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Southern Methodist University's SW Graduate School of Banking Announces 2018 Graduates

July 2018

Dallas, Texas—July 2018—The SW Graduate School of Banking, Southern Methodist University (SWGSB-SMU), held its 2018 commencement on June 8th for Class 59, the 59th class to fulfill the requirements of this graduate program renowned for its dynamic faculty, challenging curriculum, and exceptional student body from throughout the world. Cynthia L. Blankenship, vice chairman and corporate president, Bank of the West, gave the commencement address; Robert S. Kaplan, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, was this year's keynote speaker. The top graduates received more than $20,000 in merit-based scholarships during their three years at SWGSB/SMU.

In making this announcement, the President and CEO of the SWGSB Foundation Dr. S. Scott MacDonald said:

"Through the 'SWGSB Leadership Experience,' the SW Graduate School of Banking provides its participants with the 'big picture' of banking. It gives them a true appreciation of the role they and others play in reaching the goals of the organization. This unique perspective not only advances their careers but also transforms the face of banking, especially as new challenges are overcome and new technological breakthroughs take shape. SWGSB is a powerful resource for the industry, augmenting financial institutions' own efforts to build executive teams capable of managing and growing consumer wealth. The members of Class 59 – now equipped with this knowledge and the highest ethical standards – leave us fully prepared to lead their institutions, champion the strategies they’ve learned, and contribute meaningfully to their communities."

In his moderated conversation with the audience, keynoter Robert S. Kaplan shared his views on a number of important issues facing the banking industry in general and community banking in particular. He emphasized areas in which community banks can shine and compete effectively with much larger institutions. Mr. Kaplan also answered questions about immigration, the economy, derivatives and technology. He also referenced the research his staff at the Federal Reserve Bank has done that illuminates the challenges faced by an aging population, one that requires more skills in math, science and technology.

The 2018 graduates represent more than 69 financial institutions in 13 states. They each have at least five years of banking experience, either in a financial institution or a federal or state regulatory agency. Most hold a senior level post in their organization, or are on a fast track within their management ranks. They have a fundamental knowledge—through education or experience—of bank operations, credit administration, accounting, financial statement analysis, and economics. These banking professionals also come to SWGSB with many past accomplishments and enthusiastic recommendations from their institutions' leadership.

The graduate school’s sponsoring partners include the Arkansas, New Mexico, Oklahoma and Texas bankers associations, the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, and SMU.

Established in 1957 – and celebrating its 61st anniversary this year – the SW Graduate School of Banking has become one of the top banking educational institutions today. It is a professional school for bank officers, regulators, and others holding management positions in the financial services industry. SWGSB-SMU meets two weeks annually over three years, bringing into focus and augmenting these managers' on-the-job experience. Emphasis is placed on financial management, leadership development, and strategic planning.

At the forefront of disseminating information about the latest bank technology, the SWGSB educational experience also includes a new interactive website ( and an online bank simulation program called BankCEO. The SWGSB Foundation also conducts the prestigious Assemblies for Bank Directors, a series of annual seminars and workshops held throughout the United States, Canada and off shore for bank board members and senior officers. It partners with the American Bankers Association to conduct the ABA's Foundational Commercial Lending School and Advanced Commercial Lending School. With the Independent Bankers Association of Texas, it conducts the Bank Operations Institute and the Certified Community Bank Director's Program. SWGSB and SWGSB Foundation are headquartered at the James M. Collins Executive Education Center at Southern Methodist University's Cox School of Business.

The top-ranked Cox School of Business offers a joint SWGSB-MBA program in which graduates of SWGSB who are accepted into the prestigious Cox MBA program earn up to six hours of credit towards a Cox MBA. No other graduate school of banking carries this endorsement from its host university. SWGSB has also formed MBA alliances with Sam Houston State University College of Business Administration and Indiana University Kelley School of Business.

Those interested in attending the SW Graduate School of Banking ( – or in learning more about the school and other SWGSB Foundation programs—may write, call, or e-mail: SWGSB, SMU Box 214, Dallas, Texas, 75275; (214) 768-2991;

– Thank You –