Society / Profiles

Klyde Warren Park President Kit Sawers Talks Growing Up in Dallas and Her Dreams For The Nonprofit

We Also Can't Wait for the Outdoor Ice-Skating Rink

BY // 11.03.21

I’m a sucker for political television, and I don’t mean the three-lettered networks. Rather, the shows that engage me with some drama (fictional) and humor to keep it all in check. I’ve binged the lot of them, from The West Wing to House of Cards. This month’s bomb, Kit Sawers, could easily stand in as the lead on Madam Secretary. In fact, just the other day, a mutual friend commented that Kit looks like Téa Leoni, the lead of that show. And, indeed, both have a style that ranges from ready for a high-powered business lunch to ready for a lobster roll in the Hamptons. In fact, when she was growing up, Kit’s family had a home in that WASPY seaside enclave. One candidate for her Bomb photo showed her, circa 1983, atop a red BMW adjacent to some seagrass, alongside her equally preppy brother and father. (More on that Ralph Lauren model-looking clan in a second.)

Sawers is one of those rare girls — a Dallas native. Most of our mutual friends have relocated here, generally post-college or marriage. Kit was born at Baylor Hospital and attended Saint Michael’s before graduating from The Hockaday School. When asked about that 1983 photograph, she shares with a wink, “It was years before anyone else from Dallas was going to the Hamptons. My father had moved to NYC and had a summer home in Bridgehampton.” BTW, Kit’s father, Ham Richardson, was a star tennis player (and Rhodes scholar) who ranked among the top 10 of the world three times in the 1950s.

In 1974, he married an equally intriguing woman: Midge Turk, formerly known as Sister Agnes Marie when she was a nun at the Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She left the church and embarked on a career as an educator and author before landing in the role of editor of Seventeen magazine. (She recounts much of this in her book, The Buried Life: A Nun’s Journey.)

After graduating from high school, Kit studied English at the University of Virginia. But her overachieving path led her back home and to Southern Methodist University, where she received her JD and was admitted to the Texas State Bar in 1993. It was then that she began a journey of discovery, exploring other careers instead of joining a white-shoe law firm. One of her first posts was at SMU, coordinating its distinguished lecture programs. She met her husband, Kemp Sawers (a fellow SMU law grad who, some have said, looks like David Duchovny, Téa Leoni’s ex), and a three-year courtship ensued. They were married on New Year’s Eve in 1998 with the reception at the Hotel Crescent Court so her bridesmaids “wouldn’t have to stumble far to make it to their beds,” she says. She and Kemp now have two daughters: Annie, currently at Duke, and Elizabeth, a high school junior.

Kit Sawers has held many high-profile positions, but the one that put her in the spotlight — or rather, the stadium lights — was when she produced 40 events over a two-year period as vice president for special events of the North Texas Super Bowl XLV Host Committee. However, her passion for the last three years has been leading Klyde Warren Park as president. What are her dreams for the future of the nonprofit? Kit shares, “I hope that the park continues to pull Dallas together — that people come to share common traditions and also to try new ones. Plus, I can’t wait for the outdoor ice-skating rink.”

Kit Sawers
Klyde Warren Park president Kit Sawers (photo from 1989) talks growing up in Dallas. 

Approximate date of the photo.

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Right after I graduated from college.

The occasion.

I was working for a PR firm in London, and they held a Roaring ’20s-themed office party.

What you were wearing.

A rental from a “posh” costume store on King’s Road.

What price fashion.

Since I was a grad student and part-time employee, I wore a very American wardrobe that I had brought from home. My biggest splurge was a Pringle of Scotland cashmere sweater that I still own. More than £150 but worth it!

Why this is a Bomb.com picture.

Everyone comes out of their shell when they are in costume.

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