One hundred million and counting — that's the total given to date by Houston-based Southern Methodist University alumni and friends as part of the university's Second Century Campaign. That figure and mega-donor Tog Rogers Jr. were celebrated at a reception at The Houstonian.
Taking bows for that success were Houston co-chairs for the campaign steering committee — Amegy Bank of Texas CEO Scott McLean, class of '78, and Dennis Murphree, class of '69, principal of Murphree Venture Partners.
Retired attorney and former owner of Ridgway Blueprinting, Rogers gifted SMU with $12.1 million for an endowed scholarship fund. He graduated from SMU law school some 50 years ago.
SMU reports that more than 6,200 graduates call Houston home and a dozen alumni and SMU friends have contributed $1 million or more to the school.
A double header of honors
It was a very big day for Joanne King Herring when she was honored in the morning by the Freedoms Foundation at Valley Forge Houston Chapter 2012 at the Brae Burn Country Club and then honored that evening the the Houston Consular Corps.
The Freedoms Foundation presented the author/patriot with the national George Washington Honor Medal award. Slipping into a formal gown, Herring then headed for the white-tie-and-tails Consular Ball at the Hilton Americas-Houston where she was presented the International Service Award.
While Harris County Commissioner Steve Radack celebrated his slam dunk in the election by taking over the main dining room at Tony's, social swells packed the bar at Tony's on election night. Joining Tony and Donna Vallone for fried chicken, melt-in-your-mouth rib eye, biscuits and other comfort foods were Carol and Mike Linn, Arlene and Marshall Hoffman, Dr. Barney Barrett and loads more including actor Tommy Lee Jones and wife Dawn, that duo in town for her polo match at Houston Polo Club (Tony's is a favorite watering hole for the couple) . . .
A hefty crowd packing Da Marco only hours after the upscale Italian eatery had received its latest shipment of white truffles ($3,000 a pound). Sighted around the dining room were Raquel and Andrew Segal, Tony Petrello, Dr. Devinder Bhatia, Dr. Billy Cohn, Sheridan and John Eddie Williams and Ileana and Michael Trevino . . .
Former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev checking in at Hotel Granduca where he bunked during his visit here to speak at the Brilliant Lecture Series. Also checking in, the Travel Channel's Bizarre Foods host Andrew Zimmern in town for a little research. See CultureMap associate editor Sarah Rufca's story about where Zimmern dined while in Houston.