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.
Joe B. Armes
Joe Armes is Chairman of the Board, Chief Executive Officer, and President of CSW Industrials (NASDAQ: CSWI), a Dallas-based, publicly traded industrial growth company. He also serves as an independent trustee of the American Beacon family of mutual funds.
Joe previously served on the Baylor University Board of Regents, serving at various times as Chairman of the Audit, Finance, Compensation, and Presidential Search Committees.
He earned a BBA (Finance) in 1983 and an MBA in 1984, both from Baylor. He also earned a JD from Southern Methodist University's School of Law in 1991, where he was an editor of the Southwestern Law Journal.
Joe and his wife Kelly (BBA, 1984) have two children -- Annie (BBA, 2018) and John (BA, 2020).
Victor Boutros is the CEO and Founding Director 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 (Oxford University Press, 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 modern-day slavery and everyday violence that undermines vital investments in poverty alleviation, public health, and human rights. A critically acclaimed work of thought-leadership, 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 literary 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 who investigated and tried international human trafficking cases of national significance around the country 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.
Prior to his work with the Justice Department, Boutros spent time working on similar issues in the developing world. He has worked on improving prison conditions in Ecuador, documented bonded slaves in India, and worked on human trafficking issues as a visiting lawyer with the National Prosecuting Authority of South 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 and received a grant to research human trafficking as a Human Rights Research Fellow. He has written on foreign affairs and human rights, including a feature article in Foreign Affairs and a piece co-authored with U.S. 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.
He and his family live in the metro Washington, D.C. area.
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; Director of INVESCO, a mutual fund complex; 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 have 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.
D. Michael Lindsay
Award-winning sociologist and educator D. Michael Lindsay serve as the eighth president of Gordon College. President Lindsay graduated summa cum laude from Baylor University and earned his Ph.D. in Sociology from Princeton University. From 2006 until 2011, he was a member of the faculty at Rice University, where he directed the Program for the Study of Leadership.
An expert on issues relating to religion, culture, and leadership, Lindsay's Pulitzer-nominated book, Faith in the Halls of Power, was listed in Publishers Weekly's "Best Books of 2007," and his work has been profiled in hundreds of media outlets including The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, CNN, and Fox News Channel.
His tenure as the eighth president of Gordon has coincided with record years of opportunity and growth for the Gordon community. Since his appointment in 2011, Gordon has experienced banner years in terms of enrollment, fundraising, financial strength, campus diversity, sponsored research, athletic success, and faith expression on campus. President Lindsay is gratified to be working alongside talented colleagues and regards the College's gains during his tenure as evidence of a winning team.
Originally from Jackson, Mississippi, President Lindsay has been married for over twenty years to Rebecca Lindsay and currently lives on the Gordon campus with their three daughters: Elizabeth, Caroline, and Emily.
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 they have served as Moderators of the Nursery and Childcare Ministry. Bob 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; and Becca, a musical theater actress and graduate of The University of Oklahoma.
Suzanne (Suzy) L. Mighell
Suzy Mighell is a social media influencer, speaker, and the creator 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 20K Instagram followers, 2.3K Facebook followers, and 6K Pinterest followers. Suzy has collaborated with brands including Proctor & Gamble, Walmart, Johnson & Johnson, General Mills, Draper James, Chico’s, Soma, and Easy Spirit, among others. In addition to producing content for Empty Nest Blessed, Suzy has written articles that have been featured on numerous websites, made TV appearances, been a guest on several podcasts, and spoken to numerous groups.
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 served as Moderators of the Nursery and Childcare Ministry. 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; and Becca, a musical theater actress and graduate of The University of Oklahoma.
William K. Robbins, Jr.
Mr. William K. Robbins, Jr., a veteran of the Korean War, received a Bachelor of Arts (1952) and a Bachelor of Laws (1954) from Baylor and a Juris Doctor (1969) from Baylor Law School.
He is the founder and CEO of North American Corp., which originated in 1971. Headquartered in Houston, North American is principally engaged in consulting, finance, investments, and oil and gas activities. He serves on the boards for several United States and foreign corporations. He has served as an officer and director of various international subsidiary companies of Union Carbide Corp. and as legal counsel for Humble Oil and Refining Company (now Exxon Corporation).
At Baylor, Mr. Robbins is a member of the Board of Advocates for the Robbins College of Health and Human Sciences, as well as a member of the Robbins Institute Advisory Council in the Hankamer School of Business. He is also a member of the Endowed Scholarship Society, the Bear Foundation, 1845 Society, Old Main Society, the Heritage Club, and the Baylor Law Alumni Association. He and his wife, Mary Jo, received the James Huckins, Pat Neff, and Presidents Medallions in 2003. They were inducted into the Judge R.E.B. Baylor Society in 2008. Mr. Robbins is a former member of the Board of Regents at Baylor University.
Mr. Robbins is a trustee emeritus of the Board of Trustees of Baylor College of Medicine, serving on the Finance and Investment Committees. He also serves as Trustee for several foundations in the United States, Canada, and India. He is a member of the State Bar of Texas, the New York State Bar Association, and the bars of the U.S. Supreme Court, the U.S. Tax Court, as well as several U.S. Federal District Courts and Federal Court of Appeals.
Mr. and Mrs. Robbins are members of Tallowood Baptist Church in Houston and have three children and two grandchildren.
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.
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 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 previously 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 is his family's first college graduate. He earned a triple-major BBA from Baylor University and then three degrees from Duke University--JD with honors, AM 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, where he serves on the Board of Visitors, and will soon be the Jurist in Residence at J. Reuben Clark Law School at Brigham Young University. He chairs the editorial board for Judicature--The Scholarly Journal for Judges, and he has been honored five years in a row for "exemplary legal writing" by The Green Bag. He is a member of the American Law Institute, and a Life Fellow of the American, Texas, and Austin Bar Foundations.
A native Texan, Judge Willett was raised by a widowed mom in a doublewide trailer in a town of 32 people. He is a former rodeo bull rider and a professional drummer; and in 2015, he was named the Tweeter Laureate of Texas. He and his radiant wife, Tiffany, are the exhausted co-founders of three wee Willetts.
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.
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 an 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.
President of the Texas Dermatological Society and member of professional societies including the American Academy of Dermatology, American Society for Dermatologic Surgery, Texas Medical Association, and Tarrant County Medical Society, Catherine has been recognized by Fort Worth Magazine’s Top Docs, 360 West Magazine Top Doctors, and Super Doctors Rising Star as featured in Texas Monthly magazine.
Dr. Harrell and her husband are active members of Travis Avenue Baptist Church and have two sons, Samuel, and Timothy.