Resources support students, academic quality and campus life

On September 24 SMU announced that The Second Century Campaign had reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule, raising unprecedented funding for scholarships, academic positions and programs, facilities and other enhancements to campus life.

The campaign announcement was made at a gathering of volunteers, donors, alumni, civic leaders and other members of the campus and Dallas communities. The event in McFarlin Auditorium was the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening on September 24, 1915 – and a rally for its future. The centennial was celebrated during a weekend of Homecoming and other special events.

“This is a doubly historic day for us,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening, we are pleased to announce unprecedented new support for our future. Our founders were forward-looking leaders, and they’d be pleased to see that today’s supporters are generously investing in our achievement. These donors are truly the founders of our second century.”

SMU officials and members of The Second Century Campaign Leadership Council gather for the announcement that the campaign reached its goal early. (L-R) Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs; Richard Ware ’68; Gene C. Jones; Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48, Co-chair; Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99; R. Gerald Turner, SMU president; Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84; Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69, Convening Co-chair; Caren H. Prothro, Co-chair; Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67, Co-chair; Bobby B. Lyle, ’67; Carl Sewell ’66, Co-chair.

SMU officials and members of The Second Century Campaign Leadership Council gather for the announcement that the campaign reached its goal early. (L-R) Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs; Richard Ware ’68; Gene C. Jones; Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48, Co-chair; Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99; R. Gerald Turner, SMU president; Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84; Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69, Convening Co-chair; Caren H. Prothro, Co-chair; Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67, Co-chair; Bobby B. Lyle, ’67; Carl Sewell ’66, Co-chair.

SMU joins a group of 34 private universities nationwide that have undertaken campaigns to raise $1 billion or more. The institutions range from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame to Emory and Vanderbilt universities.

“Absolutely essential to our success has been the leadership of our co-chairs and the entire Board of Trustees,” said Brad E. Cheves, vice president for Development and External Affairs. “As they have met with campaign volunteers, they have galvanized a new level of enthusiasm and optimism. Especially among alumni, there not only is great appreciation for the University they experienced, but also solidarity behind a shared vision of what it can be.”

Funded Advancements

The campaign has raised support for 582 new student scholarships; 49 new endowed faculty positions, now reaching a total of 111; 66 academic programs and initiatives; and 18 substantially funded capital projects, including new facilities for academic programs, student housing and athletics. Other gifts for campus enhancements support expanded career services and leadership programs.

Among academic programs, campaign resources have endowed the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering and SMU’s newest and seventh degree-granting school – the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

New campaign-funded facilities include buildings for the Simmons School of Education and Human Development, Perkins School of Theology and Lyle School of Engineering, as well as a new Mustang Band Hall, new tennis center and renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum for athletics and academic ceremonies. Under construction are the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center and Fondren Library Center renovation; upcoming construction projects include the Gerald J. Ford Research Center and an aquatics center.

At SMU-in-Taos, new facilities include a campus center, new or renovated housing and a chapel.

Among the most visible campaign projects is the addition of five new residence halls and dining center as part of SMU’s new Residential Commons system, including on-site classes and Faculty in Residence. Six other halls have been renovated as Commons, enabling all first- and second-year students to live on campus.

The 582 scholarships created include support for undergraduates and graduate students in all seven schools of the University. Among them are Cox M.B.A. scholarships for veterans and active military students and additional scholarships for transfer students. New support also is being provided for the Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt Leadership Scholars and the SMU President’s Scholars.

New academic centers reflect increasingly important fields requiring interdisciplinary approaches. These include the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation in Dedman School of Law; the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute and the Embrey Human Rights Program, both in Dedman College; and the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security in the Lyle School of Engineering, which is collaborating with academic areas throughout the University. New endowed professorships address these areas as well as topics such as global entrepreneurship, art history, education, engineering innovation, economic freedom and Methodist history.

The largest single gift to the campaign was $45 million made in March 2015 by The Meadows Foundation to support the Meadows Museum and the Meadows School of the Arts. The gift also was the largest ever given by The Meadows Foundation, and it came during the 50th anniversary year of the Museum.

Construction funded by the campaign is a major contributor to the Dallas economy. Since 2011, SMU has spent $390 million on renovation and construction projects. These are employing about 270 service providers, including architects, engineers, contractors and suppliers.

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