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2020 Alumni December 2020 News

Remembering Edwin L. Cox, Sr. ’42

[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”lead” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”0″ margin_bottom=”0″ padding_top=”0″ padding_right=”0″ padding_bottom=”0″ padding_left=”0″ admin_label=”First Paragraph”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”yes” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”0″ padding_right=”0″ padding_bottom=”0″ padding_left=”0″ margin_top=”0px” margin_bottom=”0px” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

SMU mourns the loss of renowned Dallas business leader, entrepreneur, public servant, educational pioneer and longtime University supporter and trustee emeritus Edwin L. Cox Sr. ’42, who died Thursday, November 5, 2020. He had celebrated his 99th birthday on October 20, and remained active and engaged with family and friends until his passing.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” admin_label=”Content”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]“Edwin Cox’s contributions to and enthusiasm for this University and the Cox School of Business are invaluable. He was a tremendous presence and an inspiring influence for every person who crossed his path, and his work with and for his community has reached across generations and over great distances,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He will remain an example of tireless drive, selfless spirit and boundless energy to the students of Cox and of SMU for generations to come. He is missed, not only because of his determination to make the Cox School a globally recognized institution, but also because of his character and his unwavering commitment to the students of SMU and to the people of Dallas.”

Read more.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”mainAdvertisement” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”20px” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”20px” padding_left=”” admin_label=”SMU Advertisement”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-postadvertisement” title_size=”” title_color=”” background_color=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” hide_on_mobile=”medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”postAdvertisement” id=”” /][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-postadvertisementmobile” title_size=”” title_color=”” background_color=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility” class=”postAdvertisement” id=”” /][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Categories
2019 Alumni February 2019 Main News

Latest Hart gift amplifies SMU’s impact on regional economic growth

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SMU’s ability to cultivate and launch entrepreneurs for North Texas and beyond received a major boost with a significant new gift from prominent Dallas business leaders and major SMU supporters Linda Wertheimer Hart ’65 and Milledge (Mitch) A. Hart, III. The Harts now are among SMU’s most generous donors.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” admin_label=”Content”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]The Linda and Mitch Hart Institute for Technology, Innovation and Entrepreneurship at SMU will combine the innovative forces of SMU’s Cox School of Business and Lyle School of Engineering. The two schools will integrate their expertise, resources and guidance to develop technology prototypes and create viable business plans.

“SMU will play a major role in the formation of new enterprises and cross-disciplinary ventures thanks to the Harts’ generosity and vision,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The Hart Institute will stand as a pioneering and lasting example to future SMU donors, reinforcing our role as an engine of regional economic development and job creation.”

Linda Hart said SMU’s focus on creating new knowledge inspired the gift.

“I was inspired to support this institute because I have seen first-hand how technology and innovation have been crucial to my own business endeavors, and they are critical elements needed in solving the world’s challenges,” she said.

“With a new institute dedicated to guiding and promoting entrepreneurial work, the University will continue its march forward as an innovation leader,” Mitch Hart said.

“Providing exposure to forward-thinking mindsets and feeding the enterprising spirit in an academic setting means there is no limit to what can be done,” he said. “I look forward to the exciting work that will be produced here.”

Read more at SMU News.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”mainAdvertisement” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”20px” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”20px” padding_left=”” admin_label=”SMU Advertisement”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-postadvertisement” title_size=”” title_color=”” background_color=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” hide_on_mobile=”medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”postAdvertisement” id=”” /][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-postadvertisementmobile” title_size=”” title_color=”” background_color=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility” class=”postAdvertisement” id=”” /][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Categories
2020 Alumni Features News Spring 2020

Carolyn and David B. Miller ’72, ’73 make $50 million commitment to SMU and the Cox School of Business

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When former Mustang basketball standout David B. Miller ’72, ’73 and his wife, Carolyn, made the largest single alumni gift in SMU history, the Hilltop milestone made headlines in Dallas. Longtime business columnist Cheryl Hall ’73, who earned her journalism degree from the University, wrote about the publicity-shy couple for The Dallas Morning News. In this excerpt of the newspaper profile, their generous spirit and their love for family, community and SMU shine through.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” admin_label=”Content”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”4″ content_align=”left” style_type=”none” sep_color=””]

BY CHERYL HALL ’73

[/fusion_title][fusion_text]How does a guy who went to Southern Methodist University on a basketball scholarship strike it so rich that he can give his alma mater more than $100 million?

Carolyn and David B. MillerHe parlays the finance education that he earned at its Edwin L. Cox School of Business into co-founding one of the world’s largest private equity firms.

And just how David B. Miller came to do that is one of those under-the-radar success tales that Dallas is so famous for.

Miller and his wife, Carolyn, pictured at right, made headlines in October 2019 when they gave SMU $50 million — the biggest individual donation in the University’s 108-year history.

The Millers’ moment in the spotlight was unusual for this Highland Park couple who have quietly given tens of millions of philanthropic dollars since 2006.

The Miller name is already on the event center of Moody Coliseum and the floor of its basketball court, the campus student center at SMU-in-Taos and the ballroom of the new indoor training center.

The couple’s latest donation is intended to keep the Cox School competitive by modernizing and building facilities, hiring additional endowed faculty and expanding undergraduate and graduate scholarships to increase student diversity.

But frankly, a lot of people outside the SMU community don’t know who Carolyn and David are.[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”15px” margin_bottom=”15px” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”5″ border_color=”#d4af00″ border_style=”solid” border_position=”top” padding_top=”10px” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

“He treats people with dignity and respect regardless of what their lot is in life.
He’s a believer in collective thinking from smart minds.”

– Kyle Miller ’01 speaking about his father, David Miller ’72, ’73

[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”single solid” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” sep_color=”#d4af00″ top_margin=”10px” bottom_margin=”10px” border_size=”5″ icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” /][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]David was a three-year varsity standout center from 1968-72 and earned his undergraduate degree and M.B.A. in finance at Cox in the early 1970s.

Today Miller is a co-founder and managing partner of global private equity firm EnCap Investments LP, which completed its 21st fund last year with 350 institutional partners. That brought the total amount of funds under its management to nearly $40 billion since its inception in 1988.

Carolyn, a former elementary school teacher in Garland and social worker, closely guards her privacy while rolling up her sleeves to work for social causes such as aiding seniors, protecting battered women and sheltering the homeless.

But $50 million is hard to keep under wraps, especially when one intent of the Millers’ huge gift was to lead others to SMU’s next major fundraising campaign.

The Millers sat down for the first time ever as a couple to share how they came to spread such enormous largesse.[/fusion_text][fusion_title margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” size=”1″ content_align=”left” style_type=”none” sep_color=””]

MAGICAL  MOMENT

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David Miller keeps a scrapbook close at hand in his home office. Its title: “A Dream Come True.”

“That dream was to play basketball at SMU,” he says, flipping through the worn pages of newsclips and mementos assembled by his mother.

As Miller was about to graduate from Richland High School, the team’s star center had nearly a dozen scholarship offers but not the one that really mattered to him – SMU.

“There was just nothing bigger in the southwestern part of the country than SMU basketball,” he recalls. “Doc Hayes was their legendary coach. My senior year, SMU beat Louisville, the No. 2 team in the country, in the NCAA regional tournament. I was a passionate fan.”

Two days after National Signing Day, the first day high school players can commit to a college, David told his mother at breakfast that he’d reconciled himself to becoming a Red Raider at Texas Tech University. But Fay Ann Miller, now a 92-year-old SMU alum, urged her son to hold out for one more day.

[/fusion_text][fusion_imageframe image_id=”18821″ style_type=”none” stylecolor=”” hover_type=”none” bordersize=”” bordercolor=”” borderradius=”” align=”none” lightbox=”no” gallery_id=”” lightbox_image=”” alt=”Miller Basketball Court Naming 2018″ link=”” linktarget=”_self” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=””]https://blog.smu.edu/smumagazine/files/2020/10/Miller-Basketball-Court.jpg[/fusion_imageframe][fusion_text]

Celebrating the naming of Moody Coliseum’s David B. Miller Court in 2018.

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“It was magical,” he recalls. “I show up at the high school the next day, and there is the legendary coach Doc Hayes and his replacement, Bob Prewitt, who was actually my coach, and they offer me a scholarship. And the rest is history. My dream came true.”

Miller earned his undergraduate degree on a basketball scholarship and his M.B.A. in finance on a teaching fellowship, so he never paid a dime in tuition. He says that as he crossed the stage to receive his M.B.A. diploma, he promised himself that he would give back if he ever could.

His first donation was a $25 gift to the Mustang Club and a $100 pledge to SMU’s general operational fund in 1979.

Little did he know just how much he’d be able to pay it forward.

He started his career in energy lending for Dallas’ Republic National Bank, which was one of the largest financial institutions in the Southwest.

In 1980, the 30-year-old and his buddy, Bob Zorich, left Republic to form an oil and gas company in Denver. Seven years later, when energy boom times went bust, the partners sold out and moved back to Texas.

That same year, Miller — backed by the late, legendary oilman L. Frank Pitts and his son-in-law, Bill Custard — formed PMC for Pitts, Miller and Custard, scraping together energy properties viewed as worthless by most investors.

“The major oil companies had all decided that domestic onshore opportunities wouldn’t move the needle,” Miller recalls. “So they had moved to the deep waters in the Gulf of Mexico and international exploration and were selling their domestic properties. There was a wealth of opportunity to buy. You just had to find the money.”

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PATH  TO  BIG  RICH

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PMC’s first fund raised $20 million with three institutional investors: Howard Hughes Medical Institute, a huge medical foundation in Washington, D.C., and two major insurance companies.

PMC eventually became part of EnCap (short for Energy Capital) Investments — co-founded by Miller, Zorich and three other friends from Republic Bank. Frank Pitts considered Miller his adopted son, says Linda Pitts Custard, Pitts’ daughter and wife of Bill.

“Daddy was a wildcatter, as you know, and he appreciated David’s entrepreneurship and his ethical approach to business,” she says. “David is a very personable, warm, affable man. None of his success has gone to his head. He remains just as down-to-earth as he was when I met him 30 years ago.

“The business partnership separated, but the deep friendship remained.”

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LIKE  FATHER,  LIKE  SON

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David’s son, Kyle Miller, made headlines of his own three years ago.

In 2012, Kyle started Silver Hill Energy Partners LLC, an independent oil and gas company, with $12 million in seed money. He sold it four years later for $2.4 billion to Dallas-based RSP Permian Inc., a publicly held Permian producer. The Oil & Gas Journal called it the “2016 M&A Deal of the Year.”

Kyle says his father taught him and his sister, Meredith Miller Bebee, that their most valuable assets were their word and integrity.

“He treats people with dignity and respect regardless of what their lot in life is. He’s a believer in collective thinking from smart minds,” says the 40-year-old founder of Silver Hill Energy Holdings LLC, which he founded last year.

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MUTUAL  ADMIRATION

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David and Carolyn married 19 years ago — the second marriage for each.

“I have massive respect for her and what she thinks,” David says, looking over at Carolyn on the couch. “And while I may not agree with some of her political leanings, I respect them. Frankly, if you think about the discord that’s going on in the country, that’s probably the solution.

“She’s softened me.”

Carolyn grew up in Magnolia, Arkansas, a town of about 12,000, before earning her degree in elementary education at Hendrix College in 1974. She also holds master’s degrees in elementary education and in gerontology.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” hundred_percent_height=”no” hundred_percent_height_scroll=”no” hundred_percent_height_center_content=”yes” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”15px” margin_bottom=”15px” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=””][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” link=”” target=”_self” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” hover_type=”none” border_size=”5″ border_color=”#d4af00″ border_style=”solid” border_position=”top” padding_top=”10px” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”10px” padding_left=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]

“She’s an extraordinary person who has a great humanitarian persona.”

– SMU Trustee Caren Prothro speaking about Carolyn Miller

[/fusion_text][fusion_separator style_type=”single solid” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” sep_color=”#d4af00″ top_margin=”10px” bottom_margin=”10px” border_size=”5″ icon=”” icon_circle=”” icon_circle_color=”” width=”” alignment=”center” /][fusion_text]The causes closest to her heart are The Senior Source and Shelter Ministries of Dallas, parent of the Austin Street Center and Genesis Women’s Shelter & Support.

“It’s so important for women to feel empowered to leave an abusive relationship,” Carolyn says. “Most abusers are controllers. So Genesis gives women a sense of control over their lives. And with the increase in homelessness in Dallas County, the need for the Austin Street Center is obvious.”

SMU trustee Caren Prothro says Carolyn is a story in her own right. “She’s an extraordinary person who has a great humanitarian persona. An example of that is her involvement with New Friends New Life, a program for trafficked girls,” Prothro says. “She and David are a wonderful duo. They both have their great strengths and passions. Carolyn holds her own and then some.”[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”mainAdvertisement” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” enable_mobile=”no” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” padding_top=”20px” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”20px” padding_left=”” admin_label=”SMU Advertisement”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” dimension_margin=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-postadvertisement” title_size=”” title_color=”” background_color=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” hide_on_mobile=”medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”postAdvertisement” id=”” /][fusion_widget_area name=”avada-custom-sidebar-postadvertisementmobile” title_size=”” title_color=”” background_color=”” padding_top=”” padding_right=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility” class=”postAdvertisement” id=”” /][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container]

Categories
2017 Fall 2017 News

To Our Readers: A Great Time To Be On The Hilltop

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As the University makes final preparations for the arrival of new students and the start of fall classes August 21, I am more excited than ever about the opportunities ahead – for the Class of 2021 and for the University as a whole.

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We invite you to be a critical part of all the great things that will happen on the Hilltop in the months ahead.

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Our new students join peers from every U.S. state and more than 90 countries around the world. On the Hilltop, new first-year students will immediately find a home away from home in their Residential Commons. Read “Uncommon Life” to see what that experience will be like as they interact with peers who represent a cross-section of the student body and with Faculty in Residence who take an interest in their well-being, academically and socially.

The new students will be joined by new faculty members and administrators: new deans for the Cox School of Business and Simmons School of Education and Human Development, the University’s first-ever associate provost for continuing education, and new leaders for student affairs and information technology.

These outstanding leaders and their peers across SMU will enhance the abilities of our students and faculty to work together across disciplines to create new fields of knowledge and address tough problems. For examples of ways in which they change the world, read about the groundbreaking community partnerships forged by Meadows School of the Arts and the entrepreneurial alumnae who created an innovative all-girls school in Dallas.

The unique opportunities SMU offers students, faculty and alumni are only possible because of the ever-increasing generosity of donors. That is why we started the exciting three-year initiative called Pony Power: Strengthening the Stampede to inspire more people to give every year to support current initiatives.

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Your annual gift to the SMU Fund – which you can direct to broad areas such as the University’s greatest needs, scholarships or faculty, or to the highest priorities of a school, the libraries, Athletics or Student Affairs – enables you to be a critical part of all the great things that will happen on the Hilltop in the months ahead.

I hope you can see for yourself the incredible things happening at the University – by coming to campus for Homecoming November 2–4 or Family Weekend September 22–24; by attending an event across the U.S. for alumni, family and friends; by seeing a game or performance on campus; or by reading the stories SMU shares online through-out the year.

It is going to be a fantastic year, and we want you to be a part of it.

R. Gerald Turner
President

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Categories
Fall 2017

Welcoming SMU’s Olamaie Curtiss Graney Design Lab

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The Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development dedicated in March the Olamaie Curtiss Graney Design Lab in Harold Simmons Hall. Olamaie G. Fojtasek and Randall S. Fojtasek ’85, ’90 (center) made a $1 million pledge to SMU, with $500,000 directed to the Design Lab and $500,000 for M.B.A. scholarships in Cox School of Business. Also at the ceremony were (from left) SMU Provost Steve Currall, President R. Gerald Turner and Simmons Interim Dean Paige Ware. Graney, Mrs. Fojtasek’s mother, was a public school teacher in Tennessee and Mississippi. In the lab, education students use technology to develop unit and lesson plans and technology applications to support student learning.

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Categories
2017 Alumni News

Ana Rodriguez ’03 named director of Cox’s Latino Leadership Initiative

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SMU Cox Executive Education welcomes a new director to take its four-year-old Latino Leadership Initiative to the next level. Ana Rodriguez, an alumna of SMU Cox, brings nearly twenty years of experience in higher education, not for profit and corporate work.

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Launched in November 2013, the LLI is a national center of excellence at the Cox School of Business designed to help meet the nation’s growing need for corporate leaders as the economy grows and national demographics evolve. The LLI grew out of research that shows a gap in talent at the country’s executive leadership level.

Rodriguez will have overall strategic and operational responsibility for the LLI, which works with the university and the business community to access an important talent resource and marketplace. The LLI operates to deliver management education programs, organization development services, new research-based insights and community engagement activities.

“I am honored and overjoyed to return to my alma mater as the director of the Latino Leadership Initiative,” said Rodriguez. “While Latinos make up nearly 18 percent of the total U.S. population, only two percent of Fortune 500 CEOs are of Hispanic origin. I am humbled by the opportunity to build upon the LLI’s proven success and to work with companies to recruit, retain and develop top Latino talent.”

“The LLI is of utmost importance to SMU Cox Executive Education in our mission to serve the business community,” said Frank Lloyd, associate dean of Executive Education at SMU Cox. “Ana Rodriguez brings solid experience in establishing mutually beneficial relationships between universities and business organizations. She will strengthen the LLI’s efforts to expand the corporate leadership pipeline and accelerate top Latino talent to management and executive level positions. This will benefit our community, our country, and so SMU.”

Rodriguez will begin her new role August 1. She has held leadership positions in corporate partnerships, development, alumni relations, university advancement, and external affairs at UTD’s Naveen Jindal School of Management and UNT Dallas. In those roles, she coordinated corporate relations strategies, public relations, fund raising, and community engagement. Ana also served as the executive director for the Anita N. Martinez Ballet Folklorico, a non-profit arts organization and resident company of the AT&T Performing Arts Center, and she worked for Bank of America in its Global Wealth and Investments division.

READ MORE:

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Categories
2017 News Spring 2017

Hal Brierley Helps Prepare The Next Generation Of Business Leaders

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In late September, the Cox School of Business M.B.A. class on customer engagement taught by professor Marci Armstrong met for a guest lecture. The speaker related stories about working in the trenches of customer engagement for 30 years, consulting with such clients as American Airlines, Pan Am, Blockbuster and Borders. Although most of the students were too young to know many of those companies by name, they listened attentively because they knew they were hearing from a top expert in the field.

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Hal Brierley has come a long way from starting a database marketing firm in 1969 in the basement of Dillon Hall at Harvard Business School. Brierley became well known as the only external consultant involved in the launch of American Airlines AAdvantage, the nation’s first frequent traveler program. He grew his firm Epsilon into an industry leader, and then spent 30 years building Brierley + Partners into a global leader in the design and management of customer loyalty programs.

After selling Brierley + Partners in 2015 to Nomura Research Institute, a leading Japanese technology services firm, the executive considered the “Father of Customer Engagement” is making a late-career segue. He recently moved his office from the Legacy area in Plano to an airy suite atop Parkland Hall on the old Parkland Hospital campus, only a few minutes away from his home in Highland Park – and from his latest venture in customer engagement at SMU’s Cox School of Business

Hal Brierley, who will serve as an executive-in-residence in Cox’s new customer engagement institute, spoke to MBA marketing students in September.
Photo by Hillsman S. Jackson.

Hal Brierley, who will serve as an executive-in-residence in Cox’s new customer engagement institute, spoke to MBA marketing students in September. Brierley first guest lectured in Armstrong’s class several years ago. From the beginning, he was particularly impressed to learn that American Airlines – extremely protective of its customer data – had given the students access to data from 10,000 anonymous AAdvantage members. As he interacted with the next generation of customer engagement marketers, Brierley wanted to ensure they were properly trained and educated in the ever-evolving field.

The seed of this hope grew into the $10 million gift that Brierley and his wife, Diane, gave to SMU in September to create the Brierley Institute for Customer Engagement in Cox, the nation’s first academic institute devoted to study of the field. The gift – among the largest in the history of the Cox School – will help students and businesses address a critical and growing business need: capturing customer attention in what Brierley describes as “a time-starved, social media-obsessed environment.” Armstrong will serve as the Harold M. Brierley Endowed Professor and Brierley himself will be an executive-in-residence.

Not what he planned

Brierley didn’t set out to become the guru of customer engagement. “Most of us who’ve been involved in direct marketing backed into it. Very few people of my generation sat down in college and said, ‘I think I’ll go into direct marketing,’” he recalls.

During his college years at the University of Maryland, he had the opportunity to work part time as a math aide at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center programming the early mega IBM computers. After earning a B.S. in chemical engineering, he was accepted at Harvard Business School, but decided to work for a year at IBM as a sales trainee. After getting his M.B.A. in 1968, he stayed on at the business school serving as a research assistant, with some outside consulting for The Boston Consulting Group and the Rand Corporation.

While working as a research assistant, Brierley’s college fraternity, Sigma Alpha Epsilon, recognizing his computer background asked him to help automate its membership records. “I naturally looked for a data processing firm that specialized in maintaining membership organizations.” Not finding one, he and a business school classmate offered to serve as consultants to automate SAE’s membership records.

They quickly realized that most other fraternities were also not yet computer savvy, and after a year, they were maintaining the membership records for 16 of the 18 national fraternity offices. “But,” Brierley adds, “we also found that our clients needed advice on how to use the computer to communicate with members, especially for fundraising, and we backed into becoming a direct marketing agency.” Over the next 10 years, Epsilon grew to work with more than 400 nonprofit organizations.

Gaining the advantage

After helping his fraternity automate its membership records, Brierley and a classmate established the Epsilon direct marketing agency.
Brierley’s collection of memorabilia includes an early American Airlines AAdvantage pass.

Living in Boston, with all of Epsilon’s clients in the Midwest, Brierley became an early frequent flyer. One day, he stopped by United Airlines’ Chicago offices to visit the executive running its club for frequent fliers to talk about its membership record keeping. “While he politely told me he didn’t need help, a month later he called to tell me that the government was going to make United charge for access to the Red Carpet Club and that he may need help.”

Over the next several years as Epsilon helped maintain the records for United’s Red Carpet Club, Brierley recalls, “I became intrigued with the concept of customer loyalty. As we served as the vendor maintaining the Club’s records, we started wondering if we could use the Red Carpet Club as the vehicle to motivate flyers to concentrate their flying with United, offering unanticipated rewards and more personalized communications.”

Later, United introduced them to Pan Am and Epsilon started maintaining Pan Am’s Clipper Club records. With the advent of airline deregulation, airlines were freed from pricing restrictions and allowed to become more creative, he says. “So, I proposed to Pan Am that Epsilon could develop and operate a turnkey program to reward passengers for flying its new transcontinental routes from New York to San Francisco and Los Angeles. Our proposed ‘multi-trip discount program’ would offer passengers who flew three round trips on Pan Am’s transcontinental flights a free coach trip to Europe. Pan Am said it would never work, that no one would ever go out of their way to fly one airline rather than another simply to earn a reward.”

Later, after he had left Epsilon, one of Brierley’s business school classmates became senior vice president of marketing for American Airlines. Brierley recalls, “When we met, I told him what I had proposed to do at Pan Am and he said, ‘We’ve got a secret program we’re thinking about that would reward passengers for flying on American.’ It ended up with me as the one outside adviser on the design and launch of the AAdvantage program.

“American wanted frequent travelers to give the airline their names and addresses so it could communicate directly with them and provide their member numbers when they flew, thus allowing American to accurately identify their best customers. By offering a small incentive for participation and working the database, American thought they could gain a larger share of the customer’s travel.”

A pioneer in database marketing and loyalty programs, Brierley has counseled scores of iconic brands.

He adds, “It’s important to remember that the original AAdvantage program had a one-year term – you had to fly 50,000 miles in one year to earn a free ticket.”

Brierley proposed several key innovations, including entry-level awards starting at 12,000 miles, an unanticipated gift (a bag tag) after a member’s first flight, a monthly mileage statement, and a Gold program for members flying at least 25,000 miles each year. While he is still proud of his contribution, he always likes to point out that the work was done “by a very talented team of AA employees, and Bob Crandall was the visionary who said they needed the program.”

Brierley laughs as he recalls that American thought it had a one year head start against its competitors when it launched AAdvantage, since the technology and planning had been a year in the making. To American’s surprise, United Airlines matched it “literally over the weekend, improvising the initial program support. Obviously when a big competitor launches a major initiative, you should respond. But United made one big change,” Brierley adds. “They said, ‘If it makes sense to give people miles when they fly, why not let them earn miles for more than just year-to-year?’ So, United made the term for earning miles open-ended, and eventually, millions of travelers would earn a free trip.

“That totally changed the economics of the program, and led to these programs becoming much bigger and more expensive than planned,” he says. “However, offsetting the added cost, no one anticipated that someone would decide that letting travelers earn miles for using a credit card could change the credit card industry. So today, billions of dollars are spent by credit card companies to reward their cardholders with airline miles, making the sale of airline miles a major profit center for the airlines.”

Retaining customer attention

Over the more than 30 years since the launch of the first airline loyalty program, Brierley has worked with clients “to define what behavior change they want their customers to make – such as to sign up for a program or purchase something they might not otherwise have bought – the economic value of the change, and how much they want to spend to motivate the behavior change. In addition to the tangible incentives, I’m convinced providing emotional benefits and understanding the psychology of loyalty have become critical in designing a successful program,” he says.

An ad featuring a Brierley + Partners brochure on “The Art of Relationship Management.”

Brierley believes that the next generation of loyalty programs will reward people for their time and attention. “We’re in a time-starved world today and the biggest problem for a brand is getting and keeping the consumer’s attention,” he says. “I think share of attention is going to be as important as share of wallet. And that’s where the focus on customer engagement becomes important.

“Talk about loyalty and a lot of CFOs think about a big, cumbersome reward program that offers trips to Hawaii. However, everyone has pretty well agreed that if we can get customers to engage more frequently with the brand, they will buy more.”

In Brierley’s view, customer engagement centers on having a conversation with customers and prospects. “Most marketers preach rather than converse. Conversation says I talk to you, I ask you a question, you tell me something.”

To emphasize this point, Brierley recalls when rental car company Hertz sat in focus groups with customers nearly 30 years ago and asked what kind of benefits Hertz could extend to them that would cause them to prefer Hertz. “What people said was, ‘I want a faster way to rent the car.’ They had their airline miles, and they didn’t want points or golf balls from Hertz, but they didn’t want to stand in line.” And, to Hertz’s credit, it listened and created the Hertz #1 Club Gold program.

The explosion of the internet and digital marketing has made it faster and cheaper to engage with customers. Brierley says that the idea of rewarding people for their time, for opening an email and for sharing their opinions by completing a survey, led him to launch e-Rewards, now known as Research Now, the world’s largest online market research panel. It monthly rewards over a million consumers for completing market opinion surveys for some 2,500 research firms.

“I’m firm believer that a well-crafted incentive can profitably change behavior. We’re an incentive-based society today.”

The next level of engagement

Cox faculty member Marci Armstrong will serve as the Harold M. Brierley Endowed Professor in the customer engagement institute.

Brierley sees SMU’s new institute as a way to move to the next level of customer engagement. “I would like to think we’ll have a generation who actually knows how to profitably drive consumer engagement,” he says. “Since it’s a bit of a science and a bit of an art, there are a lot of nuances that make programs successful.”

His relationship with SMU actually began with the arts, which he and Diane have supported generously across Dallas for decades. Having earlier served on the executive board of Meadows School of the Arts, he was attracted to the National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) program in Meadows and Cox. “It struck me as a very innovative program; SMU was taking the initiative in a very entrepreneurial endeavor – building a database of best practices in the arts community. There was a fundraising opportunity to support NCAR that had a matching grant, and we gave $100,000.”

When it came time to make a major investment in developing the field of customer engagement, Brierley felt that SMU would be the best academic home.

“It could take years for Harvard to identify a professor interested in building a course around loyalty or engagement, much less establish an M.B.A. concentration,” he says. “SMU already had been teaching a class on customer loyalty, and working innovatively with American Airlines to let students work with real customer data and address loyalty issues. We have a professor who already had a love for customer engagement, we have an innovative school in Cox, and a superlative brand in SMU. I think we can make SMU and Dallas a center of excellence in this critical part of marketing. When you think of all the Fortune 500 corporate headquarters here, we have a tremendous laboratory for advancing loyalty.”

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2017 June 2017 News

Cox recognizes outstanding alumni

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The SMU Cox School of Business honored six alumni at the school’s annual Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards Luncheon on Friday, May 19.

[/fusion_text][/fusion_builder_column][/fusion_builder_row][/fusion_builder_container][fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=”no” equal_height_columns=”no” menu_anchor=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”center center” background_repeat=”no-repeat” fade=”no” background_parallax=”none” parallax_speed=”0.3″ video_mp4=”” video_webm=”” video_ogv=”” video_url=”” video_aspect_ratio=”16:9″ video_loop=”yes” video_mute=”yes” overlay_color=”” video_preview_image=”” border_size=”” border_color=”” border_style=”solid” padding_top=”” padding_bottom=”” padding_left=”” padding_right=”” admin_label=”Content”][fusion_builder_row][fusion_builder_column type=”1_1″ layout=”1_1″ spacing=”” center_content=”no” hover_type=”none” link=”” min_height=”” hide_on_mobile=”small-visibility,medium-visibility,large-visibility” class=”” id=”” background_color=”” background_image=”” background_position=”left top” undefined=”” background_repeat=”no-repeat” border_size=”0″ border_color=”” border_style=”solid” border_position=”all” padding=”” margin_top=”” margin_bottom=”” animation_type=”” animation_direction=”left” animation_speed=”0.3″ animation_offset=”” last=”no”][fusion_text]Three Distinguished Alumni Awards and three Outstanding Young Alumni Awards were presented at a luncheon ceremony in the Collins Executive Center on the SMU campus. Award nominations are submitted to the SMU Cox Alumni Association for consideration by a selection committee.

This year’s Distinguished Alumni honorees are, in alphabetical order: Peter T. Dameris, BBA ’82; Kirk L. Rimer, MBA ’89; and Liz Youngblood, MBA ’05. Outstanding Young Alumni honorees are: Amber Venz Box, BA ’09; Baxter Box, MBA ’11; and Vik Thapar, MBA ’09.

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2017 Alumni June 2017

SMU alumnus Mark Lau ’06: Finding a perfect fit at Nike

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By Karen Shoholm
SMU

“I met Michael Jordan during the first week of my internship,” says Mark Lau ’06. “Right then I knew that Nike was the place I wanted to work. Eleven years later, I haven’t looked back.”

Mark Lau ’06, global director of Nike’s EKIN Experience, sports some favorite kicks outside the Nike store in Portland, Oregon. “There’s no such thing as a typical day at Nike, and that’s why I love it,” he says.

Lau, who graduated with degrees in marketing from the Cox School of Business and in advertising design from Meadows School of the Arts, works at Nike’s World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon. As global director of the company’s EKIN Experience – named in 1981 for the Nike reps who “had to know the product backwards and forwards,” according to Nike – Lau leads the team responsible for curating Nike’s stories and delivering inspiration and innovation to athletes around the world through a grassroots approach.

“My internship played a huge part in getting a full-time job at Nike,” he says.

Lau also credits his SMU Abroad experiences studying in Copenhagen, Denmark, and Suzhou, China. “I believe that some of the best learning experiences take place outside the classroom. The study abroad programs provided the opportunity to interact with students from around the world and experience global cultures.”

Adapting to different kinds of people and cultures was good training for what Lau does at Nike. “There is no such thing as a typical day at Nike, and that’s why I love it. We are a consumer-driven company, and the consumer moves fast. We learn, adapt and evolve quickly to keep up with today’s fast-paced environment,” he says.

“We call Nike’s World Headquarters a campus because it is designed like a university and fosters an environment of learning and sharing. Our maxim, ‘Be a sponge,’ inspires us to constantly soak up and share information.”

From the SMU campus, Lau is grateful for what he learned in his marketing classes, especially those taught by Judy Foxman, senior lecturer of marketing at the Cox School. Lau says she made learning fun. “She merged the classroom with the real world, providing valuable insights and experiences.”

Foxman calls Lau “a fabulous student whose marketing and communication skills were enhanced in my Honors Marketing Practicum class. When you are relating academics to a real-world project, a company knows that you will be able to hit the ground running. You earn more than a marketing degree; you acquire a level of confidence and professionalism.”

Lau serves as the co-president of SMU’s Portland alumni chapter and helps organize events for fellow Mustangs who live in the area.

He adds that SMU’s location in Dallas gave him an ideal launch pad for getting to Nike and Portland. “Dallas is strategically located so it is attractive to companies. Whether you want to work for a big company or a small company – or start your own – Dallas and SMU can provide those opportunities.”

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Alumni

SMU alumni honored by Cox School of Business