Volunteers to Gather October 25

On October 25, during Homecoming weekend, Second Century Campaign volunteers will gather on campus to celebrate and experience the impact of the campaign. This gathering will be a rallying moment, re-energizing and refocusing our efforts on the goals and initiatives that will lead the University boldly into its second century.

The Second Century Campaign has been energized this spring semester by many regional and national SMU activities, a special Founders’ Day celebration and the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. The series of events elevated the University’s international visibility through television, web and print media coverage, and the attendance of more than 10,000 guests on campus.

The energy was carried into the May 9 meeting of the Campaign Executive Committee (CEC) when the volunteer leaders reviewed the remarkable progress of The Second Century Campaign to date. President R. Gerald Turner announced that total commitments to the campaign had reached $732.5 million, en route to the campaign goal of $750 million.

TOP (L-R) Ray L. Hunt ‘65, Second Century Campaign co-chair; Gerald J. Ford ‘66, ‘69, Second Century Campaign convening co-chair; R. Gerald Turner, SMU president; and Caren H. Prothro, SMU board chair and Second Century Campaign co-chair.

TOP (L-R) Ray L. Hunt ‘65, Second Century Campaign co-chair; Gerald J. Ford ‘66, ‘69, Second Century Campaign convening co-chair; R. Gerald Turner, SMU president; and Caren H. Prothro, SMU board chair and Second Century Campaign co-chair.

The meeting featured a series of reports from regional, school and unit Campaign Steering Committees showing dramatic results, highlighting successes and outlining key objectives for the next phase of the campaign, which will conclude on December 31, 2015. While announcing their focus to increase the number of major gifts from the regions and broaden annual alumni giving to 30 percent each and every year, many of the regional committee co-chairs also expressed their pride in the news coverage on the Bush Center opening that SMU received in their local communities.

Campaign Convening Co-chair Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 praised the volunteers for the extraordinary results. “We are achieving great things at SMU, largely because of you and your peers – your generosity, your hard work and your willingness to share the SMU story,” Ford said.

Committees identified remaining strategic priorities for this campaign that will elevate the SMU experience for our students, faculty, alumni, parents and broader community, and strengthen the foundation for the future. An initial tally of the ideas proposed at the meeting include:

  • Creating at least 18 new endowed faculty positions
  • Generating an additional $30 million or more in scholarship support
  • Securing more than $16 million to support 14 existing and new academic programs, centers and institutes
  • Completing funding for nine facilities currently under construction or renovation

Due to the overwhelming success to date, and even on the cusp of achieving the campaign’s initial financial and participation goals, the campaign co-chairs and leadership rededicated themselves to the continuation of the campaign. “There is too much progress and too much opportunity to rest on our laurels at this critical point in SMU’s future,” noted Caren H. Prothro, campaign co-chair and chair of the SMU Board of Trustees.

This summer the committees and staff will finalize the goals for the final phase of the campaign and recruit additional volunteers to help SMU achieve these strategic priorities by the campaign’s end. This planning and recruitment effort will culminate during Homecoming weekend, when Second Century Campaign volunteers will gather on campus to celebrate and experience the impact of the campaign and to learn more about the remaining priorities for a successful campaign conclusion in December 2015.

In addition to highlighting priorities for the remaining months of the campaign, SMU will release a new Campaign Impact Report, chronicling the extraordinary impact of the campaign on the University thus far and outlining future plans.

This series of activities, in conjunction with the many other activities of Homecoming weekend, will be a rallying moment, re-energizing and refocusing our efforts on the goals and initiatives that will lead the University boldly into its second century.

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