Strategist Karen Hughes named 2013 Dedman Distinguished Grad

Dedman College Distinguished Graduate Award

Strategist Karen Hughes named 2013 Dedman Distinguished Grad

Karen HughesCorporate and political strategist Karen Hughes, named by The Associated Press as “perhaps the most influential woman ever to serve an American president,” will be honored with SMU’s 2013 Dedman College Distinguished Graduate Award on Thursday, Oct. 10.

The invitation-only event, sponsored by Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, will begin at 11 a.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

“Karen Hughes’ extraordinary career embodies what is so special about a liberal arts education. We are pleased to recognize her contributions to Dedman College, SMU and the country, and we are proud to call her one of our own,” said Dedman College Dean William Tsutsui.

Hughes earned Bachelor of Arts degrees in English and Journalism from SMU in 1977. She graduated Phi Beta Kappa and was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority.

She began her career as a television reporter for NBC-Fort Worth affiliate KXAS before moving into public relations in the 1980s. Her political savvy was bolstered during her time as Texas press coordinator for the Reagan-Bush campaign in 1984, and by 1992 she was executive director of the Texas Republican Party.

Hughes’ ability to manage public policy, communications and politics helped brand George W. Bush’s “compassionate conservative” image, which secured the success of his gubernatorial campaigns beginning in 1994, and his subsequent campaigns for president. From 2001-02, she served as strategic adviser to the president on policy and communications, managing for the White House all communications, speech writing and media affairs.

Hughes served as Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs from 2005-07, afterward noting that one of her greatest accomplishments had been “transforming public diplomacy and making it a national security priority central to everything we do in government.”

Now based in Austin, Hughes is worldwide vice chair of the public relations and communications firm Burson-Marsteller, advising global business leaders on strategies for their corporate communications and branding. She also serves as a board member for SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies in Dedman College.

Hughes is the author of Ten Minutes From Normal (Viking, 2004), which highlights her time in the inner circle of President George W. Bush, with whom she co-wrote A Charge to Keep (William Morrow, 1999).

> Read more from SMU News

October 9, 2013|News|

Dedman College honors ‘Mr. SMU’ Marsh Terry at 2011 celebration

Marsh Terry at a booksigning for 'The Memorialist'After more than 50 years at SMU, Marshall Terry still regularly visits his office in the Department of English in Dallas Hall. But his influence reaches throughout the University.

Terry – the E.A. Lilly Professor of English, founder of SMU’s Creative Writing Program, and former director of public relations and assistant to SMU President Willis M. Tate – was honored March 23 with the Dedman College Distinguished Graduate Award for his contributions to SMU.

Terry first stepped onto the SMU campus as a student, graduating in 1953 with a bachelor’s degree in English and in 1954 with a master’s degree. He stayed as a member of the faculty, chairing English for two terms and initiating the University’s award-winning creative writing program and the long-running Literary Festival.

A mentor and friend to his students, Terry helped launch the careers of novelists Joe Coomer, Douglas Terry, Tracy Daugherty and Lewis Shiner, among others.

“I took great joy in starting the creative writing program,” he says. “I’ve worked with wonderful students through the years.”

In addition to his academic career, Terry played an important role as an administrator in shaping SMU’s future. As director of public relations and assistant to President Tate, he wrote in 1963 SMU’s first Master Plan – the framework for the University’s current Strategic Plan.

“Looking back, I consider the opportunity to work on the Master Plan as one of the most rewarding parts of my career. That plan is central to everything that has happened at SMU since then,” says Terry, who has been known as “Mr. SMU” to his colleagues for years.

The author of nationally praised short story collections and novels such as Old Liberty, Tom Northway, My Father’s Hands and The Memorialist, Terry has received highest honors from the Texas Institute of Letters and PEN Texas. His histories of SMU, From High on the Hilltop: A Brief History of SMU, and its third edition, Marshall Terry’s History of SMU with Various Essays by His Colleagues, are important resources as SMU celebrates the centennial of its 1911 founding and 2015 opening.

The Dedman Distinguished Graduate Award honors outstanding graduates of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences whose lives demonstrate integrity and outstanding accomplishments.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit the Dedman College website

March 22, 2011|News|
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