Raul Magdaleno, serves as Special Assistant to the Dean and oversees the department of Diversity and Community Outreach for Southern Methodist University (SMU) Meadows School of the Arts. As Director he developed the University’s first diversity and community service office and under his leadership SMU has enrolled more minority students in 2010 than any other year in the 100 year history of the school. In addition, he was instrumental in securing over $10 million in financial aid for underserved students and founder Texas’ first Hispanic Youth Institute at SMU. Raul also serves on the Universities President’s Commission on the Status of Racial Minorities, and serves as an advisor in developing strategies to address community educational needs and diversity initiatives.
Prior to joining SMU, Raul worked in various leadership capacities as a volunteer at Reconciliation Outreach (RO) accumulating over 30,000 hours of community service since the age of thirteen. As a result of his tireless dedication and commitment to his community, he earned the U.S. Congressional Award Gold Medal, the highest civilian award given by the United States Congress. In 2001 he helped found “The Refuge,” a shelter for battered women and children, through RO. Since its inception Raul has helped raise over $5.8 million in assets, making RO one of the largest privately funded non-profits in the Greater Dallas area with its creation of a low-income housing, elementary school, community soup kitchen, a single woman and men homeless shelter, a Children’s and Youth Recreation Center, and a multi-story non-profit leasing center.
As a result of Raul’s exemplary community urban development initiatives and inspirational story he was voted the 2010 National Latino Leader of the Year and 2010 One Man Dallas. In 2006 he was appointed to be the National Hispanic Heritage Month Distinguished Speaker. To date Raul has spoken to millions of people across the country as a champion for higher education and has been featured as a special guest on CNN, Univision Don Francisco Presenta Show and NBC among many other broadcasts and print publications.
Raul’s professional leadership affiliations include: National Spokesperson for the Dallas Cowboys and MillerLite Scoring for Education Initiative, Spokesperson for the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute; Former Texas Chairman of the Hispanic Youth Institute; Former Chairman of the Greater Dallas Hispanic, Asian, Black and GLBT Chamber of Commerce Annual Project; Chairman of the Dallas Red Light Enforcement Commission; Dallas Independent School District Superintendent Advisory Board and Board Vice-President for Reconciliation Academy.
Raul earned a bachelor’s degree in corporate communication and public affairs from Southern Methodist University in 2006 and is currently working on academic research. In addition, he is the proud caregiver of his elderly mother, Maria Zermeño and in the process of adopting his older sister, Sylvia Magdaleno, who is gifted with down-syndrome.
Raul is currently working on creating the first homeless shelter for college students in the country.