Both 1982 graduates of SMU, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong received their B.S. degrees in geology. During their time as students, they lived on campus and participated actively in Greek life – Mrs. Armstrong in Pi Beta Phi and Mr. Armstrong in Phi Gamma Delta – as well as in programs at the SMU-in-Taos campus. Though they met in Geology 101, it was their participation in Fort Burgwin’s geology field camp that brought them together as a couple. Their interest in geology and exploration continued past their time at SMU and led to their successful careers in the oil and gas industry and numerous entrepreneurial endeavors.
In 1984, the Armstrongs founded Armstrong Oil and Gas, Inc., an exploration company based in Denver, Colorado, conducting business throughout the United States, with a focus on the North Slope of Alaska. Twenty years later, they established Epoch Estate Wines in Paso Robles, California, where they enjoy their roles as vintners focusing on ultrapremium Rhone-style wines. In Denver, the Armstrongs have a long history of nonprofit engagement serving as Trustees of the Denver Art Museum, Colorado Ballet and Central City Opera. Mrs. Armstrong also sits on the Boards of the School of American Ballet (NYC) and Westminster School (CT). They have three children: Lindsey ’10, Jack and Leigh ’11. As SMU parents, the Armstrongs chaired the Parent Leadership Council and reenergized their love of SMU. Mr. Armstrong serves as a member of the Board of Trustees, and Mrs. Armstrong chairs the Executive Board of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.
In addition to their service, the Armstrongs have demonstrated their support and aspirations for the University through their generosity to SMU-in-Taos, athletics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, student initiatives and other areas across campus. The Armstrongs can be found with their extended family – nine Mustangs over the last four decades – on the Boulevard tailgating each fall.
In 2011, Mr. and Mrs. Armstrong provided the first lead gift for a new Residential Commons facility that would expand housing on campus to include both first-year students and sophomores. Mr. Armstrong’s deep admiration for SMU football legend Doak Walker, a Coloradoan, led the Armstrongs to fund the construction of the facility closest to the statue honoring the extraordinary running back. It is with deep gratitude that SMU recognizes their generosity with the naming of Armstrong Commons.