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Southern Methodist University's SW Graduate School of Banking Announces 2019 Graduates

July 2019

Dallas, Texas—July 2019—The SW Graduate School of Banking, Southern Methodist University (SWGSB-SMU), held its 2019 commencement on June 6th for Class 60, the 60th class to fulfill the requirements of this graduate program renowned for its dynamic faculty, challenging curriculum, and exceptional student body from throughout the world. Jill Castilla, president and CEO, Citizens Bank of Edmond, and SWGSB Dean for Bankers, gave the commencement address; Dr. R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University, was this year’s keynote speaker. The top graduates received more than $25,000 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 60 – 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 keynote address, President Turner spoke about leadership and the guiding principles of professional education. He emphasized the importance of integrity, with examples drawn from his long and distinguished career. From its home in the global city of Dallas, SMU's vibrant campus offers enrichment opportunities such as the Tate Lecture Series and the Meadows Museum to students and the wider community. Dr. Turner led efforts with the Board of Trustees to attract the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which opened at SMU in 2013. SMU and the Bush Center partner through fellowships, public lectures, the new George W. Bush Institute-SMU Economic Growth Initiative and additional collaborations that bring together students, faculty and global experts to tackle pressing challenges. SMU ranks in the top 20 percent of the best national universities by U.S. News & World Report Rankings.

The 2019 graduates represent more than 50 financial institutions in nine 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 62nd 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;

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