Less than two years since the launch of its public phase, The Second Century Campaign is having a profound effect on every aspect of the University, including faculty and academic excellence, one of the campaign’s three overarching priorities. New endowments for schools, departments, faculty positions and academic programs are enhancing SMU’s ability to support teaching and research that prepares students to meet the most pressing challenges facing the nation and the world.

The campaign has been successful in naming two schools: the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, which is at the forefront of efforts to reform American education; and the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering, which has pioneered a new model for training engineers as leaders and strategic thinkers prepared to take on society’s toughest problems. The campaign has also made possible the naming of the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences in Dedman College. The department’s many research initiatives range from the mapping of U.S. geothermal resources to analyzing the causes and effects of earthquakes.

Endowments creating new institutes or academic centers enable SMU to focus on specialized areas of inquiry. Thus far, the campaign has provided permanent endowments for four such institutes or  centers. They include:

  • Caruth Institute for Engineering Education (Lyle School of Engineering)
  • Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity (Lyle School)
  • EnCap Investments and LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center (Cox School of Business)
  • Center for Financial Studies (Cox School)

Endowed faculty positions strengthen and expand academic offerings and support the creation of new knowledge through research. Thus far in the campaign SMU has established 17 new faculty position endowments, leaving 21 positions still to be endowed to reach the University’s goal of 100. A brief list of examples demonstrates the academic range of these positions:

  • Wendland-Cook Professorship in Constructive Theology (Perkins School of Theology)
  • Laurence and Catherine Perrine Endowed Chair in English (Dedman College)
  • Fabacher Endowed Professor of Alternative Asset Management (Cox School of Business)
  • Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law (Dedman School of Law)
  • Distinguished Chair in Art History (Meadows School of the Arts)
  • Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education (Lyle School of Engineering)

The Second Century Campaign also is supporting creation of Centers of Excellence in which one or more donors provide blended investment for endowed faculty positions, research endowments and graduate fellowships within targeted departments. This approach follows the model of the C. Vincent Prothro Biological Sciences Initiative, which played a central role in enhancing Dedman College’s Biology Department.

Finally, a great university requires state-of-the-art facilities, classrooms and equipment to support learning and research. Thus far, the campaign has made possible the construction or renovation of six academic facilities, including:

  • Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall (Perkins School of Theology)
  • Caruth Hall (Lyle School of Engineering)
  • Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall (Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development)
  • Selecman Hall (Perkins School)
  • Kirby Hall (Perkins School)
  • Johnson Piano Practice Rooms (Meadows School of the Arts)

Future issues of Campaign Update will feature reports about the campaign’s impact on student quality and the campus experience. The Second Century Campaign is enabling SMU to grow in academic excellence today and laying the foundation for an unbridled future.

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