Highland Capital Management’s CEO Jim Dondero is a legend in the financial industry. The University of Virginia graduate cut his financial teeth with companies like American Express while he was learning how to be effective in the financial world. When Jim and his friend Mark Okada decided to form their own company in 1993, no one expected the men to hit the ground running with such force and confidence. But they did, and that confidence and force are still in play today. But even though Dondero and Okada passed the mark of excellence in the alternative investment market, they haven’t forgotten where they came from. Highland Capital Management is a huge supporter of non-profits in the Dallas area.
Listing all the non-profits and the money Jim and his Highland Capital team gave those non-profits is not an easy task. But some of the top benefactors from Highland Capital’s generosity are the Dallas Zoo, Southern Methodist University, Highland Capital’s Dallas Foundation, the Ross Perot Museum, the Bush Library, and the Bush Center.
The Bush Center is Highland Capital’s recent civic endeavor. Jim Dondero and Highland Capital set up a $10 million endowment that benefits the Bush Center’s Engage Series of lectures. Thanks to the endowment, the Engage Series Sponsored by Highland Capital Management opened on February 5th to a standing room only group of eager knowledge seekers. The first lecture in that program was an incredible talk by Christopher Scalia the author of the book Scalia Speaks: Reflections on Law, Faith, and Life Well Lived.
Christopher is the son of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, so he was able to put a personal spin on some of Justice Scalia’s most memorable speeches. The February 5th Engage Series lecture also included a group discussion about the media’s current performance, and how that performance conforms to the James Madison’s opinion of what the First Amendment should look like in the 21st century. Both lectures were informative as well as entertaining, according to Dondero. Dondero is now a member of the Bush Center’s Executive Advisory Board.
The Engage Series of lectures is a popular attraction on the campus of Southern Methodist University. Sell-out crowds support the Bush Center’s Engagement Series, and it’s been that way since 2015. Now that Jim Dondero and Highland Capital are part of the Engage Series, the program is getting more attention around the country. According to Dondero, the Engage Series will feature important newsmakers and leaders like Saturday Night Live creator Lorne Michaels, Dr. Condoleezza Rice, Russia corruption fighter Bill Browder, former CIA and NSA director Gen. Michael Hayden, Jenna Bush Hager & Barbara Bush, former Hamilton cast member Christopher Jackson, and campaign expert Mark McKinnon. Other exhibits at the Bush Center include paintings by President George W. Bush and other artists.
Jim Dondero and Highland Capital Management have a reputation for being in the right place at the right time, and the Highland Capital team is living up to that reputation by supporting the Bush Center and all the other non-profits they financially and personally support.