Richard Ware is co-chair of The Second Century Campaign Steering Committee for Campus and Student Life, served for two terms on SMU’s Board of Trustees and has been a member of many University boards and committees for three decades. He also was a leading member of Circle of Champions, a group working under the direction of the University who helped recruit a nationally known coach and provided other support for SMU’s football program. His children, Anne Clayton Ware ’97, ’01, Patrick O’Neill Ware ’01, ’07 and William James Ware ’01 are also graduates of SMU.

Campaign Update: Why do you believe campus and student life is such an integral part of the SMU educational experience?

Ware: You need both the academic training and the lessons you learn outside the classroom to be successful. The things that you learn as a member of a fraternity, the marketing skills you learn when encouraging other students to join an organization, these are the kinds of things you need to manage a business and become a leader.

CU: Why is SMU-in-Taos important to you?

Ware: The learning that goes on in the mountains is incredible. It’s a great place to get closer to nature and to study subjects such as anthropology and archaeology. The spirit that develops up there is unbelievable. And we’re so fortunate to have the Taos Cultural Institute from the standpoint of an alumni connection.

CU: What do you believe is the impact of the football team’s success on the University?

Ware: The Mustangs’ success helps focus attention on what’s happening on the SMU campus. It gives our academic programs more credibility. It increases interest in other SMU varsity teams. And our graduates, I believe, will get better jobs, as everybody thinks SMU is really the top university around.

CU: What do you believe SMU will be like in 100 years?

Ware: It will be a place that offers the world’s best education and also gives students the best social skills. But the experience of my sons and daughter also gives me hope that SMU will still be fundamentally the same. I think people will still feel, as we did, that being on the SMU campus has made you better than you were before.