Southern Methodist University Presidents and their Achievements
The Presidency is not merely an administrative office. That’s the least of it. It is more than an engineering job, efficient or inefficient. It is pre-eminently a place of moral leadership.
-Franklin D. Roosevelt, 1932
Southern Methodist University has elected only 10 men as President of the University in its 98 year history. Whether they were scholars or men of the cloth, engineers or managers, each one led this institution using his talents and strengths during times of change. These men helped our university grow from a small school on the prairie to a leading research and teaching institution of the Southwest
Below is the list of Southern Methodist University Presidents. If you click on the links embedded in the name, this will transfer you to finding aids or descriptions of their manuscript collections, which include biographies. The manuscript collections are available in the Southern Methodist University Archives in the DeGolyer Library.
Special thanks to Allison Osborn for scanning and prepping images, Joel Eatmon, for his patience and wise counsel on this and other exhibits, John Milazzo, the new Chairman of the CUL Exhibits committee, Jorge Cruz and Tyeson Seale for web and technical assistance, and the ten SMU presidents for their vision and service to this Campus.
- Dr. Robert S. Hyer, 1911-1920
- Bishop Hiram Abiff Boaz, 1920-1922
- Dr. Charles C. Selecman, 1923-1938
- Dr. Umphrey Lee, 1939-1954
- Willis Tate, 1954-1972, and 1974-1975
- Dr. Paul Hardin, 1972-1974
- Dr. James H. Zumberge, 1975-1980
- Dr. L. Donald Shields, 1980-1986
- Dr. A. Kenneth Pye, 1987-1994
- Dr. R. Gerald Turner, 1995-
Exhibit on display at Fondren Library Center Lobby, winter 2009
About Fondren Exhibits
The Fondren Exhibits Committee is charged with providing educational exhibits for the SMU community that showcase special events, academic areas and individuals associated with the SMU campus.