The Association of Southwestern University Alumni

Steve Cotton ’77, Distinguished Professional

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    Lance Holt

Steve Cotton ’77 has had a rich and multifaceted career in investments, business, government, public affairs, media relations and marketing for 30 years.  Currently the Managing Partner of the Cotton-Adams Financial Group, he has previously helped develop public policy in the U.S. Congress and the Texas Legislature and has served a major Texas university among many other responsibilities. In both 2010 and 2011, Steve was named a FIVE STAR Wealth Manager in Texas Monthly magazine.

He has served in the Texas Legislature as an administrative assistant, worked for a Texas Supreme Court Justice, and served with three Members of Congress in Washington, D.C. In his service in the U.S. House of Representatives, he worked directly with the White House as well as with many other individuals and groups. As a senior manager with General Dynamics’ Fort Worth Division, he was honored with the company’s Extraordinary Achievement Award.  

Steve also has a passion for teaching and has served as a guest instructor at Southwestern, as well as Trinity University, TCU and Texas Tech, where his topics ranged from financial planning to U.S. arms control and foreign policy issues and much more. He has also developed and directed two Financial Bible Study courses and has served two churches as a trained Stephen Minister (lay crisis counselor), and has been a facilitator for both DivorceCare and Grief Recovery programs.   

As an Eagle Scout, Steve’s volunteer community service has included numerous leadership and training roles with the Boy Scouts of America. He is a member of the Dallas-Fort Worth Council on World Affairs, the Rotary Club of Dallas Board of Directors, and in 2006 was selected to be the first President of The Dallas Association of Southwestern University Alumni.

Described as warm, caring, genuine, encouraging, authentic, humble and a man with a servant heart, friends say Steve is deeply concerned with the welfare others. He has organized a neighborhood watch program, which has kept the the crime rate lower in his community, he works with the Rotary Club to recognize outstanding teachers, and as a Stephen Minister, he supports and encourages people going through difficult life transitions.  

A church friend says Steve is an example of integrity and selfless giving and that his words of wisdom and encouragement were often those that helped her through her day; words she has since passed onto others.  

Steve is passionate about education and honoring those who provide education. Through the Rotary Club’s Outstanding Teacher Awards, he has recognized dozens of teachers for the services they provide each day that go unrecognized; one year specially recognizing an art teacher who saved a young man from committing suicide.

With integrity, passion and strategic thinking, Steve gives of himself time and time again, using his precious time and treasure to make a real difference in the lives of those who may not even meet him.

A lifelong friend and high school debate partner describes Steve as focused and sure of his direction, renowned for his loyalty to friends … and a great student of American history. He says Steve takes the time to build and maintain friendships and learn others’ interests, which is why many people consider him to be their best friend.

One of Steve’s friends says that what she admires and appreciates most about him is that he truly credits all that is good in life as coming from God. He is honest about his shortcomings and strengths, yet slow to elevate himself in any way, and quick to say that his blessings are gifts of grace and that he is grateful and willing to share your resources.

Steve is respected for his Christian commitment and for his focus on helping others, even willing to provide hours of support and guidance over the phone as well as in person. He has impacted the lives of others in countless ways and has been a great inspiration of public service.

For his extensive contributions to the political and business communities, for living the Eagle Scout life, and for—perhaps his greatest gift—the ability to bring hope to others, one of Steve’s friends says, “Well done, good and faithful servant … John Wesley would be proud,” and The Association of Southwestern University Alumni says, “Congratulations on being a 2013 recipient of the Distinguished Professional Award.