Thomas Jefferson Brown
Born in Georgia in 1836, Thomas Jefferson Brown moved with his family
to Washington County, Texas, in 1846 and attended county schools in the
shadow of Baylor University, then located in Independence. After
earning a bachelor of laws degree from Baylor in 1856, Brown passed the
bar exam the following year and then established a law office in
McKinney, where he was partners with future Texas governor James
Brown was a captain in Col. Robert H. Taylor’s regiment of the
Twenty-second Texas Cavalry during the Civil War. Following a return to
his law practice in McKinney after the war, he moved further north to
Sherman, where he practiced law for sixteen years. Eventually, he went
from practicing law to helping to create law. Elected to the Texas
House of Representatives in 1888, he served in the legislature until
1892. During his tenure, Brown helped establish regulations to stem
corporate aggression and promoted the creation of the Texas Railroad
Commission. Despite the failure of a bill he co-authored in 1889 to
create the commission, he argued the case for a regulatory agency in a
series of articles, printed in 1890 in the Southern Mercury,
that cast light on allegedly unreasonable rate schedules, inflationary
pricing, and the railroads’ influence in Texas politics. He had an ally
in Texas attorney general James Stephen Hogg, who simultaneously
initiated legal attacks against the railroads. In 1891, with Hogg in
office as governor, the Texas legislature finally established the
commission to regulate transportation rates and operations.
In 1892, Brown’s legal career took another turn when he was made
district judge of Grayson and Collin counties. When he was appointed
associate justice of the Texas Supreme Court the next year, he moved to
Austin and settled into his duties with the state’s highest court of
civil law. It would be the last move in his career; he served as a
Texas Supreme Court justice for a total of twenty-two years until his
death on May 26, 1915. During the last four years of his life, he was
the court’s chief justice. After Brown’s eyesight diminished in his
declining years, he replaced his cane with a tall staff, similar to a
shepherd’s crook, upon which he hung a lantern to illuminate his walks
on the capitol grounds in the evening—looking, as some said, like a
“veritable picture of Father Time.”—Todd Copeland
Judy Jolley Mohraz
Judy Jolley Mohraz attributes much of her success to one thing: her
failure to make the cheerleading squad in junior high. The former
president of Goucher College in Baltimore, Maryland, Mohraz is
currently the president and CEO of the Virginia G. Piper Charitable
Trust in Phoenix, Arizona. So why does such an accomplished woman still
remember her missed pom-pom opportunity? “I always said jokingly that’s
why I earned my PhD, but there is truth in it,” she said. “I didn’t win
the election, which was the way so many women defined themselves in
The women in Mohraz’s family provided her with an entirely different
definition. As a young widow, her paternal grandmother—with two
children in tow—traveled from Lockhart to Waco to study at Baylor
University. Mohraz’s aunt and mother both graduated from Baylor as well.
Mohraz initially entered Baylor to study law, but thanks to legendary
professors Ralph Lynn and Robert Reid, she soon changed her major to
history. After earning a bachelor’s degree in 1966, she stayed to get a
master’s degree in history in 1968. Mohraz then enrolled at the
University of Illinois at Urbana, earning a doctorate in American
history in 1974. Next, she joined the history faculty at SMU, serving
as an associate professor and coordinator of the Women’s Studies
Program. In 1983, she was named assistant provost, and in 1988, she
became the associate provost for student academic affairs.
When Goucher College came knocking in 1995, Mohraz said she was
surprised—but her colleagues weren’t. “She came with a brilliant mind
and the ability to look at the problems objectively,” one of them said.
There were certainly problems to tackle at the small, liberal arts
college, which had recently shifted from a women’s college to
co-educational. In addition to facing hostility from many women
graduates, Mohraz dealt with a number of controversies, including a
coach’s racially charged remark and the appearance of anti-gay graffiti
on campus. During her tenure, Mohraz thrust Goucher into the national
spotlight by sponsoring high-profile speakers such as Hillary Clinton
and by heading a successful fundraising campaign.
In 2000, Mohraz left Goucher to become the first president and CEO of
the Virginia G. Piper Charitable Trust, which in its ten years of
existence has invested more than $240 million in Arizona-based
nonprofits and programs, supporting healthcare and medical research,
arts and cultural programs, and education and religious endeavors. It’s
fitting that Mohraz now heads an organization named for a strong,
successful woman with a heart for helping people.—Lisa Asher
Trey Wingo has every guy’s dream job. As an anchor for ESPN’s flagship sports program SportsCenter, host of the network’s NFL Live,
and host for the NCAA Women’s Basketball Tournament, he gets to watch
and talk about sports all the time. Even though he gets tired of people
asking him, “You call that work?” Wingo admitted to the Baylor Line that some days are so great that he catches himself asking the same question.
A native of Greenwich, Connecticut, Wingo came to Baylor University
because he just couldn’t help it. All his relatives attended Baylor,
and his father, Hal Wingo II ’57, served on Baylor’s Board of Regents.
While the younger Wingo explored other possibilities, he explained, “It
sort of envelopes you, that bubble.” Wingo majored in speech and
communications at Baylor, graduating in 1985, and during his college
years he was a page at NBC, working on Saturday Night Live and Late Night with David Letterman.
That led to a job as a sports producer at NBC and then on to small
television stations as a sports reporter. Wingo made a mark in St.
Louis at KSDK-TV, where he won six Mid-America Emmy Awards, including
three straight years as the outstanding sports reporter in the region.
Wingo joined ESPN in 1997 as an anchor for ESPNEWS and has been host of NFL Live since its inception in 2003. He took over the host role of NFL Prime Time,
the long-running weekly highlight show that recaps Sunday’s games, in
2007. He also anchors special programs during the Super Bowl and NFL
Draft and co-hosts ESPN’s NFL Draft telecast. During more than a decade
at the company, Wingo has also hosted Baseball Tonight, NFL 2Night, and NBA 2Night and been a contributor on ESPN Radio through weekly commentaries.—Meg Cullar
Herbert H. Reynolds
Dr. Herbert H. Reynolds was born in 1930 in the East Texas town of
Frankston. His relationship with Baylor University began in the 1950s,
when he served as a professor in Baylor’s Air Force ROTC program while
pursuing graduate studies as an active duty Air Force officer.
He eventually earned a master of science degree in 1958 and became the
school’s first PhD graduate in experimental psychology in 1961. And
though Reynolds left Waco upon completing his academic work, his strong
bond with Baylor would never be severed.
From 1961 to 1968, Reynolds was stationed at Holloman Air Force Base in
Alamogordo, New Mexico, where he became deputy commander and director
of research of the Aeromedical Research Laboratory. In that capacity,
he guided the laboratory’s research activities for several governmental
organizations as well as the early initiatives of the U.S. space
program—specifically NASA’s Projects Mercury, Gemini, and Apollo.
During his first year in New Mexico, he contributed to the training of
a chimpanzee named Enos to undertake suborbital flight in 1961. Later
projects included interdisciplinary research on the central nervous
system’s functioning. During his years at Holloman, he also authored or
co-authored approximately fifty scientific papers and maintained flying
status as an aviation psychologist.
Reynolds retired from the Air Force in 1968 at age thirty-eight, having
completed twenty years of active duty with four decorations for
meritorious service. A few months later, he was back on the Baylor
campus after accepting then-president Abner McCall’s offer to serve as
the “number-two person” at Baylor. Thus began Reynolds’s career as a
Baylor administrator—the first in a succession of administrative
positions over the next thirty-one years. Reynolds became Baylor’s
eleventh president in 1981 and served until 1995. Afterward, he held
the title of chancellor from 1995 to 2000 and the designation of
president emeritus until his death on May 25, 2007.
As Baylor’s president, Reynolds added more than $180 million in
renovated and new facilities, including the Ferrell Center and the
Rogers Engineering and Computer Science Building, and quadrupled the
school’s endowment. His years as president also saw the addition of
hundreds of new courses and more than twenty new degree programs to
meet the needs of a growing student body, as well as the establishment
of a Phi Beta Kappa chapter in 1976. Through it all, Reynolds’s caring
attitude, remarkable memory for names, and personal integrity won him
respect, and his acumen and achievements as president garnered
widespread admiration in national higher education circles.
As a Baptist statesman, Reynolds was a staunch defender of academic
freedom, religious liberty, and such traditional Baptist principles as
the priesthood of the believer. This dedication led him to a number of
far-sighted decisions during his presidency. Among the most notable
were his guiding roles in Baylor’s charter change in 1990, designed to
protect the school’s governing board from religious fundamentalism, and
the founding of George W. Truett Theological Seminary in 1994.
In 1981, as he took office as president, Reynolds summarized his
guiding vision for Baylor: “In my opinion, one of the great
achievements at Baylor over the years has been the effective balance
that has been maintained between the desire for a first-rate academic
institution and the desire for a Christian community where there is a
genuine fellowship among believers.” It was a vision Reynolds
exemplified through his own life and work.—Todd Copeland
While he was studying at Baylor University’s School of Law, James Adams
became acquainted with then-dean Abner McCall, and the dean’s tales of
life as an FBI agent inspired Adams to follow in his footsteps. But
when Adams applied to the FBI, he failed to meet the height
requirement—by one inch. So Adams instead became a prosecutor and also
ran successfully for a seat in the Texas House. A few years later, the
FBI decided to make an exception for Adams, who resigned his seat in
1951 to follow his dream and become an FBI agent.
One of the reasons the FBI was interested in Adams was his ability to
speak Japanese. Straight out of high school, Adams—the valedictorian
and president of his Mexia High School class—was chosen to go to Yale
to learn Japanese. He then served in Japan following the bombing of
Hiroshima and Nagasaki. After ten months there, Adams came back to
Texas and enrolled at Baylor, where he earned an LLB in 1949 and a BA
In the FBI he served in Seattle and San Francisco, and in 1959 was
appointed assistant special agent in charge of Minneapolis. In 1972,
Adams took over the San Antonio operation, and in 1973 he moved to the
Washington offices as assistant director of planning and evaluation and
became deputy associate director for investigations in 1974. Adams
served as acting director of the FBI in early 1978, making him the
first Baylor graduate to head up the FBI. He was subsequently appointed
associate director, the number-two position in the Bureau.
In May 1979, he retired from the FBI to become director of the Texas
Department of Public Safety and the Texas Rangers. When Texas Gov. Bill
Clements first talked to him about the job, the governor said, “If
you’re not interested in doing something about drug trafficking in
Texas, I don’t want you.” And Adams said, “If you’re not interested in
keeping politics out of the department, I don’t want the job.” The two
had a deal. During Adams’s ten-year tenure, traffic safety on Texas
highways improved and deaths decreased, narcotics enforcement
legislation was enacted, and illegal drug seizures and related arrests
and convictions rose.
Adams was awarded the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award in
1978 and the National Intelligence Distinguished Service Medal in 1979.
He retired in 1987 to Kerrville.—Meg Cullar
W. Dewey Presley
If it’s true that you can tell a lot about a man by the company he
keeps, then W. Dewey Presley is a pretty impressive person. A member of
the Horatio Alger Association of Distinguished Americans, Presley is
the recipient of the Sam Houston Distinguished Leadership Award. Add to
that the fact that Texas Monthly once likened him to Atticus Finch from To Kill a Mockingbird,
and you get a clear picture of a man who rose from a job as a field
hand to president of what was then the largest banking organization in
Presley was just three when his father died, so he and his brother
helped the family income by working at the neighboring farms in Gilmer.
“I did do a lot of work as a youngster,” Presley has said, “but most
all youngsters did at that time. It was just a part of growing up.”
A self-described “average student,” Presley majored in accounting at
Baylor University, graduating in 1939. While many of his former
classmates enlisted at the outbreak of World War II, Presley’s eyesight
was deemed too poor for service, so he joined the FBI instead, working
there for ten years.
His first job in the banking industry was as an assistant trust officer
at First National Bank in Dallas, then the largest bank in the state.
In a little more than a decade, Presley was made president of the bank,
a position he held until 1972, when he left to become president of
First International Bankshares, Inc. Under the direction of Presley and
board chair Robert Stewart, the new holding company quickly began
acquiring two things: member banks and a reputation as an empire. The
two men pursued an aggressive growth strategy that gobbled up fifty
banks in Texas.
In the early 1980s, at the height of his power, Presley complied with
an age policy he had established and stepped down at the age of sixty.
He continued to serve as a consultant and was a member of the board
until 1985. In the late 1980s, the company became embroiled in the
savings and loan crisis and was bought out by a North Carolina company,
eventually becoming a part of NationsBank.
Presley has remained active in both Baylor and Baptist circles. A
former Baylor trustee, he was chair of the board of the Baylor
University Medical Center and chair of the executive director search
committee for the Baptist General Convention of Texas.—Lisa Asher
Before she had even completed a PhD, Dr. Sarah Brosnan dramatically
established her reputation in the scientific world when she appeared in
the September 2003 issue of Nature,
one of the leading scientific publications in the United States, as the
lead author of a groundbreaking study of the motivations underlying
cooperation among primates.
Her article was based on research conducted at the Yerkes National
Primate Research Center at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, where
she was putting the finishing touches on a doctorate in population
biology, ecology, and evolution.
Brosnan’s subjects were brown capuchin monkeys, who exhibit remarkably
human-like social behaviors, and in her study, as documented in her Nature
article, she found that the monkeys showed a clear “aversion to
inequity,” demonstrating a desire for equal treatment. It was the first
time non-humans were shown to possess a sense of fairness, and this
discovery generated a number of implications concerning the nature of
human cooperation. Her Nature study garnered significant press, with coverage by National Geographic, the BBC, the Economist, USA Today, U.S. News & World Report, the New Yorker, and the New York Times.
And with that, a scientific star was born.
A 1998 magna cum laude
graduate of the Honors Program at Baylor University, where she was
inducted in Phi Beta Kappa, Brosnan spent three years as a postdoctoral
fellow in Emory’s Department of Anthropology after earning a PhD in
Since 2007, she has served as an assistant professor in the Department
of Psychology at Georgia State University (GSU) and a member of the
school’s Neuroscience Institute. In addition, she is the director of
GSU’s Comparative Economics and Behavioral Studies Laboratory and
conducts research with non-human primates at both GSU’s Language
Research Center and the Keeling Center for Comparative Medicine and
Research at the UT/MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston.
Of her pioneering study, Brosnan told the Line in
2004, “I became interested in how primates keep track of these
exchanges [of goods and services with one another]. Can they make value
judgments? Do they notice if they are not getting the same thing? Can
they compare? To our knowledge, these questions had never been asked
In her current research, Brosnan is continuing to focus on the
evolution of social behavior and social cognition, exploring the
mechanisms underlying cooperation, reciprocity, inequity, and other
economic decisions in nonhuman primates from an evolutionary
She has co-authored more than two dozen book chapters and scientific
papers that have appeared in some of the leading, peer-reviewed
journals in her field, including Animal Cognition, Journal of Comparative Psychology, Journal of Social Justice, and the Proceedings of the Royal Society of London.—Todd Copeland
Boone Powell Jr.
Boone Powell’s name has been nearly synonymous with Baylor Medical
Center since 1944. That’s the year that Boone Powell Jr., as a
grade-schooler, moved to Dallas with his family as his father became
business manager of the hospital, rising to CEO a few years later. The
senior Powell led the medical center until 1975, while his son—who
never intended to enter hospital administration—experienced a change of
heart while a student at Baylor University. Powell Jr. graduated from
Baylor in 1959 with a business degree, deciding that hospital
administration was the perfect blend of his interests in business and
in Christian service. “I suddenly had a very clear sense of direction,”
Powell told the Baylor Line in 1991.
After earning a master’s in public health at the University of
California at Berkeley and serving a residency at Baptist Memorial
Hospital in Memphis, Tennessee, Powell, then twenty-four, took the
number-two position at Hendrick Medical Center in Abilene. At the age
of thirty-three, he became CEO there. By 1980, the hospital had more
than doubled in size, and its president had made an impression
nationwide. When Baylor Medical Center eventually began looking for a
new CEO, its search firm was certain another Boone Powell would be
perfect. After some arm-twisting by the board, Powell was also
convinced, and he came to Baylor as CEO in 1980—with an understanding.
“I’m not a good ‘maintainer,’” Powell told the board. “If there is
something to develop, expand, and enhance, then maybe I could help.”
In less than a year on the job, Powell had created the Baylor Health
Care System, expanding the institution to include several satellite
hospitals through the nonprofit holding company. That system, which
Powell believes sustained the institution through trying times in the
healthcare industry, is one of his greatest legacies. Powell is also
proud of Baylor’s pioneering transplant program, which began in 1982
with bone marrow transplants and expanded to organs in 1985.
Powell also led the hospital through a tense time with the Baylor’s
Board of Regents in the 1990s, emerging as an entity autonomous from
the university, but agreeing to continue its support of the nursing and
medical education programs.
Throughout his career, Powell has earned numerous accolades for his work. He was named by Business Week
in 1990 as one of the five best healthcare executives in the country,
is a fellow of the American College of Healthcare Executives, and is
past chair of the Healthcare Leadership Council. He was a longtime
member of the board for Abbott Laboratories. In 2000, Powell moved from
CEO to become chair of the Baylor Health Care System, and he retired in
Dr. James S. W. Wong has his feet planted in two worlds that, at first
glance, may seem incongruous—theoretical mathematics and international
business. However, upon closer study, some qualities shared by those
two worlds become clear. There is the importance of numbers, of course.
But more importantly, there is the necessity of a keen analytical mind
to make sense of those numbers in order to achieve success. And success
is something Wong has long enjoyed.
Coming to the U.S. from Hong Kong, Wong attended Baylor on a
scholarship and earned a degree in mathematics and physics in 1960. He
went on to earn a PhD in mathematics from California Institute of
Technology in 1965.
In the decades since then, Wong has become renowned around the world as
a mathematician in the area of qualitative theory of differential
He continues to publish in well-regarded journals and serves as an
honorary professor in the Department of Mathematics at the University
of Hong Kong and the City University of Hong Kong. A recent
publication, titled “Oscillation and Nonoscillation Theorems for
Superlinear Emden-Fowler Equations of Even Order,” appeared in the Georgian Mathematical Journal.
And in June 2009, he was an invited speaker at the “International
Conference on Asymptotic Analysis and Infinite-dimensional Dynamical
Systems” in Hong Kong.
Wong’s business achievements have primarily come in commercial real
estate and investments. The beginnings of the companies now known as
Chinney Holdings, Ltd., can be traced back as far as 1929 under the
leadership of his late father, Wong Chu Choi.
Wong’s own entry into the business world came under the leadership of
Chi Ming Cha, late father of Madeline Cha Wong ’61. Cha was an
industrialist in Hong Kong, having founded a textile manufacturer named
China Dyeing Works that later diversified into other manufacturing,
real estate, technology, and financial services under the name of The
Wong’s business acumen was apparent, and he was named managing director
of Hon Kwok Land Investment Company in 1985. He served in this capacity
until 1990, when he became chair of Chinney Holdings, Ltd. In addition,
in 1987 Wong was appointed Justice of the Peace for Hong Kong.
Today, Wong is the chair and major shareholder of Hon Kwok Land
Investment Company, which had assets totaling more than $917 million in
2008, and two other publicly traded holding companies—Chinney
Investments and Chinney Alliance Group.
Through its subsidiaries, Chinney Investments is engaged in a wide
variety of activities, including construction, garment manufacturing
and trading, and property investment, and its operations extend from
Hong Kong to China, Macau, Europe, and North America. With more than
three thousand employees, the company generated approximately $300
million in sales in 2006.
Wong’s third company, Chinney Alliance Group, is engaged in the trading
of plastics, chemicals, and industrial products and equipments and
generated about $130 million in sales in 2005.—Todd Copeland
Charles Kemp’s medical philosophy is simple: “People at least deserve
to have their illnesses treated, to at least have them looked at.”
Yes, the concept is basic, but it’s the implementation that can be
complicated. In his nearly three decades in healthcare, Kemp has fought
against bureaucracies to create a network of medical programs for the
indigent, uninsured, and underserved of Dallas.
And in his twenty years as a faculty member at Baylor University’s
Louise Herrington School of Nursing, he has influenced hundreds of
students to do the same.
Service has been an integral part of Kemp’s life from before his Baylor
days. He served in the U.S. Marines during the Vietnam War, receiving a
presidential citation and a Purple Heart. After earning a nursing
degree from Baylor in 1975, he earned a master’s degree in psychiatric
nursing from the University of Texas at Arlington in 1978.
Kemp’s service to the Dallas community began at the Veterans Nursing
Association of Dallas, where he was a staff nurse and supervisor. After
serving as program director of the first operational hospice in Texas,
he co-founded the East Dallas Health Coalition and started the Refugee
Health Project in conjunction with Texas Woman’s University, where he
When Kemp joined the faculty of Baylor’s nursing school in 1989, he
brought with him his experiences in immigrant and indigent healthcare.
In 1991, he created Baylor Community Care, a program that involved him
and his students going door to door through Dallas’s poorest
neighborhoods to find people in need. Eventually, the program was
adapted into the nursing school’s curriculum through the community care
In 2000, Kemp opened the Agape Clinic, located in the basement of Grace
United Methodist Church in downtown Dallas. The full-service
facility—staffed primarily with volunteers and nursing
students—provides medical care to a large Hispanic population and to a
growing number of immigrants.
In addition to his work with Cambodian immigrants in Dallas, he has co-written a book, Refugee and Immigrant Health: A Handbook for Health Professionals,
which gives an overview of more than thirty different cultures around
the world. He continues to write journal articles and book chapters and
is a sought-after speaker.
In 2002, Kemp was elected as a fellow of the American Academy of
Nursing, the most prestigious professional recognition in nursing.—Lisa Asher