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.

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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.

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$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.”

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$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.”

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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.

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