A gift from SMU Trustee Sarah Fullinwider Perot ’83 and former Trustee Ross Perot, Jr., in conjunction with a gift from Jerome M. “Jerry” Fullinwider ’51 and Leah Fullinwider, has established the first endowed centennial chair commemorating the anniversary of SMU’s founding and opening.
The contribution creates the Jerome M. Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom – in honor of Mrs. Perot’s father – in the William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom in Cox School of Business.
“This gift supports one of the top priorities of SMU’s Second Century Campaign and the University’s strategic plan – increasing the number of faculty positions that are endowed,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
“We are deeply grateful for the generosity and foresight of the Perot and Fullinwider families for leading the way in establishing this centennial chair.”
The Board of Trustees has established new centennial endowments for faculty positions and scholarships created during the University’s centennial commemoration period, from January 1, 2011, through December 31, 2015. These giving opportunities provide permanent funding as well as operational funds to initiate the position or scholarship on an expedited basis.
The gift supports SMU’s goal to increase the number of endowed faculty positions to 100. Thus far, The Second Century Campaign has made possible an increase from 62 such positions to 83, leaving 17 to reach the goal of 100. “My father has pursued his interest in free enterprise and expansion of global business relationships throughout his business career,” said Sarah Perot.
“When he told us of his commitment to the O’Neil Center at SMU’s Cox School of Business, Ross and I decided that an endowed faculty chair in his name would be a fitting way for us to recognize his achievements and to ensure the permanence of his interest long into the future.”
The combined total of both gifts was $2 million for the centennial chair.
Mrs. Perot also serves as co-chair of The Second Century Campaign Steering Committee for Meadows School of the Arts.
“The SMU family is indeed grateful for the vision shown by the Perots and Fullinwiders in creating this first endowed centennial chair,” said Brad E. Cheves, vice president for Development and External Affairs.
“This gift demonstrates how the University’s centennial can provide historic opportunities for donors to support SMU’s academic priorities and honor those who are important in their lives. We hope that many other donors will choose to do the same.”