Honors College Advisory Council

Comprised of talented alumni, benefactors, and friends who are inspired by the Honors College and committed to advancing our cause, Advisory Council members support us in activities as varied as fund-raising and friend-raising, student recruitment, and placement of young alumni.

Christopher Babcock

Chris Babcock is a partner in Foley & Lardner LLP’s Dallas office, focusing on private equity and corporate governance, and securities matters. Chris is a member of the firm’s private equity leadership team and its national recruiting committee.

Chris received his B.A. in University Scholars from Baylor in 2003 where he also made Phi Beta Kappa. While at Baylor, Babcock participated in the Airforce ROTC and worked as a Resident Assistant. After graduation, Babcock served in the Air Force, ending with the rank of Captain. He was an instructor-qualified airborne intelligence officer with the 16th Airborne Command and Control Squadron. Subsequently, Babcock attended Harvard Law School where he was the submissions editor of the Harvard National Security Journal among his other involvement. After graduation, Babcock became an associate at the firm Gibson Dunn. After Gibson Dunn, Babcock moved to Gardere Wynn until it merged with Foley & Lardner in 2018.

He has co-authored numerous articles relevant to mergers and acquisitions and corporate governance matters published by the Delaware Business Court Insider, the Harvard Law School Forum on Corporate Governance and Financial RegulationLaw360, and others. Chris was selected as a 2018 and 2019 Texas Rising Star by Super Lawyers Magazine.

Chris is married to his wife Ashley, and they have 4 children (Dominic, Anthony, Scarlett, and Adalyn). The family are active members at Munger Place Church in east Dallas.

Victor Boutros

Victor Boutros is the CEO and co-founder of the Human Trafficking Institute and co-author with Gary Haugen of The Locust Effect: Why the End of Poverty Requires the End of Violence, a book published by Oxford University Press in 2014. Drawing on real-world cases and extensive scholarship, The Locust Effect paints a vivid portrait of the way fractured criminal justice systems in developing countries have spawned a hidden epidemic of human trafficking and everyday violence that is undermining vital investments in poverty alleviation, public health, and human rights. The Locust Effect is a Washington Post bestseller that has been featured by the New York Times, The Economist, NPR, the Today Show, Forbes, TED, and the BBC, among others. For their work on The Locust Effect, Boutros and Haugen received the 2016 Grawemeyer Prize for Ideas Improving World Order, a prize awarded annually to the authors of one book based on originality, feasibility, and potential for global impact.

Boutros previously served as a federal prosecutor on human trafficking cases of national significance on behalf of the United States Department of Justice’s Human Trafficking Prosecution Unit. He has taught human trafficking at the FBI Academy in Quantico, trained law enforcement professionals in the United States and other countries on how to investigate and prosecute human trafficking, and taught trial advocacy to lawyers from Latin America, South and Southeast Asia, and Africa.

Boutros is a graduate of Baylor University, Harvard University, Oxford University, and the University of Chicago Law School, where he was an editor of the University of Chicago Law Review. He has written on foreign affairs and human rights, including a feature article in Foreign Affairs and a piece co-authored with former US Trafficking in Persons Ambassador John Richmond in the AntiTrafficking Review, and developed and taught a course on human rights, human trafficking, and rule of law in the developing world at the University of Chicago Law School. Boutros speaks to corporate leaders, universities, and think tanks on human trafficking, and has provided briefings to senior government leaders on human trafficking, including legislators, congressional committees, and the President of the United States.

Boutros and his family moved to the Dallas area in, Summer of 2021. 

Dr. Catherine Harrell 

Dr. Catherine Harrell is a board-certified dermatologist with a comprehensive private practice, Dermatology Specialists of Fort Worth. She also enjoys teaching as Assistant Professor in the TCU School of Medicine, launched in 2019.

A fifth generation Texan with deep roots in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, Catherine received her B.A. from Baylor as a University Scholar, where she made Phi Beta Kappa. She earned her M.D. at the University of Texas Medical School, completed her dermatology training at the University of Texas at Houston and MD Anderson Cancer Center, and was appointed chief resident in her final year.

She has served as President of the Texas Dermatological Society and has served on numerous tasks forces, committees and the Advisory Board for the American Academy of Dermatology. She is a member of numerous other professional societies, including the American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Texas Medical Association, and Tarrant County Medical Society, Catherine has been recognized many years in a row by Fort Worth Magazine’s Top Docs, 360 West Magazine Top Doctors, and as a Super Doctors Rising Star as featured in Texas Monthly magazine.

Dr. Harrell and her husband are active members of Travis Avenue Baptist Church in Fort Worth and have two sons, Samuel, and Timothy.

Jack Fields

Jack Fields earned his undergraduate degree in history from Baylor in 1974, having served as Student Body President for two years and as a member of Kappa Omega Tau. He graduated from the Baylor School of Law in 1977 and was admitted to the Texas Bar that same year. Three years later, he was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where he represented the 8th Congressional District of Texas for sixteen years (1980-1996). While in Congress, Fields served as a member of the House Public Works and Transportation Committee; the House Merchant Marine and Fisheries Committee; and the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and Finance. 

He served on the Baylor Board of Trustees from 1982-1990, and as a member of the Baylor Board of Regents in 1991. 

In 2004, the U.S. Post Office in Kingwood was renamed the "Congressman Jack Fields Post Office" in Fields' honor. 

Fields has served on various corporate and charitable boards. Currently, he is the Chief Executive Officer for Twenty-First Century Group, a Washington, D.C. government affairs company.

He serves as Director of the Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, TX; and Impact(Ed) International, a non-profit affiliated with The Discovery Channel, with the purpose of providing educational enhancement for children around the world.

Fields is married to Lynn Fields and has two daughters, Jordan and Lexi, and a stepson, Josh Hughes.

David Stanley Lill

David S. Lill graduated from Baylor in 1982 with a B.A. in English and Business and then served for three years on active duty with the United States Marine Corps as an artillery officer. In 1988, Lill graduated from Baylor Law School and began the practice of law in Austin with Clark, Thomas, and Winters, P.C. in the same year.

After becoming a partner and serving on the management committee of the Clark, Thomas firm, in 2011, Lill left with a group of attorneys to open the Austin office of Bowman and Brooke LLP, where he served in positions including managing partner of the Austin office. In 2015, Mr. Lill opened his own practice, Lill Firm, P.C.  Lill has practiced as a trial attorney representing companies and individuals in civil litigation throughout the United States. Lill has tried a wide variety of cases involving allegations of defective pharmaceutical products, medical products, toxic exposures, general negligence, patent infringement, and civil rights violations. He also assists clients in wills, trust, estate planning, and probate. Mr. Lill has provided substantial pro bono representation to individuals and religious organizations throughout his career.

Mr. Lill has been active as a volunteer in Boy Scouts of America in numerous capacities since 1999, including serving as a scoutmaster of one of the largest and the oldest troops in Austin. He has served on the board of several mission organizations in the Austin area. He and his wife, Emily Wilson Lill, have attended Grace Covenant Church in Austin since 1988, where Lill has served as a member of the Elder Board.

Mr. Lill and his wife married in 1982. They have three children, Landon, Avery, and Isaac. Landon is married, the father of four young children, and practices law in Austin. Avery, a Baylor Honors College graduate, is a radio host and news reporter for NPR affiliate Colorado Public Radio in Denver. Isaac is a medical student in Dallas at Southwestern Medical School.

Emily Wilson Lill

Emily Wilson Lill attended Baylor, class of 1983, and studied Spanish. After working for one of Clifton Robinson's insurance companies to put her husband, David Lill, through Baylor Law School, she has dedicated many years to home, family, church, and especially to the education of her three children. Mrs. Lill assists her husband in his legal practice, Lill Firm, P.C., and has returned to college to continue her studies in Spanish.

Mrs. Lill homeschooled their youngest two children, Avery and Isaac, throughout their primary and secondary education. Both are National Merit Finalists and both chose Baylor's Honors College. Avery (class of 2016) was a University Scholar major with an emphasis in philosophy, and Isaac (Class of 2018) was a bio-chemistry/pre-med major.

Mrs. Lill was involved in the American Field Service (AFS) exchange program for many years, both as an exchange student to Spain, and more recently as a host family to exchange students from the Philippines, Thailand, Chile, and Italy. Mrs. Lill mentors young students and advises parents to provide educational guidance for post-secondary education.

Dr. D. Michael Lindsay

D. Michael Lindsay, Ph.D., became President of Taylor University on August 16, 2021. As president, Lindsay is committed to furthering the university's distinctive mission of providing excellent, Christ-centered higher education and strengthening its promising prospects for future growth and development.

Lindsay previously served as president of Gordon College in Wenham, Massachusetts. His decade-long tenure as the eighth president of Gordon coincided with record years of fundraising, campus diversity, sponsored research, athletic success, and faith expression on campus. In October 2019, under Lindsay’s leadership, Gordon publicly announced Faith Rising: The Campaign for Gordon College, with news of a transformational gift that was the largest ever given to a Christian college. In the end, the campaign exceeded its goal by 43% and helped position Gordon with greater financial strength and wider opportunities for students, faculty, and staff. 

Prior to arriving at Gordon, Lindsay was a member of the sociology faculty at Rice University, where he won multiple awards both for his teaching and academic research. He is the author of two dozen scholarly publications and numerous books, including, Faith in the Halls of Power: How Evangelicals Joined the American Elite, which was nominated for the nonfiction Pulitzer Prize in 2007, and his award-winning View from the Top, which has been translated into Chinese and Japanese. His most recent book, Hinge Moments, was launched globally on the Taylor campus in 2021 and is published with InterVarsity Press.

Lindsay earned his Ph.D. in sociology from Princeton University and graduate theological degrees from Wycliffe Hall at Oxford University and Princeton Theological Seminary. He is a summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Baylor University where he has been named Outstanding Young Alumnus.

Lindsay has been married for over 25 years to his wife Rebecca, an accomplished teacher and speaker who serves as Taylor’s Ambassador for the University. They are the proud parents of three daughters, Elizabeth (17), Caroline (11) and Emily (11).

Jerome R. Loughridge

Jerome Loughridge was appointed Secretary of Health and Mental Health by Governor Kevin Stitt in March 2019. As Secretary, he is responsible for 54 agencies, boards, and commissions, including the Oklahoma Health Care Authority, Department of Health, and Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services.

A native of Duncan, Oklahoma, Loughridge earned a Bachelor of Arts summa cum laude from Baylor University and began his career at Children’s Memorial Medical Center, the pediatric teaching institution of Northwestern University in Chicago. A recipient of the Harry S. Truman Scholarship, he earned his Master of Public Policy from Harvard University as the school’s first Fellow in Business and Government. Following a tenure as an energy derivatives trader, in 2000, Loughridge returned to Baylor University as Chief of Staff, serving on the executive committee of the Big Twelve institution and helping drive Baylor 2012, the university’s 10-year vision.

Loughridge was appointed to serve in the 2003-2004 class of White House Fellows, selected as one of twelve from an applicant class of 1,200, and assigned as special assistant to Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld. In that capacity, he worked on Iraqi reconstruction, spending time in the West Wing, at the Pentagon, and in Baghdad.

For the last thirteen years, Loughridge has served professionally in leadership positions in the Oklahoma energy sector in both private equity-backed and publicly traded companies. Loughridge currently serves as Chief Executive Officer for NextStream, an early-stage investment partnership with Baker Hughes focused on the next generation of technology in the energy industry. Prior to that, he served for seven years as President of Great Plains Oilfield Rental, leading the company from inception inside Chesapeake Energy, through a public spinout within Seventy-Seven Energy, and finally through its sale to Patterson-UTI. Prior to leading Great Plains, Loughridge was founder and President of Black Mesa Energy Services, the oilfield investment arm of New York-based Ziff Brothers Investments. Loughridge previously served as Chief Operating Officer of Great White Energy Services, a portfolio company of Connecticut-based Wexford Capital.

Loughridge and his family make their home in northeast Oklahoma City. A Spanish speaker, Loughridge maintains an ongoing commitment to the mission and humanitarian activity, regularly traveling to Central America and East Africa, where he has taught in universities and remote villages and has helped coordinate rural health care delivery through temporary clinics. In April of 2019, Loughridge won election to Oakdale Public Schools, where he is serving a three-year term. He remains an active member in a number of community organizations, recently retired as a volunteer middle-school soccer coach, and currently teaches a weekly class at Oakdale Baptist Church. He is married to Tricia and has two sons, William (16) and Alexander (10), both in public schools in the Oklahoma City area. Loughridge maintains a small farm in Luther, Oklahoma, The Burrow, where he primarily grows stickers and ticks.

Robert (Bob) L. Mighell

Bob Mighell is the CFO of Invex, LLC, a securities broker/dealer located in Miami, Florida. He is also president of Inter-Capital Systems, Inc., an accounting and management services firm. He is a C.P.A. and a member of the Texas State Board of Public Accountancy and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants.

Mr. Mighell currently serves on the Steering Committee for Baylor’s Give Light Campaign and has served on various corporate and charitable boards, including United National Bank, The Center for Family Ministries, and Abiding Fathers.

He graduated from Baylor University in 1987 with a BBA in Accounting and was a member of Phi Gamma Delta fraternity.

He and his wife, Suzy (BA '87), are members of Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas where has also served as a Deacon, a Sunday school teacher in the Laotian Presbyterian Fellowship, and a coordinator, teacher, and room leader in the Nursery for 20+ years.

Bob and Suzy have three children: Connor, an attorney, and former Baylor University Scholar; Weston, a business analyst and Baylor graduate (married to a Sarah, a second-grade teacher, and Baylor graduate), and Becca, a working musical theater actress and graduate of The University of Oklahoma.

Suzanne (Suzy) L. Mighell

Suzy Mighell is a social media influencer, speaker, and founder of EmptyNestBlessed.com, a lifestyle website for empty nesters. Topics on Empty Nest Blessed cover all aspects of midlife, including relationships, travel, fashion, beauty, food, parenting, and health and fitness. Launched in November 2015, EmptyNestBlessed.com receives 30K website views per month and has 20.4K Instagram followers, 3K Facebook followers, and 7.5K Pinterest followers.

Suzy has collaborated with brands including Nordstrom, Proctor & Gamble, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Draper James, Chico’s, and Easy Spirit, among others. In addition to creating content for Empty Nest Blessed, Suzy has written articles that have been featured on numerous websites, made TV appearances, is a frequent podcast guest.

Suzy’s areas of expertise include social media management, media relations, and branding. She currently sits on the board of Cottage Colony West Condominium Association and the Steering Committee for Baylor’s Give Light Campaign, and previously sat on the boards of The Cambridge School of Dallas and Providence Christian School of Texas. She has also served on the board of the Baylor University Women’s Council of Dallas.

She graduated with honors from Baylor University in 1987 with a BA in Public Relations.

She and her husband, Bob (BA '87), are members of Park Cities Presbyterian Church in Dallas where they have worked as coordinators, teachers, and room leaders in the Nursery for 20+ years.

Suzy and Bob have three children: Connor, an attorney, and former Baylor University Scholar; Weston, a business analyst and Baylor graduate (married to a Sarah, a second-grade teacher, and Baylor graduate), and Becca, a working musical theater actress and graduate of The University of Oklahoma.

Dr. Bill Neilson

Dr. Bill Neilson joined the Honors College in 2012. He graduated from Baylor University in 1976 with a degree in Chemistry, and in 1980 from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School. He completed a general surgery residency at Parkland Hospital in 1985. Dr. Neilson received an MS in Healthcare Management from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2010. He currently holds clinical faculty appointments at the UT Southwestern Medical School and Texas Tech University Health Science Center. For many years he was the managing partner and president of the Amarillo Surgical Group, which served as the surgery faculty for the Texas Tech Amarillo Campus. Prior to coming to Baylor, Dr. Neilson served as the Chief Medical Officer of the Baptist St. Anthony's Health System, a Baptist and Catholic co-ministry. He has also been involved in medical mission work in Belarus and holds an honorary medical degree from the Gomel State Medical University.

Bret Sanders

Bret Sanders is Head of Equity Trading at Sanders Morris Harris, a regional investment firm located in Houston, Texas. He has been with the firm for more than 27 years.

Mr. Sanders received his B.A. in Political Science from the University of Houston. He is also a graduate of The Kinkaid School, the same school his daughter, Chelsea, attended before she became a Baylor University student two years ago.

Bret is part owner and member of the Board of Directors of Ryan Sanders Baseball, the parent company of the Round Rock Express Baseball Club, Trip A affiliate of the Houston Astros.

Mr. Sanders is a founder and member of the Board of Directors of R Bank, Texas, a community bank located in Round Rock with locations throughout Central Texas. He has also served on numerous non-profit boards and is currently on the board of The HeartGift Foundation and serves as Chairman of the Board of the Sunshine Kids Foundation.

Bret and his wife, Laurie, live in Houston, Texas, and along with their daughter, Chelsea, have a son, Chris. Their hobbies are watching baseball, traveling, and attending Baylor athletic events.

Laurie Collmer Sanders

Originally from Oklahoma, Laurie moved to Texas in 1986 to pursue a career in hotel management with the Four Seasons Hotel company. A later career change led her to the oil and gas business, where she was employed by Arco and Apache Corporation.

Beginning in 1995, Laurie retired from the outside workforce to become a stay-at-home mom. While raising two children, Christopher and Chelsea, she continued her involvement with community organizations and contributed her volunteer time to several philanthropies, school committees, and community boards. Currently, her main volunteer focus is assisting first-generation college students. Laurie hopes to use her B.A. in Liberal Arts from the University of St. Thomas to serve in an official capacity for an educational organization.

Laurie enjoys going to Houston Astros and Round Rock Express baseball games with her husband, Bret, and assisting her son, Christopher, with his luxury car aftermarket business. Their daughter, Chelsea, is an Honors College student majoring in Political Science and Spanish. After graduation, Chelsea plans to attend law school and pursue a career in the legal field.

Dr. David Solomon

David Solomon received his B.A. from Baylor University (1964) and his Ph.D. from the University of Texas (1972). He joined the Department of Philosophy at the University of Notre Dame in 1968. He has also been a National Endowment of Humanities Research Fellow at Oxford University in 1972-73, a Milbank Research Fellow at Boston University in 1975-77, a University Research Fellow at Oxford University in 1982-83 and 1988-89 (where he was affiliated with Brasenose College), and a visiting professor at Baylor University in 1994-95. He was the founding director of the Notre Dame Arts and Letters/Science Honors Program (1981-86) and the director of the Notre Dame London Program (1985-1986). He formerly served as the H. B. and W. P. White Director of the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture from its founding in 1998 until 2012. As of July 1, 2012, he has returned to his faculty position in the Department of Philosophy at Notre Dame.

His research interests have focused for the most part on issues in contemporary moral philosophy with a special interest in medical ethics. He was the co-author of the first study of the public policy implications of the Roe v. Wade abortion decision, Abortion and Public Policy, and a study of the philosophy of Wilfrid Sellars, The Synoptic Vision. He is the author of a number of articles, which appear in scholarly journals as well as in more popular journals. He has appeared frequently on television, including The Firing Line, and has been the academic advisor for many years of Notre Dame's nationally syndicated PBS television program, Today's Life Choices, on which he frequently appears. He is a contributor to both the Encyclopedia of Ethics and the Encyclopedia of Bioethics. His videotaped lectures, Ethics in the 20th Century, are included in the Great Teacher's Series. Prof. Solomon has lectured at over 100 colleges and universities in this country and Europe. 

He officially retired from his faculty position at the University of Notre Dame in 2016 but maintains an office in Geddes Hall at the Notre Dame Center for Ethics and Culture, where he remains a fellow.

Rachel L. Wilkerson

A third-generation Baylor alumna, Rachel Lynne Wilkerson is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Statistics at the University of Warwick. She researches causation using new classes of probabilistic graphical models, motivated by a conviction that mathematical models should be attuned to the realities faced by practitioners outside the academy. A staunch open-data advocate, Rachel aims to bridge the gap between data-driven models and the complex socio-economic challenges facing communities, particularly with regard to food insecurity.

In 2013, she worked as the Regional Director to launch a satellite office of Baylor’s Texas Hunger Initiative (THI) in her hometown of Lubbock, Texas. After spending a year traveling in West Texas working to implement anti-hunger programs, she returned to Waco to join the research team at THI and lecture in the Department of Economics and Mathematics.

Rachel graduated as a University Scholar and also holds an M.Sc. in Complexity Science from Warwick. Her fondest memories of her time in the Baylor Honors College include the riotous laughter of The Pulse officer meetings and discussions with classmates on the porch of Alexander.

Judge Don R. Willett

Don Willett serves on the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit.

Before joining the federal judiciary, Judge Willett served a dozen years on the Supreme Court of Texas. He has devoted his professional life to public service, and prior to becoming a judge, he served as legal counsel to a Texas Attorney General, a Texas Governor, a U.S. Attorney General, and the President of the United States.

Judge Willett was raised by a widowed mom in a doublewide trailer in a town of 32 people. He is his family’s first college graduate, earning a triple-major BBA from Baylor University and then three degrees from Duke University: JD with honors, MA in political science, and LLM in Judicial Studies.

After law school, he clerked on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and then practiced law at Haynes and Boone, LLP before entering public service.

Judge Willett publishes widely and speaks frequently throughout the country. He is a Senior Lecturing Fellow at Duke University School of Law and serves on the Board of Visitors there. He also serves on the Board of Regents at Baylor University and is the Jurist in Residence at Brigham Young University. Judge Willett chairs the editorial board of Judicature—The Scholarly Journal For Judges, in which he previously served as editor in chief, and he has been honored six times for “exemplary legal writing” by The Green Bag. He is a member of the American Law Institute, a Life Fellow of the American, Texas, and Austin Bar Foundations, and has a long history of nonprofit board service on the local, state, and national levels. His numerous honors include Distinguished Alumnus of Baylor University, Outstanding Young Alumnus of Baylor, the Distinguished Jurist of the Year Award, the Distinguished Public Service Award, the Faith and Integrity in Legal Services Award, the Pro Texana Medal of Service, and many more.

A native Texan, Judge Willett is a former rodeo bull rider and professional drummer, and in 2015 he was named the Tweeter Laureate of Texas. He is the namesake for Don R. Willett Elementary School, which opens in 2022 barely a mile from where he grew up. Judge Willett and Tiffany, his radiant wife of 20 years, are the exhausted cofounders of three wee Willetts.