The Second Century Campaign took a major step forward with the announcement of a $20 million contribution from the Moody Foundation, one of the largest gifts in SMU’s history, to support an extensive expansion and renovation of the iconic Moody Coliseum.
The gift provides one half of the $40 million financing necessary for the renovation. An additional $10 million was contributed by David B. Miller ’72, ’73 and Carolyn Lacy Miller. (See story on page 3.)
The April 20 announcement ceremony took place against the backdrop of the coliseum, with banners of SMU athletes and graduates enlivening the building’s façade. A stream of confetti rained down upon the guests in attendance, including members of the Moody family, as the ceremony concluded.
“Moody Coliseum has long been a signature space for the University and the city,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “With this generous gift from the Moody Foundation, the coliseum will be ready for the future.”
The coliseum, a campus and Dallas landmark, is home to men’s and women’s basketball and women’s volleyball teams, the pageantry of SMU Commencement as well as numerous speaking and community events, such as concerts and high school graduations.
The project will feature new premium seating as well as courtside retractable seating designated for students and renovation of the entry lobby and concourses. Technology improvements will include new video boards, scoreboards, sound system, broadcast capabilities and heating and cooling systems. In addition, office suites, restrooms and locker rooms will be upgraded.
Project planning and design will begin immediately. The construction start date has not yet been determined.
Known as SMU Coliseum when it opened in 1956, the building was renamed Moody Coliseum in 1965 in recognition of a gift from the Moody Foundation. William L. Moody, Jr., and his wife, Libbie Rice Shearn Moody, established the Moody Foundation in 1942 to benefit present and future Texans.
SMU and the Moody Foundation have enjoyed a long partnership, including the Foundation’s support of facility improvements to Fondren Science Building and Moody Coliseum.
“The Foundation is delighted to be continuing its special relationship with SMU,” said Frances Anne Moody-Dahlberg ’92. “We are especially pleased to be part of the University’s new vision for Moody Coliseum.”
The renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum will revitalize the historic venue as a preeminent collegiate sports arena and multipurpose event facility, preserving its historical character while adding the most modern technological enhancements. Efforts are currently under way to raise the remaining $10 million needed to complete the project. For additional information, please contact Tim Leonard at 214-768-4465 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
“We gathered to celebrate the 100-year anniversary of SMU’s founding on April 15,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “It is especially gratifying at this special time to receive this significant gift from a family with a strong legacy of support for SMU.”
Moody Coliseum has long hosted special events, including heart-stopping basketball moments. In its inaugural year, fans packed the 9,000-seat coliseum to cheer the Mustang men’s basketball team to the Southwest Conference Championship and NCAA postseason competition.
Four U.S. presidents have spoken at Moody Coliseum, including Richard Nixon, Gerald Ford, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush. Poet T.S. Eliot also spoke to audiences there.