Alumni Honors at Homecoming

Austin College will honor seven graduates for distinguished professional accomplishment and service to the College on Friday, October 26, during Homecoming events on the campus. Awards will be presented during a dinner that evening in Mabee Hall of the Robert J. and Mary Wright Campus Center.

Those wishing to attend the dinner should register by October 19 through the Homecoming event registration site. Cost is $25 per person. For information, contact the Office of Alumni Engagement at 903.813.2335 or by email at


Distinguished Alumni Awards recognize those who have distinguished themselves in their profession and in their communities, exemplifying leadership and ethical standards in their interactions. They model the accomplishment, spirit of service, and broadened perspective fostered by the Austin College educational experience and support and advocate on behalf of the College. First Decade Award recipients are selected on the same basis, but for accomplishments within 10 years of graduation. Austin College Alumni Board president Sarah Gunderson of Dallas, Texas, Class of 1981, and Dr. Marjorie Hass, president of Austin College, will present the awards to alumni.

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award Recipients:

David R. Corrigan, Class of 1981

David Corrigan is president and CEO of Corrigan Investments, a commercial real estate development and investment firm in Dallas. Following his graduation from Austin College with a major in economics and business administration, he studied ranch management at TCU before taking his place in the third generation of a family tradition in Corrigan Investments.

David is a past chairman of the Dallas Regional Chamber and has been a dedicated volunteer and leader with The Dallas Foundation, The Perot Museum of Nature and Science, The Senior Source, Southwestern Foundation, The Lamplighter School, and Texas Health Presbyterian Foundation. He has been a member of the Salesmanship Club since 1999.

David and his wife, Emily, live in Dallas, Texas, with their three children.

Charles H. Reynolds, Class of 1979

After receiving his Austin College degree with a major in chemistry, Reynolds earned a Ph.D. theoretical organic chemistry from the University of Texas at Austin. He has more than 25 years of experience in drug discovery and now serves as president of Gfree, a structure-based drug discovery company in Philadelphia. He also is a director on the advisory board of Quantum Bio, Inc., and an adjunct professor at the Pennsylvania Drug Discovery Institute. He previously worked as head of discovery technologies at Ansaris, Johnson & Johnson, and Rohm and Haas (now Dow).

He is a fellow of the American Chemistry Society and has held various leadership positions in that organization. He also has served as an adjunct professor at the University of Pennsylvania and has supervised joint graduate and postdoctoral students at Pennsylvania State University and University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has published extensively and been quoted by many news organizations regarding drug discovery.

He and his wife, M. Katharine Holloway, live in Lansdale, Pennsylvania, and have three children.

Kirk Smith, Class of 1981

After his graduation from Austin College, Smith earned a master’s degree in philosophy at University of Texas, then a medical degree and a Ph.D., in medical humanities at University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine (UTMB), followed by residency training in internal medicine at Georgetown University Hospital in Washington, D.C.

Today, he is the Arnold P. Gold Associate Professor of Internal Medicine at University of Texas Medical Branch School of Medicine, specializing in the field of community-service learning, and recently received the UT Regents’ Award for Outstanding Teaching. He is active in international medical ethics and medical education and is a Distinguished Visiting Professor at Hunan Normal University in China. Smith also serves as executive director of Frontera de Salud, a volunteer organization of health care students and professionals offering medical care to underserved communities, which he helped to found as a student at UTMB. Austin College students participate in that program each January.

Kirk and his wife, Lida Zeng Smith, live in Galveston, and have two children.

Todd Williams, Class of 1982

After graduating from Austin College with a degree in economics, Williams earned an M.B.A., with distinction, from the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania. He began a 20-year career with Goldman Sachs, working in the firm’s New York, Los Angeles, and Dallas offices. He was named a managing director of the firm in 1991 and a partner in 2000. When he retired in 2009, he was partner and global co-head of the real estate private equity investment area.

He now devotes his effort to public education in Dallas, serving as education policy advisor to the mayor of Dallas and chair of the Dallas Independent School District Citizen Budget Review Commission. He serves as executive director of Commit!, an independent nonprofit organization dedicated to helping Dallas County children realize their full potential. Williams is a former vice chair of the board for Uplift Education, managing the largest public charter school in Dallas, and with his wife helped establish and support the Williams Preparatory School, a free tuition public charter high school. The couple also leads the regional advisory board for Teach for America in Dallas and Fort Worth. He also serves as a member of the Austin College Board of Trustees.

He and his wife, Abigail, live in Dallas, Texas, and have five sons.

First Decade Award

Amanda Thomas, Class of 2002

After earning her Austin College degree with a major in art and minor in Spanish, Thomas earned a Master of Architecture from the University of Houston. She joined global design firm Gensler in 2006 in Washington, D.C., and works as part of the firm’s Sustainable Design Task force. As a licensed architect, a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) accredited professional, and a Construction Documents Technologist (CDT), she leads the coordination and documentation of LEED credits. She specializes in commercial architecture.

She is an active community volunteer and has participated in Houston and Washington, D.C., in CANstruction, a design competition to raise money for local food banks. She also took part in the Urban Land Institute’s Volunteer Day and the D.C. Public School beautification Day. She also has been an organizer of various sustainability efforts.

Amanda lives in Washington, D.C.

Heywood C. Clemons Volunteer Service Award

The Clemons Award is given to alumni or friends of Austin College in honor of continued service and commitment to the College. The award is named to honor longtime Austin College Board of Trustees chair Heywood Clemons of Fort Worth, Texas.

This year’s recipient is Jeff Mabray, Class of 1996.

After graduating from Austin College with a major in communication arts, Mabray attended Texas A&M Commerce and then earned a Master of Fine Arts degree at Tulane University. He now works for Edwin Jones Company, where he designs, specifies, and installs theatrical lighting systems. He previously worked with  StageLight Louisiana as theatrical sales and projects installation manager.

He has assisted Austin College theatre students and alumni in several programs and is active in alumni events and other support.

Jeff and his wife, Johanna, live in Carrollton, Texas, and have three children.

Cindy Curtis Bean Service to Alumni Award

The Service to Alumni Award was created by the Alumni Board in 2009 to honor a faculty or staff person who has demonstrated extraordinary commitment to the support and education of Austin College alumni around the world. The award is named to honor Cindy Curtis Bean, Austin College Class of 1975, who worked many years in the College’s Alumni Office before retiring in 2011. She lives in Sherman.

This year’s recipient is John Williams, Class of 1984.

John Williams graduated from Austin College in 1984 with majors in history and philosophy, with Honors in History, then earned a Master of Divinity degree in 1987 from Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary. He joined the Austin College staff as director of church relations in 1993, and since 2004, has served as chaplain and William E. Elliott, Jr., Chair in Christian Ministry. In addition to his daily work with countless students on campus, he has worked with alumni around the country in community service and church-related activities. He also has had an integral role in communication with his own class about Austin College events and volunteered at many alumni events. John earned a Ph.D. in religious studies from Southern Methodist University in 2004.

John and his wife, Linnea, and their two children live in Sherman.

Austin College is a leading national independent liberal arts college located north of Dallas in Sherman, Texas. Founded in 1849, making it the oldest institution of higher education in Texas operating under original charter and name, the college is related by covenant to the Presbyterian Church (USA). Recognized nationally for academic excellence in the areas of international education, pre-professional training, and leadership studies, Austin College is one of 40 schools profiled in Loren Pope’s influential book Colleges That Change Lives.