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April 19, 2006


Photo of H. Ross Perot Jr.
H. Ross Perot Jr. is SMU's 91st Commencement speaker (click for a high-resolution version of this image).
See, hear, or download the speech.

DALLAS (SMU) – Dallas business leader and SMU trustee H. Ross Perot Jr. will give the address at Southern Methodist University’s 91st annual commencement convocation Saturday, May 20.  SMU expects to award approximately 2,000 degrees at the universitywide ceremony at 9:30 a.m. in Moody Coliseum.

“Ross Perot Jr. exemplifies the dynamic young leadership that is energizing our nation’s economy,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He is a great role model for SMU graduates as they go out into the world to pursue their own career goals.”

Perot is chairman of Hillwood Development Corporation, which he founded in 1988. Hillwood is ranked among the top 10 developers in the United States. Two of Hillwood’s largest projects have been the development of AllianceTexas northwest of D/FW International Airport and Victory, including the American Airlines Center, in downtown Dallas. Perot also is chairman of the board of Perot Systems Corporation, a global information technology and business solutions company.  Founded in 1988, Perot Systems has more than 18,000 associates.

A native of Dallas, Perot graduated from St. Mark’s School of Texas and earned his B.B.A. degree from Vanderbilt University. In addition to real estate and technology, he has a third major interest – aviation. After graduating from Vanderbilt, Perot completed the first helicopter flight around the world in 1982. His helicopter is displayed at the Smithsonian Institution’s Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., and he replaced Charles Lindbergh as the youngest man to be honored by the Smithsonian. He served in the U.S. Air Force for eight and one-half years.

Perot has been a member of the SMU Board of Trustees since 1996 and serves on the trustee standing committees on Athletics, Buildings and Grounds, and Finance.  He also currently serves on the Executive Board of the Cox School of Business. His wife, Sarah, is a graduate of SMU. Perot’s current civic activities include serving as president of the board of St. Mark’s School, as a board member of the Dallas Citizens Council and the East-West Institute, as c hairman of the Air Force Memorial Foundation, and on the executive committee of the International Business Leaders’ Forum (IBLF).  He served from 2002-03 as chair of the Texas Governor’s Task Force for Economic Growth.