October 30, 2006
DALLAS (SMU) – A banker, court justice, pioneering football player and artist will receive the Southern Methodist University Distinguished Alumni Award, the highest honor the university bestows upon its graduates.
The 2006 recipients include Paul M. Bass Jr., the Hon. Craig T. Enoch, Jerry LeVias and John W. Nieto. Denise Scofield will receive the Emerging Leader Award, recognizing an outstanding alumnus or alumna who has graduated within the last 15 years. The Distinguished Alumni Award banquet and ceremony will be at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9 at the Fairmont Hotel. For more information, visit homecoming.smu.edu.
Paul M. Bass Jr.
Paul M. Bass Jr. has served his community through both volunteer and professional leadership. He is vice chair of First Southwest Company, an investment-banking firm based in Dallas, and serves on the Board of Directors of First Company as well as First Southwest Asset Management. He earned his Bachelor of Business Administration degree from SMU in 1957.
Bass is chair of the Southwestern Medical Foundation and former board chair of Zale Lipshy University Hospital, St. Paul University Hospital and Parkland Memorial Hospital. Among other civic activities, he is a member of the Dallas Citizens Council and chair of the Finance Committee of the State Fair of Texas.
Craig T. Enoch
The Hon. Craig T. Enoch has led a distinguished career spanning all three levels of the state court system. He served on the Texas Supreme Court for 11 years before retiring in 2003. Previously, he served as presiding judge of the 101st District Court and chief justice of the 5th District Court of Appeals.
Justice Enoch earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1972 and a Juris Doctor degree in 1975, both from SMU, and later earned a Master of Laws degree from the University of Virginia School of Law. While on the trial bench, he became a leader in court administration and developed a management system used as a model for all civil courts in Texas. Since 1993, Enoch has served on the Executive Board of SMU’s Dedman School of Law, and in 1999, he received that school's Distinguished Law Alumni Award.
When Jerry LeVias entered SMU in 1965, he became the first African-American to receive an athletic scholarship in the Southwest Conference. He made both athletic and academic All-America football teams and led the Mustangs to their first conference title in 18 years. After earning his Bachelor of Science degree from SMU in 1969, LeVias played professional football for the Houston Oilers and San Diego Chargers. He now holds distinctions in the Texas Sports Hall of Fame and the African-American Hall of Fame, among others.
LeVias is president of LeVias Enterprises, Inc., and director of marketing for Janice McKinney Court Reporting Service in Houston. He continues to serve his community through motivational speaking at schools and churches, chairing Community Voices in Action, and serving as honorary chair of the Southeast Texas Prostate Cancer Awareness Program.
John W. Nieto
John W. Nieto is an internationally renowned artist whose distinctive works have been exhibited throughout the United States and in Europe, Latin America, Africa and Asia, including a one-man show in Tokyo. He is best known for his unique paintings using vibrant color and bold strokes to portray images of Native American figures and Western wildlife.
Nieto is a member of SMU’s class of 1959 and served on the University’s Board of Trustees from 1992 to 1996. He created and donated a painting titled “Fancy Dancer at SMU” for the opening of the Clements Center for Southwest Studies in 1996. The painting now graces the lobby outside the president’s office at SMU.
Denise Scofield has earned high acclaim in her 14 years as a lawyer. She was named Outstanding Young Lawyer of both Houston and Texas in 2003. Texas Monthly named her a Rising Star in 2004 and 2005 and a Super Lawyer in 2005. She is a vice president of the Houston Bar Association and has served as president of the Houston Young Lawyers Association.
Scofield is chair of Houston’s Dispute Resolution Center and is a director of Lone Star Legal Aid. She earned her Juris Doctor degree from SMU’s Dedman School of Law in 1992, after earning her undergraduate degree from Vanderbilt University. She is a partner in Connelly, Baker, Maston, Wotring, Jackson L.L.P. in Houston, a boutique law firm specializing in civil trial work.
Media Note: Click on an image to see a larger version.
- 30 -