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The University of Texas at Dallas, P.O. Box 830688, Richardson, Texas 75083-0688

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News contact: Patricia Schoch, UTD, (972) 883-6298, [email protected]  

Congressman, Two CEOs To Receive Alumni
Awards from UTD's School of Management

RICHARDSON, Texas (Oct. 23, 2003) - A U. S. Congressman and two corporate presidents and CEOs will receive distinguished alumni awards from The University of Texas at Dallas (UTD) School of Management tonight at a special dinner and ceremony in the school’s new building on campus. The awards will be conferred by UTD President Dr. Franklyn Jenifer and School of Management Dean Dr. Hasan Pirkul

Award recipients will be U. S. Rep. Michael Burgess, R-Texas; M. Sam Gilliland, president and CEO of Internet travel company Travelocity; and David Holmberg, president and CEO of retail optical company Cole Licensed Brands.

Pirkul explained that the school’s distinguished alumni award is conferred to honor alumni who have accomplished notable achievements and assisted the school through work on special projects, participation on committees or financial contributions.

“It is a privilege for us to be able to recognize these three as exemplary alumni who are making significant contributions in their respective fields,” Pirkul said.

Before he was elected to Congress, Dr. Burgess had a successful medical practice in Lewisville and was chief of obstetrics at Lewisville Medical Center. He holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of North Texas and a medical degree from The University of Texas Medical School at Houston.

In 1998, he enrolled in the Alliance for Medical Management Education Program, a graduate business degree program designed for physicians and healthcare administrators and jointly run by The UTD School of Management and the U.T. Southwestern Medical School. He graduated from the AMME program in 2000 with a Master of Science degree and was elected to Congress in 2002 in the 26th Congressional District, which includes much of Denton County along with parts of Collin, Dallas and Tarrant counties.
Gilliland, who earned a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree from UTD in 1994, was a member of the first class to enroll in the UTD School of Management’s Executive MBA program. When he joined the class in 1992, he was executive vice president and chief marketing officer for Sabre Holdings Corporation, which owns Travelocity. Prior to joining Sabre in 1988, he worked for Lockheed Missiles and Space in Austin, where he developed hardware and software for land- and air-based defense systems. Gilliland also holds a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering from the University of Kansas.

A 2000 graduate of the UTD Executive MBA program, Holmberg served as executive vice president of store operations for Irving-based Zale Corporation while he was attending UTD. Even before he completed his MBA, he was promoted to the position of president of Peoples Jewellers, a privately owned Canadian chain that Zale acquired. After graduating and completing the successful acquisition for Zale, he was recruited for the top post at Cole Licensed Brands, a retail optical business that operates more than 1,200 outlets for Sears Optical, Target Optical, BJ’s Wholesale Clubs, Pearle Vision Canada and Sears Optical Canada.
All three alumni credit a good part of their success to what they learned at UTD. As Holmberg put it, “My [UTD] educational experience expanded my ability to look at complex issues, weigh the alternatives and back up my intuitive decision-making skills with a disciplined analysis of the problem.”


U.S. Representative Michael Burgess, R-Texas
U.S. Rep. Michael Burgess
M. Sam Gilliland, president and CEO, Travelocity
M. Sam Gilliland
president and CEO
David Holmberg, president and CEO, Cole Licensed Brands
David Holmberg
president and CEO
Cole Licensed Brands

About The UTD School of Management

The University of Texas at Dallas’ School of Management ranked sixth worldwide in research productivity in operations management and management information systems over the last six years in a study published by ORMS Today, a publication of the Institute for Operations Research and Management Sciences (INFORMS). The School of Management is the largest of UTD’s seven schools, with an enrollment that has increased 92 per cent over the last seven years to more than 4,300 students. The school’s new, 204,000-square-foot building—featuring classrooms with state-of-the-art audio and visual equipment, wireless connectivity, video-conferencing facilities, a computer lab, faculty offices, meeting rooms and an executive education center—opened in summer 2003.

About UTD

The University of Texas at Dallas, located at the convergence of Richardson, Plano and Dallas in the heart of the complex of major multinational technology corporations known as the Telecom Corridor, enrolls about 13,700 students. The school's freshman class traditionally stands at the forefront of Texas state universities in terms of average SAT scores. The university offers a broad assortment of bachelor's, master's and doctoral degree programs. For additional information about UTD, please visit the university's web site at www.utdallas.edu.

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This page last updated
October 23, 2003