The Distinguished Alumni Society recognizes and honors those alumni who demonstrate outstanding leadership beyond the Webb School community. Membership in the Distinguished Alumni Society is awarded by the Alumni Board and the Board of Trustees of The Webb School. Members of the Distinguished Alumni Society include Webb Alumni who, through personal commitment, work ethic, and service, have achieved significant success in their professional careers and have made outstanding contributions to their communities, demonstrating Sawney's vision of bringing honor to themselves and to the Webb School.All living Webb School Alumni are eligible for membership in the Distinguished Alumni Society. Candidates are nominated and selected by the Alumni Board and confirmed by the Board of Trustees. At Webb, an “alumnus/alumna” is defined as any individual who completed one or more academic year(s) in grades nine through twelve at Webb School.
Congratulations to our 2020 recipients
Irvin Ashford Jr. '87 and Dr. Bill Hardin '79
Ashford serves as the chief community officer for Comerica Bank. In his role, he oversees community reinvestment nationally and all associated activities; including development, lending, community investments, volunteerism and data analysis. Additionally, Ashford leads Comerica's diversity business resource groups. Ashford previously served as Comerica's National Director of Financial Education and External Affairs.
He joined Comerica Bank in 2000 and has continued to strengthen relationships with the communities served by Comerica through various financial education and community development initiatives. In 2019, Ashford and his team established the Comerica Money $ense program to address the critical need of teaching sound financial principles to a wide range of audiences from pre-kindergarten students to senior citizens, as well as small businesses. The program has expanded to include Business, Education, Sports and Senior $ense. Coupled with the Comerica Money $ense program, the bank has developed the Financial Education Brigade, a collection of employee volunteers dedicated to improving the community through financial empowerment.
Ashford remains a pillar in the community, aiding various civic and community groups that include serving on the board of directors for the Texas Women's Empowerment Foundation (TWEF), Dallas Theater Center, Kym's Kids and Focus on Teens. He also is a Board of Trustees member for the Webb School, where Ashford was one of the school's first African-American graduates. Ashford previously served on the school’s Alumni Board.
In 2019, the University of Dallas inducted Ashford into the Satish & Yasmin Gupta College of Business Hall of Fame for his contributions to community and economic development initiatives in diverse and underserved communities. Ashford is a Woodrow Wilson International Studies and Public Policy Fellow, an American Marshall Fellow and British American Project Fellow. A graduate of Oberlin College in Oberlin, Ohio, Ashford earned dual master's degrees – public affairs from the University of Texas and business administration from the University of Dallas.
In April 2020, Savoy Magazine recognized Ashford as one of its 2020 Most Influential Black Executives in Corporate America, branded as the definitive listing of African-American executives, influencers and achievers impacting corporate America. Ashford’s profile is featured in the spring issue of Savoy, the leading African American business and lifestyle magazine, and also available at SavoyNetwork.com, Amazon and newsstands worldwide.
Dr. Hardin is past Founding Director of the Tibor and Sheila Hollo School of Real Estate and Director of the Jerome Bain Real Estate Institute and is presently Associate Dean for the Chapman Graduate School of Business at Florida International University (FIU) where he is a professor of real estate and finance and holds a Knight Ridder Endowed Eminent Scholar Chair. Dr. Hardin holds the Fellow of the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) designation. The FIU College of Business is among the 10 largest AACSB-International accredited business schools. The Chapman Graduate School of Business graduates more masters level students each year than any AACSB accredited public university in the United States. Prior to joining the faculty of Florida International University, Hardin held the Robert W. Warren Chair of Real Estate at Mississippi State University and was a faculty member at Morehouse College in Atlanta. He is a Homer Hoyt Institute Weimer School Fellow.
Dr. Hardin was awarded the Ricardo Medal by the American Real Estate Society in April, 2018. The Award represents the society’s highest recognition of scholarship and recognizes important research in real estate over at least two decades. In 2018, Dr. Hardin was selected by the International Real Estate Society for its Achievement Award which is awarded based on achievement and leadership in the real estate discipline over an extended period of time in a global context. Dr. Hardin was ranked 2nd or 3rd globally in the Journal of Real Estate Literature’s REAL research rankings for the years 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018. The rankings cover the prior five-year periods. FIU’s Hollo School of Real Estate has been ranked #1 in the United States and 2nd globally in these same rankings as an institution. Dr. Hardin’s research has been published in top tier journals such as Real Estate Economics, Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economic, Journal of Real Estate Research and many others including Financial Review and Journal of Financial Research. He has presented his research at major conferences including those of the American Real Estate Society, the Asian Real Estate Society, the American Real Estate and Urban Economics 38 Association, the Southern Finance Association, the European Real Estate Society, the Eastern Finance Association and the Financial Management Association.
Dr. Hardin is Co-Editor of Journal of Real Estate Research and is a member of the board of directors of the American Real Estate Society. He is past President, Program Chair and Director of Publications for the American Real Estate Society. He also serves on the editorial board of International Real Estate Review, Journal of Property Research and the Journal of Housing Research and the editorial review board of The Appraisal Journal. He is past Editor of the Journal of Real Estate Practice and Education. Dr. Hardin received his doctorate from Georgia State University. He also has a MSRE degree from Georgia State University and a MIBS/IMBA degree from the University of South Carolina. His undergraduate degree is from UNC-Chapel Hill.
Prior to his career in academia, Dr. Hardin did small scale real estate development and had a 10-year career in banking focused on international trade and commercial real estate lending.
Hardin's family bond with Webb is strong and began when his great-uncles, John Jenkins and Thomas Jenkins, attended the school in the 1920s and later served on the Board of Trustees. It continued with his father, William G. Hardin Jr. '52. His daughter Josephine graduated in 2015. He served on the Alumni Board from 1993- 1997 and was a member of the Board of Trustees from 2013-2019. Additionally, he was Webb Fund Chair in 2013-2014 and 2014- 2015 and is a member of the Burkhead Legacy Society, a group of Webb alumni and friends who have made provisions for Webb in their estate plans.
2019 Dr. Charles W. Flexner '74
2018 The Rt. Rev. James R. Mathes '78
2017 Justice Scott J. Crichton '72
2016 Jorge Redmond '66
2015 Aubrey B. Harwell, Jr. '60
2014 Ed R. Davies '49
2013 Dr. E. Hunter Welles, III '63
2012 Forrest Shoaf '68
2012 Desaix Anderson '54
2011 E. Vane McClurg '60
2010 Pick Stephens '56
2010 Bob F. Thompson '65
2009 Rusty Vest '72
2008 A. Jones Yorke, Jr. '49
2007 Phillip G. Coop '66
2006 Robert Collins '45*
2005 John M. Flexner '44*
2004 Lemuel H. Tate '44
2003 Walter W. Manley, II '64
2002 Edward L. Kaplan '54
2001 Charles P. Alexander '68
2000 George E. Pine, III '68
1999 Robert J. Gilliland '44
1998 Hon. Frank D. Upchurch, Jr. '40 *
1997 William T. Allen, III '40 *
1997 Burch Williams '35*
1996 Sam H. Mann, Jr. '43*
1996 James S. Gilliland '51
1996 Buford Gordon '22 *
1995 John B. Hardin '50 *
1995 Hamilton D. Upchurch '43*
1995 George B. Huddleston '50 *
1994 W. Lane Abernathy '39 *
1994 James R. Meadows, Jr. '52*
1994 Henry O. Whiteside '29 *
1993 Wilson Sims, Sr. '42
1993 James W. McDonnell Jr. '43
1993 Wayne M. Rogers, Jr. '50*
1992 Hon. Lester Glenn Fant, Jr. '23 *
1992 Dr. Frank H. Constantine '29 *
1992 Bryant B. Skinner '41
1991 John H. Crichton '38 *
1991 Dr. Lewis M. Branscomb '43
1991 William J. Armstrong '28*
William W. Bond Jr. ’38*
Cmdr. Lingurn H. Burkhead ’21*
Jac Chambliss, ESQ. ’27*
Thomas A. Cooper ’30*
Webb Follin Jr. ’38*
Dr. C. Mallory Harwell ’31*
Pat Munroe ’34*
Vermont C. Royster ’31*
Dr. Harrison J. Shull ’27*
O. Strother Simpson ’30*
Paul Trousdale ’31*
William R. Webb III '37*