December 2022 News Perspective Online

Awards Banquet

Recipients of the Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards for the past three years were honored on November 14 at the Awards Banquet held on the campus of Perkins. The recipients were chosen by the Perkins School of Theology Alumni/ae Council.

Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr. (M.Div. ‘97; D.Min. ‘09) was honored as the 2022 recipient. Beginning Jan. 1, Saenz, Jr. will be assigned to the North Texas and Central Texas Annual Conferences, serving the Dallas and Fort Worth episcopal areas. The 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award recipient was Evelyn L. Parker (M.R.E. ’91), who is both an alumna of Perkins as well as a member emerita of the Perkins faculty. Until her retirement in May 2021, she was the Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology at Perkins. Two recipients were honored in 2020 with Distinguished Alumni Awards: the Rev. Donald W. Underwood (M.Th., ‘73) and the Rev. Dr. Sidney G. Hall III (M.Th. ’84, D.Min. ’88). Underwood is Pastor Emeritus – Director of Donor Relations at Christ United Methodist Church in Plano. During his 37-year tenure as pastor, Christ United experienced rapid growth, with worship and Sunday school attendance doubling.  Hall is Pastor Emeritus of Trinity Church in Austin. He served as Trinity’s lead minister for 33 years, from 1988 to 2021.

From left: Dean Craig C. Hill, Rev. Dr. Sidney G. Hall III, Rev. Donald W. Underwood, SMU Provost Elizabeth G. Loboa


From left: Dean Craig C. Hill, Evelyn L. Parker, SMU Provost Elizabeth G. Loboa


From left: Dean Craig C. Hill, Bishop Ruben Saenz Jr., SMU Provost Elizabeth G. Loboa


Rev. Connie L. Nelson delivers the benediction at the Distinguished Alumni/ae Awards Banquet.