Banker and civic leader Norman P. Bagwell couldn’t have been more gracious receiving the 16th Annual Virginia Chandler Dykes Leadership Award presented by Bank of Texas and Texas Woman’s University and the Texas Woman’s University Foundation. Referring to himself an “old-school banker” during his brief talk at the Belo Mansion and Pavilion on February 21, Bagwell said he’s learned two main things during his career.
“It’s been well-documented that I’ve come face to face with my own mortality more than once over the years,” said Norm, whose wife, Robin Bagwell, famously donated one of her kidneys to her husband. “But if you experience a tough time, you’ll gain the gift of perspective. You’ll learn to face the world with a positive attitude. I try not to sweat the small stuff and to stop and smell the roses.
“The second lesson I’ve learned is that life is a team game,” Norm said. “And I stand on the shoulders of a lot of people in this room.”
Among those people were Bob White, who works with Norm at Bank of Texas, where Bagwell serves as CEO and executive vice president of BOK Financial, with responsibility for all regional banks, commercial banking, business banking, and treasury services across the institution’s eight-state footprint. Also attending were Rowland Robinson, Susan McSherry, Jennifer Massey, and Cynthia Krause of the Baylor Health Care System Foundation; Norm not only had his successful kidney-transplant operation at Baylor, but he recently became the foundation’s board chairman.
Others among the 270 attendees were Ann and Charles Eisemann,; Michael Meadows, Myrna and Bob Schlegel, Mary Brinegar, Joan and Alan Walne, Vera and Robert L. Thornton, Caroline Rose Hunt, Gregg Ballew and Roslyn Dawson Thompson.
They had all been welcomed to the fundraising event by Ralph Hawkins, chairman of the Virginia Chandler Dykes Award, and by Virginia Chandler Dykes herself, who recalled how only 100 people had attended the first luncheon 16 years ago. Virginia said that Norm and Robin are “really a dynamic team,” before giving way to Bob—he called Norm a leader who embodies “respect, integrity, vision, and compassion”—and Steven Mansfield, who introduced the man of the hour with some humor.
“He’s a banker, but I’ve never seen Norm in a bank,” Steve cracked. Then he listed the many important positions Norm has held, from trustee of the Salesmanship Club Foundation and service on the board of the Junior League of Dallas to membership with the Maverick Chapter WPO, the Dallas Assembly, and the Dallas Citizens Council.
After an excellent lunch—spinach and butter lettuce salad; herb-dusted filet beef with mashed potatoes, asparagus and a roasted tomato; milk-chocolate mousse—attendees heard from Carine M. Feyten, chancellor and president of Texas Woman’s University. The luncheon concluded with presentation of the 2018 Virginia Chandler Dykes Scholarship Awards. They went to TWU students Kaye Rubio, Dawn Murphy, Lorraine Cadwallader, and Geethanjali Ravindranathan.
* Photo credit: Kristina Bowman