DBU Honors Clark Hunt at Annual Russell H. Perry Award Dinner

RHP 2021

Dallas Baptist University honored Clark Hunt as the recipient of the 2021 Russell H. Perry Free Enterprise Award during the annual award dinner held on Monday, November 22, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel in Dallas.

Established in 1988, the gala dinner continues to honor leaders whose lives are testimonies of achievements in free enterprise and service to the community. The event is named in memory of Dallas business leader and philanthropist Russell H. Perry, whose life of service impacted many. Over the past 34 years, the dinner has provided scholarship support for over 2,500 DBU students.

This year's dinner was chaired by Scott Turner, former Executive Director of the White House Opportunity and Revitalization Council, former Texas State Representative, and former NFL Player Scott Turner. Dr. Jim Denison, Co-Founder and Chief Visionary Officer of Denison Ministries, was the honorary dinner chair.

Averi Baxter, a DBU communications major, and Blayne Jones, a DBU business major and member of the Patriot Baseball Team, served as emcees for the event welcoming attendees and opening the program. C. T. "Sparky" Beckham, the 2020 Russell Perry Award Recipient, led in the reciting of the Pledge of Allegiance, and Scott Turner provided the invocation.

As a special part of the evening, the DBU Grand Chorus, under the direction of Dr. Stephen Holcomb, performed a patriotic program entitled "Portraits of America," narrated by voice actor and DBU Alumnus Gabe Kunda.

Following the musical performance, DBU President Dr. Adam C. Wright gave a word of gratitude to those attending and challenged them to join in the vision and ministry of DBU.

After Dr. Wright's talk, Dr. Jim Denison came to the stage to welcome the honoree, Clark Hunt, and have a special Q&A time with him as they discussed life, football, and faith.

The evening was closed out by DBU Head Baseball Coach Dan Heefner, who gave the benediction.

The 2021 Russell J. Perry Free Enterprise Awardee Clark Hunt is the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of the Kansas City Chiefs. Hunt has been the driving force behind the resurgence of the Chiefs, transforming the iconic franchise into one of the most successful teams in the National Football League over the last decade. Since taking over as CEO in 2010, the Chiefs have earned five AFC West Division Championships, seven playoff appearances, and the franchise's second Lombardi Trophy as World Champions in Super Bowl LIV.

The son of legendary American sports pioneer and Chiefs Founder Lamar Hunt, Clark Hunt has built upon his father's legacy by ensuring the Chiefs organization remains focused on its core mission: Honor Tradition, Unite Our Community, Win with Character, and Inspire Our Fans.

The Dallas, Texas, native is also a founding investor-operator in Major League Soccer, serving as Chairman and CEO of FC Dallas, while his family originally founded two other MLS clubs, the Kansas City Wizards (now Sporting Kansas City) and the Columbus Crew.

Clark and his wife, Tavia, are actively involved in numerous philanthropic initiatives in both Kansas City and Dallas. One of the Hunt family's lasting legacies is the Chiefs Charity Game, which has raised more than $13.5 million for local youth-focused charities since its inception in 1985. In 2017, the Chiefs and the Hunt Family Foundation were selected as a finalist for the prestigious Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Sports Award, and in 2016, the Chiefs were named Business Philanthropist of the Year in Kansas City by Nonprofit Connect.

Clark and Tavia have three children—Gracelyn, Knobel, and Ava. The Hunts are members of Watermark Community Church in Dallas, Texas.

"What a privilege it has been to honor a great Champion for Christ in Clark Hunt," said Dr. Wright. "He embodies the spirit of what we are attempting to produce in our students as Christ-centered servant leaders."

Written by Emmalie Ellis

Emmalie Ellis writes for the University Communications department at Dallas Baptist University.