Before Tom and Miki Bone Melsheimer were married, they were engaged in a political battle during their senior year at Jesuit and Ursuline, respectively. Now, they’re so in sync they are being honored within three weeks of each other as distinguished alumni by their respective alma maters this November.
The timing was purely coincidental.
“We kind of laughed,” Miki said. “Every once in a while, it’s nice when a place you’ve loved gives you a little pat on the back.”
The Jesuit Distinguished Alumni Award goes to someone who has earned the respect of the community through spiritual and civic leadership. Tom, a longtime member of the school’s alumni association, was recognized in part for his work on several capital campaigns to help build programs at the school.
Ursuline’s Serviam award — “Serviam,” which means “I will serve” in Latin, is also Ursuline’s school motto — recognizes an alum for her commitment, achievement, involvement, and service over the past five years.
Miki, a playwright by trade, has been involved in several community outreach programs in Dallas. She works with Dallas CASA as a court appointed special advocate for abused and neglected children who need to find safe homes, and has volunteered for Meals on Wheels and initiated student touring programs, to name a few.
Tom and Miki haven’t always fought for the same causes: they knew each other growing up, but never connected until their senior year, when Tom, who supported democrat Jim Maddox, volunteered with Miki on republican Tom Pauken’s congressional campaign in 1978.
One cause they share that is particularly close to both their hearts is Romanian adoption. In 2001, they adopted their daughter Annmarie from Romania. Later that same year, the Romanian government banned foreign adoptions due to corruption surrounding the adoption process. Miki has since worked to try and change perceptions in order to convince officials that the law should be repealed.
“I made a presentation before the senate in Bucharest to basically tell our story and try to make them understand,” Miki said.
Tom and Miki live in North Dallas not far from where they grew up. All three of the Melsheimers’ children followed in their academic footsteps. Like their father, the two adopted sons, Jack and Jeff, graduated from Jesuit; Annmarie is a sophomore at Ursuline.
Tom is writing a book about trial advocacy that is scheduled to come out next year. Miki’s latest production As We Lie Still is currently running at the Contemporary Theater of Dallas.