Dallas Police Chief David Brown will receive SMU’s 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Dallas Police Chief David Brown will receive SMU’s 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Dallas Police Chief David BrownDallas Chief of Police David O. Brown, who in July helped lead the city through the anguished days following the ambush shooting deaths of five police officers, will receive the 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at a luncheon on March 21, 2017, at the Belo Mansion.

“Chief David Brown has demonstrated by his words and his actions all of the leadership qualities we had in mind when the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award was created,” said Bobby Lyle, SMU trustee and Maguire Ethics Center board member. “He has led our community with courage and integrity during our brightest days and our darkest hours. He has set standards for public and community service that we would all do well to emulate. I can think of no one more deserving of this prestigious award that bears the name of one of Dallas’ most admired leaders.”

Brown, a Dallas native who was born and raised in South Oak Cliff, is a 33-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department and the department’s longest-serving chief in modern times. He was sworn in as Dallas’ 28th police chief in May 2010, commanding a department with more than 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $426 million dollars. Brown has announced he will retire Oct. 4, 2016.

Building and maintaining strong, transparent relationships with the community has been Brown’s focus since he took the top position. During his tenure, Brown transitioned the department to a community-policing focused organization and implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety. He also expanded several community outreach programs and youth centered programs.

Brown implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety during interactions, and emphasized the importance of de-escalation training for his officers. Under Brown’s leadership, the Dallas Police Department reduced the use of deadly force by more than 40 percent and reduced excessive force complaints by more than 80 percent.

“This award recognizes those who face hard decisions and whose mettle is tested,” said Rita Kirk, Maguire Center director. “Chief Brown personifies the struggle of leaders trying to do the right thing during periods of intense pressure. Our community is stronger because of his leadership, particularly in the wake of recent events. His actions during those days not only reflected the character of our community to other cities around the world who watched, but also left us united, stronger, and more hopeful that we will overcome any obstacle to make this a better city for all our citizens.”

Brown will be the 20th recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award. Past honorees include Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

Tables and individual tickets are available for purchase at smu.edu/ethics. All proceeds benefit Maguire Ethics Center.

— Kenny Ryan

> Read the full story from SMU News

September 28, 2016|Calendar Highlights, News|

Lyda Hill receives SMU’s 2015 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Lyda HillLyda Hill, whose philanthropy is guided by the credo that “science is the answer,” received the 2015 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility at a luncheon on Thursday, April 2 at Dallas’ Belo Mansion. The annual award honors a community leader who exemplifies ethical, inspiring leadership.

Hill, president of the real estate, tourism and venture investment firm LH Holdings, and granddaughter of oilman H. L. Hunt, has spent her life dedicated to what she calls “balancing profit with a purpose.”

“I really believe that whether we’re talking hunger, poverty, cancer, you name it, science is where we’ll find the answers,” she told Philanthropy in 2014, adding that her focus is on “things that are going to make a big difference to a lot of people for a long time.”

“Over the past several years Lyda’s zest for adventure has been surpassed by the sheer joy she derives from making transformational gifts to organizations and causes dedicated to making Dallas a better community in which to live and work,” says Bobby B. Lyle ’67, vice-chairman of the Maguire Center advisory board, longtime SMU trustee and namesake of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

Lyle says Hill “has set audacious goals for her philanthropy,” with interests ranging from education to medical research to healthcare and human services for the elderly. “In whatever she undertakes, she sets the bar high and leads by example,” he says. “Many of her gifts are given quietly, without fanfare. Others are legendary. And all are having a tremendous positive impact on lives throughout our city and across the nation.”

In 2010 Hill became a member of The Giving Pledge, created by Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett to encourage the world’s wealthiest individuals and families to commit a majority of their wealth to philanthropy. Hill has pledged to donate all of her assets to charity, the bulk of it during her lifetime. She was recognized in 2013 as the only single woman on the Philanthropy list of most generous donors, having now given an estimated hundreds of millions of dollars to “game-changing” charities primarily focused on life-sciences research.

Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Center, notes that Hill quotes Walt Disney on her foundation’s website. “Like Disney, Lyda Hill makes it ‘fun to do the impossible.’ She understands the strategic use of her resources, the magic created when people dare to dream greatly, and the impact strategic giving can have on our community – and even the world.”

Hill was a founder of the Oklahoma Breast Care Center as well as Remeditex Ventures, which supports early biomedical research by universities and health care institutions “that can take promising advances to the marketplace quickly,” she says.

Her philanthropic support of the life sciences includes her $50 million gift pledged to the University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center’s Moon Shots Program, which aims to eliminate cancer through improved cancer-detection techniques and therapeutic treatments that Hill, a breast cancer survivor, hopes will “break cancer’s code.”

Hill also has donated $20 million to her alma mater, The Hockaday School, to fund a science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) program; $10 million to the “I Stand for Parkland” capital campaign; and $6 million in pledges to the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs and the Center for Brain Health to help military service members and veterans recover from traumatic brain injuries.

Hill has helped a variety of environmental/marine conservation efforts through the Nature Conservancy and Pew Charitable Trusts. She also has supported such community-revitalization projects as Klyde Warren Park, the Perot Museum of Nature and Science, the Margaret Hunt Hill Bridge (named for her mother) and The Trinity Trust.

Past winners of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, now in its 18th year, include Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

April 1, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|

Civic leader Gail Griffin Thomas ’58 receives SMU’s 2014 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Gail Griffin ThomasCivic leader Gail Griffin Thomas ’58, president and CEO of the Trinity Trust Foundation and a champion of urban transformation, received the 2014 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility during a Wednesday, March 19 luncheon at the Belo Mansion.

Thomas has been a  catalyst for inner city quality-of-life improvements for several decades. After Dallas residents approved the Trinity River Project in 1998 to create a centerpiece for the city and help neighborhoods feel a stronger connection to Dallas, Mayor Ron Kirk tapped Thomas to develop an operation to raise private funds for the plan.

In addition to Thomas’ Trinity Trust leadership role, she is director of the Dallas Institute’s Center for the City program, where she teaches and conducts seminars and conferences — something she has done for several decades in a host of U.S. and international cities.

The Trinity River Corridor Project consists of 20 miles and 10,000 acres of land in and along the Trinity River Corridor and the Great Trinity Forest. It seeks to protect downtown Dallas against future flooding while providing environmental restoration, improving transportation congestion, spurring economic development and creating a magnet for play. Upon its completion it will be considered the largest urban park in the U.S., including sports fields, trails, nature centers and recreational opportunities ranging from kayaking to horseback riding.

Thomas’ efforts for the Trinity project also helped inspire the philanthropic gifts for the design of Dallas’ two bridges designed by renowned architect Santiago Calatrava. Currently she is seeking funds to build the Trinity Spine Trail from the Audubon Center to White Rock Lake.

“We give this award to someone with courage; someone who responds to challenges with a sense of grace and ethical direction,” said Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk. “Gail Thomas certainly represents all of those things.”

Thomas has written the books Healing Pandora: The Restoration of Hope and Abundance, Imagining Dallas and Pegasus, the Spirit of Cities. She co-authored Stirrings of Culture with Robert Sardello and Images of the Untouched with Joanne Stroud. Her next book, Recapturing the Soul of the City, is forthcoming, as is a play she is writing.

In addition, Thomas is a distinguished alumna of both SMU and The University of Dallas. She has been a national awards panelist for the National Endowment for the Humanities and the National Endowment for the Arts, and has been honored by the Texas Society of Architects and the American Institute of Architects.

Thomas and her husband, Bob Thomas, have three children and 10 grandchildren.

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

March 24, 2014|News|

Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt receive 2013 Jonsson Ethics Award

Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt

Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt have become the first couple to receive SMU’s J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award.

Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt – whose business, public service and education leadership has helped shape Dallas for more than 40 years – received the 2013 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award during a sold-out luncheon Monday, Feb. 25, at the Belo Mansion Pavilion.

Presented each year by SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, the award is given to individuals who exemplify the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.

For the Hunts, the first couple ever to receive the award, the honor also reflects their longtime support of SMU, where they met 44 years ago and married three weeks after graduation.

“Individually, Nancy Ann and Ray have distinguished themselves as servant leaders, quietly influencing change that is benefiting Dallas in so many ways,” says Bobby Lyle, SMU Board of Trustee member and chair of the 2013 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award luncheon. “Together, they are truly remarkable, as they have combined their talents for the good of our community, most often without the knowledge of those around them.”

Among the Hunts’  contributions to SMU is their namesake Hunt Leadership Scholars Program, which  supports and enables community-minded students to enhance their leadership and learning skills.

“Over the years, I have had the privilege of teaching a number of Hunt Scholars. These academically talented students often need funding to enable them to focus on their educations full time and assume leadership roles within the University and our community. The Hunts make that happen,” says Rita Kirk, director of the Maguire Ethics Center and distinguished communications professor. “These quiet heroes never asked for recognition; they just saw a need and set out to fill it. Each of us will benefit as the next generation of leaders is guided by the ethical, committed and visionary role models established by Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt.”

The Hunts, parents of five children and grandparents to nine, often cite their favorite expression: “There are two things of real value we can give our children. One is roots. The other is wings.”

Past J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award winners include Walter J. Humann, Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes, Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe, Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows, Jr.

This year the award has raised more than $248,000 for SMU’s Maguire Ethics Center.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read the full story from SMU News

February 26, 2013|News|

Walt Humann to receive SMU’s 2012 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Walter J. HumannBusinessman and public servant Walter J. Humann ’67 is chiefly recognized for creating the Dallas Area Rapid Transit (DART) system and helping desegregate Dallas schools. For these and other accomplishments he will receive the 2012 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU at a noon luncheon at the Belo Mansion April 2.

Presented each year by SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award is given to individuals who exemplify the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue. In Humann’s case, that involves his work in improving education, transportation, race relations, government organization, urban planning and infrastructure in North Texas. It also recognizes his time as a successful businessman: Humann leads his own firm, WJH Corporation, and has held top management positions in other major corporations, including Hunt Consolidated, Memorex-Telex and the LTV Corporation.

Longtime SMU board member Ray Hunt, this year’s J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award event chair, worked with Humann during the awardee’s time (1975-1992) as president of Hunt Investments and chair of the executive committee of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., one of the largest privately held energy, real estate, agribusiness and investment companies in America. Later, Hunt was also a partner in Humann’s WJH Corporation operations.

“Having worked closely with both Walt and Erik Jonsson on many projects, I can say that Walt’s spirit of public service and responsibility to his community is cut from the same cloth as Mayor Jonsson,” Hunt says. “Everything Walt has done for Dallas and its citizens, not to mention in his private business, has been conceived and executed with the highest level of ethical conduct and moral responsibility. I believe that there is no one in Dallas more deserving of this honor than Walt.”

Humann was selected for the honor because of his lifelong commitment to improving the quality of life for the Dallas community, says Maguire Center Director Rita Kirk.

“With quiet tenacity and perceptive vision, he played a pivotal role in the desegregation of the Dallas Independent School District by founding the Dallas Alliance. The Alliance’s Education Task Force created the Magnet Schools of DISD, thereby enriching the education and lives of thousands of children.” As Humann told D Magazine in 1985, “I felt strongly that the way to go was by voluntary intermixing of the races, where you have quality education at the end of the bus rides.”

“With everything he’s done,” Kirk says, “Walt upholds the tradition of excellence that the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award was created to recognize.”

Nationally, Humann was selected in the late 1960s by President Lyndon B. Johnson as the first White House Fellow from Texas.  Later, in 1970, he was chosen as one of the “Ten Outstanding Young Men of America,” primarily for chairing the national committee that helped create the U.S. Postal Service. The former deficit-ridden, politically driven Post Office Department was replaced with a service run more like a public corporation. At the time USPS was created, it constituted the largest federal government reorganization in U.S. history.

During his time in Washington, Humann also co-authored with Doris Kearns (now Goodwin) and others a report, requested by the President, on ways to heal the breach between the college student community and the federal government. This report was presented to President Johnson in 1968 — one of the most turbulent years in U.S. history, marked by massive student anti-war protests. The report was titled, “Confrontation or Participation: The Federal Government and the Student Community.” He also wrote a children’s book, an illustrated poem entitled The Little Crescent Moon and the Bright Evening Star, and co-authored, with Mayor Jonsson, D: The Book of Dallas.

Regionally, the “father of DART” also led the successful redevelopment of the North Central Corridor, with Central Expressway and the DART rail line helping solve the nation’s “oldest living highway controversy.” In addition, Humann helped mediate the Love Field dispute among three airline CEOs and the mayors of Dallas and Fort Worth in the 1980s. He founded the Jubilee Project in the late 1990s and served for more than 10 years as its chairman, helping revitalize a 62-block inner-city Dallas neighborhood. Jubilee is trying a unique approach by dealing comprehensively with all elements affecting a blighted community — public education, anti-crime, health, employment, housing, economic development and physical improvements.

Humann holds a physics degree from MIT, an M.B.A. from Harvard, and a Juris Doctor degree from the Evening Division of SMU’s Dedman School of Law (’67). He has received numerous business and public service awards, including SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award, Dedman School of Law Distinguished Alumni Award and The Legacy of Leadership Award from the White House Fellows Foundation in Washington, D.C.

He is married to his high school sweetheart; they have three children and eleven grandchildren.

Past winners of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, now in its 15th year, include Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, 
Ron Anderson, 
Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

Tickets for the event are $50 for individuals; sponsorship tables for 10 also are available for $1,500. For ticket information, contact Erin Sutton at 214-768-4575.

Written by Denise Gee

> Visit the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility online

March 28, 2012|Calendar Highlights, For the Record, News|
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