Class Notes 1980-1989

The classes of 1983 and 1988 will celebrate their Centennial Reunions during Homecoming. Save the dates: October 24-27.


Sharon S. Millians was honored March 5 by the Fort Worth Commission for Women as an Outstanding Woman in the Workplace. She is a partner in, and co-chair of, the real estate and finance section of law firm Kelly Hart & Hallman. She has been on the list of “The Best Lawyers in America” since 1992, recognized as a Super Lawyer by Texas Monthly since 2003 and identified as one of the “Top 50 Women Texas Super Lawyers” and “Top 100 Super Lawyers” in the Dallas/Fort Worth region.
Regina Taylor moved to Chicago in 2010 and has now been selected by Chicago Magazine as one of six Chicagoans of the Year for 2012. Playwright, director and Golden Globe-winning actress, she has rewritten and revived her 10-year-old musical Crowns, a celebration of African-American women and their hats.
Lisa Benefield Thomas had her first classical label recording released last October 29 by Toccata Classics in London. It is solo piano music by American composer Arthur Farwell.



Dr. Melanie Moore Biggs is a licensed clinical psychologist at the V.A. North Texas Health Care Systems – Dallas V.A. Medical Center, where she works with Dallas veterans on the inpatient psychiatry service providing individual and group psychotherapy and psychological evaluations.


Jeff Austin III was re-appointed by Texas Gov. Rick Perry to the Texas Transportation Commission in March for a term that expires Feb. 1, 2019. The commission oversees the Texas Department of Transportation.
John Gilchrist was named a Fellow in the Association for Healthcare Philanthropy, one of 183 fundraising professionals to have earned this highest level of distinction.
Megan Riegel was awarded South Carolina’s highest civilian honor — The Order of the Palmetto — for her work as president and CEO of the Peace Center for the Performing Arts. The award was given by S.C. Governor Nikki R. Haley on Tuesday, June 25, 2013 at the Peace Center in Greenville, S.C.
Elizabeth Longino Waller of Birmingham, AL and James McBrayer Sellers, III ’83 of Lexington, MO were married on June 8, 2013, in New Orleans, LA. The ceremony took place in the original stables of the French Quarter’s historic Hermann House, now Broussard’s. The bride wore a circa 1905 gown that had belonged to the groom’s great-great-great aunt. Following their vows, the new couple, wedding party, and guests joined a Second Line Brass Band for a parade through the Quarter, returning to Broussard’s for a courtyard reception. The groom’s mother, Elizabeth Singleton Sellers ’56, a Kappa Alpha Theta sister of the bride, read I Corinthian 13. The guests included Elizabeth’s other Kappa Alpha Theta sisters Lucy Duffy Tankersley ’84 and Lisa Cave Andrews ’84.


Larry Pierson, who earned an MS in engineering management from SMU, reports that he recently filed a patent application with the U.S. Patent Office for a Texas-sized internet data switch. At over 30,000 ports of 10-gigabit Ethernet (10GbE), it is much larger than any other telecom switch out there, he says. “One of the more interesting applications for it is to provide a fault-tolerant communications core for a supercomputer with over 10 million processing units. It can also be used to maximize (groom) the flow of data in long distance internet lines to help keep the costs of carrying internet services down.”
Christine Karol Roberts is an attorney in California and author of the children’s books The Jewel Collar, a tale of a Maltese dog and the lesson that sharing is the Christmas spirit and the spirit of true friendship, and Hannah the Hummingbird, a story of the adventures of Hannah and her baby hummingbirds. From last December through February 14, she donated 100 percent of all Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Apple iBook store sales from these books to the Sandy Hook School Support Fund in Newtown, CT. She was recognized among Los Angeles’ Women Leaders in the Law in March 2013 by American Lawyer Media and Martindale-Hubbell.
Todd A. Smith, owner of The Todd Smith Law Firm, has been elected to membership in the Fellows of the Texas Bar Foundation, a mark of distinction and recognition of his contributions to the legal profession. Each year only one-third of one percent of State Bar members are invited to become Fellows.


Margaret Love Tuschman DeVinney has transferred from her position in SMU Athletics as executive assistant for women’s basketball to administrative assistant for Athletic Forum and programs in SMU’s Program Services.
Evangelia Costantakos Kingsley, a Meadows School of the Arts graduate, and Chip Prince return to the Metropolitan Room in New York September 22 and 30 to sing songs about dance by Cohen, Coward, Gershwin, Rorem, Waits and many more. The show is directed by Eliza Beckwith.
Linda Yows Leitz was elected chair of the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors last January 31 and will serve as chair-elect until her term begins Sept. 1, 2013. A financial professional since 1979, she founded and co-owns the financial planning firm It’s Not Just Money, Inc. in Colorado Springs. She is pursuing a Ph.D. in the personal financial planning program at Kansas State University.
The Honorable Brian McCall is chancellor of the Texas State University System, serving more than 77,000 students at eight institutions. In a ceremony in Waco Jan. 25, 2013, he was presented the Price Daniel Distinguished Public Service Award by the Baylor Alumni Association. He served two decades in the Texas House of Representatives and has authored The Power of the Texas Governor: Connally to Bush, based on his Ph.D. dissertation.


Mark S. Bertrand has been appointed vice president for financial services for defense and space programs for Boeing Capital Corporation. Based in El Segundo, CA, and a resident of Long Beach, he leads a team supporting financial structuring and solutions for Boeing’s military and satellite systems customers.
Steve Hickman has moved from Phoenix to Seattle where he continues in his fourth year as the IP strategist for Honeywell Aerospace. In the 1990s he worked as a consultant in Dallas, Kansas City and Minneapolis, developing sustainable software architecture helping clients in industries ranging from aerospace and oil/gas to manufacturing, pollution and telecom.



Margaret White Weinkauf has returned to SMU as assistant director of development for the Meadows School of the Arts. She has chaired fundraising efforts in the Dallas community with a broad network of arts and cultural supporters and has extensive experience as an attorney.


Julianne M. Furman has been named president of Polydesign Systems, a subsidiary of Exco Technologies. Based in Tangier, Morocco, she manages divisions comprising almost 800 people in France and Morocco.
Matthew Thompson has been recognized for legal excellence with his selection to the 2013 edition of The Best Lawyers in America. He practices immigration law in the Houston office of Jackson Walker.

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