Economic impact report shows SMU’s influence in DFW region

Cover of 'Dallas and SMU: The Power of Partnership;To commemorate the anniversary of its founding 100 years ago with the support of Dallas, SMU has prepared a report detailing the impact of the University on the city as a return on investment.

Titled “Dallas and SMU: The Power of Partnership” (smu.edu/impact), the report was summarized by SMU President R. Gerald Turner at a presentation Tuesday, April 17, at the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

Attendees included nearly 400 area business and civic leaders. Richard Fisher, president and CEO of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, made welcoming remarks. In addition, the event included remarks by SMU Board Chair Caren Prothro and trustees Carl Sewell, Ray L. Hunt, and Michael Boone, vice chair of the SMU Board and chair of the Community Relations Committee of SMU’s Centennial commemoration, which will culminate in 2015, the centennial of the University’s opening.

Information in the report ranges from the regional economic impact of SMU to changes in the student profile, along with research, cultural resources, public service and integration of community service into coursework.

“As part of our Centennial commemoration, we felt it was important to evaluate and highlight the return on investment Dallas has received by supporting the establishment of SMU 100 years ago,” said President Turner. “We hope the report provides a meaningful snapshot of our contributions, measured not only in financial terms but also in intellectual capital. Our goal is to continue to give back to the region that has helped to make SMU a national university worthy of this great city. We celebrate this productive partnership.”

The economic impact section of the report was prepared by Bernard Weinstein, associate director of the Maguire Energy Institute in SMU’s Cox School of Business and an adjunct professor of business economics, and Terry Clower, director of the Center for Economic Development and Research at the University of North Texas. Highlights of their findings include the following:

  • Impact of $861 million for the 2010-11 academic year from expenditures for the University’s operations and capital projects; spending by students, parents and visitors drawn to the region because of the University; and SMU expenditures for student scholarships. This impact supports a total of 6,300 jobs annually in the community. In addition, SMU directly employs 2,200 faculty and staff.
  • A total impact of $7 billion, including the above and expenditures by SMU’s 40,000 alumni in the DFW region.
  • Over a 20-year period, from 1995 through 2015, an impact of $2.2 billion resulting from capital projects in fulfillment of SMU’s master plan, including more than 40 new or renovated SMU buildings and facilities constructed thus far since 1995.
  • University resources valued at $4 billion, including an endowment of $1.2 billion, in addition to real estate, buildings and equipment; art and special collections; and other assets.

> Learn more from SMU News
> Download a summary of the report (PDF format)
> Read the full report online at smu.edu/impact

About Kathleen Tibbetts

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