Milledge A. Hart, III named SMU Trustee Emeritus

The SMU Board of Trustees has named former trustee Milledge A. “Mitch” Hart, III as Trustee Emeritus. The Board passed a resolution to honor Hart with this designation during its quarterly meeting February 21, 2013.

Mitch HartDALLAS (SMU) — The SMU Board of Trustees has named former trustee Milledge A. “Mitch” Hart, III as Trustee Emeritus. The Board passed a resolution to honor Hart with this designation during its quarterly meeting February 21, 2013.

For extraordinary service and leadership, former members of the SMU Board may be named emeriti members. To date, in its 100-year history, only nine individuals have been named Trustee Emeriti. Hart served on the SMU Board from 1996 to 2008.

“Mitch Hart provided and continues to provide the vision and resources to initiate new programs of significance at SMU,” said Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. “This singular honor is a fitting recognition of his remarkable service to the SMU Board and the guidance he will continue to provide as trustee emeritus.”

During his SMU Board terms, Hart served on several committees: Academic Policy, Planning & Management; Audit; Buildings and Grounds; Development and External Affairs; Executive/Personnel/Compensation; and Investment. He also served as a member of the Dedman College Executive Board.

Hart currently serves on the Leadership Council of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, which is raising funds supporting student quality, academic and faculty excellence and the campus experience. He also is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees’ Development and External Affairs Committee and is a member and former chair of the Board’s Investment Committee. In addition, he serves on the Lyle School of Engineering Campaign Steering Committee and the school’s Executive Board. He is a member of the Hart Global Leaders Forum Advisory Board and is a member and former chair of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Board.

Highlights of Hart’s involvement with SMU include:

  • The Hart Global Leaders Forum: Hart and his wife, Linda Wertheimer Hart, initiated and funded this program, which brings world leaders to Dallas to share their knowledge and experience with high school student leaders, SMU students and community members. Speakers have included Former Secretary of State Colin Powell, former Prime Minister of Great Britain and Northern Ireland Tony Blair, and His Holiness the Dalai Lama.
  • The Linda and Mitch Hart eCenter: The eCenter was established and funded in 2000 to support cross-disciplinary activities related to technology. The Guildhall at SMU, an eCenter initiative, is considered to be the premier graduate video game education program in the United States.
  • The Linda and Mitch Hart Lecture of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and The Linda and Mitch Hart President’s Scholars: The lecture series provides scholarships for the President’s Scholars program, the highest academic merit awards given by the University. The Harts sponsor four President’s Scholars. The first ever named Tate lecture was named for Mitch Hart by his wife.
  • The Hart Center for Engineering Leadership: Hart and his wife, Linda Wertheimer Hart, also led the conception and establishment of this initiative in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. The Center helps undergraduate engineering students develop broader skills through leadership coaching, community engagement and mentoring.
  • The Linda Wertheimer Hart and Milledge A. Hart, III Scholarship in SMU’s Dedman School of Law.

In 2003, the Harts received the Mustang Award, the University’s highest honor recognizing longtime service and philanthropy.

Milledge “Mitch” A. Hart, III is chairman of the Hart Group Inc., a diversified group of companies he formed in 1983. Prior to establishing the Hart Group, Hart founded and remains chairman of the board of Rmax Operating LLC, an insulation manufacturer.

In 1962, Hart joined Ross Perot as one of the founders of Electronic Data Systems Corp. He became EDS executive vice president in 1969 and president in 1970, the position he held until his retirement in 1977. He is also a founding investor and former director and member of the Executive Committee of Home Depot Inc., where he served from 1978 to 2008.

His philanthropy and involvement with the Dallas community includes, with his wife, Linda Wertheimer Hart, the establishment of the Dallas Symphony Association’s International Touring Fund, UT-Southwestern Medical Center’s Perry E. Gross M.D. Distinguished Chair in Family Practice (named for the Harts’ family physician), the Linda and Mitch Hart Distinguished Chair in Neurology at UT Southwestern, and the Ms. Linda W. Hart and Mr. Milledge A. Hart III Fund, in Honor of Kern Wildenthal, M.D., Ph.D, also at UT Southwestern. He was a founder and first Chairman of the Board of the Episcopal School of Dallas, has also been active with the Episcopal School of Dallas’ Wellness for Life Campaign, the Dallas Museum of Art, Boy Scouts of America Circle Ten Council, the Center for Nonprofit Management, the Chief Executives Organization, Dallas Acts Kind Foundation, World Affairs Council, Dallas/Fort Worth Regional Film Commission Board, and the Dallas Women’s Foundation.

Hart earned his B.S. degree from the United States Naval Academy in 1956 and served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps. His wife, Linda, earned a 1962 B.S. degree from the University of Pittsburgh and a 1965 LL.B. degree from SMU.

Hart’s election as an SMU trustee emeritus makes him the ninth individual so honored since the University created the designation in 1990 and one of four currently serving, including Edwin L. Cox, William L. Hutchison, and Cary M. Maguire. Past trustees emeriti included the late Gov. William P. Clements Jr., J. Lindsay Embrey Jr., William R. Hawn, Roy M. Huffington, and Elizabeth Perkins Prothro.

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