$1 million gift funds Shepherd Atrium in Caruth Hall

Caruth Hall's Shepherd AtriumA $1 million gift from Mary Alice Shepherd and on behalf of her late husband, Texas Instruments pioneer Mark Shepherd Jr. (’42), provides a major component of the new Caruth Hall in SMU’s Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering.

The Mary Alice and Mark Shepherd Jr. Atrium is a defining interior feature for Caruth Hall. At 94 feet tall, the atrium will serve as both architectural focal point and a source of energy-saving sunlight for the building’s top three floors. The 64,000-square-foot building, constructed to LEED green design standards, was dedicated April 16, 2010, during an all-campus ceremony.

Mark Shepherd, who died in February 2009 at age 86, led Texas Instruments as it developed a global manufacturing market for semiconductors and consumer electronics. He began in 1948 as a project engineer for the company that would become Texas Instruments. By 1953 he was TI’s chief engineer, and by 1962 Life magazine had named him one of the 100 most important young people in the nation. In his more than 40 years at TI, he served in a variety of leadership roles. He was head of the semiconductor team in 1958 when Jack S. Kilby invented the integrated circuit there. Shepherd became TI’s president in 1967, CEO in 1969 and retired in 1988 as company chairman.

An SMU graduate with a B.S. degree in electrical engineering, Shepherd spent two of his busiest professional decades as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees. He received the Distinguished Alumni Award in 1987 and was named to the Lyle School’s Hall of Leaders in 2003.

“Mark Shepherd gave SMU invaluable guidance over the years, while at the same time helping to bring Dallas to prominence as a center for global trade through his inspired leadership at Texas Instruments,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Thanks to Mary Alice, Mark’s impact on SMU and engineering education will continue through Caruth Hall’s unique venue for creative collaboration.”

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