Alumna Joins UD Board of Trustees
Date published: July 30, 2019
The University of Dallas Board of Trustees has added another alumna to its ranks:
Mary Devlin Capizzi, BA ’88 MBA ’89, a partner at Drinker, Biddle & Reath, LLP, a national, full-service
law firm founded in Philadelphia in 1849.
Capizzi started as a corporate transactional lawyer in the firm’s Chicago office,
but had to pivot after her husband’s work required a move to Washington, D.C.
“I fell into a D.C. practice that suits me well — while I occasionally use my corporate
legal background, most of my work during the past 20-plus years has involved the representation
of special purpose consortia comprised of industry competitors collaborating to address
common concerns,” said Capizzi.
These consortia address complex challenges such as global data privacy and security,
precompetitive data-sharing initiatives, standards development, international treaties,
global regulatory challenges, development of joint technologies, and pharmaceutical
Living and working in Washington, D.C., is far from what Capizzi envisioned when she
came to UD as a freshman.
“I was neither mature nor a deep thinker when I arrived at UD. I had little interest
in policy or politics. I had a Long Island accent, could snap gum and loved a good
party, but couldn’t write well or think critically,” said Capizzi.
For Capizzi, the UD education was transformative. She particularly credits her professors
for their patience and determination to teach her; her special thanks go to the late
Professor Emeritus of English Raymond DiLorenzo, from whom she learned to write due
to his attentive guidance in Lit Trads I and II, as well as Spanish instructor Hazel
Cazorla and Professor Emerita of Spanish and History Alexandra Wilhelmsen, who were
“exemplary teachers and role models. Both were also extraordinarily kind to me.”
“The professors who taught me at UD genuinely cared about giving students an excellent
education,” said Capizzi.
Capizzi treasures her UD friendships, which, as UD friendships tend to do, have endured
over the decades, and also the opportunities she was afforded to live and study abroad
as a student: first, of course, as a spring Romer during her sophomore year, and subsequently
in Madrid, Mexico and Paris.
Finally, Capizzi is grateful to UD for nurturing her Catholic faith.
“At UD I began to seek out regular silence and prayer,” she said. “When I return to
UD’s campus, I always stop by the Church of the Incarnation. It holds a special place
in my heart; I sought refuge there — a lot. I also spent my senior year researching
and writing a thesis in Spanish on the writings of St. Teresa of Avila, an absolutely
extraordinary woman who lived in 16th century Spain. Her ‘Bookmark,’ also known as
‘Nada Te Turbe,’ remains one of my favorite prayers. It has almost all the wisdom
I have needed in life.”
For all of these reasons, Capizzi has now joined 21 other alumni on the UD Board of
Trustees. She looks forward to serving UD as a trustee, championing UD’s visibility
as an exceptional university, and assisting UD students and graduates by facilitating
connections that enable work opportunities at leading companies and organizations.
“I will first need to listen and learn; there is a lot I don’t know about UD’s operations
and its challenges and opportunities,” said Capizzi.
Capizzi and her husband, Joseph, have six children, one of whom, Margaret, just graduated
in UD’s Class of 2019, and another of whom, Gabriella, will start at UD as a freshman
“Most of my time outside of work is family time,” said Capizzi. “Our house is always
bustling with activity — family, friends, food and free entertainment.”
She enjoys watching her children play sports and listening to live jazz. One of her
daughters plays college basketball; two of her daughters run competitively; and her
son plays basketball and baseball. Two of her daughters sing jazz and one also plays
As for her professional life, the best part of Capizzi’s work (besides riding her
Vespa to the office) is the exceptional people — both her firm colleagues and their
“We have a strong team that does impactful work,” she said. “Our team has a great
culture — we work hard and have high professional standards but we support and authentically
care about each other, and also have a lot of fun. Many of us have worked together
for 20 or more years. We are privileged to serve extraordinary clients and to have
developed business relationships all over the world.”
“I have had the good fortune of knowing Mary for over 30 years,” said UD Board of
Trustees Chair Richard Husseini, BS ’88. “She is one of the premier governmental regulatory lawyers in the country.
She is deeply committed to Catholic higher education and to UD in particular. We are
very excited to welcome Mary as a new trustee.”