Cox School of Business

SMU NCAR meets challenge grant, announces $1 million in gifts for arts research

Donna Wilhelm photo by Kim Leeson

Donna Wilhelm (photo by Kim Leeson)

SMU’s National Center for Arts Research (NCAR) announced that it has successfully met a $500,000 challenge grant from Dallas philanthropist and civic leader Donna Wilhelm, raising a total of $1 million in 2015 for research, programs and services.

The purpose of the challenge grant, given by Wilhelm in February 2015 with a deadline of Dec. 31, 2015, was to generate $500,000 for operating support for the center. Wilhelm’s matching funds will endow a new Wilhelm Research Fellow for NCAR. The center, which was established in 2012 by the University’s Meadows School of the Arts and Cox School of Business, analyzes the largest database of arts research ever assembled, investigates important issues in arts management and patronage, and makes its findings available to arts leaders, funders, policymakers, researchers and the general public.

“The National Center for Arts Research has broken new ground in analyzing and interpreting data about the arts and cultural field in the U.S.,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “NCAR’s thought-provoking research is already helping both new and established arts organizations across the country. The University is grateful to benefactor Donna Wilhelm and the donors who supported the challenge grant for their dedication to the important work of the Center.”

An NCAR advisory board member who has supported the center since its founding, Wilhelm approached NCAR with the offer of the challenge grant. “As a donor, I fund initiatives that serve broad needs and have leveraged impact,” said Wilhelm. “The National Center for Arts Research established at SMU, where scholarly excellence and innovation thrives, met my philanthropic goal.  I also believe in strategic investing.  My challenge grant was structured to sustain operating support for NCAR and establish a Research Fellow endowment.  Thanks to generous and visionary donors, we achieved both.  Donors collaborating were able to empower the unlimited potential of NCAR and foster the health of arts organizations nationwide – I salute this amazing teamwork.”

Individual donors and foundations who contributed to help NCAR meet the challenge grant include Jennifer and Peter Altabef; Belle and Don Berg; Diane and Hal Brierley; Melissa and Trevor Fetter; Ann and Trey Fielder; Carol and Don Glendenning/Locke Lord LLP; Ann and Lee Hobson; T.J. Brown & C.A. Lupton Foundation/Kit Moncrief; Communities Foundation of Texas; M.R. and Evelyn Hudson Foundation; Carl B. and Florence E. King Foundation; The Sarah and Ross Perot, Jr. Foundation; Vin and Caren Prothro Foundation/Perkins-Prothro Foundation; and the Tolleson Family Foundation.

“In a few short years, NCAR has placed Meadows at the epicenter of evidence-based insight into the arts ecosystem with the underlying purpose of helping arts leaders make better decisions,” said Meadows Dean Samuel Holland. “This significant gift from Donna Wilhelm and all those who contributed to meeting the challenge will allow us to sharpen our focus, build scale, and extend the reach of NCAR to places where its work is most needed.”

The first Wilhelm Research Fellow is Richard Briesch, professor of marketing in the Cox School. Briesch holds a Ph.D. in marketing from Northwestern, an M.B.A. from Rice and a B.S. in mathematics and computer science from Carnegie Mellon.

“Rick has been working with NCAR since we launched in 2012,” said Zannie Voss, director of NCAR.  “He is one of the most well-respected econometricians in the country and specializes in consumer behavior.”

Voss added, “We are so grateful to Donna Wilhelm and our additional generous donors for endowing the research fellowship and providing critical operating support that will help NCAR continue its dedicated work to help arts and cultural organizations nationwide.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Steven C. Currall named SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs

Steven C. CurrallSteven C. Currall, whose record of academic leadership includes achievements at Rice University, University College London and the University of California-Davis, has been named vice president for academic affairs and provost at SMU, effective Jan. 1, 2016.

Currall, a psychological scientist, becomes SMU’s chief academic officer as the University begins its second century of operation. He will oversee all aspects of academic life, including admission, faculty development, libraries, the curriculum and study abroad. He will supervise SMU’s seven degree-granting schools and will hold departmental appointments in three of them – Management and Organizations in the Cox School of Business; Engineering Management, Information, and Systems in the Lyle School of Engineering; and Psychology in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

Most recently, Currall served as senior advisor for strategic projects and initiatives to the UC Davis chancellor, and previously served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis.

“Steven Currall brings the perfect combination of experience and skills to lead SMU’s rise among the nation’s best universities,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He brings interdisciplinary perspectives that are central to our academic mission going forward. He possesses expertise in the sciences and technology as well as in the humanities and social sciences, insights that are critical for SMU’s progress and that reflect the challenges and opportunities of a complex society. We are delighted to welcome him to SMU and back to Texas.”

“I am thrilled and honored to join the SMU community as the next provost,” Currall said. “SMU has a foundation of academic excellence, its teaching and research are transformational, and its interdisciplinary ethos fosters innovations by faculty and students that are positively impacting Dallas, the state of Texas, the nation, and beyond.  I am grateful to President Turner and the search committee for the opportunity to serve SMU. I look forward to listening, learning, and partnering with my colleagues to propel SMU into an ever higher orbit.”

Currall served as dean of the Graduate School of Management at UC-Davis for more than five years, during which time the school reached the highest ranking in its history, before becoming the chancellor’s advisor. He describes himself as an “organizational architect” and has conducted research in organizational behavior, innovation, entrepreneurship, emerging technologies, trust and negotiation, and organizational governance.

He is lead author on Organized Innovation: A Blueprint for Renewing America’s Prosperity (Oxford University Press, 2014) and a frequently quoted source for national and international media.

A native of Kansas City, Missouri, Currall received his Ph.D. in organizational behavior from Cornell University in Ithaca, New York; a master of science in social psychology from the London School of Economics and Political Science; and a bachelor of arts cum laude in psychology in the College of Arts and Sciences at Baylor University in Waco, Texas.

As chancellor’s advisor at UC-Davis, Currall has facilitated campus-wide deliberations on the university’s strategic vision for its role in the 21st century, including how UC-Davis will address global challenges relating to food, health, and energy. He developed plans for an additional UC-Davis campus in Sacramento. He co-led development of a blueprint for increasing annual research expenditures to $1billion. He led the development of a new framework for recognizing faculty excellence and a methodology for eliminating faculty salary disparities due to gender or ethnicity.

Currall also has served as the vice chair and member of the executive committee of  the board of directors for the 10-campus University of California system’s Global Health Institute.

He spent 12 years at Rice University, where he was the William and Stephanie Sick Professor of Entrepreneurship in the George R. Brown School of Engineering and a Rice faculty member in the departments of management, psychology, and statistics.   He was founding director of the Rice Alliance for Technology and Entrepreneurship. He was formerly vice dean of enterprise and professor of management science and innovation in the Faculty of Engineering Sciences at University College London and a visiting professor at the London Business School.

At the invitation of the U.S. President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, Currall served as a member of the Nanotechnology Technical Advisory Group. His other honors include:

Currall’s appointment ends a nationwide search through a committee led by SMU Cox School of Business Dean Albert Niemi.

“Steve Currall will be an outstanding addition to the SMU leadership team,” said Niemi. “In particular, his background in strategy and planning will be a tremendous asset as SMU embarks on a new strategic plan for 2016-2025.”

“I want to thank Steve for his dedication to UC-Davis over the years, and in particular while he served as my senior advisor during this last year,” UC-Davis Chancellor Linda P.B. Katehi said. “Steve will bring to Southern Methodist University strong academic leadership and a deep understanding of the needs of students, faculty and staff. We know he will contribute to and help advance the wonderful culture and distinguished reputation of SMU.”

Currall will be joined in Dallas by his wife, Cheyenne Currall, Ph.D. Read Currall’s full curriculum vitae.

Tom Barry announces his retirement as SMU vice president for executive affairs

Thomas E. Barry, SMUThomas E. Barry, who has served as SMU’s vice president for executive affairs since 1995, has announced his retirement from that position effective Dec. 31, 2015. He also has been a member of the marketing faculty in SMU’s Cox School of Business since 1970.

Soon after becoming SMU’s president in 1995, R. Gerald Turner created the vice presidency for executive affairs and appointed Barry to fill it, adding the position to his President’s Executive Council.

“When I came to SMU, I knew that much of my focus would be on preparing SMU and our constituencies for major gift campaigns because we had a critical need for academic resources and campus enhancements,” Turner said. “I wanted a strong administrative leader and experienced academic who knew the University well, who would dig into any project that needed attention, and would bring together teams of colleagues for new initiatives. One of these was to move our strategic planning process forward as the basis for resource development.”

Barry led development of the Master Plan of 1997-2015 to provide direction and cohesion to the physical evolution of the campus, including its expansion east of Central Expressway, as well as improvements to SMU-in-Taos, the University’s New Mexico campus. He worked with SMU architects, facilities staff and oversight committees to help coordinate the addition or renovation of more than 32 campus facilities funded by recent campaigns.

Working with SMU’s other vice presidents and deans, he shepherded development of SMU’s last three strategic plans, including Launching SMU’s Second Century (2016-2025), the new strategic plan to be voted on by SMU’s Board of Trustees at its December 2015 meeting. The strategic plans guided priorities for SMU’s two recent major gift campaigns, The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead (1997-2002) and SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign (2008-2015). Together the campaigns raised more than $1.5 billion for scholarships, faculty and academic programs, facilities and the campus experience.

One of the most visible projects benefitting from Barry’s leadership was SMU’s quest to be the home of the George W. Bush Presidential Center. In December 2000, after the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling on the election results, President Turner gave Barry his next major assignment: “You are going to become an expert on presidential libraries,” he said. Barry researched the 12 existing presidential libraries under the National Archives and Records Administration to learn how they are funded, structured and operated, including what relationships they have with universities. The information helped guide the content of SMU’s successful proposal. As a marketing expert, he was co-leader of the University’s recent branding research and message development.

“In these years of major gift campaigns, heightened outreach and centennial activities, SMU has been very fortunate to have Tom Barry’s quiet, persistent and substantive leadership,” President Turner said. “He labored primarily behind the scenes, but the results of his talents can be seen throughout campus. As a longtime professor of marketing in Cox School of Business, he brought a faculty perspective to administrative decision-making. Through his teaching and research, he has mentored literally thousands of students. I am personally very grateful for his steadfast service and will miss the integrity and candor of his counsel.”

Barry came to SMU in 1970 as visiting assistant professor of marketing and the next year was appointed to the tenure-track position of assistant professor of marketing. Within three years he was promoted to associate professor of marketing with tenure, and in 1979 rose to full professor. He served for two terms as chair of the Marketing Department and three times as associate dean for academic affairs in the Cox School. He has received numerous teaching awards in the Cox School and served on more than 100 University committees.

Throughout his service as an academic administrator, Barry has remained a prolific researcher, producing three books and more than 80 scholarly articles. He has been one of the most frequent contributors to the three leading advertising journals in the nation.

Barry received his Ph.D. in marketing from North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas) and his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in marketing from Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, where he began his teaching career.

In January 2016 Barry will begin a sabbatical year with the option of returning to the Cox faculty.

Venture Commercial gift to ICSC Foundation will help support SMU Cox undergraduates

Venture Commercial Real Estate logoVenture Commercial Real Estate has endowed a fund to support undergraduate students in SMU’s Cox School of Business for at least the next 20 years. The Venture Commercial Undergraduate Real Estate Award, created through the International Council of Shopping Centers (ICSC) Foundation, will award $2,000 annually to a deserving SMU Cox undergraduate student studying real estate or a related field.

ICSC Foundation logoIn fall 2015, officials with the Cox School’s Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate will select the inaugural award recipient, based on overall academic and extracurricular involvement.

“We are thrilled by Venture Commercial’s gift to the ICSC Foundation that will support SMU Cox students interested in pursuing a career in real estate for years to come,” said Joseph Cahoon, director of the Folsom Institute. “It is a pure example of how the generosity of others can have a direct impact on training the leaders of tomorrow in the commercial real estate industry.”

“Many of DFW’s top commercial real estate professionals attended SMU, and we have quite a few alumni here at Venture, including myself,” said Mike Geisler, co-founder and managing partner of Venture Commercial. “We are proud to partner with the ICSC Foundation to invest in young talent attending this nationally ranked university, as we strive to train, develop and equip them to excel in the field of real estate and in life.”

More details will be announced once the recipient of the 2015-16 award is selected in the fall.

> Read more from SMU News

Three named 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors

Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors 2015-17

Jill DeTemple, Darius Miller and Yildirim Hürmüzlü were named SMU’s 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors during the University’s Board of Trustees meeting in May.

Three of SMU’s best teachers have been named 2015-17 Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professors, as announced by the University’s Center for Teaching Excellence during the Board of Trustees meeting Thursday, May 7, 2015.

The 2015 honorees are Jill DeTemple, Religious Studies, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; Yildirim Hürmüzlü, Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and Darius Miller, Finance, Cox School of Business.

The new members of SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers will join returning members Jaime Clark-Soles, New Testament, Perkins School of Theology; Michael Lattman, Chemistry, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences; and Paige Ware, Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Each year since 2001, the Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor Awards, named for SMU Trustee Ruth Altshuler, recognize SMU faculty members for their commitment to and achievements in fostering student learning.

“These are faculty whose concerns for higher education go beyond classroom boundaries and often the boundaries of their own discipline,” according to the CTE. “They represent the highest achievement in reaching the goals of higher education.”

Each recipient receives a $10,000 award and membership in SMU’s Academy of Distinguished Teachers for the two years of their appointment as Altshuler Professors. Members participate actively with other members of the Academy to address issues in classroom teaching.

(more…)

Twelve SMU professors receive emeritus status in 2014-15

Twelve distinguished faculty members with 440 years of combined service to SMU will retire with emeritus status as the 2014-15 academic year ends. The professors, and their dates of service:

Christine Buchanan, Professor Emerita of Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1977-2015

Bradley Kent Carter, Professor Emeritus of Political Science, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1970-2015

Anthony Cortese, Professor Emeritus of Sociology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1989-2015

Gail Daly, Professor Emerita of Law, Dedman School of Law, 1990-2015

Deborah Diffily, Professor Emerita of Teaching and Learning, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, 2000-2015

 Richard Haberman, Professor Emeritus of Mathematics, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1978-2015

 James K. Hopkins, Professor Emeritus of History, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1974-2015

 Roger Kerin, Professor Emeritus of Marketing, Cox School of Business, 1973-2015

 Larry Palmer, Professor Emeritus of Music, Meadows School of the Arts, 1970-2015

 John Ubelaker, Professor Emeritus of Biological Sciences, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1968-2015

 Ben Wallace, Professor Emeritus of Anthropology, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, 1969-2015

 P. Gregory Warden, Professor Emeritus of Art History, Meadows School of the Arts, 1982-2015

SMU arts and business students present fourth annual SMU Fashion Week, April 22-24, 2015

11103014_820595004645142_6019420339180860341_oSMU Fashion Week 2015 kicks off Wednesday, April 22 and will run through Friday, April 24. Focusing on the “Business of Fashion,” the three-day event will take an inside look at what it means to be a designer and entrepreneur, as well as how one of Dallas’ most prestigious shopping destinations, Stanley Korshak, stays competitive in the luxury fashion market.

Founded in 2011, SMU Fashion Week aims to provide students with information on a variety of careers within the trillion-dollar international fashion industry. From Style Editor of FDLuxe Bradley Gather Means and blogger Tina Craig of Bag Snob to rewardStyle founders Baxter and Amber Box, past speakers have offered valuable insight into their areas of focus. In collaboration with SMU’s Fashion Media program, Meadows School of the Arts and the SMU Retail Club, this year’s events feature a lineup of prestigious and insightful presenters.

Wednesday, April 22: A talk with Levi Palmer

  • SMU Fashion Week 2015 opens with London designer Levi Palmer of palmer//harding. During a live interview, Palmer will talk about his entrepreneurial journey as the designer of what the press has described as “the world’s most perfect shirts.”
  • 1 p.m. in Room 241, Umphrey Lee Center.

Thursday, April 23: Fashion Week keynote address by Crawford Brock

  • Crawford Brock of Stanley Korshak will present the SMU Fashion Week 2015 keynote address. During company owner Brock’s keynote address, guests will get an inside look at the man behind one of Dallas’ most prestigious shopping destinations, as well as what it takes to stay competitive in the luxury fashion business. Brock will meet students and talk with them one on one during a reception following the keynote address.
  • Keynote begins at 5 p.m. in Room 241, Umphrey Lee Center. Reception with Crawford Brock to follow from 6-6:30 p.m. in the Division of Journalism complex near Room 280, Umphrey Lee Center.
Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Friday, April 24: Spring Fashion Show

  • SMU Fashion Week 2015 wraps up with the annual Spring Fashion Show presented by The Retail Club at Cox School. This year’s show will feature looks from Stanley Korshak and the Haute Wheels mobile boutique. The Haute Wheels mobile boutique will be on-site for shopping, and Stanley Korshak will provide exclusive goodie bags for the first 30 fashion show attendees.
  • 2 p.m. outdoors on the north end of Bishop Boulevard at the Main Quad flagpole.

All SMU Fashion Week 2015 events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Chelsea Bell, director of the Fashion Media Program in the Meadows School Division of Journalism, via email or phone at 214-768-4913.

Calendar Highlights: April 15, 2015

Award-winning author Edwin Black visits SMU on

Award-winning author Edwin Black visits SMU on April 15.

“International Law & Israel:” Sponsored by SMU’s Embrey Human Rights, award-winning author Edwin Black will visit SMU to discuss “International Law & Israel” on Wednesday, April 15, at 7 p.m., in the Ballroom of Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Black will be discussing the current situation in Israel in light of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to the U.S. and the U.S. negotiations with Iran. This event is free and open to the public.

Gilbert Lecture Series: Sponsored by SMU’s Gilbert Lecture Series, award-winning author and game designer Ian Bogost will visit SMU to discuss “The Mistrust of Things” on Thursday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m., in Room 131 of the Dedman Life Science Building. Bogost will answer society’s obsession with “things” in a world overburdened with stuff. This event is free and open to the public.

Founders’ Day Weekend: Offering a wide range of activities on the Hilltop, SMU Founders’ Day Weekend will take place April 16-18. Founders’ Day Weekend will celebrate The Second Century Campaign and the 50th anniversary of the Meadows Museum, as well as serve as an opportunity to reconnect with professors, classmates and current students. For additional information and a full schedule, visit the Founders’ Day Weekend event webpage.

11156338_10152780279721981_739504618190428881_nSMU Spring Football Game: The SMU Mustangs football team returns to Ford Stadium on Saturday, April 18, at 1 p.m., for the Spring Game. With the Chad Morris era underway on the Hilltop, the game seeks to give fans a glimpse into #PonyUpTempo football. For more information, visit the Spring Football Game event webpage. 

Barefoot on the Boulevard: SMU’s annual student-sponsored celebration of green living, Barefoot on the Boulevard will take place Saturday, April 18, from 12-5 p.m., on SMU’s Bishop Boulevard. As an early Earth Day celebration, the event will feature food, music and fun with performances by individual singers and guitarists. This event is free and open to the public.

Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Brown Bag Lunch: The John G. Tower Center for Political Studies hosts a Brown Bag Lunch exploring “Wars and the Shifting Middle East Playing Field” on Tuesday, April 21, 12:30-2 p.m., in the Tower Center Board Room, Room 227 of Carr Collins Hall. This lecture will feature Martin P. Adams, as he discusses his 38 years of diplomatic experience in Washington, D.C. and overseas, most recently in the Arabian Gulf. While this event is free and open to the public, guests are asked to RSVP via email to the Tower Center.

SMU Fashion Week 2015: The fourth annual SMU Fashion Week 2015 kicks off on Wednesday, April 22 and will run through Friday, April 24. Focusing on the “Business of Fashion,” the three-day event features leading professionals in the fashion industry, as well as a fashion show. For more information, visit the SMU Fashion Week 2015 event webpage. 

Calendar Highlights: March 25, 2015

nuclear-conference-posterNuclear Weapons and National Security: SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies hosts “Nuclear Weapons and National Security: The Once and Future Role of the Bomb” on Thursday, March 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m., in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. Featuring the recently retired commander of the U.S. Strategic Command and one of the country’s leading historians of the nuclear age, the program will examine the paradox of nuclear weapons and national security in the “post-nuclear” age. While the event is free and open to the public, but reservations are required. 

Exercise and Wellness Colloquium: SMU’s Department of Applied Physiology and Wellness presents Dr. Tim Church as he leads Research on Exercise and Wellness Colloquium Series on Friday, March 27, from 2-3:20 p.m. in R138 Simmons Hall. Pulling from his research on preventative medicine, Dr. Church will explore the hows and whys of an effective exercise plan. For more information, email Dr. Lynn Romejko Jacobs.

Table of Content Award Dinner: Friends of the SMU Libraries hosts Tables of Content featuring the presentation of the 6th Annual Literati Award to Willard Spiegelman on Saturday, March 28, 6 p.m., at the Collins Executive Education Center. Honoring individuals who have used the written word to advance the ideals of creativity, conviction, innovation and scholarship, the event features roundtables of engaging discussion with fascinating table hosts on a variety of topics. For ticket and sponsorship information, call 214.768.3225.

The State of the Data Center Industry: SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering hosts The State of the Data Center Industry featuring Chris Cosby, founder and CEO of Compass Datacenters. As the data center industry is continually evolving, Crosby will provide a detailed overview of the data center business. The seminar will take place on Monday, March 30, 2-3 p.m., in the Palmer Conference Center, Caruth Hall.

Meadows at the Meyerson: SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts hosts its 22nd annual benefit concert, “Meadows at the Meyerson 2015,” on Tuesday, March 31, at 8 p.m., at the Morton H. Meyerson Symphony Center in the Dallas Arts District. The annual concert features the critically acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honoree is noted arts and civic leader (and SMU trustee) Caren Prothro. Tickets to the concert are $17 for SMU students, faculty and staff.

$2 million gift to SMU establishes endowed directorship in the Cox School’s Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship

SMU Cox School of BusinessA $2 million gift from two Dallas entrepreneurs will support a new faculty directorship in the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in SMU’s Cox School of Business.

The Linda A. and Kenneth R. Morris Endowed Directorship honors Jerry F. White, who has served as director since 1988. The endowment provides for the continued professional leadership of the Institute, which promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship through credit and noncredit courses as well as numerous business community outreach programs.

The gift also raises the University to 103 endowed faculty positions and closer to the Second Century Campaign goal of 110.

“Endowments such as this are vital because they allow us to retain individuals of great distinction at the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This farsighted gift provides permanent funding for faculty, and we are proud that it comes from an SMU alumni family.”

The Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship supports everything from business plan competitions and entrepreneurship clubs to participation in the U.S. State Department’s International Visitor Leadership Program.

“Supporting the spirit of entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox School bolsters the University’s commitment to student learning both inside and outside the classroom,” said Cox Dean and Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership Al Niemi. “This is at the very heart of what puts Cox graduates head and shoulders above their peers.”

Ken Morris is currently vice president, student systems software, at Workday, Inc., where he has served in a variety of technology- and development-related roles since shortly after the company was founded in 2005.  He was the co-founder of PeopleSoft Inc., where he served as its chief technology officer and in various other technology-related roles for 11 years until his retirement in 1998.

Linda Morris spent most of her professional career in recruiting and human resources.  She served as a principal at American Management Systems, Inc., heading up a nationwide college recruiting effort, and later was manager of human resources for PeopleSoft Inc.  She currently is involved with various philanthropic activities. Together, the couple founded the Morris Foundation, which assists social services organizations, especially those focused on education and animal cruelty prevention and care.

Mr. and Mrs. Morris were among the first of two investors in the SMU Cox MBA Venture Fund, directed by White through the Caruth Institute, which allows MBA students to gain practical knowledge in venture projects. The fund was established with $600,000 in seed capital, made its first investment in 2002, and is now valued at approximately $4 million after 15 student-driven investments.

The gift to fund the new endowed directorship counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $942 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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