Rita Kirk

SMU’s Center for Presidential History to host panel on Trump’s first 100 days Thursday, April 27, 2017

White House, line drawingSMU’s Center for Presidential History will look back at the victories, defeats and head-scratchers from President Donald Trump’s first 100 days in office during a panel discussion at 7 p.m. Thursday, April 27, 2017 in the Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

The panel will feature perspectives from SMU faculty members specializing in history and communications, as well as from the CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center and the deputy editorial page editor of The Dallas Morning News.

A light coffee will precede the event at 6:30 p.m. The event is free; RSVPs are required. Free passes will be emailed to registered guests before the event. Seating is limited, and not guaranteed.

> RSVP for “Assessing Trump’s First 100 Days” at Eventbrite

“The first 100 days is crucial for setting the tone of a presidency,” said Center for Presidential History Director Jeffrey Engel. “You shouldn’t look so much to measure accomplishments, but rather style and efficiency, which is all the more intriguing when we have an administration with historically limited levels of experience.”

> See video from the SMU CPH’s March 2017 event, “Hope or Alarm in the Age of Trump”

The panelists include:

 — Kenny Ryan

> Visit SMU’s Center for Presidential History online: smu.edu/cph

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

“I’m [here] because of J. Erik Jonsson”: Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown shared a personal story of how the iconic Dallas mayor impacted his family’s lives as he accepted the Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility March 21, 2017.

A version of this story was originally posted Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, and updated Monday, March 20, 2017.

Retired Dallas Chief of Police David O. Brown, who in July 2016 helped lead the city through the anguished days following the ambush shooting deaths of five police officers, received 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 is 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.

— Kenny Ryan

$2 million gift establishes William F. May Endowed Directorship in SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility

Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director, Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, SMU

Rita Kirk is the first William F. May Endowed Director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

A $2 million gift from SMU trustee emeritus and longtime benefactor Cary M. Maguire will endow the directorship of the University ethics center that bears his name in honor of the center’s founding director, ethicist William F. May.

Each director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will now carry the title of William F. May Endowed Director, beginning with current director Rita Kirk.

“Cary Maguire’s gifts to SMU always have been transformative,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His commitment to the William F. May Endowed Directorship will position the Maguire Center for future excellence while permanently linking Bill May’s name with both the center he founded and the field to which he devoted his illustrious career.”

“SMU is committed to the teaching of ethics throughout its curriculum, and to promoting dialogue on important issues with the surrounding community,” said Steven Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Cary Maguire’s latest act of generosity will ensure that this dialogue continues in perpetuity with a talented, equally committed faculty member leading the way.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Tune In: SMU students take on CNN

SMU students at CNNRita Kirk, SMU communications professor and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, recently took three students to New Hampshire to visit presidential headquarters and organize focus groups for CNN during the Iowa Caucus. As a CNN analyst herself, Kirk has the opportunity to bring students as part of her research staff and throw them into a high-paced, challenging, exciting and demanding atmosphere.

Students put together a focus group of 60 independent voters, gathered poll data, and analyzed the data in real-time. They had to be in control of every piece of data that came across them. They visited different campaign field offices and ended the trip by helping Dr. Kirk run her focus group on live international television.

Learn more and read the perspective of a student on this trip at the SMU Adventures blog

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

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

 

Tune In: How J. Erik Jonsson transformed Dallas

Hundreds of Dallas’ leading public servants, including Mayor Mike Rawlings and DISD Superintendent Mike Miles, joined emerging leaders at SMU on Thursday, Feb. 6 to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Mayor J. Erik Jonsson’s citizen-led “Goals for Dallas.”

Jonsson, a founder of Texas Instruments, became mayor of Dallas in 1964, shortly after the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. Already a strong advocate for education, he worked to improve morale and the image of the city throughout his term.

Jonsson’s “Goals for Dallas” initiative spurred the construction of DFW Airport, the Dallas Convention Center, the New Museum of Fine Arts and Dallas City Hall. The program helped establish public school kindergartens, citywide family planning, the University of Texas at Dallas, several branch libraries and neighborhood parks.

The sold-out event, “Goals for Dallas: The Impact of Ethical Leadership,” was sponsored by SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility and was held in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom of SMU’s Umphrey Lee Center.

Maguire Ethics Center Director Rita Kirk spoke with KTXD’s “The Texas Daily” about “Goals for Dallas” on its 50th anniversary. Click the YouTube screen to watch, or open this link to see the KTXD Goals for Dallas segment in a new windowvideo

> Read more about SMU’s “Goals for Dallas: The Impact of Ethical Leadership” from SMU News

Provost announces names of 11 SMU Faculty in Residence

SMU's southeast campus residential complex

Artist’s rendering of SMU’s southeast campus residential complex, which will help support the University’s Residential Commons experience.

SMU Provost Paul Ludden has announced the appointment of eight new Faculty in Residence (FiRs) selected in the Spring 2013 semester. The new FiRs join the three “founding FiRs” as the first full cohort to become part of the University’s new Residential Commons (RC).

Faculty in Residence are chosen in a competitive selection process. When the Commons program launches in Fall 2014, each FiR will live in a residence hall and work with student leaders and Student Affairs staff to shape the Residential Commons experience.

> SMU Forum: Three SMU professors named first Faculty in Residence

Four FiRs have moved into residence halls a year early as part of the Residential Commons transition process: Ann Batenburg, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development; Mark Fontenot, Computer Science and Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; Robert Krout, Music Therapy, Meadows School of the Arts; and Charles Wuest, English, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

The full list of faculty members who have been appointed for a 3-4 year term, and the halls where they will take up residence:

  • Ann Batenburg, Teaching and Learning – Virginia-Snider RC *
  • Martin Camp, School of Law – Residential Commons 4 (under construction)
  • Miroslava Detcheva, Spanish – McElvaney RC
  • Mark Fontenot, Computer Science and Engineering – Loyd RC (under construction) *†
  • Mark Kerins, Film and Media Arts – Morrison-McGinnis RC
  • Rita Kirk, Communication Studies – Armstrong RC (under construction)
  • Robert Krout, Music Therapy – Mary Hay/Peyton/Shuttles RC *†
  • Will Power, Theatre – Residential Commons 1 (under construction)
  • David Son, Chemistry – Boaz RC
  • Tom Tunks, Music – Residential Commons 3 (under construction) *†
  • Elizabeth Wheaton, Economics – Cockrell-McIntosh RC

* Living in residence during the 2013-14 academic year
† One of SMU’s three original Faculty in Residence, the “Founding FiRs

Along with the 11 FiRs, 23 Faculty Affiliates were selected and have been working in every residence hall on campus since the beginning of the year. For more information on participating in the Faculty Affiliate program, contact Jeff Grim, Residence Life and Student Housing.

> Learn more at the SMU Residential Commons website: smu.edu/residentialcommons

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

Julie Patterson Forrester named SMU interim law dean

SMU Law Professor Julie Forrester

SMU Law Professor Julie Patterson Forrester has been named interim dean of the University’s Dedman School of Law.

Law Professor Julie Patterson Forrester, an award-winning legal scholar in property law, has been named interim dean of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, effective June 1, 2013. She previously served as the law school’s associate dean of academic affairs, from 1995-96.

“We are fortunate to have Professor Forrester in place to serve in this important role,” said SMU Provost Paul Ludden, who appointed the interim dean. “She is an outstanding legal scholar who also has an impressive record of community service and engagement. She will work well with the University community and with the broader legal community as we look forward to a bright future for the Dedman School of Law.”

SMU will conduct a national search for a permanent dean to replace John B. Attanasio, who will complete his service as dean in May. The search committee, also appointed by Ludden, will be assisted by Ilene Nagel, Ph.D., and Mirah Horowitz, J.D., of the executive search firm Russell Reynolds Associates. It will include 18 attorneys, law professors, community leaders and others.

SMU search committee members from the community, who also are members of the Dedman School Executive Board, are attorneys Michael M. Boone of Haynes and Boone, LLP, and chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees; William D. Noel of Houston; Alan Feld of Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld, LLP; the Hon. Deborah G. Hankinson of Hankinson LLP; Albon Head of Jackson Walker, LLP, Fort Worth; and Robert H. Dedman Jr., president and CEO of DFI Management, Ltd., and vice-chair of the SMU Board of Trustees.

Members from the Dedman School of Law community are Professors Cheryl Nelson Butler, Bill Dorsaneo, Xuan-Thao Nguyen, Joshua Tate and Jeffrey Kahn; second-year Dedman School of Law student Jessie Williams Greenwald, Ph.D.; and Karen Sargent, assistant dean for career services. Other committee members are Professor Rita Kirk of the Division of Communication Studies and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility; Rosario E. Heppe, senior director of corporate compliance at Fluor Corporation; and Wayne Watts, senior executive vice president and general counsel, AT&T.

The committee is chaired by Albert W. Niemi Jr., dean of the SMU Cox School of Business. SMU’s custom is to have a senior dean chair the search committee for other deans.

“We are gratified by the high caliber and diversity of individuals who will serve on our search committee,” Ludden said. “With the advantages of SMU and Dallas and a strong tradition of academic achievement, Dedman School of Law is well-positioned to attract a leader who will take the school into the next stage of its development.”

Professor Forrester joined the faculty at SMU Dedman School of Law in 1990 and teaches in the areas of property, real estate transactions and land use.

She received her B.S.E.E. with highest honors in 1981 and her J.D. with high honors in 1985 from the University of Texas at Austin, where she was a member of the Texas Law Review, Chancellors, and The Order of the Coif. After graduation she was a real estate attorney with the Dallas law firm of Thompson & Knight.

Forrester, co-author of Property Law: Cases, Materials, and Questions (second edition, 2010, with Edward E. Chase), writes and speaks on real estate finance, the residential mortgage market, predatory lending and real property law. She was one of the first legal scholars to write about the problem of predatory lending in the subprime mortgage market, for which she was awarded the John Minor Wisdom Award for Academic Excellence in 1995.

She is a member of the American Law Institute and is on the executive committee of the American Association of Law Schools Real Estate Transactions Section. She recently served on the Texas State Bar Real Estate, Probate, and Trust Law Section committee charged with drafting the new Texas Assignment of Rents Act.

Written by Denise Gee

> Read more from SMU News

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