December 12, 2012

Distinguished Alumni Award recipients (from ) Paul B. Loyd, Jr. ’68, Jeanne Tower Cox ’78 and James H. “Blackie” Holmes III ’57, ’59, and Emerging Leader Award recipient Alonso N. Gutiérrez ’03

Three notable members of the alumni community have been honored for their accomplishments, leadership and service with the highest honor the University bestows upon its former students. Philanthropic leader Jeanne Tower Cox ’78, former University Park Mayor James H. “Blackie” Holmes III ’57, ’59, and entrepreneur Paul B. Loyd, Jr. ’68 received 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards October 25.

> View video of the event

In addition, medical physicist Alonso N. Gutiérrez ’03 received the University’s Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes alumni who have graduated in the past 15 years for their outstanding achievements.

The awards ceremony and dinner launched a weekend of Homecoming festivities.

2012 Distinguished Alumni

2012 Centennial History Makers

The SMU Distinguished Alumni Awards celebration provides an opportunity to honor past DAA recipients with Centennial History Maker Awards in recognition of the high standard of service and accomplishment they exemplified in the University’s first century. See the list of 2012 History Makers here.

Jeanne Tower Cox ’78 exemplifies the dedicated volunteer leadership that is vital to the University and the community. She earned a B.B.A. degree from the Cox School of Business and has been actively involved in various facets of the University. She played a major role in the creation of The John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies, established in Dedman College in 1992 in honor of her father, the late United States senator. Cox served on the SMU Board of Trustees from 1996-2008 and was elected to a new term in 2012. She also serves on the Advisory Board of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and on the Second Century Campaign Steering Committee for Dedman College.

Cox’s civic involvement includes service on the Board of Trustees of Communities Foundation of Texas and the National Advisory Board of the Laura Bush Institute for Women’s Health.

James H. “Blackie” Holmes, III ’57, ’59  has served his profession and community with dedication and distinction. He earned two SMU degrees – a B.B.A. in 1957 and the L.L.B. in 1959. As an undergraduate, he was a letterman on the varsity swimming team, member of Blue Key national honor society and a distinguished military graduate. He was honored by Dedman School of Law with its Distinguished Alumni Award and has served on the SMU Alumni Board.

Seeking 2013 Nominations

Nominations are now being accepted for the 2013 SMU Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader Awards. Any individual may nominate an SMU alumna and/or alumnus by completing the nomination form, which can be downloaded here and mailed to the SMU Office of Alumni Relations, P.O. Box 750173, Dallas, Texas 75275-0173. The deadline is December 31, 2012. For more information, contact Alumni Relations, 214-768-2586, 1-888-327-2586 or

Now a senior partner with Burford and Ryburn LLP, Holmes is known as a consummate trial attorney, practicing primarily in civil/defense tort litigation. He has received numerous professional honors, including ABOTA Texas Trial Lawyer of the Year award.

In addition to his distinguished 50-year legal career, Holmes has devoted 30 years of service to University Park in various leadership positions. As mayor from 2004-10, he helped facilitate the successful efforts of SMU to acquire the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

Paul B. Loyd, Jr. ’68  has used his extraordinary professional success to benefit his alma mater and other causes. Principal of the Houston-based private investment firm he founded in 2001, he previously served as chair and CEO of R&B Falcon Corporation and has more than 30 years of experience in the energy industry.

Loyd earned a B.B.A. in economics from SMU in 1968 and an M.B.A. from Harvard Business School. He was a member of SMU’s 1966 Southwest Conference championship football team that played in the 1967 Cotton Bowl Classic and was captain of the 1967 football team.

A member of SMU’s Board of Trustees since 2000, Loyd also serves on the executive boards of Cox School of Business and Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He received the Mustang Award and Cox’s Distinguished Alumni Award. His generous support includes funding for the Loyd All-Sports Center, SMU Athletics programs and Loyd Residential Commons, now under construction .

Loyd’s service extends from local to global causes. He was named Man of the Year by Fort Benning (Georgia) troops returning from Iraq and Afghanistan for his aid in setting up satellite computers for troops to communicate with home.

2012 Emerging Leader

Alonso N. Gutiérrez ’03 has achieved a distinguished career in medical research, clinical service and teaching. He holds dual positions at University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio as assistant professor and as educational director of the Medical Dosimetry Program in the Department of Radiation Oncology.

Gutiérrez earned B.S. degrees summa cum laude in both mechanical engineering and physics from SMU in 2003. While at SMU, he was a President’s Scholar, Barry M. Goldwater Scholar and Frank C. McDonald Physics Scholar. He was honored with the Harold A. Blum Award in Mechanical Engineering and the Robert S. Hyer Award in Physics. After graduating from SMU, he earned Master’s and Ph.D. degrees in medical physics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Gutiérrez joined the faculty of UT Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2007.