Events draw more than 1,500 alumni and friends
SMU celebrated its second annual Founders’ Day Weekend April 20-21 with activities highlighting The Second Century Celebration and The Second Century Campaign. More than 1,500 alumni and friends participated in one or more events during the week.
Leading up to the weekend, on Thursday SMU celebrated the impact of women at the University with “Telling Our Story: 100 Years of Women at SMU.” The gathering featured a panel discussion and honored alumni and members of current women’s campus groups.
On Friday SMU hosted a number of events highlighting campaign projects and donors. At the Parent Leadership Council annual spring meeting, parent donors received a briefing on campus activities from Provost Paul W. Ludden and Brad E. Cheves, vice president for Development and External Affairs. And the Alumni Board, which sponsors many of the Founders’ Day Weekend events, met to review its program and fundraising plans.
A midday “Centennial Celebration” commemorated the kickoff of the next phase of campus development chartered in the 1995 Centennial Master Plan. As part of the gathering, SMU broke ground on several new projects, including the new Residential Commons Complex, new tennis complex and new band hall. The University also looked ahead to the future renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum and the renovations of Fondren Library Center and the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center.
The event concluded with the dedication of the Centennial Cornerstone. Written tributes were collected for placement in the cornerstone and ultimate unveiling at SMU’s sesquicentennial in 2065, following the tradition that began with the laying of Dallas Hall’s cornerstone in 1912.
The day continued with Inside SMU, the University’s way of providing alumni and donors with exposure to SMU faculty through informal courses. SMU’s most generous annual donors were welcomed at the President’s Associates afternoon reception. Following the reception, President R. Gerald Turner gave the annual President’s Briefing outlining SMU’s progress during the previous year.
Students celebrated Founders’ Day with a movie night on the main quadrangle, attended by campus neighbors.
A priority of the campaign is encouraging alumni giving participation, and reunions provide essential support for that effort. On Saturday, SMU again hosted its Golden Mustang reunion, this year for graduates of 1961 and earlier. The event featured a morning breakfast followed by campus tours. The weekend concluded with a Family Day at the Meadows Museum that included children’s activities and was attended by more than 750 people.