Contact: Ellen Sterner
SMU News & Media Relations
(214) 768-7650

Feb. 13, 2003


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Engineering Distinguished Alumni photoDALLAS (SMU) -- Former Texas Gov. Bill Clements, inventor Robert Dennard and former TI Chairman Mark Shepherd will receive the first Distinguished Alumni Awards given by the SMU School of Engineering.

U.S. Sen. Kay Bailey Hutchison will receive the school's first Distinguished Service Award.

The four will be honored at a dinner Feb. 21 at the Adolphus Hotel in Dallas.

Clements attended the SMU School of Engineering from 1935-1936 before leaving to work in the South Texas oil fields with Oil Well Supply Co. and subsequently founded SEDCO, which became the world's largest drilling contractor. He served as Texas governor from 1979-1983 and again from 1987-1991. He received an honorary doctorate from SMU in 1974.

Dennard received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from SMU in 1954 and a M.S. degree in electrical engineering in 1956. He received his Ph.D. from Carnegie Institute of Technology (now Carnegie Mellon) 1958 and joined IBM that year as a staff engineer. In 1968, he patented the one-transistor Dynamic Random Access Memory (DRAM), which has supplied the memory needs of all computers since the mid-1970s. SMU awarded Dr. Dennard an honorary doctorate in 1997.

Shepherd received a B.S. degree in electrical engineering from SMU in 1942 and an honorary Doctor of Engineering from SMU in 1966. He joined Texas Instruments in 1951 and served as chairman of the company from 1976 to 1988.

"This is an outstanding group of individuals who have made major contributions to their respective fields and brought honor to SMU and the School of Engineering," said Stephen Szygenda, dean of the SMU School of Engineering.

Hutchison is being recognized for her achievements in establishing a national institute to study and address the problems related to the shortage of engineers in the United States. The Institute for Engineering Education is now based at SMU.

"Sen. Hutchison realizes that we are at a critical crossroads in our country with respect to technology education," Szygenda said. "We have had the lead in technology and this has been reflected in our economy. But our technology lead is slipping because of our shortage of engineers."

The Hall of Leaders dinner is being organized by the SMU School of Engineering's Executive Board. For ticket and reservation information, contact Barbara Hollis at 214-768-3674 or send an email to

The dinner is part of a weekend of activities for SMU engineering alumni. Details on the weekend's events may be found at