The Highland Park High School Alumni Association and the Highland Park Education Foundation recognized four as distinguished alumni at the 32nd-annual HPHS alumni awards April 21 at the Dallas Country Club.
The honorees included the Honorable Harold “Hal” DeMoss ’48 (posthumously), Garry Weber ’54, and Dr. Paul Peters ’76. The event put on by the HPHS Alumni Association also celebrated Connie O’Neill as the Highlander Award honoree.
DeMoss graduated from HPHS in 1948. He went to Rice University after graduation, where he played on the basketball team. He then started at the University of Texas Law school in 1955. He then worked in the U.S. Army JAG Corps before he joined as an associate at the firm Bracewell and Patterson. During his legal career, he took a sabbatical to work for the presidential campaign of his friend George H.W. Bush.
He was confirmed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals in 1991 and served in that role until his death in 2020.
Garry Weber graduated in 1954. Webber lived just outside of the district lines to qualify to go to the school, earning his enrollment by cleaning the gym floors each morning, practicing for the football team, and working hard academically.
After graduation, Weber went to SMU on a football scholarship and earned All American Honorable Mention in 1957 before graduating with a B.A. in Finance and Management in 1958.
After serving six years in the Air National Guard, Weber settled in Dallas and founded Weber, Hall, Sale, and Associates, where he served as Chairman of the Board for more than 50 years.
From 1969-76, he served on the Dallas City Council, followed by service as Dallas County Judge and on the Dallas County Hospital Board of Managers.
Weber’s civic involvement also includes the SMU Board of Trustees, Dallas Salesmanship Club and Explorer’s Club, Chairman for the March of Dimes, Muscular Dystrophy and United Way Campaigns, and the Highland Park United Methodist Church Board of Trustees.
He’s also a renowned world traveler, serving on the International Council of Advisors for Research, Exploration, and Conservation for the National Geographic Society and the Board of Directors for the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M where he has been involved in several deep-sea salvage projects. Weber is an individual investor in venture capital and hedge funds and serves on the SMU Cox School of Business Executive Board, the SMU Investment Committee, and is an active member of the Dallas Country Club and Brook Hollow Golf Club.
Paul Peters graduated in 1976. He was an active participant in school events, from the Hyer carnival to a Friday night football game. Peters went on to become a renowned orthopedic surgeon at Carrell Clinic in Dallas. His volunteerism includes work at Texas Scottish Rite Hospital, where he’s he’s helped children through his pro bono work. He’s also served on the Board of Directors of Circle 10 Boy Scouts of America and has been an active member in the Salesmanship Club of Dallas for many years.
O’Neill received the Highlander Award. She graduated high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, and arrived in the Park Cities by way of SMU.
O’Neill went on to work at Ernst and Young after graduation and raised four children, who attended school in Highland Park ISD. During that time, she served on PTAs in elementary, middle, and high school. She also chaired the Foundation’s Mad for Plaid campaign and would eventually become HPEF Board President.
Outside of HPISD, she chaired the boards of the Children’s Medical Center Foundation and the Susan G. Komen Foundation and is a current member of the SMU Board of Trustees and Communities Foundation of Texas Board of Trustees.