DALLAS (SMU) — A gift of $2.5 million to Southern Methodist University from SMU alumnus David B. Miller and his wife, Carolyn, of Dallas will be divided between the Edwin L. Cox School of Business and SMU Athletics.
“This generous gift from David and Carolyn Miller supports our academic goals and our commitment to provide a well-rounded collegiate experience,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Their support will provide opportunities for future generations of students to benefit from the high quality of education they received at SMU and the vitality of the campus experience.”
Miller, who holds two degrees from the Cox School, designated $1 million to establish the David B. Miller Endowed Professorship in Business. The endowment will provide a stream of income to fund a professorship that could be based in one of several departments, with priority given to the academic disciplines of Finance, Investments, Accounting, and Entrepreneurship.
“The terms of the Millers’ gift will allow us to assign an endowed professorship to the academic area in which it can have the greatest impact,” said Cox Dean Albert W. Niemi Jr. “This flexibility will give us an advantage in recruiting outstanding faculty members in areas that will add to the growing stature of the Cox School and also serve needs of the business community.”
The Cox School of Business is recognized as an international leader in business education by such publications as BusinessWeek,The Economist, Financial Times, Forbes, The Wall Street Journal, and U.S. News & World Report. The 2005 Fiske Guide to Colleges confirmed that “SMU is all but the official alma mater of the Dallas business and professional elite.”
The remaining $1.5 million from the Millers is designated to SMU Athletics, with $1 million representing the first donation announced toward the construction of a new basketball facility and $500,000 for enhancement of the men’s basketball program. The new SMU Basketball Center, which will be located adjacent to Moody Coliseum, will cost approximately $12 million. The center will provide state-of-the-art practice and training facilities for men’s and women’s intercollegiate basketball programs, including coaches’ offices, video viewing rooms, locker rooms, and training and weight rooms.
“Alumni involvement is an important part of the SMU athletics program. We are happy and honored that a former SMU student-athlete who has done so well professionally is giving back to his university. We have set a top-25 national standard at SMU – in performance, facilities, and support – and this gift will help us meet that standard,” said SMU Athletics Director Steve Orsini.
Men’s basketball coach Matt Doherty added, “These improvements will help us move toward our goal of championship-level basketball, which can boost the spirit on campus and serve as an important connection with alumni and the community.”
Rhonda Rompola, women’s basketball coach, said, “The center will allow us to compete with our conference and national peers in recruiting top student athletes by providing practice facilities comparable to those of other schools.”
Men’s and women’s basketball programs at SMU are part of the University’s outreach to the wider community. Each year several thousand basketball tickets are distributed to children in the Dallas Independent School District and community youth groups. Area children also have been SMU’s guests at tournaments and other athletic events on campus.
David Miller is co-founder and partner of EnCap Investments L.P., an investment management firm with offices in Dallas and Houston. EnCap, which currently manages some $4 billion on behalf of institutional investors, is a leading provider of private equity capital to the independent sector of the oil and gas industry.
Miller earned two degrees from SMU — a B.B.A. degree in finance in 1972 and an M.B.A. in 1973. As an undergraduate, he was a three-year letterman on the varsity basketball team and a member of the 1971-72 Southwest Conference Co-Championship team. Miller received the Distinguished Alumni Award of the Cox School of Business in 2000, and he currently serves on the Executive Board of the Cox School. He also is a member of the University’s Trustee Committee on Athletics and previously served as president of the Mustang Club.