One hundred and fifty-five national titles, 91 Olympic appearances, 20 Olympic medals, 6 NCAA Swimmer or Diver of the Year awards. And soon, a new home.

Building on a legacy of proud Olympians, world records and national titles, SMU broke ground on the Robson-Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium on February 26.

The 42,000-square-foot center will be home to SMU’s internationally recognized men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. Located on the University’s growing east campus, the center will provide facilities for practice, competition and community use.

George “Coach Mac” McMillion ‘55 is recognized by the audience at the groundbreaking for the Robson-Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium.

George “Coach Mac” McMillion ‘55 is recognized by the audience at the groundbreaking for the Robson-Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium.

“SMU swimmers and divers have a legendary record of success, both in the pool and in the classroom,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The facilities at the aquatics center will help student-athletes continue the Mustang swimming legacy and enable fans to enjoy the highest levels of competition at a premier venue. Today’s groundbreaking demonstrates SMU’s commitment to supporting students in their quests for excellence.”

The aquatics center will feature an Olympic-sized, eight-lane indoor pool with a platform diving well, including four springboards and a 10-meter tower for training and competition. Spectator seating for 800 will be on the mezzanine level. Coaches’ offices, men’s, women’s and visitor locker rooms and a classroom and meeting area will be located adjacent to the pool.

The center also will be available for community use and swimming lessons.

Lead donors to the Robson-Lindley Aquatics Center include Shelli and Steve Lindley ’74 and the Willard M. and Ruth Mayer Johnson Charitable Foundation, the J.E. and L.E. Mabee Foundation, Emily and Bruce Robson ’74, Hannah and Joe Robson ’76, and Susan Cooper Wilson ’67 and Robert A. Wilson ’67.

The name of the natatorium honors two legendary head coaches: A.R. “Red” Barr and George “Coach Mac” McMillion ’55, who led the Mustangs to 25 Southwest Conference championships.

A permanent exhibit in the aquatics center will honor former swimmers, divers and coaches who have built the strong reputation of SMU’s program.

“SMU swimmers and coaches achieved great success in Perkins Natatorium, but they have long dreamed of a new aquatics center,” said Rick Hart, SMU director of athletics. “The promise of these superb new facilities will strengthen the future of the swimming and diving program and honor the legacy of the student-athletes and coaches who created the SMU swimming powerhouse.”

Fundraising for the Robson-Lindley Aquatics Center continues. To make a gift, please contact Kurt Pottkotter at kpottkotter@smu.edu or 214-768-3639.

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