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May 11, 2000


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DALLAS (SMU) — Philanthropist and Dallas civic leader Nancy Lee Blackburn Hamon will receive an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from Southern Methodist University during its 85th annual commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, May 20, in Moody Coliseum.

Hamon is a Dallas civic leader, arts patron and philanthropist whose leadership and personality have contributed to her sense of public mission. Her dedication to the arts and activities in cultural and civic organizations range from Dallas to the international level. Hamon currently serves as a member of the Meadows School of the Arts executive board.

Through her generosity and imagination, she has fostered and transformed cultural institutions including the Dallas Museum of Art and SMU’s own Hamon Arts Library.

Born in San Antonio, Hamon attended the University of Texas at Austin. In 1949, she married Jake L. Hamon and moved to Dallas, the national headquarters for her husband’s oil and gas operations company. Nancy Hamon became the owner and president of Hamon Operating Company after the death of her husband in 1985.

In Dallas, Hamon is a major donor to the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, the Dallas Opera, the Dallas Zoological Society, the Dallas Historical Society and the Museum of African-American Life and Culture, as well as the Dallas Museum of Art and the Hamon Arts Library.

Other beneficiaries of her generosity include the San Antonio Museums Association, the McNay Art Museum in San Antonio; the Legion of Honor, the deYoung Museums and the Grace Cathedral, all in San Francisco; and most recently, the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City.

She was awarded the TACA-James K. Wilson Silver Cup Award in 1990, the Flora Award in 1992 and the prestigious Linz Award in 1994 for her many philanthropic efforts.

"French novelist Émile Zola said that ‘to be an artist is to live out loud,’" said Meadows School of the Arts Dean Carole Brandt. "Mrs. Hamon has always lived out loud through grand curiosity, impatient expectations and personal commitment to that which is beautiful. The Meadows School celebrates her extraordinary vision and support of the literary, visual and performing arts. She has made a difference in them all."

Other honorary degree recipients include civic activist Ernesto Cortés Jr., Doctor of Laws; chemist, educator and University of Texas President Larry Faulkner, Doctor of Science and Peruvian priest and Father of Liberation Theology Gustavo Gutiérrez, Doctor of Divinity.


Click here to read about all the SMU 2000 Honorary Degree Recipients

Click here to read about Commencement 2000

Click here to read more about Ernesto Cortés Jr.

Click here to read more about Larry Faulkner

Click here to read more about Gustavo Gutiérrez