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Three new Trustees join IWP: Dr. Can Nguyen and Burk and Elise Murchison

IWP Trustees, October 2023
IWP Trustees, October 2023. Dr. Can Nguyen is pictured at right. Photo by Aesthetic Images.

IWP is pleased to welcome three new members of its Board of Trustees: Dr. Can Nguyen, who joined in May, and Burk and Elise Murchison, who joined in October.

Can Xuan Nguyen, Ph.D. is a well-versed senior executive with an extensive experience in higher education and community service.  He has been involved with many non-profit youth education organizations.  Dr. Nguyen believes his best work is accomplished through serving, community activism, educating the young generation, and advocating for higher education opportunities for women and minorities in science and technology.

Dr. Nguyen earned his Ph.D. in Information Technology Management at Cappella University, a Master of Science in Computer System Management from the University of Maryland, and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science from Drexel University. He has also completed executive education in Delivering Information Systems at Harvard University.

He is currently serving as an Adjunct Professor teaching computer science and IT at George Mason University and the University of Phoenix. He also serves as a Faculty Advisor for the GMU Vietnamese Student Association.

He is a scholarship judge for the Long Nguyen & Kimmy Duong Foundation, which provides educational and humanitarian support for Vietnamese and American communities in the Virginia, Maryland, and DC area.

Since 2021, Dr. Nguyen has served as a Deputy Associate Director with the Federal Reserve Board, where he helps oversee several of the Federal Reserve Board mission critical programs and define the technologies necessary to support the business operations and the transitional processes necessary for implementing new technologies in response to changing business needs.

Dr. Nguyen is the recipient of multiple awards, including receiving the “Government Technology Leadership Award” twice from Leadership Government Technology, the “Special Achievement Award” from the Federal Reserve Board, and “Consultant of the Year” from Oracle Corporation.

Burk and Elise Murchison
New Trustees Burk and Elise Murchison

Burk Murchison is a Co-General Partner of Murchison Capital Partners, L. P., a private equity investment partnership which he co-founded with his brother Robert in 1992. MCP primarily focuses on the railroad, energy, real estate, and medical technology industries. In the years since its inception, Mr. Murchison has played a significant role in growing the original value of the partnership by more than thirty-fold.

He has also been proactive in legacy planning and in developing the next generation of family leaders to manage the future growth of MCP. The first step in this evolution will take place in January, 2024 when Murchison’s nephew Daniel will be joining the company as a Senior Financial Analyst. Hopefully others will soon follow.

Murchison has a BA from Wesleyan University and over the years has dedicated substantial time writing several books with a focus on Murchison family history. The most recent of these is HOLE in the ROOF: The Dallas Cowboys, Clint Murchison Jr, and The Stadium That Changed American Sports Forever, which recounts the story of his father’s role both in founding the Dallas Cowboys and developing the team’s long-time home, Texas Stadium. Written in collaboration with Dallas Morning News journalist Michael Granberry, the book was published by Texas A&M University Press and next November will be featured at the Texas Book Festival in Austin, Texas.

Elise Murchison earned undergraduate degrees in Art History and Communications at the University of Texas at Austin and went on to earn a Master’s in Communication Disorders from Our Lady of the Lake University in San Antonio, Texas. After working several years as a Speech Pathologist teaching and tutoring special education students, she made a career change and joined a business consulting firm Criterion, Inc. as a research assistant. She also became active as a board member in her family’s Keene Cattle Company and went on to assist her friend and theater producer Elizabeth Williams of Fifth Avenue Productions as a fund raiser for commercial productions. Eventually, Elise met and married Burk in 1982. At this point her focus shifted to having a family and establishing a home for their three children as well Burk’s two sons from a previous marriage.

In addition to her duties as a full-time Mom, Elise has exerted her influence in two important areas. One of these is in serving as the spiritual leader of her immediate family. Raised as an Episcopalian, she initially guided her family toward the Episcopal Church, but later changed course when her two sons attended Cistercian Preparatory School, a local all-male Catholic school. Cistercian is a unique school founded by Cistercian monks, who settled in Dallas after fleeing Communist Hungary during the failed Hungarian Revolution of 1956.

The monks, who teach at and manage the school, live on campus at Our lady of Dallas Cistercian Abbey.  The monks’ mission at the school is to nourish, mentor, and expand the minds of their students by providing an exceptional academic program imparted with the enduring values of Catholic education. Becoming part of the school community and being around the Monks as they interacted with her sons as well as well as their fellow students brought about a profound religious renewal in Elise. In short order, she convinced Burk to join her in converting to Catholicism and their lives have never been the same since.

Elise also took over the management of the family’s philanthropic activities and reoriented her family’s charitable giving towards three basic categories: 1) The Catholic Church through numerous organizations both local, national, and international. 2) Pro Life organizations highlighted by Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, and 3) Conservative causes with an emphasis on education and the preservation of traditional American values highlighted by the Institute of Intercollegiate Studies (ISI), and, of course, IWP.