Centennial Campaign

$1 million Tolleson gift to benefit Cox merit scholars

Debbie and John TollesonA $1 million gift from John C. and Debbie Tolleson (left) of Dallas will provide additional support for the Edwin L. Cox BBA Scholars Program in SMU’s Cox School of Business. The merit-based undergraduate scholarship program was named in fall 2007 in recognition of a $5 million challenge grant from Cox toward a goal of $10 million for endowment of the Scholars Program. The Tolleson gift supports that goal.

“Merit scholarships for outstanding students are one of SMU’s greatest priorities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “By supporting the Cox BBA Scholars Program, John and Debbie Tolleson are helping us to attract additional top students who will benefit from our excellent programs and contribute to our rise in academic quality. We are grateful for the Tollesons’ generosity and foresight in making this gift.”

The BBA Scholars Program was established in 2002 to provide scholarships for highly qualified first-year students who are admitted directly into the Cox School of Business. About 100 students enter SMU as BBA Scholars each year. Selected from more than 500 candidates, those entering in fall 2007 represented 26 states and three countries and had an average SAT score of 1401.

Read more from SMU News.

Remembering the ladies: 74 honored by CUL campaign

The first lady of the United States, a U.S. Senator, Dallas civic leaders and memorable moms were among 74 women honored recently through a project of the Archives of Women of the Southwest at SMU.

Their names will be inscribed on plaques in SMU’s DeGolyer Library building, which houses the Archives. Through the Archives’ “Remember the Ladies!” Campaign, donors have made contributions of $5,000 or more each to honor notable women of their choosing. The gifts will help fund an endowment to hire an archivist for the collection, which includes the papers of women who have made a significant impact on the development of the Southwest – among them pioneering African-American journalist Julia Scott Reed, women’s legal advocate Louise B. Raggio and Dallas real estate legend Ebby Halliday.

Read more from SMU News.

$10 million Huffington gift will endow Department of Earth Sciences

Earth SciencesOne of SMU’s oldest and most distinguished academic departments has new resources to support the growing impact of its research and teaching, thanks to a gift of more than $10 million from the Honorable Roy M. Huffington of Houston. The gift endows the Department of Earth Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College, now renamed the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences.

With this new gift, announced March 27, Huffington has given SMU over $20 million in the last two years and a total of more than $31 million over many years of support for the University. In fall 2006, he provided just over $10 million in endowments for faculty support and student scholarships at SMU. Huffington received his bachelor’s degree in geology from SMU.

“SMU’s research and teaching in the earth sciences is already internationally recognized, producing successful scientists who help us understand the history of our planet as well as the prospects for developing future energy resources,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Roy Huffington’s generosity will enable the Huffington Department of Earth Sciences to make an even greater impact on the challenges faced on a global level.”

Read more from SMU News.

$2 million TI gift endows new Caruth Institute director

Caruth Institute for Engineering Education Director Delores EtterDelores M. Etter – an engineer, scientist and innovative leader – will become the director of SMU’s Caruth Institute for Engineering Education and the Texas Instruments Distinguished Chair in Engineering Education on June 1. A former deputy under secretary of defense and assistant secretary of the U.S. Navy, Etter’s own career serves as a strong example for drawing young people into math, science and engineering careers they might otherwise have assumed were out of reach.

Etter, the Institute’s first director, is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow of the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and the American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE). The directorship and chair she will assume are made possible by a $2 million gift from the Texas Instruments Foundation.

“This new gift is yet another example of TI’s leadership in finding solutions to challenges in education,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “With this endowment, the TI Foundation has enabled us to appoint a leader who brings with her extensive experience in education, public service and research – a combination that uniquely suits the goal of advancing engineering education.”

Read more from SMU News.

Wendland gift endows new theology professorship

Theology quad at SMUSMU’s Perkins School of Theology has received a $1 million gift from Barbara Cook Wendland and Erroll Wendland to establish the Wendland-Cook Professorship in Constructive Theology. The professorship will contribute to the academic study of systematic and constructive theology to address current issues, inequality of power, a commitment to the liberation of all peoples, the promotion of justice and the encouragement of nonviolence.

“We are extremely grateful to Barbara and Erroll Wendland for their Christian generosity, but we are even more grateful for their dedication to the most serious and comprehensive levels of theological inquiry in preparing leaders for the Church,” says Perkins Dean William B. Lawrence. “Their commitment to endow a professorship at Perkins means that our school will be blessed with a renewed focus upon the principle embodied in Charles Wesley’s prayer that knowledge and vital piety will be reunited in the community of faith.”

Read more from SMU News.

$3 million from two alumni will establish new asset management program

Fincher Building cupolaTwo alumni of SMU’s Cox School of Business have helped the School create an undergraduate curriculum in alternative asset management. D. Scott Luttrell (’77), founder and chief executive of LCM Group Inc. of Tampa, and David B. Miller (’72, ’73), partner and cofounder of EnCap Investments LP, have each contributed $1.5 million toward establishing the program.

The combined gifts will fund the EnCap Investments and LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center and the hiring of a director. It will also support development of courses leading to a specialization within the finance major at the undergraduate level and the finance concentration at the M.B.A. level.

Cox Dean Al Niemi points out that Dallas is one of the three leading U.S. cities in private equity and hedge funds and provides a natural market for graduates in this field. “During the past five years, investments in hedge funds, venture capital, private equity, real estate, and oil and gas have increased exponentially,” he says. “The hedge fund market alone has grown from the first fund pioneered by A.W. Jones in 1949 to more than 6,000 today. The demand for alternative asset investment professionals has exploded.”

Read more from Robert Miller in The Dallas Morning News.

SMU scores slam dunk with Crum Basketball Center

Crum Basketball CenterSMU basketball has a new MVP: the $13 million, 43,000-square-foot Crum Basketball Center, where players and coaches can practice, strength-train, watch films and receive rehabilitation care.

Dedicated today, the facility is made possible by a leadership gift from Sylvie P. and Gary T. Crum. Other major donors to the facility are David and Carolyn Miller, Vic and Gladie Jo Salvino, and the Embrey Family Foundation.

“Along with our other varsity athletic programs, men’s and women’s basketball helps build a sense of community on campus and provides Dallas with exciting collegiate activities. Our players now have a great new resource for developing further their skills and competitiveness,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful to our generous donors for supporting our commitment to provide our students with the best possible campus experience.”

Read more from SMU News.

By | 2008-02-21T16:06:05+00:00 February 21, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Dean Chard discusses education and community in Faculty Club lecture

Education is defined by its interdisciplinary nature, says David Chard, dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. He outlined the School’s future challenges, opportunities and programs in a talk with the SMU Faculty Club Feb. 13. Read more.


Gearbox Software funds new fellowship at Guildhall

Randy Pitchford and Peter RaadGearbox Software, the Plano video game development studio behind the popular Brothers in Arms franchise, is pledging scholarship funds, professional mentors and a video lab to The Guildhall at SMU, the country’s leading graduate video game development program.

The gift of $50,000 to the Fellows Scholarship Program underscores the strong working relationship between The Guildhall and Gearbox, which has hired 15 graduates of the SMU video gaming program since its inception in 2004.

“The only thing growing faster than our industry is the need for new and creative talent,” said Gearbox CEO and President Randy Pitchford. “That’s why programs like The Guildhall at SMU need our support.”

“It doesn’t really surprise me that Randy was the first industry leader to support our Fellows Scholars,” says Guildhall Executive Director Peter Raad. “He believes, as we do, that we need to find ways to ensure financial barriers do not stand in the way for the very best students to attend our program and become contributing professionals and future leaders in the dynamic video game industry.” (Left, Randy Pitchford and Peter Raad.) Read more from SMU News.

By | 2008-01-24T14:41:14+00:00 January 24, 2008|Categories: News|Tags: , , , , |

$3.6 million Prothro gift supports biological sciences

(Originally published Jan. 15, 2008.)

SMU Trustee Caren ProthroA $3.6 million gift from Dallas civic leader and SMU Trustee Caren Prothro (right) and the Perkins-Prothro Foundation will establish the C. Vincent Prothro Biological Sciences Initiative at SMU. The gift will support teaching and research through the appointment of a new endowed faculty chair in the Department of Biological Sciences in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. The gift includes $2 million from Caren Prothro and $1.6 million from the Perkins-Prothro Foundation.

The gift will provide $2 million for a Distinguished Chair of Biological Sciences, whose work will be supported through a $1 million gift for an Endowed Research Fund, $500,000 for a Graduate Fellowship Fund and $100,000 for an Undergraduate Scholarship Fund. The faculty chair and endowed funds are named in memory of Caren Prothro’s late husband, a long-time SMU supporter.

“Vin Prothro’s contributions to the progress of SMU were immeasurable,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “It is fitting that we honor his memory with this Biological Sciences Initiative, which supports one of our highest academic priorities – the strengthening of faculty and associated research activities in the Department of Biological Sciences. We are grateful to Caren Prothro and the Perkins-Prothro Foundation for their generous support of this important program.”

Read more from SMU News
The Dallas Morning News‘ Robert Miller: SMU biology gets a booster

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