The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

Dallas Mavericks CEO visits SMU for Delta Gamma Lectureship

Melanie Jackson
Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall at the 2023 Delta Gamma Lectureship in Values and Ethics.

Faith is an important value and key to getting through rough times in life, said the Dallas Mavericks CEO at the Delta Gamma Lectureship last Wednesday night.

Cynthia “Cynt” Marshall said the core values that influence her life came from her mother. Born in Birmingham, Alabama at the height of the Civil Rights Movement, Marshall’s mother moved their family to public housing in the San Francisco Bay area to escape violence.

“She valued faith, family, equality…which is of course why she moved from Birmingham…education, respect, and service,” Marshall said.

The Delta Gamma lectureship in Values and Ethics was held in the Oren Family Auditorium at the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The biennial event was hosted by SMU’s Alpha Upsilon chapter and the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Attendance was free and open to the public.

Marshall was handpicked by Mark Cuban, the owner of the Dallas Mavericks. Prior to that, she worked at AT&T for 36 years in 15 different roles.

“I learned what I call the three L’s of leadership,” said Marshall. “My job as a leader is to do three things and do them extremely well. Listen to the people, learn from the people, and love the people.”

Marshall also published a book in 2022, “You’ve Been Chosen: Thriving Through the Unexpected.” The memoir chronicles her upbringing, professional life, the difficulty of starting her family and surviving stage three colon cancer.

Vangelic Parker, a partnership manager for Housing Connector, found the lecture on Eventbrite and was inspired by Marshall’s positivity through hardships in her life.

“She has had a life. She has a lot of life in her, and I think that was one of my biggest takeaways,” Parker said. “Stay positive and go for that goal knowing that you have your faith and knowing that you have a bigger picture in mind.”

Marshall asked all the educators in the room to stand up, something she makes sure to do whenever she gives speeches. In high school, the educators in her life stepped in after noticing Marshall cheerleading with a brace on her nose. She sustained the injury from her father during her parents’ divorce.

“Those educators put me on a path to college, I ended up graduating the top student in my school district and got five full scholarships, thanks to these educators, to the college of my choice,” Marshall said.

Ally Rayer, the lectureship chair for Delta Gamma, started the planning for the event last January and was very happy with the turnout.

“I’m definitely honored that I got to be the DG at least who was at the forefront of this,” Rayer said. “I got to communicate with her team and it was really neat to learn about her both by reading her book and doing some research on my own.”

Giving this year’s lecture was a special honor for Marshall as she was a Delta Gamma during her time at UC Berkeley, she said.

“I was the first African American in my sorority,” said Marshall. “And yes, I am a DG, and proud.”

At the end of the lecture, there was a Q&A session, followed by a meet and greet. A line eager audience members immediately formed, all hoping to meet Marshall and get their books signed.

Marshall offered words of wisdom to the college students in attendance.

“You know who you are, you are beautifully and wonderfully made, you stick to it,” Marshall said. “You don’t let anybody else influence you because the world needs you just like you are standing on the values and principles that you have.”

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