On Sunday, July 5, 2009, not long after Angela Braly ’85 was presented the Distinguished Alumni Award for Corporate Service by the SMU Dedman School of Law, she told her life story to The New York Times. In the article entitled “Cutting Through the Clutter,” she described growing up as the fourth of five children, working hard, and making her own opportunities. After earning her undergraduate degree in Finance, Braly decided law school was the best next step. In college, she explained, “Whenever I would ask the reason behind a certain business decision, the professor would attribute it to a legal requirement. I didn’t want that to be the end of the story; I wanted to understand why.” Braly enrolled in SMU School of Law in 1982. “I’ve found that a legal background allows you to cut through the clutter and identify the important issues.” Braly learned her law school lessons well at SMU. She began her career in 1985 with Jackson Walker, then went on to a St. Louis law firm, from which she joined Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Missouri as general counsel in December 1997, before becoming its president in 1998. After Wellpoint acquired the company in 2002, she became general counsel of Wellpoint and in June, 2007 became its CEO. Wellpoint ranks 32nd on the 2009 top Fortune 50 list of companies, and Angela Braly is number 8 on the 2009 Forbes list of 100 most powerful women.