(L-R) SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Budd Center Executive Director Regina Nippert; Russell Budd; Dorothy Budd ’06, holding a crystal apple presented to the Budds in recognition of their gift; Simmons School Dean David J. Chard; SMU Board Chair Caren H. Prothro; and SMU Provost Paul W. Ludden.

(L-R) SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Budd Center Executive Director Regina Nippert; Russell Budd; Dorothy Budd ’06, holding a crystal apple presented to the Budds in recognition of their gift; Simmons School Dean David J. Chard; SMU Board Chair Caren H. Prothro; and SMU Provost Paul W. Ludden.

A $2.5 million gift from Russell Budd and Dorothy Budd ’06 will endow the newly named Budd Center: Involving Communities in Education in Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

The Budd Center will focus on a strategic and holistic approach to fighting poverty by transforming education, centering on West Dallas as a model that can eventually be utilized by other urban areas. The Center, in partnership with other areas of SMU, numerous nonprofits and DISD, will help families succeed by recognizing, assisting with and tracking success in overcoming myriad issues that afflict struggling communities such as healthcare, education, legal services, safety and nutrition.

The Budd Center is the backbone organization for The School Zone, which supports collaboration between 16 West Dallas public schools and 29 nonprofit agencies.

“The Budd Center is a radical concept that looks at every factor that influences success – and ultimately helps communities improve their lives, their schools and their children’s futures,” said Russell Budd.