Elisabeth Martin Armstrong and her husband, William D. Armstrong ’82, serve as chairs of the new Campaign Steering Committee for Denver. The Armstrongs also serve as chairs of the Parent Leadership Council (PLC), charged with expanding membership and increasing gifts to the SMU Parent Fund. In addition, they contributed support for the construction and restoration of student casitas at SMU’s Taos campus. Liz Armstrong received a B.S. degree in geology from SMU, was a member of the student chapter of the American Association of Petroleum Geologists, served as treasurer of Pi Beta Phi sorority and was an AARO leader.
Campaign Update: Your family has a strong tradition of attending SMU. Would you talk a little bit about that history?
Armstrong: Bill and I were undergraduates at the same time at SMU. My brother (Taylor Martin ’99) was student body president at SMU and a Peruna runner. And my daughters, Leigh and Lindsay, who are both currently students at SMU, are the tenth and eleventh members of our family to attend the University. We all believe SMU is a very special place where it’s possible to get an incredible education, have a wonderful time, and emerge as a very balanced person.
CU: Why do you feel a special connection to SMU’s Taos campus?
Armstrong: I met Bill in a first year geology class, but it was during geology field camp in Taos during the summer of 1981 that we really fell in love. When you spend that much time together, looking as disgusting as we looked most of the time, doing hard work in the hot weather, covered in dirt and sweat, you get very close. It was a bonding experience for all of us who were there, and it was one of the greatest experiences I ever had.
CU: Why did you feel it was important to assume the job of a Denver Campaign Steering Committee chair?
Armstrong: It was a natural progression from the other volunteer leadership positions we had held at SMU. Being co-chair of the Parent Leadership Council is the most fun job I have ever had. And we wanted very much to help people with a connection to SMU to re-engage and show them the importance of being involved in the campaign. We had a core committee of wonderful, special people who are a lot of fun to work with, including people from the PLC. That gave us a critical mass and helped us get started.
CU: How would you describe the experience of having served the University in so many ways?
Armstrong: It’s incredibly fun and rewarding. I feel that I get a lot more back than I put in. The people I contact are interested, there is great staff support and the University makes you feel appreciated. It’s wonderful to be able to give back to something that gave us so much.