New gift establishes first Endowed Centennial Chair at SMU

Ross Perot Jr. and Sarah Fullinwider Perot with Jerome FullinwiderA new gift from Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. of Dallas will establish the Jerome M. Fullinwider Endowed Centennial Chair in Economic Freedom, named in honor of Mrs. Perot’s father. The chair-holder will join the faculty in the William J. O’Neil Center for Global Markets and Freedom in SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The gift makes history for the University as its first endowed centennial chair, part of a new category of gifts to commemorate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s founding and opening. A position designated as “centennial” must meet elevated giving levels, be a combination of endowment funding and five years of annual support, and be created during the centennial celebration period – Jan. 1, 2011, through Dec. 31, 2015.

“This gift supports one of the top priorities of SMU’s Second Century Campaign and the University’s strategic plan – increasing the number of faculty positions that are endowed,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “When this campaign began, SMU had 62 endowed faculty positions. Our goal is to increase that number to 100. With other endowed chairs and professorships established during the campaign, this new commitment brings us to 83. We are deeply grateful for the generosity and foresight of the Perot and Fullinwider families for leading the way in establishing this centennial chair.”

The gift for the Fullinwider chair counts toward SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which at midpoint has raised more than $500 million to advance student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Jerome “Jerry” M. Fullinwider received a B.B.A. degree from SMU in 1951 and is a 1953 graduate of the U.S. Naval School of Justice in Newport, Rhode Island. Following graduation, he served with the U.S. Navy in Korea and China.

“My father has pursued his interest in free enterprise and expansion of global business relationships throughout his business career,” Sarah Perot said. “When he told us of his commitment to the O’Neil Center, Ross and I decided that an endowed faculty chair in his name would be a fitting way for us to recognize his achievements and to ensure the permanence of his interest long into the future.” The Perots added to his commitment to provide a total gift of $2 million for the centennial chair.

Above, Ross Perot Jr. and Sarah Fullinwider Perot with Jerome M. Fullinwider (right).

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