Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler

When the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility sought to honor an exemplar of devotion to the welfare of others, the definitive choice was Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, the 2011 recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award.

With her distinctive record of imparting inspiration to the SMU community and presenting tireless service at national, state, and civic levels, Altshuler was honored at a sold-out luncheon ceremony held March 10th at the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom at SMU’s Umphrey Lee Center.  In attendance was a distinguished group of leaders including former First Lady Laura Bush, SMU President Gerald Turner, Maguire Ethics Center Director Rita Kirk, philanthropist Nancy Strauss Halbreich, and Susan G. Komen for the Cure founder and CEO Nancy Brinker. Mrs. Altshuler was introduced by her daughter, Sally Sharp Harris.

Altshuler has been an iconic pioneer of campus involvement, serving as co-chair of the Second Century Campaign Leadership Council, co-chair of the Campaign for SMU, and former chair of the Board of Trustees.  She is the longest serving member of SMU’s Board of Trustees. A new summer internship at the Maguire Ethics Center was established in her honor; the chosen undergraduate, computer science student Meera Nair, spent the summer in India working with special needs children.

Outside of SMU, Altshuler was appointed to the Library of Congress Trust and the U.S. Commission to UNESCO by President George W. Bush and Secretary of State Colin Powell, respectively.

The J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award is given annually to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virture. It is named for the former Dallas mayor and a founder of Texas Instruments.

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler joins the esteemed company of past winners Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Dr. Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Dr. Charles C. Sprague, and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.