May 5, 2006

Carl Sewell Elected Chair
of SMU Board of Trustees

DALLAS (SMU) — Dallas business and civic leader Carl Sewell was unanimously elected chair of Southern Methodist University’s Board of Trustees at the Board meeting on May 5. He succeeds Gerald J. Ford, who has completed his chairmanship.

“Carl Sewell’s close involvement with SMU through the years, and his leadership on several Board committees, give him a detailed knowledge and broad view of University governance issues,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Drawing upon his strategic marketing perspectives, he brings a strong understanding of SMU within the competitive national marketplace that is invaluable in charting progress, especially in raising our academic profile.

“At the same time, I express our deep appreciation for the outstanding service of Gerald J. Ford as Board chair for the past four years. His leadership was essential to the progress of The Campaign for SMU, and he led the Board during implementation of many campaign-funded initiatives. We are grateful for his generosity and for his continued service as a key member of the Board.”

A member of the SMU Board of Trustees since 1996, Sewell has served as vice chair of the Board since 2004. He has served on Board committees for Athletics, Audit, Development and External Affairs, Endowment, Finance, and Trusteeship. He is past chair of the Board of SMU’s Cox School of Business and served on the Executive Committee of The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead, which surpassed its goal by raising $542 million. Sewell earned his B.B.A. degree from SMU in 1966. He was honored with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1992 and SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1993. His wife, Peggy, earned a B.F.A. degree from SMU in 1972.

"I look forward to serving SMU and supporting President Turner in his efforts to dramatically improve the academic excellence of SMU," Sewell said. "Momentum is building at SMU, and it will accelerate with the Centennial Campaign." The Centennial Campaign, now in its planning phase, will raise endowment funds for faculty, students, and academic programs in celebration of the University's founding in 1911 and opening in 1915.

Sewell is chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies, which includes 18 franchises. His successful business philosophy is set forth in the book he co-authored, Customers for Life, which has been printed in 17 languages. Sewell has served as president of the National Lexus Dealer Advisory Council and the Cadillac National Dealer Council. His honors include election to the Junior Achievement 2000 Dallas Business Hall of Fame, the Automotive Hall of Fame, and the Texas Automobile Dealers Association Diamond Select Circle.

Sewell is past president of the Board of Trustees of St. Mark’s School of Texas and currently serves on the boards of the State Fair of Texas and the Southwestern Medical Foundation. His other civic activities have included service as chair of Goals for Dallas and as board member of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce, Dallas Citizens Council, Dallas Symphony Orchestra, and member of the Advisory Board of the Junior League of Dallas. He has lectured at SMU, the University of Texas, Texas A&M University, the University of Virginia, and Harvard University.