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SMU News & Media Relations
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June 18, 2003

Ford, Hunt, Oden Re-Elected As SMU Board Officers

DALLAS (SMU) -- Gerald J. Ford has been re-elected chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. Lamar Hunt will continue as vice chair and Bishop William B. Oden will continue as secretary.

The board is comprised of forty-one academic, business, civic and church leaders from across the country and sets policies governing the operation and direction of SMU, a private, comprehensive university with an enrollment of more than 10,000 students and a full-time faculty of nearly 500.

Gerald J. Ford

Ford is chairman and CEO of the Diamond A Ford Corporation, an investment firm in Dallas. He is chairman of Liberte Investors. Mr. Ford was the former chairman and CEO of Golden State Bancorp Inc. at the time it was acquired by Citigroup in 2002 for an estimated $5.8 billion. Described as a quintessential entrepreneurial banker, the West Texas native began his banking career by purchasing a number of small banks in rural areas of the state.

Ford earned two degrees from SMU -- a Bachelor of Arts in economics in 1966 and a law degree from the School of Law in 1969. In 1995 he received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award, and in 1997 he received SMU's Mustang Award honoring those whose longtime service and philanthropy have had a lasting impact on the university. The Gerald J. Ford Stadium, completed in September 2000, is named in his honor.

Ford provided the lead gift of $20 million for the new campus football stadium. He also has supported the SMU Annual Fund, Law Alumni Fund, President's Scholars program and Dedman College programs. Most recently, Ford provided $1 million to fund the Gerald J. Ford Early Career Research Fellowships to attract outstanding faculty members and the Gerald J. Ford Research Fellowships to retain faculty.

Lamar Hunt

Lamar Hunt is the chairman of Dallas-based Unity Hunt, Inc. and owner of the Kansas City Chiefs professional football team. He and his family have been instrumental in helping bring Mustang football back to the SMU campus with a major gift to Gerald J. Ford Stadium and Paul B. Loyd, Jr. All-Sports Center.

In 1959, at the age of 26, Hunt created the American Football League (AFL) and founded Dallas' first championship professional football team, the Dallas Texans, which later became the Kansas City Chiefs. The AFL eventually merged with the NFL which helped to create the first Super Bowl. For these achievements and others, Hunt was inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame in 1972.

Hunt was a 1973 recipient of SMU's highest honor -- the Distinguished Alumni Award. He also received SMU's Mustang Award in 1997 and is a member of the Campaign for SMU Executive Committee and numerous other school-related committees.

William B. Oden

William B. Oden is a Bishop of The United Methodist Church assigned to the Dallas area. He has served SMU as a member of the Board of Trustees since 1996, and is an ex officio member of the Executive Committee and a member of the Standing Committees on Academic Policy, Planning and Management, Legal and Government Affairs, and Trusteeship. He also serves as a trustee of Southwestern University in Georgetown, Texas.

Bishop Oden has received honorary doctorates from Oklahoma City University (D.D.) and Centenary College (L.L.D.) in Shreveport, La. He received a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oklahoma State University, a Master of Divinity degree from Harvard University and a Doctor of Theology degree from Boston University.

During his last 10 years as a pastor, he was on the faculty of Phillips Graduate Seminary, where he taught courses in preaching, worship and spiritual formation. He has been a speaker for numerous conferences and lectureships, including Jackson Lecturer at SMU's Perkins School of Theology, Visiting Preacher for Boston University School of Theology and Willson Lecturer at Oklahoma City University.


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