Courtney Caldwell, BBA ’00

Caldwell is the co-founder, with her husband Dr. Tye Caldwell, and chief operating officer of beauty tech startup ShearShare, the first on-demand salon and barbershop space rental app. Licensed stylists can rent space by the day worldwide while salon and barbershop owners make money on unused space. ShearShare is an alumnus of the prestigious YC Fellowship and 500 Startups accelerator programs and the first Texas startup to be named winner of Google’s “Demo Day” and TechCo’s Startup of the Year.

Caldwell was a Hunt Leadership Scholar at SMU. She graduated early cum laude with her BBA in marketing in 2000 and later earned an MBA at the University of Texas at Dallas. She was the student representative on the SMU Board of Trustees and held leadership positions with the Association of Black Students, which named her homecoming queen; the honor council; and the leadership consultant council. She was a cadet in SMU’s ROTC program, did weekly leadership training at the University of Texas at Arlington and walked onto the SMU track and field team, competing in long jump. Caldwell was named an Academic ALL-WAC honoree, served as a resident assistant in Virginia-Snider Residential Commons and sang in the SMU Gospel Choir. As an undergrad, she held a work-study job she loved next door to SMU President Gerald Turner’s office. She remains active with her alma maters, interviewing applicants of the SMU Hunt Leadership Scholars program and serving on advisory boards at UTD and SMU, the SMU Alumni Board and the 21st Century Council at SMU.

Ryan Dalton, BBA ’01

Dalton is executive vice president and chief financial officer of Parsley Energy Inc. He completed his BBA, with a concentration in finance, at SMU in 2001. Later, he earned his MBA from the University of Virginia Darden School of Business. He met his wife, Alison, at SMU and became friends with two Sigma Chi fraternity brothers: Bryan Sheffield and Colin Roberts. All three graduated with their BBAs in 2001. In 2012, a few years after founding Parsley Energy, Sheffield asked Dalton, and later Roberts, to join the team, creating a reunion of sorts for the three Cox alumni. Dalton’s professional experience in restructuring and management consulting helped him navigate a successful IPO in 2014. Some of the proceeds funded the Parsley Energy purchase of more land in the Permian Basin, where horizontal drilling — including the work of Parsley Energy — has since helped turn the United States into the world’s leading oil and natural gas producer.

Editor’s Note: The 2020 inductees will be honored at the rescheduled SMU Cox Distinguished Alumni and Outstanding Young Alumni Awards Luncheon on Friday, Sept. 25, 2020.