Dallas Business Leader Jack Knox Gives SMU $11M

The prominent alumnus and longtime SMU supporter said he hopes his support of the university’s campaign, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, will encourage others to participate.

Jack Knox, the noted Dallas-Fort Worth business leader and entrepreneur, has given $11 million to the university where he earned both his undergraduate and law degrees.

Knox, a prominent alumnus and longtime SMU supporter, said he hopes his support of the university’s campaign, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, will encourage others to participate.

Decades of leadership in amusement parks, restaurants, and oil & gas

Jack Knox

Knox is general partner of Texas Flags Ltd., formerly Six Flags Over Texas Fund Ltd., which owns the real estate and facilities of Six Flags Over Texas. He’s also owner of Café Pacific Restaurants Inc., parent company of the popular restaurant based in Dallas’ Highland Park Village since 1980. Knox is also chairman of the board of Sixx Holdings Inc., founded in 1988 to operate the Italian-concept brand of Patrizio’s restaurants, which he sold in 2006.

In addition to his amusement park and restaurant ventures, Knox has been involved in the oil and gas industry for several decades, previously serving as chairman and CEO of public companies Summit Energy, Inc. and Western Oil Fields. He also has been director of Sunshine Mining, BancTEXAS Group, Inc., El Chico Inc., and Bryson Oil and Gas Ltd.

‘SMU helped shape me’

“SMU helped shape me as a person and as a professional,” Knox said in a statement. “I’m pleased to support the exemplary work SMU does for its students, the North Texas community, and beyond.”

SMU President R. Gerald Turner said the university is grateful for the support.

“Jack’s generous gift will help to strengthen the University and encourage others to support SMU,” Turner said in a statement. “We are deeply grateful to Jack for his dedication to his alma mater and to our enduring impact.”

A Weatherford native, Knox received a bachelor’s degree in English from SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in 1960 and a juris doctor degree from what is now Dedman School of Law in 1963.

Known for his commitment to SMU

He earned the law school’s highest honor with the Robert G. Storey Award for Distinguished Achievement in 2011.

Knox has served on the Dedman School of Law Executive Board (2011-14), A Time to Lead Texas Campaign Steering Committee (1996-2002), the Dedman College Executive Board (1991-97), and the Cox School of Business Associate Board (1970-80).

Knox, a longtime champion of children in need, established a chair in the SMU Dedman School of Law to support teaching, research, and promotion of legal issues related to protecting the welfare and legal rights of children.

“Having known Jack Knox for many years and having seen his tremendous business achievements and his love for our community and our university, I’m delighted he has chosen to take a significant leadership position in this campaign,” Carl Sewell,  SMU trustee and SMU Ignited campaign co-chair, said in a statement.

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