May 15, 2012


Reunion Chairs: Gary and Beverly Kuck Hammond, Jack and Dana Hargrove Harkey and
Mary Ann Portman Schwab

Deborah A. Ackerman has joined the Dallas office of law firm Strasburger & Price LLP in corporate and securities practice. Previously she was vice president-general counsel of Southwest Airlines, spending 19 years there. She graduated first in her class from St. Mary’s University School of Law.

Dr. Dan P. McCauley was nominated for the Texas Dentist of the Year Award for 2011 by the 1st District Dental Society for the Texas Academy of General Dentistry and was honored at a gala last September 16. Practicing in Mt. Pleasant, he has been recognized by Texas Monthly magazine as a Texas Super Dentist and by the Research Council of America as one of the Best Dentists in America. He has been a trustee for Northeast Texas Community College, serving as president of the college foundation and now as chair of the board of trustees.

Sheryl Rogers Palmer is vice president and trustee of The Robert M. Rogers Foundation, supporting the arts and numerous charities in East Texas and Idaho.


Dr. George C. Baker (M.B.A. ’98), a renowned organist, performed the closing number on a recent broadcast of “Pipedreams” on public radio.

Phillip H. Virden spent a year in the Mississippi Delta with Teach for America. Last January he traveled to Kenya to teach at the Kyandili Primary School and climb Mt. Kilimanjaro to raise funds for the Makindu Children’s Program. On completing his work, he will be at home in Lake City, CO, with his wife, the former Carolyn Armstrong ’74, and daughters Lily and Dasha. He is owner of the Mountaineer Movie Theatre.


Gary Ingram is an attorney in the Fort Worth office of Jackson Walker LLP, selected as a 2011 “Top Attorney” in Tarrant County in Fort Worth, Texas magazine and voted by his peers across the nation as a “Best Lawyer in America” for 2012.

Air Force Gen. Craig McKinley became a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Dec. 31, 2011, when President Obama signed legislation to add his position, chief of the National Guard Bureau, to the Joint Chiefs of Staff.


David Bates is a nationally acclaimed artist. In 2010-11 a solo exhibition of his Katrina paintings originated at the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in Kansas City, MO, and traveled to the Knoxville (TN) Museum of Art. Last fall his paintings, sculpture and collage were presented in New York City, and this spring he has a solo exhibition in New Orleans at Arthur Roger Gallery. He will be home in Dallas in October with a one-man show at the Talley Dunn Gallery.

Sherry Hayslip is president and principal designer at Hayslip Design Associates Inc., an award-winning Dallas interior design firm. She also owns an antiques business, an art and antiques specialty moving company and with her husband, architect Cole Smith, owns Whitesmith & Company, an architectural and decorative hardware studio. She supports the fine and performing arts and is a patron of The Dallas Opera, Dallas Symphony Orchestra and Dallas Museum of Art.

Sol Villasana was a guest presenter at Dallas’ Sixth International Book Fair last October 29. He also signed copies of Dallas’s Little Mexico, his 2011 book.


Kathy Biehl made her film debut as a voice-over actor in “Walk Away Renee,” a Critic’s Pick at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

John B. Holden was voted a “Best Lawyer in America” for 2012 in the annual nationwide peer review. He is an attorney in the Dallas office of Jackson Walker LLP.


Reunion Chairs: Craig L. Massey and Susie McLamore McCormack

Melinda (Mindy) Baxter leads customer, sales and marketing teams as vice president of business development at Hamilton Exhibits. An experienced market strategist, she has worked with high-level, global brands in New York and Europe.

James T. (Jim) Kelly (M.A., M.B.A.’84) owns James Kelly Contemporary in Santa Fe, NM. Last fall the gallery exhibited photographs by SMU-in-Taos faculty member Debora Hunter.

Susan Mead was voted by her peers in the legal profession as one of the “Best Lawyers in America” for 2012. She is with the Dallas office of Jackson Walker LLP.


David R. Cassidy has been named to the 2012 edition of Louisiana Super Lawyers. He serves people and companies throughout Louisiana as a tax attorney at Breazeale, Sachse & Wilson LLP.

Valerie Pohl Ertz was appointed by Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas State Commission on Judicial Conduct.


Clayton L. (Clay) Harrington left his Memphis private practice in counseling and last August joined Cedar Springs Presbyterian Church in Knoxville as minister for senior adults.

Mary Emma Karam is a former partner at Jackson Walker LLP in Dallas, elected to rejoin the firm’s partner category in February 2012. She has practiced law at Jackson Walker for more than 32 years, during which time she and her husband had six children. She was appointed by the Texas Attorney General during 2000-2001 to serve as counsel in health care/managed care matters for the state.

Find out more about Reunion Weekend here.