alumni news

SMU names new members, officers of Board of Trustees

Three new officers and three new trustees were named to SMU’s Board of Trustees during the board’s spring meeting May 4, 2018. The Board also passed a resolution to honor two former members as trustees emeriti.

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 has been elected as chair, David B. Miller ’72, ’73 was elected as vice-chair, and Kelly Hoglund Compton ’79 was elected as secretary. Officers are elected for one-year terms and are eligible for re-election up to four consecutive terms in any respective office.

The new officers will begin their one-year terms on June 1, 2018, and preside over the Sept. 14, 2018 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

“It’s a great honor to serve as chair of the SMU Board of Trustees,” Dedman said. “As both SMU and Dallas grow in stature and importance, the board is ready to guide the continued quest of the University to become one of the nation’s finest comprehensive research universities and a home of world-changing research, student development and community impact. ”

New trustee Bradley W. Brookshire ’76 will fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime SMU trustee Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48. The Board’s new ex officio faculty representative is Faculty Senate President Dayna Oscherwitz, French area chair in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Ben Manthey ’09, ’19 will serve as ex officio student trustee.

Concluding their board service are Paul Krueger, past-president of the SMU Faculty Senate and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and student trustee Andrew B. Udofa ’18.

The SMU Board of Trustees also passed a resolution naming Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99 and Alan D. Feld ’57, ’60 as trustees emeriti. They are the first former University trustees to receive that designation since Milledge A. Hart, III, became SMU’s ninth trustee emeritus in 2013. For extraordinary service and leadership, former members of the SMU Board may be named emeritus members. With the addition of these two former trustees, only 11 individuals have been named trustees emeriti in the history of the University.

“I am grateful to our new trustees emeriti and new Board of Trustees officers for the important wisdom and insight they bring to the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “I am also grateful to the new and current board members whose enterprising spirit will lead the charge as this vibrant community enters an exciting new era.”

The 42-member board sets policies governing the operation of SMU.

SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert honors Danny Buraczeski through April 8, 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, SMU Meadows Spring Dance Concert 2018

In the City by Danny Buraczeski, part of a seven-work tribute to the retiring SMU professor in the Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert. All photos: Paul Phillips

The SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert honors retiring jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski with a retrospective of seven of his works. The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

> SMU Forum: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski

The concert programs include the following works, to be performed on the days listed:

Program A, to be performed April 4, 5 and 7, opens with In the City (2013), based on “Three Dance Episodes” from the popular Leonard Bernstein musical On the Town. Inspired by the urban rhythms and textures of Bernstein’s music, the work features 15 dancers celebrating youth, optimism and the vibrant new energy that the Dallas Arts District has brought to the city.

It’s followed by Scene Unseen (1998), set to music by Billy Strayhorn and Duke Ellington, featuring a duet with alumni Albert Drake, a founding member of Bruce Wood Dance Project, and Adrián Aguirre, a current member of the company.

Song Awakened (2001) follows, a work set to the songs of the late Cesária Évora, a noted singer of Creole-Portuguese soul music. The work, which debuted to critical acclaim at New York’s Joyce Theater, will be performed by eight Zenon Dance Company members.

The next piece, Points on a Curve (1998), is danced to music by Ornette Coleman; The New York Times said the low-key choreography evoked the music “in often witty and thought-provoking ways.”

Program A concludes with Swing Concerto (1994), an athletic and ebullient exploration of the relationship between two musical traditions: European klezmer music and the American swing of Artie Shaw and Benny Goodman. The piece synthesizes the grounded qualities of folk dance with the exuberance of swing era movement. The Times wrote, “Swing Concerto is Mr. Buraczeski’s choreography at its most inventive, perceptive best.”

Program B, to be performed April 6 and 8, opens with the aforementioned In the City, followed by Merry Go Round (1989), set to music by Glenn Miller and the Army Air Force Band and featuring Zenon company dancers Scott Mettille and Sarah Steichen Stiles.

Next is Points on a Curve (noted above).

The final work in Program B will vary. On April 6, it will be Ezekiel’s Wheel (1999), a piece for eight dancers that was inspired by the life and work of author and civil rights activist James Baldwin. The work, exploring the themes of recognition, responsibility and redemption, will be performed by Zenon Dance Company. Commissioned when Buraczeski was artistic director of the acclaimed Minneapolis-based JAZZDANCE, Ezekiel’s Wheel was praised by The Times as “a balm for the soul in troubled times.”

On April 8, the concert program will conclude with the aforementioned Swing Concerto.

Performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff. Buy your tickets online or contact the Meadows Ticket Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Buy Meadows Spring Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy a gallery of can’t-miss photos from Swing Concerto, Points On a Curve and In the City, all by Paul Phillips.

Save the date: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski April 4-8, 2018

Danny BuraczeskiThe SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert will honor award-winning jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski, who retires in May after 13 years of teaching at SMU, with a retrospective of seven of his works.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre. On Tuesday, April 3, the Division of Dance also will host a panel discussion about Buraczeski’s choreography from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hope Theatre. The panel will include dance artists who worked with Buraczeski in his professional companies and participated in creating some of his seminal works.

“Danny Buraczeski has for years been one of the country’s leading jazz dance choreographers,” said Samuel Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “His artistry, passion and dedication to jazz music and dance have inspired both students and professional dancers for four decades. We will miss him greatly, but our dance department will continue to perform his exciting and inventive works and carry on his legacy for future generations of SMU dancers.”

“Danny is one of the most prolific and significant voices in the world of jazz dance,” said SMU Dance Chair Patty Delaney. “This retrospective allows us to experience his seminal works live and, through discussion with those who worked with him during their creation, we have the opportunity to fully appreciate the artistic contributions Danny has made to the field of dance. The SMU Dance Division is exceptionally fortunate to have had Danny on our faculty for 13 years.”

Buraczeski joined the SMU faculty in 2005 and rose to the rank of full professor. At SMU he taught classic jazz dance technique, composition and choreography and launched a national, biannual Teaching Jazz Dance Symposium, drawing educators, choreographers and dancers from around the country to SMU. He also served as artistic director for the Dance Division’s Brown Bag Concerts.  He was named Dance Educator of the Year by the Dance Council of North Texas in 2010 and Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2017. He retires as Professor Emeritus of Dance.

> Learn more about Danny Buraczeski and the Spring Dance Concert repertoire from SMU News

Bobby B. Lyle ’67 honored with SMU’s 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

Bobby B. Lyle, 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics AwardSMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility recognized entrepreneur and civic leader Bobby B. Lyle for his work as an engineer, educator, business executive, philanthropist, community leader and mentor.

Dr. Lyle received the 2018 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award during a luncheon on Thursday, March 29 at Moody Coliseum. The annual honor recognizes a community leader who personifies moral leadership and public virtue.

The founder of Lyco Energy Corporation in 1981, Lyle has been a leader in the petroleum and natural gas industry for more than 25 years, exploring throughout the United States. He was instrumental in development of the Dallas Galleria and the InterFirst Bank-Galleria and, in 2005, established Lyco Holdings, Incorporated, a private investment firm.

He has received Lifetime Achievement Awards from the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Dallas, Volunteer Now, and the Dallas Historical Society. Lyle has been recognized with the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award from Methodist Health System, inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame by Jr. Achievement, and presented the William Booth Award by the Salvation Army for contributions to the betterment of humanity.

Dr. Lyle has served as an SMU trustee for 30 years, and the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering was named in his honor in 2008. In addition, he served as Cox School of Business dean ad interim from 1971-73 and executive dean from 1973-75. He has endowed four academic chairs at SMU, supporting outstanding faculty in cyber security, engineering innovation, engineering entrepreneurship, and leadership and global enterprise.

Lyle is a past president of the SMU Alumni Association. He has served on the Executive Boards of the School of Engineering and the Cox School of Business, and as a trustee of the Institute for the Study of Earth and Man in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He is vice chair of the Maguire Energy Institute in the Cox School and of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. He is co-founder and current chair of the Associates Board in the Cox School and serves on the board of the SMU Hart Global Leaders Forum. He received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and in 2006 was named to the School of Engineering Hall of Leaders.

His other civic activities have included leadership roles in the Boy Scouts of America, the Communities Foundation of Texas, the Volunteer Center of North Texas, the National and Dallas Advisory Boards of The Salvation Army, Texas Business Hall of Fame Foundation, Texas Trees Foundation, Center for Nonprofit Management, Trinity Trust Foundation, Kindness Foundation and Dallas Assembly Foundation.

Lyle graduated from Louisiana Tech University, received a graduate degree in engineering administration from SMU, and earned a doctorate from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

The J. Erik Jonsson Award is named after a co-founder and former president of Texas Instruments who, as Dallas mayor, worked tirelessly to improve the morale and image of the city in the wake of the assassination of President John F. Kennedy. The award is given to individuals who epitomize the spirit of moral leadership and public virtue.

“Mayor Jonsson was one of those people who was brilliant as a mayor, not necessarily for his solo acts, but for his ability to bring people together,” says Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

“Each of the people that we recognize in the J. Erik Jonsson Award brings people together,” Kirk adds. ”They figure that there’s a better way to do things if we take advantage of the talents and abilities and insights of everyone in our community, and then put those actions to use.”

Past recipients of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, now in its 21st year, include David O. Brown, Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Visit the SMU Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility online: smu.edu/ethics

Linda and Mitch Hart commit significant gift to SMU’s Ford Research and Innovation Building

Linda and Milledge 'Mitch' A. Hart IIIDallas business leaders Linda Wertheimer Hart ’65 and Milledge (Mitch) A. Hart, III have committed a significant gift to the Gerald J. Ford Research and Innovation Building at SMU. The new facility will house the University’s Linda and Mitch Hart eCenter, which includes SMU Guildhall, the world’s top-ranked graduate game design program. The building will be located on SMU’s main campus at the corner of McFarlin Boulevard and Airline Road.

“Thanks to the Harts’ generosity, we are one step closer to creating a world-class center for research and innovation on our campus,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are excited about the synergies we’ll derive from bringing advanced computer programs together under one roof.”

In 2000, the Harts made a generous gift to establish the Hart eCenter, currently located at SMU-in-Plano, as well as to endow the eCenter’s directorship. The Hart eCenter focuses on interdisciplinary research, education and innovation; it is the first university-wide initiative focused on interactive network technologies created at a major research university. Reporting directly to SMU’s provost, the Hart eCenter uses this freedom and flexibility to promote thought leadership at the intersections of multiple fields and disciplines.

The Hart eCenter’s most visible manifestation is SMU Guildhall. Since its founding in 2003, the program has graduated more than 700 students, who now work at more than 250 video game studios around the world. SMU Guildhall offers both a Master of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development degree and a Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in Art, Design, Production and Programming. In 2017, the Guildhall was named the world’s “No. 1 Graduate Program for Game Design” by The Princeton Review, based on a survey of 150 institutions in the United States, Canada and abroad that offer game design coursework and/or degrees.

> Visit SMU Guildhall online: guildhall.smu.edu

“SMU understands the value of interdisciplinary research in creating new knowledge and discovering new approaches to solving the world’s challenges. With a new facility dedicated to building these research collaborations, the University is stepping forward as an innovation leader,” said Linda Hart. “The growth of SMU Guildhall, both in programming and in stature, has been a source of tremendous pride for Linda and me ever since we made our first gift to establish the Hart eCenter. I look forward to seeing the exciting work this internationally recognized program will produce as it extends and expands its cutting-edge research in interactive technologies,” said Mitch Hart.

The Ford Research and Innovation Building was established with a $15 million lead gift commitment from Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 and Kelli O. Ford to construct a campus research center supporting SMU’s goal to expand advanced computing and interdisciplinary research throughout the University.

“One of SMU’s strengths is the research and other work we do at the intersection of multiple disciplines,” said Steven C. Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We plan to continue building on this strength to advance and expand our research capability.”

In addition to the Hart eCenter and SMU Guildhall, the new building will house the AT&T Center for Virtualization, which will allow researchers from across the University to conduct interdisciplinary work to address the technical, economic, social and security issues associated with virtual technologies and their applications. It also will be the home of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, established in May 2012 through a gift from the Dedman Foundation.

It is expected that the availability of the Ford Research and Innovation Building will encourage more faculty to use high-performance computing and attract greater levels of external research funding. The University’s Second Century Campaign added 54 new substantially endowed faculty positions, bringing SMU’s current total to 120, many of them senior-level scholars with active research agendas. Along with other faculty who are leading important research projects, these scholars need and expect the best facilities to support their work. In addition, high-performance computing will apply directly to the undergraduate curriculum in several disciplines.

“Linda and Mitch Hart have been visionary supporters of SMU for many years. This gift reaffirms their dedication to the University as a leader in interdisciplinary research and education,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “We are incredibly grateful for their support of excellence and innovation among our faculty and students, and for the opportunity to share these world-changing capabilities with our North Texas and global communities.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Sarah Fullinwider Perot ’83 to be honored at 25th annual ‘Meadows at the Meyerson’ concert Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Meadows Symphony Orchestra, SMU

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will present its 25th annual “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert at 8 p.m. Wednesday, March 28, 2018, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas. The event will feature works by Barber and Mahler, performed by the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra under the direction of conductor Paul Phillips. The event supports talented Meadows students through the Meadows Scholars Program.

The annual spring concert also honors a community leader. This year, the honoree is noted philanthropist and arts advocate Sarah Fullinwider Perot, and the event chair is Melissa Fetter. SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Algur H. Meadows Dean Sam Holland will provide remarks at the event.

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. A $10 discount is available for Meadows subscribers. For tickets, contact the Meadows box office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

The program will include Samuel Barber’s First Essay for Orchestra, op. 12, and Toccata Festiva, op. 36 ,for organ and orchestra. Award-winning organist Stefan Engels, Leah Young Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Music Performance at the Meadows School, will be guest soloist. The program will conclude with Gustav Mahler’s Symphony No. 1, a dynamic work incorporating sounds of nature, folk music, a funeral procession and a heroic, triumphal ending.

“Meadows at the Meyerson celebrates its 25th anniversary in 2018, and has continued to be a musical highlight of the year,” said Dean Holland. “It is an opportunity to showcase the skill and dedication of our gifted students and the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony on a world-class stage, and to raise scholarship funds for our Meadows Scholars Program. Now in its tenth year, the Meadows Scholars Program’s ever-increasing impact over the past decade can be measured by rising test scores, artistry and diversity with each incoming class. We are also thrilled this year to honor Sarah Fullinwider Perot, who works tirelessly to give, lead and advocate for arts and culture in Dallas. We are proud to claim her as a Meadows alumna.”

Event honoree Sarah Fullinwider Perot graduated from SMU in 1983 with a B.A. in journalism and broadcast film, and is currently president of the Sarah & Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation, which focuses on education, basic human need and patriotic philanthropy. She serves on the SMU Board of Trustees, as well as the executive boards of the SMU Meadows School, Dedman College and Tower Center for Political Studies.  Her service to the Dallas community includes fundraising efforts for the AT&T Performing Arts Center, Dallas Symphony and as chair of The Sweetheart Ball. She has been recognized with the TACA Silver Cup Award for her contributions to the arts in North Texas and was the recipient of the 2016 SMU Distinguished Alumni Award.

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Read the full story from SMU News

2018 SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage will travel under a new name, with a new endowment from Kelvin Beachum Jr. ’11, ’12

Kelvin Beachum Jr. on the field

New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum Jr. ’11, ’12 has made an endowment and naming gift to the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage. The SMU alumnus is a former Pilgrimage  participant.

When the 2018 Civil Rights Pilgrimage leaves SMU on Friday, March 9, it will do so with a new name and a new endowment. The Dennis Simon Endowed Civil Rights Pilgrimage has received a $100,000 endowment gift from New York Jets offensive tackle Kelvin Beachum Jr. ’11, ’12.

Beachum and his wife, Jessica, visited campus to celebrate the gift on Thursday, March 8, 2018. The gift renames the pilgrimage the Dennis Simon Endowed Civil Rights Pilgrimage in honor of the SMU political science professor who led the program from 2008 to 2015. Dr. Simon died in February 2017.

An NFL athlete since 2012, Beachum devotes his off-the-field efforts to providing opportunities for students, particularly for minority youth. Since 2012, Beachum also has supported the pilgrimage that was so meaningful to him by funding scholarships and paying for meals for participants.

“Dr. Simon’s empathy and sympathy for those who went through the civil rights era was palpable,” Beachum said. “His urgency for students to know what happened then and how it has affected our current society always resonated with me.”

> Learn more about the Dennis Simmon Endowed Civil Rights Pilgrimage from the Chaplain’s Office

Under Simon’s leadership, the trip featured stops at meaningful sites in the civil rights movement, such as Little Rock High School, the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala. and Martin Luther King, Jr.’s parsonage in Montgomery, Alabama. History came alive at each spot thanks to Simon’s friendships with original participants he called civil rights “foot soldiers,” who shared their recollections with students.

Dennis Simon, SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage

The late Dennis Simon (front row, second from right) led the SMU Civil Rights Pilgrimage from 2008 to 2016 – combining an existing Chaplain’s Office program with his own class, “The Politics and Legacies of the Civil Rights Movement.”

“We had a chance to meet members of the Little Rock 9, the African American students who integrated Little Rock High School in 1957,” Beachum remembers. “We stepped inside the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, which was bombed in 1963 by members of the Ku Klux Klan. We walked over the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, site of the 1965 Bloody Sunday march. I literally followed in the footsteps of some very important and impactful agents for change and progress, some of whom gave their life.”

— Written by Nancy George

Read the full story from SMU News

Energy industry leader Kyle D. Miller ’01 honored with SMU gifts exceeding $5 million

Kyle D. Miller

Cox Distinguished Alumnus Kyle D. Miller ’01 has been honored by a tribute gift to SMU of more than $5 million.

A consortium of donors has honored SMU alumnus and energy industry leader Kyle D. Miller ’01 with more than $5 million in contributions to his alma mater. SMU Trustee Tucker S. Bridwell ’73, ’74 led the effort to assemble tribute gifts in recognition of Miller’s success in the energy industry; Bridwell and his wife, Gina, personally contributed to the effort, along with other SMU alumni and industry colleagues.

In recognizing Miller’s expertise and accomplishment in the energy finance arena, the majority of the tribute will establish the Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Program and the Kyle D. Miller Energy Scholarship Fund in the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. Both initiatives will receive endowment and current-use funding.

The gift also will include a naming opportunity honoring Miller and his love of athletics within SMU’s planned Indoor Performance Center.

Dallas Morning News: Investors mark SMU alum’s success with $5 million gusher of donations

“It’s a fitting tribute that Kyle’s colleagues have chosen to honor him by supporting both academic and athletic programs,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Kyle was named outstanding young alumnus for the Cox School of Business in May 2015, and these contributions will help position other students to find the kind of success he has achieved in energy finance.”

“It’s a fitting tribute that Kyle’s colleagues have chosen to honor him by supporting both academic and athletic programs,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Kyle was named outstanding young alumnus for the Cox School of Business in May 2015, and these contributions will help position other students to find the kind of success he has achieved in energy finance.”

For Bridwell, the opportunity to lead the effort to honor Miller while supporting SMU students and student-athletes was a perfect combination. “Kyle’s education at SMU helped lead to his success in energy finance,” Bridwell said. “The creation of this new program, scholarship fund and the plans for the new Indoor Performance Center provided all of us a chance to help future SMU students and student-athletes succeed and aspire to great careers while honoring Kyle, his achievements so far and his passion for the Mustangs.”

“I am humbled and honored by the generosity, kindness and vision represented by this effort,” said Miller, who served as the president and CEO of Silver Hill Energy Partners, LLC and Silver Hill Energy Partners II, LLC prior to their acquisition in 2016. “I want to thank everyone who contributed to all of these initiatives that will benefit students and the broader community in the years to come.”

The Energy Management Program will be based in the Maguire Energy Institute. It will augment the school’s existing MBA Concentration in Energy Finance and will strengthen the undergraduate offering in energy to meet the rising demand for BBA graduates in the energy sector. The program will also offer the Cox School multiple opportunities in executive education. Traditional business disciplines, particularly accounting and finance positions, currently comprise 6.1 percent of the total energy workforce, and this percentage is rising. In addition, the energy sector is increasingly technology-driven, placing greater emphasis on efficiency and productivity. Both of these characteristics fit the Cox School’s expertise in financial education and its strategy to enhance technology and innovation-based curricula in its programs.

Academic management of the program will be provided by Professor Kumar Venkataraman. He will be appointed to the Cary M. Maguire Chair of Oil and Gas Management and will work closely with the Director of the Maguire Energy Institute, Bruce Bullock, to provide modern and relevant curricula.

The operational side of the program will be managed by a director whose position will be funded by the gift that establishes the program, and who also will work closely with the Maguire Chair and the Director of the Maguire Energy Institute.

The Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Scholarship Fund will provide funds for both BBA Scholars and MBA Scholarships. Scholarships continue to be a competitive factor in the recruitment of highly qualified students to both undergraduate and graduate programs. The potential to attract the most talented students – those who would excel in the Cox BBA Energy Concentration or MBA Concentration in Energy Finance and be highly sought-after by corporate and industry leaders – grows as the value of scholarships increases. This fund will elevate the student profile for the energy management program.

“This is a very exciting new program and scholarship fund that will further increase the competitiveness of SMU and the Cox School of Business,” said Cox Dean Matthew Myers. “We are delighted that both the Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Program and the Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Scholarship Fund will be endowed so that they will continue in perpetuity.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

$15 million gift to endow SMU’s Hunt Leadership Scholars Program

Hunt Scholars Group Portrait with Tate Speaker Indra Nooyi

Nancy Ann Hunt (third from left, front row) and Ray L. Hunt (fifth from left, front row) with Hunt Leadership Scholars.

A $15 million gift from the Nancy Ann Hunt Foundation (a supporting organization of the Communities Foundation of Texas) will ensure the long-term support of one of SMU’s signature scholarship programs. With this gift, Nancy Ann ’65 and Ray L. Hunt ’65 will have contributed $65 million to the University’s Hunt Leadership Scholars Program – a nationally recognized scholarship program that attracts academically gifted and exceptional service-driven student leaders from across the country.

In 1993, the Hunts  and SMU announced a vision to create an annually funded leadership program to preserve the well-rounded and entrepreneurial nature of SMU’s student body while the University grew its academic standing. They believed that an SMU education fosters, and benefits from, students who exhibit demonstrated leadership skills, intellectual ability, a spirit of entrepreneurism and a strong work ethic, combined with a desire to grow these skills and apply them in service of the community.

> Learn more about SMU’s Hunt Leadership Scholars Program: smu.edu/hunt

“SMU has benefited enormously from Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt’s historic generosity,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Today SMU receives three times the number of applicants than it did in 1993 with many now having proven leadership, entrepreneurial and academic strengths. Therefore, although the Hunts feel that the original program’s objectives have been accomplished, we were delighted when they agreed to make this significant gift that will enable the University to create an endowment to insure the long-term continuation of the Leadership Scholars program and the legacy that the Hunts have created.”

“We are grateful for the impact this program has had upon the lives of so many students, both at SMU and beyond, in terms of preserving and enhancing the entrepreneurial spirit and “Texas heritage” which Nancy Ann and I enjoyed years ago when we were both students at SMU,” said Ray L. Hunt. “We are honored that SMU wishes to sustain this program in perpetuity to meet the needs of students at SMU and the Greater Dallas community in the years to come.”

“Our intent was to create a scholarship program that would be based upon more than just strong academic credentials,” said Nancy Ann Hunt.  “We wanted to help SMU attract truly outstanding students who demonstrate a strong potential to be a leader throughout their lives; young men and women who will stand up, speak out, and make a positive difference to a broader community.  We firmly believe that Hunt Scholars represent that type of person.”

Ten million dollars of the Hunts’ gift will be placed in an endowment that will generate funds in perpetuity. The remaining $5 million will be spent over the next several years as the endowment matures, allowing time to develop additional sources of support for the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program.

— Written by Regina Moldovan

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU Guildhall students play games for good during 2017 Extra Life Game-a-Thon Dec. 2-3

Extra Life logo 2017This weekend, you can join SMU Guildhall for 24 hours of esports excitement and gaming for good – all from the comfort of your living room.

The Guildhall’s Extra Life Game-a-Thon returns Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, 2017, to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network. The student-led event features online battles in both popular titles and new student-designed games, and the event will be streamed from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. both days on the SMU Guildhall Twitch channel.

Watch Extra Life 2017 live at Twitch.TV/SMUGuildhall

Guildhall graduate students have raised more than $12,000 for Children’s Medical Center Plano during their two years of Extra Life competition. The team has set a 2017 goal of $7,500, with The Hersh Foundation pledging to match dollar-for-dollar all funds raised up to $10,000. The Dallas-based foundation was created in 1997 by Kenneth A. Hersh, president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and his wife, Julie, who serves as its president.

> Visit Team SMU Guildhall’s Extra Life direct-donation link

The students will return with some of the most popular competition titles, including Mario Party, Rocket League Tournament and Overwatch. New this year: Mowin’ and Throwin’, a full-length game designed by Guildhall alumni that began as a 24-hour design challenge during last year’s game-a-thon.

> Sign up for a Mowin’ and Throwin’ play test at House Pixel Games

A partial list of this year’s tournament titles:

The event will include an appearance by local esports team Dallas Fuel, competitors in the new Overwatch League. They will discuss the life of a professional esports gamer beginning at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday. In addition, SMU Guildhall will give away two copies of Star Wars Battlefront II provided by alumni donors; more giveaways and fun activities will take place throughout the weekend and will be announced during the streams of each game.

Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick children through thousands of gamers from around the world, raising funds from friends and community to help heal sick and injured kids. One hundred percent of donations, which are tax-deductible, go to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

> Read the press release from the SMU Guildhall website

> Learn more at the SMU Guildhall Extra Life team page

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