Arts and civic leader Caren Prothro to be honored in 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” Tuesday, March 31

Caren Prothro

Arts and civic leader Caren Prothro to be honored in 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” Tuesday, March 31

Caren Protho

Caren Protho will be honored in the 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” benefit concert, presented by SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts will honor arts and civic leader and SMU trustee Caren Prothro in “Meadows at the Meyerson,” 8 p.m., Tuesday, March 31, in the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center, 2301 Flora Street in Dallas.

The 22nd annual benefit concert will feature the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra. The 2015 event chair is Heather Furniss, and the honorary chairs are Sarah and Ross Perot Jr.

In a presentation of Mahler’s Das Lied von der Erde (“The Song of the Earth”) led by conductor Paul Phillips, the Meadows Symphony will be accompanied by two renowned opera singers – mezzo soprano Michaela Martens and tenor Thomas Studebaker. Based on six 8th-century Chinese poems, the hour-long work was composed after Mahler learned he was terminally ill and is known as the finest part of his artistic legacy.

“Meadows at the Meyerson is the embodiment of our values as an arts organization in the community. We present the critically recognized Meadows Symphony Orchestra in our city’s Arts District and raise money for scholarships to bring even more talented students from around the world to Dallas,” said Sam Holland, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “We are especially delighted this year to honor Caren Prothro, long a champion for arts and cultural excellence in our city. We are also grateful for her longstanding support of the Meadows Scholars Program, which allows Meadows to compete with the top arts and communications programs in the U.S., attracting prospective students to Dallas who might otherwise wind up in Boston, New York, Chicago, or L.A.

SMU's Meadows Symphony Orchestra in Dallas' Meyerson Symphony Center

SMU’s Meadows Symphony Orchestra will perform in the 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” event Tuesday, March 31, in Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center.

“Many of these academically gifted artists, or ‘smartists’ as we like to call them, will choose to stay in Dallas after graduation, building Dallas’ intellectual capital and momentum as one of the most culturally dynamic cities in the United States.”

This year’s honoree, Caren Prothro, is an active supporter of the arts, higher education and programming addressing the needs of at-risk youth. A previous chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees, Prothro currently serves as co-chair of SMU’s Campaign for the Second Century with a historic goal of $1 billion to support endowment and capital expansion. In 2015, she will begin her service as a member of The George W. Bush Foundation.

Tickets to the Meadows at the Meyerson concert are $25 for adults, $20 for seniors, and $17 for students and SMU faculty and staff. For tickets, contact the Meadows Box Office at 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

Read the full story from SMU News

March 30, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

SMU Board of Trustees raises campaign goal to $1 billion

Bolstered by the success to date of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, the University’s Board of Trustees has raised the goal from $750 million to $1 billion.

At its quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 13, the board voted unanimously to accept the new goal recommended by the campaign’s leadership.

The campaign seeks additional funds for scholarships, academic programs, faculty positions and campus improvements and facilities.

SMU already has surpassed its original goal and timetable, raising $780 million for a campaign scheduled to end in 2015, the 100th anniversary of the University’s opening. That date is now set to mark another milestone – the completion of SMU’s first $1 billion campaign.

SMU will join only 12 other private universities currently seeking goals of $1 billion or more. Among them are Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California. SMU is the first comprehensive university in North Texas to seek that amount.

“The generosity of our donors, the strength of our campaign leadership and the hard work of volunteers around the globe have resulted in record-breaking support for SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Even during uncertain economic times, our donors kept the momentum of the campaign going. They did not skip a beat in continuing to fund SMU’s rise in quality and reputation.”

Gerald J. Ford, trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign, said, “The notable investment made in SMU through the campaign demonstrates the University’s positive trajectory and unprecedented momentum. Raising and achieving the campaign goal is the next logical step for SMU as it expands its national and global impact.”

“Adding to SMU’s momentum during its Centennial era, 2011-2015, is the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Museum and Institute,” Turner said. “This resource has attracted joint programming, concurrent appointments of SMU faculty and Bush fellows, visiting dignitaries, heightened visibility and more than 206,000 visitors to campus thus far. The support attracted by this resource has already been a tremendous benefit to the campus, city and nation.”

The funding campaign for the Bush Center, conducted by the Bush Foundation, proceeded separately from SMU’s Second Century Campaign, although at the same time. The Bush funding campaign raised more than $500 million for construction, programming and endowment for the Bush Center. “The campaigns have been synergistic, achieving mutual success,” Turner said.

Read about the $1 billion campaign goal in The Dallas Morning News.

Important SMU Priorities

Raising the campaign goal to $1 billion will provide gifts to fund additional scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs and campus life enhancements, including new facilities.

Faculty and academic leadership positions targeted for endowments include those in areas such as entrepreneurship, biostatistics, science and technology law, the impact of the arts on communities, art history, theological studies and library support.

Academic programs earmarked for new endowments and operational support represent areas of growing importance to the region and nation, among them programs in energy management, public policy, interdisciplinary studies, cyber security, arts research and K-12 school leadership.

Increased scholarship funding is being sought to support top undergraduate and graduate students throughout the University. These resources will ensure that SMU can educate the next generation of leaders in areas such as the arts, sciences, business and engineering, disciplines that, with others, are critical to the future of Dallas.

Capital projects for academics include the renovation of Fondren Library Center in Central University Libraries and Bridwell Library in Perkins School of Theology. In addition, funding is being sought for new campus facilities, such as the Residential Commons complex and the Mustang Band Hall, now under construction. The campaign also seeks to complete funding for renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum and construction of new complexes for tennis, golf and other sports, along with operational support for athletics.

SMU Board of Trustees chair and campaign co-chair Caren Prothro emphasized the case for going forward with a new goal: “The campaign has achieved remarkable results that can be seen in our impressive gains throughout the University, but its momentum tells us that much more can be accomplished. On behalf of the students we seek to serve and the faculty who help to shape their futures, we need additional resources for scholarships to attract the best among them and continue to increase our diversity. We need to recruit and retain faculty devoted to teaching, research and creativity with an impact on their disciplines and society. We want to establish and support new academic programs that will prepare students for leadership in their professions and communities. And we must provide the best facilities for these endeavors in a living-learning environment that is second to none.”

To Mike Boone, chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees, the University stands at a crossroads of opportunity and is ready to take a bold step forward. “At critical times in Dallas’ history, the city has been transformed by decisions that resulted in world-class assets for our community. Among these are an airport that serves as a global hub, a thriving arts district, a distinguished medical school producing Nobel laureates and a vibrant business community. Our new campaign goal signals the unequivocal commitment to join the list of milestones that have changed our community and its impact on the world.”

Results and Impact

To date, the campaign has raised funds for 472 new scholarships; 24 academic programs such as new schools, institutes and centers; 34 endowed faculty positions, bringing SMU’s total to 96 out of a goal of 100; and 26 capital projects, including new or expanded facilities for libraries, academic programs and athletics.

Many of the new academic programs SMU has created have direct impact on the Dallas region, such as new centers for legal services and financial studies. Schools recently endowed are the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, which focuses on school reform and programs for community impact. Other programs contribute to research and dialogue on important national and international issues, such as the Scholars Program of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, focusing on public policy and service, and the Embrey Human Rights Program. Still other resources, among them expanded acquisitions for the Meadows Museum and a new National Center for Arts Research, broaden the city’s reputation in the arts internationally.

In another measure of impact and rising quality, the average SAT score of entering students has risen from 1144 in 1999 to 1302 in 2013, thanks to increasing resources for scholarships.

“These resources bring outstanding students to Dallas and help to keep our bright local students in our region, all of which enriches the talent pool here,” said Carl Sewell, trustee and campaign co-chair. “Funding for new academic positions has enabled us to attract and retain scholars from throughout the world. Professors named to endowed chairs are distinguished scholars at the top of their careers and reputations,” he added. “They bring important research projects and work not only with graduate students, but also with undergraduates, mentoring them and involving them in their research.”

Ray L. Hunt, trustee and campaign co-chair, notes that increased academic resources “enable SMU to be nimble in creating new programs in emerging fields.” Examples include centers in alternative asset management, engineering leadership, and global markets and freedom. “Access to these programs will help our graduates to compete and lead in key areas where new expertise and perspectives are needed and will increase their contributions to critical areas for our nation and the world.”

As SMU changes with the impact of the campaign, “the community will be better served and Dallas will have the distinguished university it deserves,” said Mike Boone. “Regional leaders know that as SMU rises as a center of ideas, knowledge and service, our region will be strengthened as a global center of commerce and culture. Campaign resources have strengthened not only the University, but also the economic vitality of the region,” he said. “SMU is both an indicator and a predictor of success for Dallas and our region. We will continue to prosper together.”

Campaign Participation and Leadership

Thus far 58,159 donors have made one or more gifts to the campaign. This includes 279 who have given $100,000 or more, and 123 who have committed $1 million or more, an all-time high for SMU.

SMU’s campaign goals also include giving levels among alumni. The campaign seeks gifts from 25 percent of alumni each year and from 50 percent over the course of the campaign. Thus far more than 50 percent of SMU alumni have made one or more gifts during the campaign. A record 24 percent of alumni provided gifts in the fiscal year ending May 31, 2013, representing the highest number of alumni ever to give to SMU in a single year.

“The concept of a billion dollars may seem overwhelming, but the fact is that it will take gifts of all sizes for us to meet our new goal,” said Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, a trustee and campaign co-chair. “So we’re asking our alumni to take part at any level they can afford. It all counts, and it all makes a difference. Together, we are living up to the theme of our campaign, SMU Unbridled.”

The Second Century Campaign is led by five co-chairs: Convening co-chair Gerald J. Ford, with Ruth Altshuler, Ray L. Hunt, Caren H. Prothro and Carl Sewell. They lead a 15-member Campaign Executive Council and nearly 40 Steering Committee co-chairs spearheading various fundraising efforts, such as those for each school, the libraries, athletics and student life. Regional campaigns range from New York to Los Angeles and from Mexico City to Hong Kong. Campaign committee members total more than 350 worldwide, and hundreds of others are providing volunteer support.

September 13, 2013|News|

Mitch Hart named SMU Trustee Emeritus

Milledge A. 'Mitch' Hart, IIIThe SMU Board of Trustees has named former trustee Milledge A. “Mitch” Hart, III as Trustee Emeritus. The Board passed a resolution to honor Hart with this designation during its quarterly meeting Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

For extraordinary service and leadership, former members of the SMU Board may be named emeriti members. To date, in its 100-year history, only nine individuals have been named Trustee Emeriti. Hart served on the SMU Board from 1996 to 2008.

“Mitch Hart provided and continues to provide the vision and resources to initiate new programs of significance at SMU,” said Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. “This singular honor is a fitting recognition of his remarkable service to the SMU Board and the guidance he will continue to provide as trustee emeritus.”

During his SMU Board terms, Hart served on several committees: Academic Policy, Planning & Management; Audit; Buildings and Grounds; Development and External Affairs; Executive/Personnel/Compensation; and Investment. He also served as a member of the Dedman College Executive Board.

Hart currently serves on the Leadership Council of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, which is raising funds supporting student quality, academic and faculty excellence and the campus experience. He also is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees’ Development and External Affairs Committee and is a member and former chair of the Board’s Investment Committee. In addition, he serves on the Lyle School of Engineering Campaign Steering Committee and the school’s Executive Board. He is a member of the Hart Global Leaders Forum Advisory Board and is a member and former chair of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Board.

Hart’s election as an SMU trustee emeritus makes him the 9th individual so honored since the University created the designation in 1990 and one of 4 currently serving, including Edwin L. Cox, William L. Hutchison, and Cary M. Maguire. Past trustees emeriti included the late Gov. William P. Clements Jr., J. Lindsay Embrey Jr., William R. Hawn, Roy M. Huffington, and Elizabeth Perkins Prothro.

> Read the full story from SMU News

February 25, 2013|For the Record, News|

Tune In: SMU December Graduation 2012

The SMU community celebrated the graduation of more than 700 students at the 2012 December Graduation in Moody Coliseum. Civic and philanthropic leader Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, delivered the address.

Prothro has served as chair of the SMU Board of Trustees since 2010 and was re-elected to another term as chair in July. She has emphasized the importance of reaching the University’s stated goal of having 100 endowed faculty positions and attracting nationally recognized experts to enhance SMU’s reputation as a center for research and scholarship.

Click the YouTube screen to watch Prothro’s address, or click here to see Caren Prothro’s December Graduation address in a new windowvideo icon

> See a slide show of scenes from December Graduation 2012 from SMU News camera icon

December 20, 2012|Tune In|

December Graduation 2012 is set for Saturday, Dec. 15

December Graduation 2011

SMU celebrates during December Graduation 2011. Mechanical Engineering Professor José Lage (right), 2011-12 Faculty Senate President, carries the University Mace. Photo: Clayton Smith.

The SMU community will celebrate the graduation of hundreds of students at its 2012 December Graduation on Saturday, Dec. 15. Civic and philanthropic leader Caren Prothro, chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees, will be the featured speaker.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student and faculty procession. Doors to the staging area in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports open at 8:30 a.m., when formal portrait sessions will begin. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.

> Complete information for candidates, guests and faculty from the SMU Registrar

“The spirit of community combined with our celebration of the individual is what makes SMU’s December Graduation Convocation a most joyous time,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Provost Paul Ludden in a joint message to December graduates.

December Graduation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; however, honor ribbons, medals, flowers, decorated mortarboards or other adornments may not be worn during the ceremony. Students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. Decorated and ruined mortarboards must be replaced at the student’s expense.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

Caren Prothro

Caren Prothro

Caren Prothro has provided leadership and support for civic initiatives contributing to Dallas’ rise as an international center for business and culture, including SMU’s growth as a global educational and research institution.

As chair of the SMU Board of Trustees since 2010, Prothro has focused on the University’s goal of 100 endowed faculty positions and on increasing funds for merit-based scholarships that enable the University to draw top students nationally. A member of the Board since 1992, Prothro served as vice chair from 1996-2000. In addition, she serves as a co-chair of SMU’s Second Century Campaign and its Campaign Leadership Council.

Along with her late husband, C. Vincent (Vin) Prothro, Mrs. Prothro has been a generous donor to SMU, supporting the Perkins School of Theology, Meadows School of the Arts and the Department of Biological Sciences in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, She and her husband continued a long-standing tradition of SMU support from the Perkins-Prothro family of Wichita Falls – including Mr. Prothro’s parents, Charles and Elizabeth Perkins Prothro, and his grandparents, Joe and Lois Perkins, who endowed the SMU theology school in the early 1940s and funded six buildings for the school, including Perkins Chapel.

Learn more about Caren Prothro

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Find more information for students and guests at the University Registrar’s December Graduation home page.

Faculty participation information
Complete instructions for candidates
Information for guests, including maps, travel discounts and more
Information for guests with disabilities
December Graduation simulcast, photo and DVD information

December 10, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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