The SWGSB Alumni Association was formed by graduates and staff of the SW Graduate School of Banking in June 1995. The Association's purpose is to promote and maintain the integrity of SWGSB and to perpetuate its peer network. Membership is open to any SWGSB Graduate.

Officers are elected or appointed at the annual meeting of the Alumni Council, held during the Alumni Update Program. Each officer serves a two-year term.

Distinguished Alumni Award

Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor awarded to a graduate of the SW Graduate School of Banking by the SWGSB Alumni Association. This award is reserved for those individuals who have served the financial services industry in a way that both distinguishes themselves among their peers and draws honor to their organization and the School. The contributions they make to their profession elevate them to a leadership position that gives them the opportunity to guide, instruct, and build on our banking legacy.

2013 Distinguished Alumni Award

F. Scott Dueser - The SW Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association presented its 2013 Distinguished Alumni Award to F. Scott Dueser, President and CEO of First Financial Bankshares, Inc. In making the announcement, Senior Vice President of Amegy Bank, N.A. and SWGSB Alumni Association President Dwight Garey said:

"Scott Dueser's prominent career in banking, and the contributions he's made as a leader in our industry, have been most important to the legacy of banking and to SWGSB. Scott's career accomplishments are indicative of the caliber of bankers who've graduated from SWGSB. Therefore, he is most deserving of the Distinguished Alumni Award."

2012 Distinguished Alumni Award

James B. Gardner - The SW Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association presented its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Award to James B. Gardner, Chairman of Commerce Street Capital, LLC. In making the announcement, Senior Vice President of Amegy Bank, N.A. and SWGSB Alumni Association President Dwight Garey said:

"The SWGSB Alumni Association 'Distinguished Alumni Award' is the highest honor awarded to a graduate of SWGSB. Graduates selected to receive this award have made significant contributions throughout their careers as leaders in our industry, and those contributions have been most important to the legacy of banking and to SWGSB. Jim has enjoyed a most distinguished career. He became one of the most respected bankers in Dallas and the Southwest. He developed a reputation for having the best financial mind for devising complex financial strategies and financings."

2009 Distinguished Alumni Award

Cynthia Blankenship - The SW Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association presented its 2009 Distinguished Alumni Award to Cynthia Blankenship, Vice Chairman and COO of Bank of the West. In making the announcement, President and CEO of Bank 34 Karlon Cox said:

"She was named one of the 50 most powerful women in banking by US Banker Magazine. Her list of accomplishments is long and her passion for community banking unequaled. Suffice it to say, her service to our industry is unsurpassed and greatly appreciated by all who work in banking. We are forever grateful for the immense amount of time you have given and the personal sacrifices you have made, Cindy. SWGSB is greater and stronger for your contribution, and community banking could not have a more respected advocate."

2006 Distinguished Alumni Award

Gayle M. Earls - The SW Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association presented its 2006 Distinguished Alumni Award to Gayle M. Earls, Chairman Emeritus of The Independent BankersBank. In making the announcement, President and CEO of the SWGSB Foundation Dr. S. Scott MacDonald said:

"The SWGSB Alumni Association Board considered many leadership attributes. One man possessed all of those attributes in abundance: Gayle Earls. What's more, Gayle's career has been a model for the industry's top performers. Through his outstanding leadership, TIB has become a financial powerhouse and its management team, the envy of the industry. The School's students, faculty, staff, and board of trustees proudly salute him on this very special occasion."

2005 Distinguished Alumni Award

Randall James - The SW Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association presented its 2005 Distinguished Alumni Award to the Honorable Randall S. James, Texas Banking Commissioner, on Thursday, June 2, 2005. It was previously awarded to FDIC Chairman Donald Powell. In making the announcement, Alumni Association President Richard J. O'Connor said:

"I offer you my heartfelt congratulations on earning this rare distinction. As a fellow SWGSB alum and Alumni Association board member, I know firsthand the care and pride that goes into the selection of the recipient. Your tireless contributions to the furtherance of the banking industry's best interests, your own commitment to SWGSB, and your prominent role in shaping the financials services landscape made this an easy choice for us."

2002 Distinguished Alumni Award

Donald E. Powell - This year the senior class had the rare honor of meeting SWGSB alumnus and FDIC Chairman Donald E. Powell, who returned to his alma mater to deliver the annual Winstead Keynote Address and to accept the first "Distinguished Alumni Award" in the School's history. Mr. Powell, the 18th chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, is a member of SWGSB Class XVI. In making the announcement, President and CEO of the SWGSB Foundation Dr. S. Scott MacDonald said:

"The Distinguished Alumni Award is the highest honor we can bestow upon a graduate, and Mr. Powell's rich experience and outstanding career making him the ideal recipient. We are deeply grateful for his support over the years."

Distinguished Service Award

Distinguished Service Award presented by the SWGSB Alumni Association is given to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the SW Graduate School of Banking and its educational mission. Past recipients have shown through their dedication and leadership a unique commitment to the School's objectives, ideals, and principles.

2008 Distinguished Service Award

James L. Shield - The SW Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association presented its 2008 Distinguished Service Award to James L. Shield, former President and CEO of Regions Bank. Sadly, Jim was taken from his familty and friends suddenly on September 27, 2006. In making the announcement, President and CEO of Bank 34 Karlon Cox said:

"To those of us who have been around SWGSB for several years, you know there are certain people you will see every year. You come to expect it and certainly to appreciate it because your experience at SWGSB is molded by these people who give so much of themselves to ensure that SWGSB sets the bar that other schools can only try to match. He will always be remembered and appreciated for his dedication and service to SWGSB."

2007 Distinguished Service Award

William G. Cone - The SW Graduate School of Banking Alumni Association presented its 2007 Distinguished Service Award to William G. Cone, Regional President of the Heart of Texas Region for Wells Fargo. In making the announcement, President and CEO of Bank 34 Karlon Cox said:

"The recipient of this year's award, G. William Cone, has a long and truly remarkable association with the School. Bill graduated with distinction from SWGSB in 1978 – a member of class 19. Sold on the "SWGSB experience," he immediately returned as a class Mom & instructor – sharing his wisdom, humor and Texas charm for the next 22 years – a School record that still stands. A graduate of the University of Texas, he has an equally distinguished banking career that has spanned more than 3 decades."

2004 Distinguished Service Award

Charlie M. Fugit was a graduate of Texas Tech University, the SW Graduate School of Banking/SMU, and the National Commercial Lending School. His banking career began at First National Bank in Longview, Texas, in 1952. He has served as a vice-president of the Bank of the Southwest, Houston, senior vice-president of the First National Bank and First United Bancorp in Fort Worth. He was executive vice-president of Mercantile Bank in Dallas, and senior vice-president of MCorp. He also served as vice-chairman of the board of Grand Bank in Dallas. Fugitt served on the SW Graduate School of Banking, Stonier and Texas Tech Faculty.

2002 Distinguished Service Award

Two SWGSB contributors were recognized for their banking achievements and work at the SW Graduate School of Banking: former class "mom" Vince Thompson and his daughter – and current class mom - Christi Thompson (SWGSB Class XXX). Both received the Distinguished Service Award. The honor - the first of its kind awarded - was presented to them jointly at the annual Alumni Program Breakfast.

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