Assistant Dean Tom Kim received the Texas 26th Congressional District Veteran Commendation from the district’s representative, Michael C. Burgess, at a luncheon last November that honored Kim and four other 2019 recipients of the award.
A U.S. Naval Academy graduate, Kim served as a supply corps officer in the U.S. Navy. He subsequently served in the reserves, where he was promoted to lieutenant commander.
Kim’s tours of duty took him around the world and included the following commands: the USS Tuscaloosa (LST 1187), Helicopter Anti-Submarine Squadron Eight (HS-8), USS Carl Vinson (CVN-70) and Naval Air Station North Island.
Back in civilian life, Kim, who grew up in Lewisville, Texas, served 12 years as vice president on the Lewisville Independent School District’s Board of Trustees.
He continues to serve on the Community Advisory Council of the UT Dallas Military and Veteran Center and is a board member of Christian Community Action (headquartered in Lewisville) and an advisory council member of the North Texas Food Bank.
Centered in Denton County, the Texas 26th District covers the northern portion of the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex. Congressman Burgess, R-Pilot Point, is a distinguished Jindal School alumnus who earned an MS in 2000. He has represented the 26th District since 2003, and he has been honoring veterans with the commendation since 2005.
Burgess presented the honors to Kim and the other veterans Nov. 8 at the annual “Salute Our Veterans” luncheon hosted by the City of Highland Village and the Highland Village Business Association. In a news release, Burgess extended his deepest appreciation to all the nominees for both their military and post-military service.
“While these selfless patriots may have retired their service uniforms, they are not finished serving our nation and our community,” Burgess said.
Prior to coming to UT Dallas, Kim spent 16 years as an executive with Pepsi, AmeriServe and PrimeSource FSE managing the Pizza Hut distribution.
Since joining the Jindal School in fall 2011, he has led and grown a staff that provides professional development services and programs to ensure JSOM graduates emerge as strong job candidates for not only the school’s corporate partners but also for employers in the DFW Metroplex and beyond. Kim and his staff also work with employers to provide the most efficient access to the most talented students, ensuring that each employer identifies, recruits and hires the most qualified and attractive candidates for their internships and full-time positions.
Texas 26th District residents Charles and Elaine Emery nominated Kim for the award. Charles Emery served in the Air Force during the Vietnam conflict. His father served during World War II, and his grandfather served during the Spanish American War and World War I.
“Needless to say, we are very patriotic and respect the military,” said Elaine Emery, who has served on various boards with Kim. “Community and military service are very important to us, and when we observe a young man willing to give his time, gifts and talents to help others and make their lives better, we believe that it is appropriate to recognize that. … Not only did Tom serve his country after graduation from the Naval Academy, he continued serving others by giving countless volunteer hours to his church, community and the North Texas region.”
Kim said he was “thrilled, honored and humbled” to have received the commendation. He said it reflects the values, principles and opportunities that his parents instilled in him.
“My parents taught me that the best way to serve God is to serve others,” he said. “I have tried my best to dedicate my entire life to that idea, whether as a son, sailor, businessman, educator, husband, parent, church member or community member. That, to me, is what makes a successful life.”
— Jimmie R. Markham