April (Bullock ’89) Anthony of Dallas will make Abilene Christian University history early next year when she becomes the 16th chair of its Board of Trustees and the first woman to oversee the governing body of her alma mater.
Recently named ACU’s 2018 Outstanding Alumna of the Year, Anthony was chosen last Saturday by the board to serve as chair-elect and succeed Dr. Barry Packer (’78) when his term ends after its February meeting. Packer has served as chair since 2010, when he followed in the footsteps of his father, the late Dr. H. Lynn Packer (’50), who led the university’s trustees from 1984-92.
A native of Houston, Anthony has a successful track record as founder and developer of home healthcare ventures. She is CEO of Encompass Home Health & Hospice, and Homecare Homebase. Encompass is the fourth largest provider of Medicare-certified home health care services in the nation. Homecare Homebase is a provider of automation tools designed specifically for the homecare industry, featuring a market-leading technology application allowing for the collection, monitoring and management of all patient care information.
“April has demonstrated tremendous leadership on our board for nearly two decades, and has gained everyone’s respect for her ability to navigate the challenges and opportunities of higher education,” Packer said. “Her experience in governance and skills as an innovative business leader will bless the university in many ways in years to come.”
“I am honored, humbled and privileged to be asked by my fellow board members to serve as the next chair,” Anthony said. “I have loved my work on the board and look forward to working alongside them and the administration to advance the critical mission of ACU to educate students for Christian service and leadership throughout the world.”
In 2015, Anthony received the sixth annual Innovator Award from the Healthcare Leaders Conference, an event attended by the top venture and private equity investors and CEOs from healthcare services and health information technology sectors.
Encompass was named No. 1 large company in the Dallas Morning News’ “Top 100 Places to Work” for 2015 and the No. 1 large company in the Dallas Business Journal’s 2014 “Best Places to Work” rankings. In 2013, Anthony was named top CEO for large companies in the Dallas and Fort Worth metroplex by the Dallas Business Journal. She also received Ernst & Young’s prestigious 2006 Entrepreneur of the Year award.
She and her husband, Mark Anthony (’86), are known for their philanthropy, including generous gifts to ACU’s new Anthony Field at Wildcat Stadium, its College of Business Administration, and the Robert R. and Kay Onstead Science Center. April also is involved in a number of charitable organizations, including Encompass Cares, a nonprofit organization designed to fund medical mission efforts around the world.
“The university has been an important part of my life for as long as I can remember, with my first visit to campus coming at age 10 when we dropped off my brother for his freshman year,” she said. “I loved my time as a student but my greatest pleasure has been serving as a trustee. ACU has become a place I fully believe is changing the world for the better. Mark and I are thrilled to have provided financial support to continue to improve the ACU experience for the students of today and tomorrow.”
She earned a B.B.A. degree in accounting from Abilene Christian in 1989 and was named the university’s Young Alumna of the Year in 1999. Mark earned an ACU B.B.A. degree in marketing in 1986. He serves on the Abilene Christian Investment Management Company advisory board and has led a distinguished career as an institution equity broker and software sales executive.
The Anthonys have three children: Ashlyn (’17); Luke, a sophomore financial management major and quarterback on the ACU football team; and Allie, a junior at Highland Park High School. April and Mark are members of Preston Road Church of Christ in Dallas.
April was re-elected to the Abilene Christian board in 2016 after previously serving from 1997-2015. Her father-in-law, James Anthony, was a trustee from 1979-97.
ACU trustees set policy, guide the institution’s long-term direction and ensure it fulfills its mission. Previous board chairs:
- 2010-18 – Dr. Barry Packer (’78)
- 2007-10 – C.E. “Doc” Cornutt (’71)
- 1992-2007 – Don W. Crisp (’64)
- 1984-92 – Dr. H. Lynn Packer (’50)
- 1974-84 – Ray McGlothlin Jr. (’49)
- 1967-74 – Willard R. Paine (’48)
- 1947-67 – B Sherrod
- 1943-47 – J.B. Collins
- 1942-43 – E.D. Chambers
- 1936-42 – W.H. Free
- 1933-36 – J.E. McKinzie
- 1916-33 – J.S. Arledge
- 1911-16 – M. Zellner
- 1906-11 – T.G. Moore
- 1906 – J.P. Sharp, chair pro tem