ELLEN AMIRKHAN ’79 AND STACIE D. MCDAVID ’80 arrived at Texas Woman’s in the 1970s as track and field athletes. Little did they know that their time at TWU would lead to invaluable lifelong lessons and friendship.

They first met at former head track and field coach and director of athletics Bert Lyle’s house, where they would become fast friends and roommates.

“My superpower is the women I surround myself with, and it started with Ellen. When I first met her in 1974, I thought, she’s brilliant. I had been around bright people, but I felt that I’d found my person, someone who makes you better and lifts you up. That was Ellen for me,” says McDavid.

Throughout their time at TWU, the two women worked hard inside and outside of the classroom. Both credit their experiences to great mentors and strong work ethics from the “lessons and traditions we both gained from our immigrant families who became successful entrepreneurs in the U.S. and Texas,” says Amirkhan.

Amirkhan’s grandfather immigrated from Armenia in 1909 and established a rug cleaning plant. McDavid grew up in Denton and was surrounded by family and friends from Lebanon.

The two friends would go on to become highly accomplished entrepreneurs. Amirkhan took over her family’s Dallas-based rug business in 1980 and hasn’t looked back since. McDavid currently serves as CEO of McDavid Investments Company and has a long and successful track record of running businesses and serving on numerous boards, partnerships and charitable organizations.

Both women find themselves full circle — working together and making important decisions as members of the Texas Woman’s University System Board of Regents, where they set policy direction that ensures a quality TWU educational experience for all students.