A $2.5 million gift from Carolyn and David Miller will help fund a $4 million campus center at SMU-in-Taos in New Mexico.
The Carolyn and David Miller Campus Center will include academic spaces, a media room and a gathering space for groups as large as 100. The great hall will have outdoor views on three sides and a fireplace for chilly mountain evenings.
Outdoor spaces will include a deck that surrounds the building, a plaza that connects the center to other buildings and an entry terrace with seating for events. Groundbreaking is scheduled for July with completion scheduled for May 2015.
The gift to SMU-in-Taos counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $820 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.
“SMU-in-Taos is a gem that offers SMU students a unique learning experience in a setting conducive to discovery. This generous gift from Carolyn and David Miller will enhance our students’ experiences by providing a central place to gather, learn and explore in a facility that embraces its natural setting,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
The 423-acre SMU-in-Taos campus opened in 1973 and includes the 19th-century Fort Burgwin and the 13th-century Pot Creek Pueblo archaeological site. Students can earn course credit at the Taos campus during three summer terms and, new in 2014, a January term (J Term). Participation in summer terms has increased more than 40 percent in the last three years.
“The campus center will add another facet to the classroom-without-walls experience at SMU-in-Taos,” said Mike Adler, director of SMU-in-Taos and associate professor of anthropology. “The Millers’ gift is a tremendous step toward the $4 million cost of the building. We look forward to the support of other generous donors.”
The Millers’ gift to SMU-in-Taos is the most recent example of their support of SMU. Their 2011 gift to create the 39,245-square-foot Miller Event Center expansion to Moody Coliseum enhanced facilities in the recently renovated and expanded coliseum, which opened Dec. 31, 2013.
“David and I are delighted to play a part in enhancing the SMU-in-Taos campus,” said Carolyn Miller. “We become SMU-in-Taos students each summer when we attend the Taos Cultural Institute and are thrilled to play a role in strengthening the SMU-in-Taos experience for all students.”
Written by Nancy George