The President's Scholars Program began in 1982.

Since its founding, the President’s Scholars Program has provided a world of opportunity to some of the nation’s brightest students, who in turn enrich the University environment with their intellectual vitality, diverse talents, and campus involvement.  

Contact Us:

Email: ps@smu.edu
Phone: 214-768-2508

Hours of Operation


Anita Ray Arnold is a partner in TA Capital and is active in community service. In addition to serving on the board of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series, she serves on the board of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Texas Cultural Trust Board of Directors, Texas Women for the Arts, and The Baylor Health Care System Foundation.

Anita has been involved in numerous organizations, including serving as a trustee of the John F. Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., chairing the education committee. She has served as a board member of the Clinton School of Public Service and the Texas Committee for the Humanities, and various other boards.

Truman Arnold is managing partner of TA Capital. He has served as chairman of the Board of Directors for the Texarkana College Foundation Board, past president of Texarkana Community College and on the Board of Regents of Lamar University, and is active in other fundraising and charitable organizations. In 2006, he was appointed by Governor Rick Perry to the Tax Reform Commission resulting in legislation reforming the methodology for funding public education in Texas.

In 2007, Anita and Truman Arnold were awarded an honorary Doctor of Leadership degrees from Texas A&M University-Texarkana in recognition of their many humanitarian achievements.

Established in 1984 in Minnesota, the Peggy Bauervic Foundation is an independent foundation that funds projects in education, social services, medical research and science and the arts. Mrs. Peggy Bauervic Carroll Maitland is the mother of three SMU graduates. Her eldest daughter, Lynne Marie Carroll, graduated from SMU in 1987 with a B.A. degree in political science and sociology and received her M. B. A. degree from the University of Phoenix. She passed away suddenly on January 22, 2012. She was 46 years old.

The late Laura Lee Blanton ’50 served on the SMU Board of Trustees and was honored with the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1989. The late Jack S. Blanton is an oil industry executive, civic leader and philanthropist from Houston. He served as honorary chair of the Campaign Steering Committee for Houston for SMU’s Second Century Campaign. In 1998, the Blantons received the Mustang Award in recognition of their support and leadership at SMU.


This scholarship was established in 2015 by the children of Jack S. and Laura Lee Blanton. Jack S. Blanton, Jr., Eddy Scurlock Blanton and Elizabeth Blanton Wareing created this scholarship in loving memory and honor of their late father, Jack S. Blanton.


This scholarship is named in memory and honor of Mr. Blanton's mother, Louise Wynn Blanton, who graduated from SMU in 1920 with a B.A. degree in English.

Dan and his wife, Debra, have four children and reside in Houston, Texas, where Dan is chairman of The Friedkin Group, a privately held consortium of businesses and investments primarily in the automotive industry. Its core business is Gulf States Toyota, Inc. (GST), which distributes Toyota and Scion vehicles, parts and support services to 150 dealerships throughout Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Oklahoma and Texas. In addition to several GST-affiliated entities, Dan is chairman of the Ascent Automotive Group, a retail platform that owns and operates automobile dealerships.

Dan and Debra lead a number of conservation and environmental initiatives focused primarily in Texas and in Tanzania. Dan is chairman of the Texas Parks and Wildlife Commission, the state agency responsible for managing the wildlife, cultural and natural resources of Texas. Recently, the Texas State Legislature officially recognized Debra for her support of groundbreaking work in the archaeological research of early human habitation in the Americas. In Tanzania, Dan and Debra oversee a number of luxury safari operators and the Friedkin Conservation Fund, a charitable organization established to conserve the wildlife and wilderness of more than seven million acres of Tanzania’s protected areas. He is a trustee of the Wildlife Conservation Society and advises other conservation-oriented causes.

Dan is founder of the Air Force Heritage Flight Foundation, a nonprofit organization established to honor the men and women of the U.S. Air Force through Heritage Flight displays. He flies a variety of high performance vintage military aircraft, performing in air shows across North America and Europe with the U.S. Air Force and the Horsemen P-51 Flight Team. Dan is a trustee emeritus of the Kinkaid School and a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization. He holds a B.B.A. degree from Georgetown University and a M.B.A.degree in finance from Rice University.

Leila Peyton Hall’s first husband, George L. Peyton, served on SMU’s Board of Trustees from 1934 to 1939. Upon his death, Mrs. Hall completed his term of office. She provided SMU with funds for Peyton Hall, a residence hall named in her honor. She also funded the Peyton Lectureship in Preaching, an endowment to honor the memory of George Peyton, who was a Methodist minister, director of Wesley Bible Choir and a professor of religion at SMU. Mrs. Hall died in 1972, and the Leila Peyton Hall Endowment was established in 1977 through a bequest.

The Ebby Halliday Companies is proud to be a four-year sponsor of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

The Ebby Halliday Companies, which includes Ebby Halliday, REALTORS®, Dave Perry-Miller Real Estate and Williams Trew Real Estate, is the largest independently owned residential real estate company in Texas and ranks 10th in the nation, according to REAL Trends, Inc. In addition, Ebby Halliday includes three affiliated companies: Texas Premier Title, Home Team Insurance and Home Team Mortgage Company.

Ebby Halliday is one of the oldest and most respected full-service firms in the country. Founded in 1945, the company now employs approximately 1,700 sales associates and staff in 31 North Texas offices and participates in approximately 19,200 property transactions annually, with a sales volume of more than $6.64 billion.

The Ebby Halliday Companies also ranks as the luxury market leader in North Texas, selling more million-dollar homes than any other brokerage. Through membership in Leading Real Estate Companies of the World®, Luxury Portfolio International®, Who's Who in Luxury Real Estate, and many other national and international marketing networks and venues, the company is ideally positioned to represent the area's finest properties.

The Ebby Halliday relocation division is the largest such in-house team in the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. It comprises an award-winning 20-member group of professionals who facilitate the relocation needs of some of the country’s best-known companies.

Ebby Halliday was founded on three principles of service: service to the client, service to the industry and service to the community. Celebrating its 70th anniversary in 2015, the company is proud to call North Texas home and very proud to place service to others at the forefront of everything it does.

Individuals like Linda and Mitch Hart exemplify effective leadership. Active in professional and civic endeavors, the Harts have founded, supported and enhanced many business and educational ventures, including: Hart Group, Inc.; RMAX, Inc.; the Hart Global Leaders Forum at SMU; SMU Hart eCenter; and SMU’s Hart Center for Engineering Leadership. Both Linda Hart and Mitch Hart are former Board Chairs of SMU’s Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and serve on the Board of Directors of that Series.

Linda Hart, a graduate of the SMU School of Law, is Vice Chairman, President and CEO of Hart Group, Inc., and former Chairman of Imation Corp. Ms. Hart is Vice-Chairman of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), is past Chairman of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra Association and has also been an active leader in The Dallas Citizens Council, International Women’s Forum – Dallas (IWF – Dallas), The Greater Dallas Chamber of Commerce, the Texas National Research Laboratory Commission, the International Women’s Forum Leadership Foundation and the Dallas Women’s Foundation. Ms. Hart is former Chairman and current ex officio member of the Legal Advisory Committee to the New York Stock Exchange and serves on a variety of corporate and civic boards, including Executive Boards of SMU’s Dedman School of Law and Cox School of Business.

Mitch Hart, a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy, served as an officer in the U.S. Marine Corps, has been an SMU Trustee Emeritus and was Co-Chair of the SMU Dedman College Capital Campaign Committee. He is Chairman of Hart Group, Inc., founding Director and former Chairman of the Episcopal School of Dallas and a former Trustee and Trustee Emeritus of Duke University. In 1985, he endowed the Hart Leadership Program at Duke University’s Terry Sanford Institute of Public Policy, and he and Ms. Hart served on the Institute’s Board. Mitch Hart is a member of numerous business and civic boards and is a member of World Presidents’ Organization, Chief Executives Organization and the Executive Board of the Boy Scouts of America. Additionally, he served on the SMU Campaign Leadership Council and SMU Lyle School of Engineering Executive Board and its Campaign Steering Committee.

The late Betty Jo Hay ’52 and the late Jess Hay ’53, ’55 never wavered in their commitment to SMU and to improving the lives of others. At SMU, Betty Jo earned a B.A. degree, while Jess earned a B.B.A. degree and his J.D.

Mrs. Hay was a steadfast advocate for mental health issues and served as a board member and president of the National Mental Health Association. Mr. Hay committed much of his life to improving education across Texas and served on the SMU Board of Trustees, Dedman School of Law Executive Board and The University of Texas Board of Regents, among others. Mr. Hay was the driving force behind establishing the Texas Association of Independent Colleges and Universities.

Mrs. Hay also had a reputation for dynamic leadership in the fight to help those less fortunate. She served on the National Commission on Children, Governor’s Council on Disabilities, Texas Commission on Children and Youth and the National Committee for the Prevention of Child Abuse. With her husband, the Hays combined their passions by establishing the Betty Jo Hay Distinguished Chair of Mental Health at UT Southwestern Medical Center and by founding the Texas Mental Health Foundation.

Professionally, Mr. Hay was a partner at the law firm of Locke Purnell and then went on to serve as president and CEO of Lomas Financial Corp. He also served on the board of directors of more than 23 national corporations and at least a dozen of the most prestigious Dallas organizations. Additionally, Jess Hay was a national icon in political finance. A legendary fundraiser for the Democratic Party, he was sought after for his political support and advice. Jess served as finance chairman for the DNC and on campaign finance committees for numerous officials, from Lloyd Bentsen and Dolph Briscoe to former presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter.

Both Mr. and Mrs. Hay believed in the importance of improving education. Betty Jo was a member of the Association of Higher Education, and Jess was the chairman of the Texas Foundation of Higher Education from 1987 until his recent passing. In 1990, that foundation honored the Hays with the Cecil and Ida Green Award.

Married for 53 years, the Hays were dedicated to their family and known as magnificent public servants with uncompromising integrity. Their extraordinary support of SMU and service to Texas, its people and institutions will not be forgotten. They had two daughters, Deborah Hay Spradley ’75 and Patricia Hay Bush.

The distinguished career of the late Ambassador Roy M. Huffington ’38 included global oil and gas exploration, international business, military service in the U.S. Navy and diplomatic service as U.S. Ambassador to Austria. Ambassador Huffington’s lifelong love for and association with SMU began as an undergraduate, earning a B.S. degree in geology from SMU, and continued throughout his life as he served as a trustee and a trustee emeritus. He received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1988, was awarded an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from SMU in 1990 and received The Mustang Award in 1996 with his wife, Phyllis Gough Huffington ’43, for longtime service and philanthropy to the University. The couple served on the Texas Campaign Committee during SMU’s “A Time to Lead” campaign. In 2008 Ambassador Huffington made gifts to endow SMU’s Geology Department, for which the University renamed it the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.
Katharine Hughes ’31 and Charles H. Trigg ’29 met while attending SMU. Mr. Trigg earned a B.A. degree, and Mrs. Trigg, who studied piano and organ, received a B.M. degree. Mr. Trigg played football for the SMU Mustangs and later served as assistant football coach. The Hughes-Trigg Student Center, located near the place where the couple met, is named in honor of the Triggs and their families. Mr. and Mrs. Trigg were recipients of the 1994 SMU Distinguished Alumni Award.
Ruth Ray Hunt was widely known in Dallas for her compassion toward people in need. In her lifetime, she provided generous support for numerous civic and religious projects, including gifts to her church, support for the H.L. and Ruth Ray Hunt Heart Center at Baylor University Medical Center in Dallas, the Circle 10 Council of the Boy Scouts of America, and the American Cancer Research Learning Center in Dallas. Generous in spirit, Ruth Ray Hunt is remembered for the many lives she touched with unstinting kindness.

The late Edward R. Hyde, a native of Mabank, Texas, is a retired executive of the Sun Oil Company, now known as Sunoco. He joined Sun Oil after leaving SMU and was with the company for 41 years, which included time at the company’s headquarters in Philadelphia and overseas. During his time at SMU, Mr. Hyde was involved with the Arden Playhouse after being encouraged to join by classmate Aaron Spelling. Although he would ultimately join the business world, Mr. Hyde says that his experience in drama helped him tremendously throughout the years. The skills and confidence he gained were invaluable. 

Mr. Hyde is married to Mary Ann (Jackson) Hyde. Mrs. Hyde is a trustee of The Hockaday School, former president of the Alumnae Association and a graduate of The Hockaday School Junior College. She is currently serving as a member of the Executive Board for the Meadows School of the Arts. Mrs. Hyde also currently serves on the Board of Trustees of the Presbyterian Communities and Service Foundation. She has served on the boards of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra League and A.W.A.R.E.

As a couple, the Hydes felt strongly about excellence in education and recognized SMU’s worldwide reputation. Their great motivation in giving to SMU is to help provide deserving students with an outstanding education. Mrs. Hyde continues to hold their shared belief that SMU’s theatre department is the best-kept secret in Dallas. She has season tickets and enjoys returning to campus for the outstanding performances.

Mr. and Mrs. Joe Frank Jansen, Donors

Jeffrey David Jansen ’89, a former President’s Scholar at SMU, graduated cum laude with a B.B.A. degree. Jeffrey worked as a financial analyst before his death in 1991.

Through SMU'S Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series

Jones Day ranks among the world’s largest law firms, with a seamless global network of 2,500 lawyers in offices located throughout the world’s major business and financial centers. The Dallas office provides a full range of legal services to leading companies in Texas and serves as the gateway to an extraordinary international roster of Jones Day professionals – an integrated partnership that operates as One Firm Worldwide. The One Firm structure assures that all of the firm’s resources, and all of its talented professionals, are available to each and every client, no matter where the client or the lawyer may be located.

Regarded as one of the world’s best and most integrated law firms, and perennially ranked among the best in client service, Jones Day acts as principal outside counsel to or provides significant legal representation for approximately half of the Fortune Global 500, the Fortune 500 and the FT Global 500. The Firm’s longstanding client-base – which includes leading companies engaged in virtually every industry – benefits from the strength of multidisciplinary teams and the ready transfer of resources across multiple jurisdictions and borders.

Jones Day’s Dallas office offers premier M&A capabilities, including delivering world-class transactional services in key specialties and business centers around the globe. It boasts leading restructuring skills, supported by a global network of experienced practitioners in multiple distress-related disciplines, industries and jurisdictions. Capital markets, private equity and real estate lawyers advise companies through all stages of corporate formation and growth. The tax, employee benefits and health care attorneys counsel businesses as they navigate the unique challenges and opportunities of today’s legal landscape. Seasoned Dallas office litigators also provide vigorous representation and sound guidance to clients faced with “bet-the-company” and routine intellectual property, commercial, securities and employment litigation.

The Dallas office of Jones Day is honored to share an anniversary celebration of 33 years with the SMU Tate Lecture Series.

Friends and Colleagues of William H. Lively, Donors

William H. Lively ’65 earned his B.M. degree at SMU and his M.E. degree at the University of North Texas in 1970. He has served in leadership roles as president and CEO of Up With People, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts and the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. He also served as vice chancellor of the University of North Texas System and as National Geographic’s senior vice president of development in Washington, D.C. He is currently senior advisor to American Prairie Reserve headquartered in Bozeman, Montana, and is creator and manager of the Ken Burns American Heritage Prize presented in New York City. Mr. Lively served for 25 years on the faculty and in the administration of SMU.

While at SMU, he served as vice president for development and external affairs and as director of The Campaign for SMU, interim athletic director, associate vice president and executive director of the SMU Alumni Association and associate vice president for University development. Mr. Lively founded the University’s Tate Lecture Series. He received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2004. Mr. Lively and his wife, Mickey, have five children, all of whom are SMU graduates. In recognition of Mr. Lively’s years of service to the University, and especially to the Willis M. Tate Lecture Series, which supports the SMU President’s Scholars Program, a group of Dallas business and civic leaders made gifts to SMU establishing this scholarship named in his honor.

The Frederic M. McComas President’s Scholarship Endowment was established in 1990 as a memorial from colleagues of Mr. McComas, who celebrated his 30th anniversary with Merrill Lynch shortly before his death in 1989. Before beginning his professional career at Merrill Lynch, Mr. McComas served in the intelligence branch of the Navy during the Korean War. He graduated from SMU in 1958 with a B.B.A. degree in marketing. As a student, he served as president of Alpha Tau Omega fraternity. His wife of 30 years, Mary, also graduated from SMU in 1957 with a B.A. degree. The couple’s three children continued the SMU legacy – Scot and Kelly graduated in 1990 and Andrew in 1994.

The Oaklawn Foundation, a Connecticut-based charitable organization, established this endowed scholarship as part of its mission to enhance higher education through student scholarships. The late William A. Arnold, IV ’86 was a member of the Oaklawn Foundation board for a number of years and was instrumental in establishing this scholarship at SMU.

Mr. Arnold spent his childhood in Greenwich, Connecticut, where he attended the Brunswick School before coming to SMU. While a student on the Hilltop, Mr. Arnold was actively involved with the SMU Student Foundation Endowment Fund and served as a business school senator and student body treasurer. He graduated with a B.B.A. degree in 1986 and then went on to earn his M.B.A. degree from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University.

Professionally, he held a senior finance role during the 1992 Republican National Convention for President George H.W. Bush’s re-election campaign and then went on to a successful career on Wall Street, where he worked for a number of companies including Goldman Sachs, AIM Management, Nicholas-Applegate Capital Management and Credit Suisse First Boston.

In his personal life, Mr. Arnold was known for his loyalty and kindness. He maintained close lifelong friendships dating back to his youth in Greenwich. Mr. Arnold also remained dedicated to his alma mater as he served as a member of the SMU Alumni Association Board of Directors and participated in various recruiting and fundraising efforts. This endowed scholarship serves as a fitting tribute to the legacy of William A. Arnold, IV, and his desire to improve the lives of others through higher education.

Kevin P. and Patricia A. O'Meara, Donors

This scholarship was created in memory of Robert F. O’Meara and in honor of Jeanette K. O’Meara, parents of Kevin P. O’Meara ’86, who was a member of the inaugural class of President’s Scholars in 1982. He received a B.A. in economics and a B.B.A. from SMU and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School in 1988. Mr. O’Meara has continued his involvement with SMU, having served as co-chair of the President’s Scholars Alumni Endowment Fund and as a current member of the 21st Century Council. Mrs. O’Meara received her B.A. degree from the University of Notre Dame and her J.D. from Duke University School of Law. The couple has three children.

Omni Hotels & Resorts is proud to be a continuing sponsor of SMU’s Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and the President’s Scholars Program. It is an honor to be part of helping SMU shape the future by investing in its most gifted students.

Omni is known for creating genuine, authentic guest experiences at 60 distinct luxury hotels and resorts in the leading business, convention and leisure destinations across North America. Headquartered in Dallas, Omni offers 13 award- winning properties in the major cities of Texas, including the spectacular Omni Dallas Hotel. Each of Omni’s world-class properties showcases the local flavor of the destination, and features luxury services, signature restaurants and unique wellness options.

Omni delights its guests with the delivery of exceptional personalized services, and rewards them for loyalty through its unique Select Guest program. Omni’s guests consistently rank it as achieving the highest levels of customer satisfaction as measured by J.D. Power and Associates.

Through SMU'S Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series

Oncor operates the largest electric transmission and distribution system in Texas, delivering power to more than 10 million customers and operating approximately 121,000 miles of transmission and distribution lines across the state.

Oncor is not a power generator or an electric company. They are builders, operators and maintainers of the network that delivers power to their customers. For more than 100 years, Oncor has built a reputation as a company that cares about communities, whether it involves being good stewards of the environment, promoting safety or providing safe and reliable electric service at some of the lowest rates in Texas. Keeping the lights on takes dedicated employees working around the clock every day to provide safe, reliable energy Texans can count on. Oncor delivers the energy that powers the lives of its customers.

A professor of English at SMU for 34 years, the late Laurence D. Perrine was highly esteemed by students and colleagues alike. His textbooks and scholarly writings brought him an international reputation. The success of his book, Literature: Structure, Sound, and Sense, made this endowment possible, and it remains a standard text. His wife, the late Catherine Stockard Perrine, was a member of the SMU staff and received many awards and citations for her work on environmental matters as a member of the League of Women Voters, Save Open Spaces and numerous state and local task forces. The couple was renowned for their dedication, intelligence and generosity of spirit.
Mrs. Regina Pistor and the late Charles H. Pistor ’61 served the Dallas community for more than 30 years. Mr. Pistor was a trustee and vice chair of SMU. In 1987, he was honored with the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award. A president of the American Bankers Association and CEO of Republic Bank Dallas, Mr. Pistor held three degrees, including an M.B.A. from SMU. He was a member of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business Executive Board and a member of the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board. Mrs. Pistor received a Bachelor of Science degree in education from the University of Texas. She is a former member of the SMU Godbey Lecture Series Board of Directors. The Pistors have a daughter, who is an ordained Presbyterian minister, two sons who both hold M.B.A. degrees from SMU and six grandchildren.

The L. Frank Pitts Endowed President's  Scholarships
The Linda Pitts Custard Endowed President's  Scholarship
The William A. Custard Endowed President's  Scholarship
L. Frank Pitts, Linda Pitts Custard and William A. Custard, Donors

The respect and loyalty of the Pitts/Custard family for SMU prompted L. Frank Pitts, his daughter, Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99, and her husband, William A. Custard ’57, to fund four President’s Scholarships. The late Mr. Pitts shaped the modern energy industry through his natural gas and oil businesses and provided his leadership to a number of civic causes, including the Dallas Opera, Dallas Citizens Council, Baylor University Medical Center Foundation and the World Affairs Council of Dallas/Fort Worth, among others.

Mr. Custard, president and CEO of Dallas Production, Inc., serves on the Edwin L. Cox School of Business Executive Board as well as the Advisory Board for the Maguire Energy Institute, and is a member of the National Petroleum Council, serving as an advisor to the Secretary of Energy. Mrs. Custard, general partner of Custard/Pitts Land and Cattle Company, is on the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board, served as a trustee of the University for 12 years and is a member of the Campaign Leadership Council for SMU’s Second Century Campaign and the Executive Board of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Presently she also chairs the Advisory Council of the Meadows Museum. Mrs. Custard received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2007. Together, Mr. and Mrs. Custard hold the distinction of being the only couple who were both honored with the Distinguished Alumni Award from Cox School of Business.

In addition to their support of President’s Scholars, Mr. and Mrs. Custard also endowed the L. Frank Pitts Oil and Gas Lecture Series, the L. Frank Pitts Oil and Gas Scholars and the William A. and Linda P. Custard Meadows Scholar. Most recently, they established the Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts.

President’s Scholars Alumni and Parents, Donors

In 2002, the President’s Scholars Program at SMU celebrated its 20th anniversary. To commemorate this occasion, President’s Scholars alumni and their parents contributed funds to establish the President’s Scholars Alumni Endowment Fund. The earnings from this endowment support a President’s Scholarship.

Involvement and support from alumni of the Program increased in recent years with the formation of the President’s Scholars Alumni of SMU Committee. In 2014, former Scholars Bradley Wilson ’05, Craig Zieminski ’05 and Kasi Zieminski ’06 established this Dallas-Fort Worth based affinity group to connect President’s Scholars alumni with one another and with the University through engaging events, volunteer opportunities and fundraising efforts for this scholarship fund. Over the years, the Committee has implemented a variety of activities, from networking receptions to public lectures with SMU professors. Now in its third year, the Committee continues to grow and expand as a network for former Scholars. Email ps@alumni.smu.edu to learn more about the Committee, its activities and how to become involved.

SMU Board of Trustees, Donors

A. Kenneth Pye was named the ninth president of SMU in 1987. Mr. Pye served the University with distinction until his resignation three weeks before his death in 1994. As president of SMU, Mr. Pye advanced diversity on the campus, increased the endowment by 43 percent, reestablished fiscal stability and supported academic integrity as hallmarks of the institution. Prior to coming to SMU, Mr. Pye served Duke University in several capacities: professor of law, university counsel, director of international studies, dean of the law school, chancellor and acting president. Mr. and Mrs. Pye met in Washington, D.C., and during their marriage Mrs. Pye devoted herself to supporting her husband in his career. Their son, Henry Williams Pye ’97, graduated from SMU with J.D. and M.B.A. degrees. He currently serves as Vice President for RealPage, Inc., based in Carrollton, Texas.

William J. and Carolyn M. Rainer, Donors

William Rainer ’68, ’70 received his B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from SMU. As a student, he lettered in basketball and baseball. Mr. Rainer is a co-founder of Greenwich Capital Markets, Inc., former member of the SMU Board of Trustees and a recipient of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award. He currently serves on the Dean’s Council at Harvard Divinity School. Mr. Rainer was appointed by former President Bill Clinton as chairman of the United States Enrichment Corporation and completed his public service as chairman of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission in 2001.

Carolyn Mattson Rainer ’67 received her B.A. degree from SMU and her M.S.W. degree from Columbia University. She served on the executive board for Central University Libraries and has served on the SMU-in-Taos Executive Board. The couple has three children and six grandchildren.

Reaud Charitable Foundation, Donor

This scholarship was established by SMU parent Wayne A. Reaud, Esq., in honor of his mother, Gena Reaud, of Beaumont, Texas.

Trent Redden ’06 enters his fourth season as the assistant general manager of the Cleveland Cavaliers. In his role, he works closely with Cavaliers General Manager David Griffin on all basketball and front office matters. He manages both the professional personnel and college draft processes, including scouting of all targeted players in both professional and collegiate leagues. Redden has been a member of the Cavaliers front office for all three Eastern Conference Championship seasons (’07, ’15 and ’16) in franchise history as well as the team’s first NBA Championship in 2016.

He previously served as the director of college player personnel and, prior to that, was the team’s basketball operations manager/scout. Trent began his career with the Cavaliers as a basketball operations intern in 2006 and was hired full time as the basketball operations assistant in August 2007.

Trent, a former President’s Scholar himself, graduated magna cum laude from SMU in 2006, earning degrees in accounting and public policy. The Portland, Oregon, native played basketball for two years for the Mustangs.

Lomas Mortgage USA and Friends and Colleagues of Albert Rohnstedt, Donors

The late Albert N. Rohnstedt, former president and chief executive officer of The Lomas & Nettleton Company, served for many years as a member of the boards of Lomas & Nettleton Financial Corporation and Lomas & Nettleton Mortgage Investors. Mr. Rohnstedt was a pioneer in modern mortgage banking and an industry leader throughout his career, which began in the early 1930s. He passed away in November 1987. This scholarship was created and funded by 152 donations from friends and colleagues.

Peggy and Carl Sewell share a lifelong relationship with SMU. Mr. Sewell, chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies and author of Customers for Life, received a B.B.A. degree with a double major in banking and finance and in economics from SMU in 1966. Mrs. Sewell graduated from SMU in 1972 with a B.F.A. in art history and is a highly respected civic leader. She serves as a member of the board of trustees and executive committee for the Dallas Museum of Art and as a member of The MD Anderson Cancer Center Board of Visitors. Mr. and Mrs. Sewell’s two children, Carl and Jacquelin, both earned M.S.M. degrees from SMU’s Cox School of Business and work in the family business.

Mr. and Mrs. Sewell are active at the University on a daily basis. Mrs. Sewell serves as a member of the Meadows School of the Arts Executive Board and has co-chaired with Mr. Sewell the Annual Giving Campaign. Mr. Sewell is a member of the Board of Trustees, having served as chair from 2006 to 2010, during which time SMU experienced remarkable improvement in student quality. Mr. Sewell also was chair during the planning period and public launch of SMU’s current capital campaign. He serves as co-chair of that effort as well as co-chair of The Second Century Celebration. Mr. Sewell has dedicated his time and leadership to many other SMU boards and committees.

Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler '48 and the  late Charles S. Sharp, Donors

The late Charles S. Sharp was vice chair of the board of Fidelity Union Life Insurance Company and president of the Mayflower Investment Company. His civic honors and responsibilities included service as chair of the boards of The Salvation Army, United Way, Dallas Summer Musicals and Visiting Nurses Association of Dallas. Charles was also a cofounder of Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center.

Both Ruth and Charles were recipients of the prestigious Linz Award recognizing civic leadership. Ruth’s father, the late Carr P. Collins, also was a recipient. There are only two families in Dallas to have three family members as recipients, the Collins/Sharp family and the R. L. Thorntons.

Ruth Altshuler ’48 is a member and past chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees and serves as a co-chair of SMU’s Second Century Campaign. She also serves as co-chair of the Second Century Celebration Organizing Committee, 2011-2015. She received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1966 and The Mustang Award in 1998 for her leadership and philanthropy to the University.

 In 2014, Ruth Altshuler was named a History-Making Texan by the Texas State History Museum Foundation, and in 2015, she was recognized nationally by Pi Beta Phi with the prestigious Member of Distinction Award. This spring, Ruth received the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award from the Dallas organization VolunteerNow.

Charles and Ruth have three children, who are all SMU alumni.

Harold Simmons Foundation and Harold C. and Annette Caldwell Simmons, Donors

The Harold Simmons Foundation, established in 1988, is based in Dallas, Texas, and is funded primarily by Contran Corporation, a company controlled by the late investor Harold C. Simmons. Two of his daughters, Lisa K. Simmons and Serena Simmons Connelly, manage the Foundation, which awards grants supporting education, social welfare including human rights, civic improvement, and culture and the arts.

The late philanthropist and businessman Harold C. Simmons grew up in Golden, Texas. His parents were educators who instilled in him the value of learning. He earned a B.A. degree in 1951 and an M.S. degree in 1952, both in economics, from the University of Texas at Austin. He was a former member of the executive boards of Cox School of Business and Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. His wife of 33 years, Annette Caldwell Simmons, earned a B.S. degree in elementary education from SMU in 1957 and later taught first, second and third grade at Maple Lawn Elementary School in Dallas and at Clark Field, a U.S. air base in the Philippines. Mrs. Simmons is a former member of the board of the SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Series and has been active in numerous other SMU programs and civic activities.

Together the couple has been generous supporters of education, medical research and the arts. In 2007, the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development at SMU was named in recognition of their historic gift to the University, which is among the largest to The Second Century Campaign. They also made generous gifts to Parkland Memorial Hospital and UT Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, where the cancer center bears the Simmons name. They supported the arts through gifts, including the Annette and Harold Simmons Glass Façade for the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts. Mr. and Mrs. Simmons received the Southwestern Medical Foundation’s Charles Sprague Community Service Award and the Annette G. Strauss Humanitarian Award.

Roy Sturgis was one of 10 children of an Arkansas farmer and homemaker. He dropped out of school after the eighth grade to work in the sawmills. Mr. Sturgis met and married Texas native Christine Johns. They spent most of their lives in Arkansas, although they lived in Dallas during the 1960s. Mr. and Mrs. Sturgis were successful in the timber and sawmill industries of southern Arkansas and other real estate and business investments. Mr. Sturgis died in 1976, and Mrs. Sturgis died in 1981. Mrs. Sturgis created the Dallas-based charitable trust that bears their names. Although neither had an opportunity to receive an advanced education, they recognized the importance of a formal education for everyone.

Their generosity through the charitable trust has provided scholarships for many young people attending colleges in Texas and Arkansas.

Tate Lecture Series Board of Directors, Donors

The Tate Board of Directors was created in 1992 to serve in an advisory capacity to the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. Board members pay annual dues in support of the President’s Scholars Program. Currently, J.H. Cullum Clark, president of the Prothro-Clark Company, chairs the 46-member board.

Since the Tate Lecture Series’ 25th anniversary season in 2006–07, more than 1,000 patrons have contributed more than $300,000 to the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Endowed President’s Scholars Fund. These gifts, above and beyond the proceeds from the Series itself, provide scholarship support to the world changers of the future. SMU gratefully acknowledges the generosity of our Tate Lecture patrons, who have contributed to the Tate President’s Scholars Fund over the past 10 years.

Through SMU'S Willis M. Tate Distinguished  Lecture Series

John C. Tolleson is Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Tolleson Wealth Management, a Dallas-based private banking and wealth management firm. He is the founder, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of First USA, Inc., one of the largest independent credit card companies in the U.S. prior to its merger with Bank One in 1997. John served on the SMU Board of Trustees for 12 years (2000–12) and is former Chair and current Vice-Chair of the SMU Investment Committee. He also served as Chairman of the Executive Board of the Edwin L. Cox School of Business for 10 years (2004–14) and continues to serve as a member of the board.John was the recipient of the Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award in 1996 and the Mustang Award in 2012. In 2013, he was named an SMU Honorary Letterman by the Lettermen’s Association, receiving their “M Award,” and this fall he will receive SMU’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Award.

As a community leader, he devotes time and energy to various charitable and philanthropic organizations. John serves on several boards including the Baylor Health Care System Foundation and Southwestern Medical Foundation, where he also serves on the Investment Committee. In 2014, John was named a Laureate by Junior Achievement and was inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame.

Debbie Tolleson is the President of the Tolleson Family Foundation, and serves on the Board of Directors of Tolleson Wealth Management and on the Executive Board for the Meadows School of the Arts. Debbie is a founding member of the Women’s Auxiliary of Nexus and has been actively involved in numerous philanthropic activities throughout the community for many years. Her involvement has included chairing, organizing and serving as a resource for many fundraising events for Nexus Recovery Center, the Family Place, Children’s Medical Center of Dallas, the Dallas Center for the Performing Arts Foundation, the SMU Parent Leadership Council and the Brinker International Forum.

This scholarship was created by Todd and Abigail (Abby) Williams ’94. Abby is a President’s Scholar alumna. After graduation, she accepted a position with Goldman, Sachs & Co. When she left the firm in 2000, she was serving as vice president and director of Charitable Services worldwide.

Abby is a dedicated volunteer in our community. Among her activities, Abby and her husband helped found the Williams Preparatory School, a K-12 free tuition, public charter school operated by Uplift Education that educates 1,200 primarily low- income children in northwest Dallas. She is actively involved with the school through service on the Uplift Education Board of Directors. Additionally, Abby leads a Commit! Network, P3, which aims to partner local public elementary schools in North Dallas with nearby private institutions to create effective channels of literacy support for more than 10,000 students. She and her husband, Todd, co-chair the Dallas-Fort Worth Regional Teach For America Advisory Council. Abby is also a member of the Board of Trustees for the Perot Museum of Nature and Science. Abby and Todd live in Dallas with their five sons.