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
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