Trinity University Trustees John Korbell and Lissa Walls '80 received the Distinguished Service Award, the University's highest honor, during the 2017 spring commencement ceremonies on the Trinity campus.
A Trinity Trustee since 1978, John Korbell served as chairman of the board from 2012-14. During his tenure as a board member, he has chaired almost every Trustee committee, sharing his knowledge and counsel to help with many important issues facing the University. He, along with his wife Bonnie Korbell, have been generous supporters of the University for many years, including providing a major gift for Trinity's Center for the Sciences and Innovation. Bonnie's family, the Marrs McLean family, has been major supporters of Trinity University since the 1940s. Their gifts over several decades have had a transformative impact on the University. John and Bonnie have three children, Katherine, Caroline, and Jay. Their oldest daughter, Katherine, is married to a current Trinity Trustee, Walter Brown, Jr., and their middle daughter, Caroline, is married to a Trinity graduate.
Korbell recently retired as managing director at Morgan Stanley Smith Barney after serving 48 years in the securities industry, where he was frequently named one of the Top 100 Wealth Advisors in America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Korbell received a Bachelor of Science in Civil Engineering and a Bachelor of Arts in English. He also graduated as a Distinguished Air Force ROTC Cadet, served his country during the Vietnam War, and received the Air Force Commendation Medal. He has been an active leader in the San Antonio community, serving as chairman of the board of Southwest Research Institute. Korbell is also a past chairman of the board of governors of the Cancer Therapy Research Center.
Lissa Walls, a 1980 graduate of Trinity University, is CEO of Southern Newspapers Incorporated, a Houston-based publisher of 16 newspapers and seven commercial printing operations in Texas, Alabama, and Tennessee. One of the most respected newspaper executives in the state of Texas, she has served as vice chairman of the Associated Press board of directors and is past president of the Texas Daily Newspapers Association and of the Southern Newspaper Publishers Association.
Walls has been a Trinity Trustee since 1992 and served as chairman of the board from 2004-06. Prior to joining the board, she served as a member of the University's Board of Visitors and on a committee to reconstitute the Alumni Association Board, on which sher served two terms. A proud member of the Spurs sorority, Walls has remained engaged and committed to her alma mater through the tenures of four University presidents, during which time Trinity has undergone a successful $200 million capital campaign, the development of the Trinity Tomorrow strategic plan, and the new Campus Master Plan. After 25 years of service, Walls is retiring from the Board.
The Distinguished Service Award was established by Trinity's Board of Trustees in 1973 to recognize and honor outstanding citizens who have contributed with meaning and distinction to the well-being of the San Antonio community and Trinity University.