For the Record

Michael Molina, AIA, NCARB, named SMU Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management and Chief Architect

Michael Molina head shotMichael Molina, an architect and construction professional with more than 13 years of experience in university campus planning and design, has been named SMU’s Associate Vice President of Facilities Planning and Management and Chief Architect. He will begin his new duties on Monday, April 2, 2018.

“Michael received overwhelming positive feedback from all who met with him during his SMU visit. His approach to customer service and his transparent communication style will serve our campus well,” said Chris Casey Regis, SMU vice president for business and finance. “His technical knowledge and professional background were impressive and will allow the Facilities team to better serve the SMU community.”

“As a native of the Dallas area, I am excited to return to my roots and pursue this new adventure,” said Molina. “I am humbled and honored to be selected for this role and work alongside SMU’s progressive leadership team. I look forward to playing a part in the continuum of the campus’ aesthetically iconic Collegiate Georgian architectural heritage.”

As vice chancellor of facilities planning and construction in the Texas Tech University (TTU) System, Molina leads a 40-person multidisciplinary team and oversees an annual $385 million capital improvement portfolio that includes partnering, program development, design and construction.

During his tenure, he has established definitive guidelines for integrating Texas Tech University’s signature Spanish Renaissance architectural style into all new facility programming and planning. In addition, he administered to completion more than 70 projects at all four TTU System component universities for a total capital improvement portfolio exceeding $1.1 billion.

Molina initiated more connectivity between the TTU System and the local and national design and construction industry, which gave the system a broader pool of professional partners and a more competitive cost-avoidance strategy — resulting in more than $22 million in savings being returned to the TTU System’s component institutions: TTU, Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center (TTUHSC), Angelo State University and Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center El Paso. He also established industry feedback events with the national design and builders’ communities.

Previously, Molina served TTU and TTUHSC as an architect and project manager in their facilities planning and construction and project engineering offices. He managed Lubbock-based and statewide campus projects from design to completion and coordinated staff safety training as acting safety officer. He served on TTU’s Physical Plant Safety Committee and received the university’s Superior Achievement Award in 1996 and its Chancellor’s Award of Excellence in 1998.

“Michael Molina has served the Texas Tech University System with utmost professionalism for nearly eight years,” said TTU System Chancellor Robert Duncan. “Michael’s leadership is transformative; he has moved us into a historic period of capital construction across our universities and instituted processes and plans that will ensure our long-term success. The more than 70 projects completed during his tenure are a testament to the impactful legacy he leaves behind. Michael will be missed greatly by all of us at the system, but I know he will continue to make us proud at SMU.”

From 1998 to 2009, Molina served as vice president, facilities design and development, with United Supermarkets, Ltd., in Lubbock. He managed a 25-person team as well as a statewide multi-brand facilities portfolio and a $17 million annual budget. He also coordinated a strategic, $750 million 10-year growth plan that included real estate acquisition, budget development, and project management from conceptual design through construction completion.

In addition, Molina has served as CEO/owner of JDMA Architects, Inc., and investor/partner in M3d Construct, LLC, both based in Lubbock and operating in multi-state regions. His responsibilities included cost modeling; fiscal strategy; design process and quality assurance development; client relations; and team leadership and training.

Molina earned his Bachelor of Architecture degree in design and city planning from Texas Tech in 1991. He is a member of the American Institute of Architects (AIA) and has served on the Lubbock Chapter Executive Board and as editor of the chapter’s newsletter. He is also a member of the Texas Society of Architects (TSA), National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB) and Association of University Architects (AUA).

His community involvement includes service as a coach for Little League Baseball, Lubbock Youth Football and youth soccer. He has served as a member of the Louise Hopkins Underwood Center of the Arts (LHUCA) Board, Covenant Medical Group Heart Health Board and the Lubbock Municipal Arts Committee, as well as Lubbock Habitat for Humanity. As a member of Lakeridge United Methodist Church, he served as a youth bible study leader and on the Building Committee, as well as Board of Trustees chair. He has also served as president of the Board of Trustees of St. Luke’s United Methodist Church.

Cecil and Ida Green Chair Ronald A. Rohrer named to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering and Science of Texas

Ronald A. Rohrer

Inventor and scholar Ronald A. Rohrer, the Cecil & Ida Green Chair and Professor of Engineering in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering, has been named to The Academy of Medicine, Engineering, and Science of Texas (TAMEST). The nonprofit organization, founded in 2004, brings together the state’s top scientific, academic and corporate minds to support research in Texas.

The organization builds a stronger identity for Texas as an important destination and hub of achievement in these fields. Members of The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine, and the state’s nine Nobel Laureates comprise its 270 members. The group has 18 member institutions, including SMU, across Texas.

Rohrer joins three other distinguished SMU faculty members in TAMEST — Fred Chang, executive director of the Lyle School’s Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security; Delores Etter, founding director of the Lyle School’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education and electrical engineering professor emeritus; and David Meltzer, Henderson-Morrison Chair and professor of prehistory in anthropology in Dedman College.

Considered one of the preeminent researchers in electronic design automation, Rohrer’s contributions to improving integrated circuit (IC) production have spanned over 50 years. Rohrer realized early on that circuit simulation was crucial to IC design for progress in size reduction and complexity. Among his achievements was introducing a sequence of circuit simulation courses at the University of California, Berkeley, that evolved into the SPICE (Simulation Program with Integrated Circuit Emphasis) tool, now considered the industry standard for IC design simulation. At Carnegie Mellon University, Rohrer introduced the Asymptotic Waveform Evaluation (AWE) algorithm, which enabled highly efficient timing simulations of ICs containing large numbers of parasitic elements.

“The appointment of Ron Rohrer into TAMEST will increase the visibility of Lyle’s outstanding faculty members,” said Marc P. Christensen, dean of the Lyle School of Engineering.  “Through TAMEST, Rohrer will share his vast knowledge and inspire additional collaborative research relationships with other outstanding Texas professors and universities. This will elevate SMU and the state as a leading center of scholarship and innovation.”

Once an SMU electrical engineering professor back in the late 70’s, Rohrer rejoined the Lyle School as a faculty member in 2017. He is professor emeritus of electrical and computer engineering at Carnegie Mellon and Rohrer’s career has included roles in academia, industrial management, venture capital, and start-up companies.

“I’ve stayed close to industry to be a practicing engineer and close to academia to conduct deeper research on hard problems,” said Rohrer.

According to Rohrer, one pressing problem is analog integrated circuit design automation, also the name of the project-based research course he’s currently teaching.  “In the analog domain, it’s hard to design a 20-transistor circuit.  My goal is to make analog integrated circuit design more accessible to students and industry, especially for our local corporate partners,” he said. “I want to get the ball rolling so younger engineers can keep it moving toward a complete solution.”

Along with his membership in TAMEST and the National Academy of Engineering, Rohrer is an IEEE Life Fellow. His professional service includes several other prominent positions with IEEE, AIEE, and U.S. government committees.

Rohrer is the author and co-author of five textbooks and more than 100 technical papers as well as the holder of six patents. He has received 11 major awards, including the IEEE Education Medal and the NEC C&C Prize.

— Written by Kimberly Cobb

SMU Debate wins 2018 Texas state championship

SMU Debate at the 2018 TIFA State Championships - Darcy Wyatt, Chip Myers, Dr. Ben Voth, Matthew Lucci, Maggie Cook-Allen

Four SMU debaters brought home multiple awards, including a team title, at the 2018 TIFA State Championships. Left to right: Darcy Wyatt, Chip Myers, Dr. Ben Voth (SMU Debate director), Matthew Lucci, Maggie Cook-Allen.

SMU Debate brought only four team members to the state championships, but that was all they needed. The team brought home multiple awards in the 2018 Texas Intercollegiate Forensics Association (TIFA) state championships, held at Blinn College in Bryan over the Feb. 3-4 weekend.

Competing against 13 other Texas universities and colleges, they took home top speaker, top scoring school and top novice debater, among other honors, in the International Public Debate Association (IPDA) division. SMU competed exclusively in IPDA-format events; the tournament also featured competition in Parliamentary and Lincoln Douglas divisions.

> Follow SMU Debate on Facebook

Some of the highlights:

  • Matthew Lucci (B.S. Mechanical Engineering ’18) won top speaker and was undefeated through all seven rounds of debate.
  • Lucci and Maggie Cook-Allen (B.A. Political Science, B.A. Philosophy ’21) defeated rivals from Texas A&M and Tyler Junior College to claim first and second place for SMU in the open division tournament. “Open division” is open to varsity, junior varsity or novice competitors. The four SMU debaters are junior varsity or novice.
  • Mark “Chip” Myers (B.A. History ’21) won top novice IPDA debater.
  • Darcy Wyatt (B.S. Biochemistry ’21) was the 8th-rated debater in the state of Texas in IPDA.
  • SMU had three of the top eight debaters in the quarterfinals, more than any other school at the tournament.
  • The University also took first place in the IPDA sweepstakes awards.
  • In addition to placing first in the state in the category of International Public Debate, SMU placed fifth in overall speech and debate awards.

The debate team’s director is Ben Voth, speech associate professor in the Meadows School of the Arts’ Division of Corporate Communications and Public Affairs. Assistant coaches include Keith Milstead and Ross Sloan. The program is funded and sponsored by the Meadows School and the SMU Vice President of Student Affairs.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows website

Gail O. Turner named 2018 Maura Award winner by Dallas Women’s Foundation

Gail O. TurnerDallas Women’s Foundation (DWF) has named Gail O. Turner as one of four recipients of its 2018 Maura Women Helping Women Award. The winners will be honored at the Leadership Forum & Awards Dinner, presented by AT&T, on Thursday, April 19, at the Omni Dallas Hotel, 555 S. Lamar Street.

The Maura Awards recognize “leaders who have positively impacted the lives of women and girls in the North Texas area,” according to a DWF press release announcing the honors. Tickets to the dinner start at $350; sponsorships are also available. Learn more at the Dallas Women’s Foundation website.

Gail Turner, the wife of SMU President R. Gerald Turner, is a founding member and former board chair of New Friends New Life (NFNL), a Dallas organization that serves women and children who have been victimized by trafficking. She has worked with NFNL successfully to lobby the Texas Legislature on laws that help victims of human trafficking. She also serves on the board of Shelter Ministries of Dallas, comprised of Austin Street Center, which assists 400 homeless people each night, and Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support.

As “First Lady of SMU,” Gail Turner also serves on the boards of the Meadows School of the Arts and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

“It is a great honor for Dallas Women’s Foundation to recognize … extraordinary leaders whose example and service to women and girls are literally awe-inspiring,” said Roslyn Dawson Thompson, Dallas Women’s Foundation president and chief executive officer.

Mrs. Turner’s fellow Maura Award honorees include Arcilia C. Acosta, president and CEO of CARCON Industries and founder and CEO of STL Engineers; Jocelyn D. Kidd, DDS, a Dallas dentist and mentor to young women in STEM fields; and Dr. Cynthia Mickens Ross, creator of the Path~Way to Purpose® program and senior pastor of Path~Way to Life Center of Hope Church in Hutchins, Texas.

Two women under 40 will receive Young Leader Awards, presented by Capital One: Vanessa Bouché, Ph.D., an assistant professor of political science at TCU and a principal investigator on several federally funded human trafficking projects from the U.S. Department of Justice and the U.S. Agency for International Development; and Brooke López, a recent UT-Dallas graduate and founder of the nonprofit Students of Change.

Dallas Women’s Foundation is the largest regional women’s fund in the world. It is a trusted leader in advancing positive social and economic change for women and girls. Since 1985, DWF has granted more than $37.6 million to help create opportunities and solve issues for women and girls.

> Visit Dallas Women’s Foundation online: dallaswomensfdn.org

Michael Bloomberg receives Medal of Freedom from SMU’s Tower Center

Michael Bloomberg with SMU students

SMU Tower Scholars attended the Tower Center Medal of Freedom Forum with Michael Bloomberg (front row, center) on January 29, 2018. The event took place at the Meadows Museum.

Businessman, philanthropist, author and former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg received on Jan. 29, 2018, the Tower Center Medal of Freedom from SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies. The honor, presented every two years, recognizes “extraordinary contributions for the advancement of democratic ideals and to the security, prosperity and welfare of humanity.”

Bloomberg was elected the 108th mayor of New York City in 2001 and won re-election in 2005 and 2009. As the first New York mayor elected after the 9/11 attacks, he put emergency preparation, infrastructure issues, education, and environmental and health regulations at the center of his concerns. During his tenure, he balanced the city budget, raised New York teacher salaries; unveiled PlaNYC: A Greater, Greener New York to fight climate change and prepare for its impacts; and co-founded Mayors Against Illegal Guns (now Everytown for Gun Safety), a nonpartisan advocacy group dedicated to reducing the number of illegal guns in U.S. cities.

“In the aftermath of the worst terror attack on U.S. soil, Michael Bloomberg led New York City out of mourning and back into its place as one of the most important cities in the world. He took the city’s public education system and poverty issues head on during his two terms as mayor,” said SMU Trustee Jeanne Tower Cox ’78 in her introduction. She also lauded Bloomberg’s work with his foundation, Bloomberg Philanthropies, which focuses on five areas that echo his priorities as mayor: public health, the arts, government innovation, the environment, and education.

Born in Boston in 1942, Bloomberg graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1964 with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering. He earned his M.B.A. from Harvard in 1966 and served as a partner in the Wall Street investment bank of Salomon Brothers before founding his own company. Innovative Market Systems, later renamed Bloomberg L.P., went on to revolutionize the rapid graphing and distribution of business and financial information and ultimately made him a billionaire. After his mayoral service, Bloomberg returned to serve as CEO of Bloomberg L.P. at the end of 2014.

In 2017, with a personal fortune Forbes magazine reported to be $47.5 billion, Bloomberg was listed among the 10 richest people in the world. Forbes estimates his wealth as of January 2018 to be $52.7 billion. In 2010, he became a founding participant in The Giving Pledge, a campaign in which the world’s wealthiest individuals and families pledge to contribute at least half their net worth to philanthropic causes.

Previous Tower Center Medal of Freedom recipients include former U.S. Secretaries of State James A. Baker III and Colin Powell, former British Prime Ministers Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair, U.S. Senator John McCain, historian David McCullough, former commander-in-chief of U.S. Central Command Gen. Tommy R. Franks (Ret.), former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush, and former First Lady Laura Welch Bush ’68.

The SMU Tower Center was created to commemorate the late U.S. Senator John G. Tower, whose life was dedicated to public service and education. In the spirit of John Tower‘s commitment to educate and inspire a new generation of thoughtful leaders, the Tower Center seeks to bridge the gap between the world of ideas, scholarship and teaching, and the practice of politics. The primary mission of the Tower Center is to promote the study of politics and international affairs and to stimulate an interest in ethical public service among undergraduates. The Tower Center is an academic center where all parties and views are heard in a marketplace of ideas, and the Center will pursue its mission in a nonpartisan manner.

> Visit SMU’s Tower Center online: smu.edu/tower

SMU Guildhall, Biological Sciences faculty to help launch disease-fighting game technology in online event on Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017

HEWMEN alpha launch graphic

What would be the impact if humans could harness the resources of massive online communities to fight disease? SMU faculty members have developed a technology that gives video gamers the power to fight disease through data – and the entire University community is invited to participate in its online launch.

On Thursday, Dec. 21, 2017 from 6-8 p.m. CST, BALANCED Media Technology – cofounded by SMU Guildhall faculty members Corey Clark and Rob Atkins – will host an online Alpha Launch of its proprietary HEWMEN™ platform. The event will be streamed live on Mixer.com and hosted on the SMU Guildhall Facebook page.

> Learn more about HEWMEN™ and download the game client: hewmen.io/alpha

> Visit Facebook.com/SMUGuildhall to RSVP for the online launch

John Wise and Pia Vogel, faculty members in the Department of Biological Sciences of SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, will also be on hand for the launch. Their research on cancer-fighting drugs provided the impetus for the specially designed Minecraft mod, and their amassed data helps to power the HEWMEN™ integration.

Wise and Vogel have tapped the high-performance computing power of SMU’s Maneframe II, one of the most powerful academic supercomputers in the nation. Yet a network of gamers can crunch massive amounts of data during routine gameplay by pairing two powerful weapons: human intuition, and the massive computing power of networked gaming machine processors. Taking this research to the gaming community will more than double the amount of machine processing power attacking the problem.

> SMU Research: SMU Guildhall and cancer researchers level up in quest to beat cancer

Viewers can watch popular Minecraft streamers GhostfromTexas, Direwolf20, TangoTek and impulseSV demonstrate the high technology and the serious fun of games that help researchers fight disease. In addition, casual and committed gamers can join in through a modified version of the popular Minecraft “Bed Wars” designed to find new cancer therapies – all during regular gameplay.

> Learn more and find more useful links at the SMU Guildhall’s launch page

25 SMU professors receive 2018-19 Sam Taylor Fellowships

Twenty-five SMU faculty members have received 2018-19 Sam Taylor Fellowships from the Sam Taylor Fellowship Fund of the Division of Higher Education, United Methodist General Board of Higher Education and Ministry.

The Fellowships, funded by income from a portion of Taylor’s estate, award up to $2,000 for full-time faculty members at United Methodist-related colleges and universities in Texas. Any full-time faculty member is eligible to apply for the Fellowships, which support research, “advancing the intellectual, social or religious life of Texas and the nation.”

Applications are evaluated on the significance of the project, clarity of the proposal, professional development of the applicant, value of the project to the community or nation and the project’s sensitivity to value questions confronting higher education and society.

The winning professors for this academic year, by college or school:

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Jing Cao, Statistical Science

  • Simon Dalley, Physics

  • Alan Elliott, Statistical Science

  • Jo Guldi, History

  • Chrystyna Kouros, Psychology

  • Priscilla Lui, Psychology

  • Karen Lupo, Anthropology

  • Alicia Meuret, Psychology

  • Thomas Ritz, Psychology

  • Peng Tao, Chemistry

  • Hervé Tchumkam, World Languages and Literatures

  • Jingbo Ye, Physics

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Amber Bemak, Film and Media Studies

  • LaShonda Eaddy, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs

  • Amy Freund, Art History

  • Yan Huang, Advertising

  • Anna Kim, Advertising

  • Zachary Wallmark, Music

  • Hye Jin Yoon, Advertising

Lyle School of Engineering

  • Ali Heydari, Mechanical Engineering

  • MinJun Kim, Mechanical Engineering

  • Jaewook Myung, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Perkins School of Theology

  • Jack Levison, Old Testament Interpretation

  • Natalia Marandiuc, Christian Theology

  • Priscilla Pope-Levison, Ministerial Studies

SMU Police Department earns reaccreditation from International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators

IACLEA logoThe SMU Police Department has been reaccredited by the International Association of Campus Law Enforcement Administrators (IACLEA). The department received notice in a letter dated Nov. 28, 2017, in which IACLEA President David Bousquet commended the SMU Police “for demonstrating a commitment to the highest professional practices.”

IACLEA determines fitness for accreditation by measuring 215 core and elective standards organized under 18 chapters – ranging from organization and administration, to training and professional development, to crime prevention and community involvement. A department must maintain “the best professional requirements and practices for campus public safety agencies” to qualify.

> SMU Forum: Campus law enforcement accreditation team to visit SMU

The reaccreditation culminates a voluntary process by which a visiting assessment team has verified that the department meets IACLEA’s standards. The team examined all aspects of SMU Police Department policy, procedures, management, operation and support services.

The assessment team was composed of experienced campus law enforcement professionals from outside of Texas. Capt. Gary Heller, Amtrak Police Department (team leader), and Capt. John K. Jacobs, University of Richmond, served as the initial assessors.

The accreditation process has five stages: application, self-assessment, agency evaluation, commission review, and maintenance and reaccreditation. Accreditation is for four years, during which the department must submit annual reports attesting to continued compliance with those standards under which it was initially accredited.

> Visit the SMU Police Department online: smu.edu/pd

Three Roads to Magdalena author David Wallace Adams receives Weber-Clements Book Prize Nov. 15, 2017

Three Roads to Magdalena coverAcclaimed as a unique and enduring window into borderlands history, David Wallace Adams’ 2016 book, Three Roads to Magdalena: Coming of Age in a Southwest Borderland, 1890-1990, received this year’s Weber-Clements Prize for Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. The public event was hosted by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

Three Roads to Magdalena is a unique blend of oral, social and childhood history about a region of New Mexico that Adams fell in love with while serving as curriculum director at a Navajo Reservation school in Alamo, New Mexico. Thirty miles to the northwest was Magdalena, a once-booming frontier town where Navajo, Anglo and Hispanic people have lived in shifting, sometimes separate, sometimes overlapping worlds for well over a century.

Adams’ time as a Clements Center Fellow from 2005-06 afforded him the opportunity to hone several thousand pages of multi-faceted, highly personal research he had collected into what would become this 454-page book, published by University Press of Kansas.

David Wallace Adams, kroberts@abqjournal.com

David Wallace Adams

Now professor emeritus of history and education at Cleveland State University in Ohio, Adams teaches courses about the American West and Native American history. He also is the author of the acclaimed 1995 book, Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928.

The Weber-Clements Award, overseen by the Western History Association (WHA), honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book on Southwestern life published in the year prior to its selection. The winning author receives $2,500.

Three Roads to Magdalena “draws upon a precious trove of interviews to explain what it was like growing up in this multicultural borderland during the late 19th and 20th centuries,” WHA judges noted. “From the hazy, tactile memories of early childhood through the hot and precise recollections of adolescent adventures, people across the region shared moving and intimate stories of the kind historians are seldom privileged enough to hear. Balancing critical distance with insight, humor and compassion, Adams has woven these recollections together into a book that is wise, challenging, absorbing, ingeniously researched and beautifully written.”

SMU history professor Neil Foley recently made the book required reading in his graduate-level class, “Citizenship and Transnational Identity.” When Foley learned that two of his assigned books had been considered for the Weber-Clements Prize, “I decided to ask the students, ‘If you were on the prize committee, which one of these two finalists do you think should win?’ After a straw poll, the students unanimously agreed Three Roads to Magdalena should take the prize. And to everyone’s delight, Foley informed the class that Adams’ book did win.

“That just goes to show you don’t have to be a professional historian to write good history [Adams has a doctorate in education] – and you don’t need to be a professional historian to know when you’re reading good history,” Foley says.

— Written by Denise Gee

Bishop Michael McKee ’78 named 2017 Distinguished Alumnus by Perkins School of Theology

Bishop Michael McKeeMichael McKee, SMU trustee and resident bishop of the Dallas Area of The United Methodist Church, has been named the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. He will be honored during the annual awards banquet on Monday, Nov. 13, 2017 at 5 p.m. in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall.

Bishop McKee was selected for the award by the Perkins Alumni/ae Council for his demonstrated effectiveness and integrity in service to the church, continuing support and involvement in the goals of Perkins School of Theology and SMU, distinguished service in the wider community and exemplary character.

A native of Fort Worth, Bishop McKee’s service to The United Methodist Church, to Southern Methodist University, and to Perkins School of Theology has spanned almost five decades and has influenced the denomination at the local, regional, national, and global levels.

“Bishop McKee is an outstanding choice for the 2017 Distinguished Alumnus Award,” said Perkins Dean Craig C. Hill. “Throughout his ministry, he has been a faithful servant of both The United Methodist Church and Perkins School of Theology, and I — like so many others — have come to rely on his judgment and to count on his assistance.”

“There is no better partner in the work of our school,” Dean Hill said.

In his nomination letter, Dr. John Robbins — senior pastor of Memorial Drive United Methodist Church in Houston — cited Bishop McKee’s extraordinary and courageous leadership through the years.

“He served the local church with distinction with every congregation he led experiencing significant growth,” he said. “His strong leadership created an exceptional level of respect from his clergy colleagues, as well as countless lay people. He has never shied away from challenges or conflicts that might impede his ability to share the Gospel message through the spoken word and hands-on efforts,” Dr. Robbins said. “Because of that and many other accomplishments, he is more than deserving of this prestigious honor.”

A member of the SMU Board of Trustees since 2012, he has been a member of the Perkins Executive Board since 2004 and currently serves as its chair. He was a member of the Perkins Dean Search Committee in 2016 and was co-chair of the successful Second Century Campaign, which increased financial aid and faculty chair endowments at Perkins School of Theology.

Bishop McKee is president of the Board of the denomination’s General Council on Finance and Administration (GCFA), a member of the Council of Bishops Executive Committee and is immediate past-president of the South Central Jurisdiction College of Bishops. In addition to SMU, he serves on the Boards of Trustees of the Texas Methodist Foundation, Southwestern University, and Methodist Health System, Dallas

Elected to the episcopacy by the South Central Jurisdiction of the United Methodist Church in 2012, he previously served for 15 years as senior minister of First UMC in Hurst, Texas. He was appointed as senior minister of Overton Park UMC, Meadowbrook UMC in Fort Worth, and First UMC in Joshua. Bishop McKee also served as associate pastor of First UMC in Fort Worth and Richland Hills UMC.

A clergy member of the Central Texas Annual Conference prior to his election to the episcopacy, he was ordained Deacon in 1975 and Elder in 1979. He served as chair of the annual conference Board of Ordained Ministry, was elected delegate to the General Conference in 2008 and 2012, and was an alternate delegate in 2004. In addition, he was a delegate to South Central Jurisdictional Conferences each quadrennium from 2004-2012.

Bishop McKee received a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Texas at Austin (1973), a Master of Theology from Perkins School of Theology of Southern Methodist University (1978), and was awarded an honorary Doctor of Divinity degree from Texas Wesleyan University (2005). He is married to Joan (Craig) McKee and they have two adult children: Erin McKee Chidsey, son-in-law Darin, and grandsons Knox and Ford, Los Angeles, California; and Meredith McKee, who lives in Dallas.

> Buy tickets for the SMU Perkins awards banquet online

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