SMU honors four oustanding graduates at 2016 DAA Awards Thursday, Nov. 3


DAA 2016 headshots

A philanthropist, a financial services leader and a real estate and construction magnate will receive SMU’s 2016 Distinguished Alumni Awards, the highest honor the university bestows upon its graduates. The DAA Award banquet and ceremony takes place at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 3  on the University’s historic Main Quad.

This year’s recipients include:

Kevin Lavelle ’08 will receive the Emerging Leader Award, which recognizes an outstanding alumnus or alumna who has graduated within the last 15 years. Lavelle is the founder of Mizzen+Main, a clothing company that introduced advanced performance fabrics to traditional menswear.

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SMU names new treasurer and chief investment officer

Michael A. Condon, an experienced chief investment officer for several universities, has been named University treasurer and chief investment officer, effective Dec. 1, 2008. Condon succeeds Liz Williams, who has served as University treasurer since 1991 and will retire Dec. 31, 2008.

“Mike Condon’s experience in higher education investment management, particularly with sophisticated institutional portfolios much like SMU’s, makes him an excellent fit as SMU’s chief investment officer,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we conduct The Second Century Campaign, Mike’s leadership will ensure that SMU continues the strong stewardship of significant new gifts to our endowment.”

At SMU, Condon will be responsible for oversight of the endowment, mineral interests and planned giving assets. He will plan the work of the Committee on Investments of the Board of Trustees, setting agendas, developing policies, formulating investment strategies, as well as recommending specific investment managers and vehicles for carrying out the investment program. SMU’s endowment was $1.4 billion as of June 30, 2008.

Condon’s experience includes 17 years with funds ranging in size from $400 million to $1.5 billion. As chief investment officer at the University of Arkansas Foundation, he oversaw the investment of its $1.2 billion endowment. Prior to that, he served 10 years as chief investment officer for the Georgia Tech Foundation in Atlanta. Under his direction, assets under the Foundation’s management grew from $400 million to $1.5 billion. In 1991, Condon joined the University of South Alabama Foundation as chief investment officer, where he managed investments totaling $377 million. Before joining that university, he was vice president and treasurer at Altus Bank.

“Considering the challenging economic environment facing the markets, it was very important that we find an individual with the knowledge, leadership and experience to manage SMU’s comprehensive portfolio,” said John C. Tolleson, chair of the Committee on Investments of the SMU Board of Trustees. “I am pleased to welcome Mike Condon to SMU.”

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$1 million Tolleson gift to benefit Cox merit scholars

Debbie and John TollesonA $1 million gift from John C. and Debbie Tolleson (left) of Dallas will provide additional support for the Edwin L. Cox BBA Scholars Program in SMU’s Cox School of Business. The merit-based undergraduate scholarship program was named in fall 2007 in recognition of a $5 million challenge grant from Cox toward a goal of $10 million for endowment of the Scholars Program. The Tolleson gift supports that goal.

“Merit scholarships for outstanding students are one of SMU’s greatest priorities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “By supporting the Cox BBA Scholars Program, John and Debbie Tolleson are helping us to attract additional top students who will benefit from our excellent programs and contribute to our rise in academic quality. We are grateful for the Tollesons’ generosity and foresight in making this gift.”

The BBA Scholars Program was established in 2002 to provide scholarships for highly qualified first-year students who are admitted directly into the Cox School of Business. About 100 students enter SMU as BBA Scholars each year. Selected from more than 500 candidates, those entering in fall 2007 represented 26 states and three countries and had an average SAT score of 1401.

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