As SMU continues its commemoration of the Year of the Faculty, three new gifts for endowed faculty positions have brought the total number of such positions at SMU to 102 en route to achieving a goal of 110.
A gift of $2.5 million, made through the Texas Methodist Foundation, will establish the Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology. A $1.5 million gift from business leader and SMU alumnus Jack D. Knox ’60, ’63 will establish the Jack Knox Chair in the Rights and Protection of Children in Dedman School of Law. And a gift of $1 million from two SMU alumni will establish the Janet and Craig Duchossois Professor in Management and Organization in Cox School of Business.
“Increasing the number of endowed faculty positions at SMU is a major goal of The Second Century Campaign,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful to all of the donors who have helped us by supporting this goal.”
During Homecoming Weekend, SMU hosted a historic gathering of donors whose gifts have provided endowed faculty positions since the University’s founding, and the faculty who currently hold those positions. The luncheon – part of SMU’s celebration of the Year of the Faculty – was held November 14.
“Donors of endowed chairs help SMU to attract and retain outstanding faculty who bring with them active research programs as well as a dedication to teaching,” said Paul W. Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Interacting with other distinguished faculty, they enable us to build a community of scholar-teachers who inspire our students and one another.”
The new theology chair honors Susanna Wesley, frequently referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” The special “Centennial” designation denotes an endowment that also includes operational funds to provide immediate impact while the endowment matures.
“The discipline of practical theology helps students reflect on and formulate conclusions about the various fields of theological inquiry as they relate to one’s practice of ministry,” said Perkins School Dean William B. Lawrence. “Perkins School of Theology graduates are facing an ever-changing world of ministry opportunities. Helping students think theologically in ministry settings is essential for successful pastors and Christian workers.”
The endowed professorship in Dedman Law will support teaching, researching and publishing on legal issues related to protecting the welfare and legal rights of children.
“Jack Knox’s gift will enable the law school to further its teaching and scholarship on children’s rights,” said SMU Judge James Noel Dean and Professor of Law Jennifer M. Collins. “Endowment gifts like this provide critical support for our commitment to excellence in the classroom and continued cutting-edge, impactful work by our faculty.”
The new Duchossois Professor in Management and Organization will strengthen the Cox School in an area of increasing importance to corporations and other types of institutions.
“The Department of Management and Organizations in the Cox School offers students tools to succeed in a globally competitive environment,” said Cox Dean Albert W. Niemi. “The increased faculty strength provided by this new professorship will enable more students to develop skills that help prepare them for future leadership in the business world.”