SMU Board of Trustees raises campaign goal to $1 billion

Carl Sewell

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|

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

April 18, 2012|News|

Law School honors seven at 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards

The Umphrey Lee Tempietto in the Dedman School of Law Quad, SMUSeven outstanding legal and business professionals were in the spotlight when SMU’s Dedman School of Law presented its 2012 Distinguished Alumni Awards Saturday, Feb. 25, at the Westin Galleria.

A tradition since 1986, the awards dinner is the Law School’s premier annual event. An alumni committee selects recipients who are standouts in their respective fields, and an honorary award given at the invitation-only ceremony also acknowledges exceptional service to the school.

This year’s awards and recipients were:

  • Edward B. Rust Jr. (’75), Robert G. Storey Award for Distinguished Achievement
  • Judge Dean M. Gandy (’48, ’50), Distinguished Alumni Award for Judicial Service
  • U.S. Attorney Sarah R. Saldaña (’84)Distinguished Alumni Award for Government Service
  • Justice H. Harjono (’81), Distinguished Global Alumni Award
  • D. Wayne Watts (’80), Distinguished Alumni Award for Corporate Service
  • W. Richard Davis (’56, ’58), Distinguished Alumni Award for Private Practice

SMU Trustee Carl Sewell received the Law School’s Honorary Alumnus Award. Sewell is chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies and received his B.B.A. degree in banking, finance, and economics from the University in 1966.

> Read more about all the honorees from SMU News

February 29, 2012|For the Record, News|

Tune In: An SMU trustee’s advice to December 2011 graduates

The SMU community celebrated the graduation of about 950 students in ceremonies Saturday, Dec. 17, with business and civic leader Carl Sewell (’66) as the featured speaker.

“SMU is your university,” Sewell told the graduates and their families and friends gathered in SMU’s Moody Coliseum. “You have been a part of the greatest academic growth in the history of this university…and it clearly is on the path to becoming a great university.”

Sewell, past chair of the SMU Board of Trustees, is chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies, a national leader in the automotive industry and an innovator in establishing customer service standards. He shared his service philosophy and practices in the best-selling book Customers for Life, which has sold more than 1 million copies in 17 languages.

Sewell offered four major pieces of advice for the graduates:

  • Find a mentor.
  • Think about what you read and how much you read. Make the reading of a serious book something you do at least once every six months.
  • Decide how good you want to be, and how much time you want to devote to it.
  • Learn from failures. (He mentioned his long history of working with GM, and how he has learned from that company’s failures.

Click the YouTube screen to hear more, or click here to watch video of Carl Sewell’s December graduation speech in a new window.

December 21, 2011|News, Tune In|

Calendar Highlights: Dec. 13, 2011

Stock photo of a blue ornamentAs the days dwindle down to a precious few, here are some notable dates for the end of 2011 and the beginning of 2012:

  • Dec. 16The Guildhall at SMU Cohort 14 Exhibition and Graduation, SMU-in-Plano. Paul Barnett, senior creative director of BioWare Mythic and the guiding force behind the critically acclaimed MMO game Warhammer Online, will deliver the graduation keynote speech.
  • Dec. 17: Last day of term and official date for conferral of degrees.
  • Dec. 17: All-University December Graduation Ceremony, 10 a.m., Moody Coliseum. Business and civic leader and SMU Trustee Carl Sewell (’66) will give the address. Faculty members may RSVP online for the Faculty Breakfast and processional.
  • Dec. 26, 2011-Jan. 2, 2012: University holidays.
  • Jan. 3-12J Term 2012 at SMU-in-Plano.

Stock photo of a wrapped holiday giftSMUSA plays Santa: The SMU Staff Association continues to collect gifts for United Way partner Children’s Medical Center of Dallas until Dec. 14, 2011. The Staff Association is accepting “ABCs” – action figures and dolls or their accessories; board games or handheld games and puzzles; and cards (as in gift cards, to child-friendly stores). Check the most current list of drop-off locations for the one nearest you.

Fine forgiveness: The Central University Libraries 2011 Food for Fines drive is on through Friday, Dec. 16. Every gift of a can or package of nonperishable food for the North Texas Food Bank equals a $2 credit toward outstanding library fines assessed from November 2011 onward. The waiver applies to materials from Fondren Library CenterHamon Arts Library and the ISEM Reading Room and for all SMU faculty, staff and students. Drop off donations at any listed library.

Book cover of 'Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life' by Stephen W. RankinCelebration station: President and Mrs. R. Gerald Turner host the 2011 All-University Holiday Party 3:30-5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 19, in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

Signed and sealed: SMU Chaplain Steve Rankin will sign his new book, Aiming at Maturity: The Goal of the Christian Life, from 2-4 p.m. Dec. 20 at Logos Bookstore, 6620 Snider Plaza. In this work, published by Wipf and Stock, Rev. Dr. Rankin draws from the Scriptures, from popular biblical interpretation, and from his own work as a teacher and minister to make the case for spiritual maturity. For more information, call the Chaplain’s Office at 214-768-4502.



December 13, 2011|Calendar Highlights|
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