Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt

Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt married two weeks after graduation from SMU, have been married for 55 years, and remain active and enthusiastic SMU supporters. They have five children and nine grandchildren. In addition to their long support and involvement with SMU, they have contributed in a myriad of ways to the civic, community service, educational, and business dimensions of Dallas and beyond.

Nancy Ann Hunt

Nancy Ann Hunt’s work has received numerous leadership and service awards, including the 2006 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System Foundation; the Maura Award from the Dallas Women’s Foundation; the Genesis Women’s Shelter Jane Doe Award; the Parish Episcopal School Honorary Trustee Award; the Kappa Alpha Theta of the Year Award for volunteer work in the community; Founding Trustee of THR Presbyterian Plano; Trustee for Children’s Medical Center; Silver Beaver Award for Boy Scouts of America Council Ten; and the Girl Scouts of Northeast Texas Woman of Distinction Award. She also serves on either the Boards of Directors/Trustees or the Executive Boards of New Friends New Life; Circle Ten Council of Boy Scouts of America; C.C. Young Senior Living Center; Shelter Ministries of Dallas (the parent entity of Austin Street Center and Genesis Women’s Shelter); Southern Methodist University Simmons School of Education & Human Development; and the National Conference on Crimes Against Women.

When longtime friend and family minister Reverend Don Benton was asked to describe Nancy Ann Hunt when she received the 2006 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System Foundation, he said the following:

If you ever fall into the trap of making day-to-day decisions based upon the opinions or the expectations of other people, then you are in reality allowing third parties to govern your life and, at that very moment, you run the risk of losing your own identity.

--- Ray L. Hunt
British critic and social theorist John Ruskin (1819-1900) once sat with a friend in the dusk of an evening and watched a lamplighter, torch in hand, lighting the street lights on a distant hill. Very soon the man’s form was no longer distinguishable in the distance, but everywhere he went he left a light burning brightly. “There,” said Ruskin, “that is what I mean by a real Christian. You can trace his course by the light that he leaves burning."

Ray L. Hunt

Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt have often cited a favorite expression:

There are two things of real value we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.

Ray L. Hunt’s leadership abilities and efforts were evident even when he was a student at SMU. At SMU, 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 while working during the summers in the oil fields in 1958. He now is executive chairman of Hunt Consolidated, Inc. In addition, his business leadership has included membership on the boards of directors of a number of publicly-held companies, including Brinker International, Halliburton, and PepsiCo. He also serves on the Board of Directors of the King Ranch Company and Bessemer Trust.

He has served our government in a variety of ways. In October 2001, President George W. Bush appointed him to the President’s Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board. He also served as chairman of the board of directors of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council (an industry advisory organization to the Secretary of Energy) and served as its chairman from June 1991 to July 1994.

Ray’s leadership has also contributed greatly to civic and community life in Dallas. He has served as chairman of the Board of Trustees of Southern Methodist University, chairman of the Dallas Citizens Council, chairman of the North Texas Commission, and chairman of the Central Dallas Association. He is currently chairman of The Dallas Medical Resource.

By their generous creation and funding of the Hunt Leadership Scholars Programs, the Hunts have attracted student leaders who help grow and deepen the roots of the SMU community. And, through their example and the experiences provided by the Hunt Leadership Scholars program, they have strengthened the roots of the Hunt Scholars themselves, and have helped them develop the leadership skills that will give them the wings to provide leadership and service beyond SMU.