleum Council, an industry advisory organization to the Secretary of Energy, and served as its chairman from 1991 to 1994.

Mr. Hunt is the recipient of numerous awards, including the first J. Erik Jonsson Award given by the Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce. He also was the first to receive the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award, given by the SMU Cox School of Business and Maguire Energy Institute “to an individual who exemplifies a spirit of ethical leadership and innovative impact on the energy industry.”

Mr. Hunt also received the prestigious Order of Marib Award from the government of the Republic of Yemen, the only non-Yemini ever to be so designated. In 2000, he received the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Studies Award given by the Dallas Council on World Affairs for promoting Dallas as an international city; the Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Texas Association of Business; and the Heath Award, given by the Dallas County Medical Society to honor a layperson who has provided outstanding leadership and service to medicine and to the community of Dallas. Mr. Hunt also is the recipient of the Charles Cameron Sprague Community Service Award given by the Southwestern Medical Foundation. He is currently chairman of Dallas Medical Resource.

In 1992, Mr. Hunt was elected to the Texas Business Hall of Fame. In 2007, he was selected to receive The Dallas Morning News’ Linz Award, recognizing a Dallas County citizen whose community and humanitarian efforts, provided without monetary compensation, created the greatest benefit to the city of Dallas during the decade. In 2008, he was awarded the Texas Alliance of Energy Producers Legends Medal.

The Hunts, parents of five children and grandparents to nine, often cite their favorite expression: “There are two things of real value we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.”

Past winners of the Maguire Ethics Center’s J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, now in its 16th year, include Walter J. Humann, Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes, Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe, Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows, Jr.

This year the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award has raised more than $248,000 for SMU’s Maguire Ethics Center.

For more details about the award or the Maguire Ethics Center, visit, e‑mail or call 214-768-4255.


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 Ethics Center is proud to present this award to people whose careers should be recognized, honored and modeled.

J. Erik Jonsson was a founder of Texas Instruments, a strong advocate for education, and as mayor of Dallas from 1964 to 1971, worked to improve morale and the image of the city after the assassination of John F. Kennedy. He pushed through a $175 million bond election that financed a new city hall, the Dallas Convention Center and the Dallas Central Library, and was a driving force in the development of Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport. For more, visit award.


The Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility is a University-wide center supporting student and faculty ethics-related education and activities, as well as community outreach to private and public institutions in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. The Maguire Ethics Center serves as a forum for the exploration of issues bearing on the public good. It also seeks to challenge and encourage the development of ethical discernment, imagination and action. It brings together those who confront issues of social importance with resources and opportunities for ethical reflection. For more information, visit