SMU welcomes prospective students during Spring 2015 visits

endowed scholarships

SMU welcomes prospective students during Spring 2015 visits

Students on the Laura Bush Promenade at SMU

Prospective SMU undergraduates from around the nation are visiting the Hilltop throughout March and April 2015. They include visitors in the University’s “Destination SMU” events for accepted prospective students, as well as potential President’s and Hunt Leadership Scholars.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner stressed the importance of these visits, as the University welcomes “the most academically competitive applicant pool in our history,” in an e-mail to faculty and staff members dated Wednesday, March 18. Typically, more than 75 percent of accepted students who visit campus will select SMU based on the quality of their experience as visitors, he added

“Take a moment to say ‘hello’ when you see visitors on campus,” Turner wrote. He reminded faculty, staff and current students to look for visitors carrying the distinctive red SMU drawstring backpacks provided by the University, which make prospective students easy to identify among the campus population.

“Our remarkable campus and the collegiate experience you help to create are central to our recruitment success,” Turner added. “Every point of contact can make a difference in a student’s decision to choose SMU … when admitted students experience for themselves that the beauty of our campus is enriched by the warmth of our community.”

Visitation programs for admitted students continue until the Friday, May 1 admission deposit deadline.

Visit SMU Undergraduate Admission online

March 23, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

$4 million in gifts will fund SMU Tower Scholars Program

SMU Tower Center logoGifts totaling more than $4 million will endow and provide operational support for the new Tower Scholars Program – a unique immersion experience for undergraduates in public policymaking through SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.

A gift of $2 million, made possible by Highland Capital Management L.P., will endow the Highland Capital Management Endowed Tower Scholars Program Fund. The participating students will be recognized as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars.

A gift of $1 million from the Hamon Charitable Foundation will endow the Jake L. Hamon Endowed Internship Program in the Tower Scholars Program Fund. A $1 million gift from The Berry R. Cox Family Foundation will support endowment and provide operational support.

The University has received additional donations totaling over $400,000 toward operation of the Tower Scholars Program fund – important to the implementation of the program until the endowments mature.

> The Dallas Morning NewsBob Miller: SMU’s Tower Scholars Program receives over $4 million in gifts

Ten sophomore students will be selected as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars every year. Students may apply to the program during the fall term of their sophomore year; the first applications are being accepted in fall 2014. The first scholars will begin their studies in spring 2015 leading to a minor in Public Policy and International Affairs.

The scholars will be steeped in domestic and foreign affairs, national security and defense, and international political economy. Access to global and national leaders and policy makers, study abroad opportunities and meaningful senior-year internships are hallmarks of the program. The specialized curriculum includes instruction by professors-of-the-practice and visiting diplomats.

“Few American universities offer a program designed for undergraduates with as much real-world policy education and experience as does the Tower Scholars Program,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The gifts that make this program possible allow students to begin gaining professional perspectives while working toward their undergraduate degrees, bridging the usual gap between graduation and career development.”

“The Tower Center is a signature program within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and I’m delighted with the opportunity this presents for all of our SMU students,” said Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero. “The students who will graduate as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars are destined for great things,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden.

The invitation-only Tower Scholars Program and associated minor is open for application from all majors across SMU’s schools, with admission based on a competitive process. The minor in Public Policy and International Affairs requires 15 hours of political science courses, beginning with Introduction to Global Policy Making in the spring of the sophomore year. The scholars will develop mentor relationships with public policy practitioners, work with clients on actual cases, and have access to local businesses, decision makers and Tower Center Board members.

The gifts to fund the Tower Scholars Program count toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised $874 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

September 9, 2014|News|

SMU prepares for Spring 2013 prospective-student visits

Students on the Laura Bush Promenade at SMU

Prospective SMU undergraduates from around the nation are visiting the Hilltop throughout March and April 2013. They include visitors in the University’s “Destination SMU” events for accepted prospective students, as well as potential President’s and Hunt Scholars.

“Our students, faculty and staff are an especially important part of this process, sharing firsthand perspectives on academic programs, campus life and opportunities beyond campus,” wrote SMU President R. Gerald Turner in a campuswide e-mail dated Friday, March 22. He reminded faculty, staff and current students to look for visitors carrying the distinctive red SMU drawstring backpacks provided by the University, which make prospective students easy to identify among the campus population.

“As you may know, more than 75 percent of prospective students who visit campus select SMU based on the quality of those visits,” Turner added. “Every point of contact is critical in helping these students gain a sense of the collegiate experience at SMU, whether you are welcoming visitors to your classes or helping them find their way to a campus destination.”

Visitation programs for admitted students continue until the Wednesday, May 1 admission deposit deadline.

Visit SMU Undergraduate Admission online

March 22, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|

$12.1 million gift creates endowed fund for Dedman Law scholarships

The Umphrey Lee Tempietto in SMU's Dedman School of Law QuadThis story originally appeared in Robert Miller’s column in The Dallas Morning News Sunday, Oct. 28, 2012.

The Dedman School of Law has announced that W. Yandell “Tog” Rogers Jr. of Houston is giving $12.1 million to provide scholarships.

The gift to establish the W. Yandell “Tog” Rogers Jr. Endowed Scholarship Fund is the second-largest in the history of the SMU law school. The largest gift was $20 million from the Dedman family that resulted in naming of the school.

Rogers earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of North Texas before enrolling in the SMU School of Law on a scholarship arranged by a law professor. “I’m paying back a debt,” Rogers said. “Without a scholarship, I wouldn’t have made it through the SMU School of Law. This gift is to help other people in need do what I was able to do.”

Rogers is a retired lawyer and businessman. After graduating from the SMU School of Law in 1961, he clerked for Texas Supreme Court Justices Clyde Smith and Joe Greenhill. He then worked as an associate in the Dallas law firm of Wynne, McKenzie, Jaffe and Tinsley from 1961 to 1967. He was in the firm’s litigation practice and represented celebrities such as baseball legend Mickey Mantle.

Rogers moved to Houston in 1967 and served as general counsel for Ridgway Blueprinting, a small, publicly traded company, before becoming president of the company. He took Ridgway private and purchased the company, selling it to American Reprographic Co. in 2000.

Rogers said his law education helped him every step of the way as a business leader. “I can honestly say that my years at SMU Law School helped prepare me for all of the issues I would later face in business.”

SMU president R. Gerald Turner said: “Increasing scholarships to attract and retain top students is one of the major goals of SMU’s Second Century Campaign. We are grateful to Tog Rogers for his vision and generosity in support of this goal.”

Rogers is a member of the executive board of Dedman School of Law and the Houston Steering Committee of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign.

Three of his five children are SMU graduates. Wiley Yandell Rogers III earned a bachelor’s degree in finance in 1986. Laura Rogers Braun earned an MBA in 1987, and Matthew Alford Rogers graduated in 2003 with bachelor’s degrees in public policy and economics.

> Read the full story

October 30, 2012|News|

SMU prepares for 2012 prospective-student visits in March and April

SMU students gathered at the Bishop Boulevard gateway marker

Prospective SMU undergraduates from around the nation will visit the Hilltop beginning Thursday, March 1, 2012, and throughout March and April. SMU President R. Gerald Turner shared the upcoming schedule of “Destination SMU” events for accepted prospective students – as well as visitation day for prospective President’s and Hunt Scholars – in a campuswide e-mail dated March 1:


In the days and weeks ahead SMU will be visited by groups of admitted students and their families, representing the most academically accomplished applicants in SMU’s history. You can play a major role in making our visitors feel welcome and in representing the quality of the educational experience they will enjoy if they decide to attend SMU.

Visitation programs for admitted students begin today and continue through April. Program dates include:

  • March 1-2
  • March 29-30
  • April 9
  • April 12-13
  • April 16
  • April 23

Scholarship interview day for Hunt and President’s Scholars candidates will be Friday, March 23. In addition, the Office of Admission is offering daily visits to prospective students and their families who make arrangements in advance.

As you know, more than 75 percent of prospective students who visit campus select SMU based on the quality of those visits. Every point of contact is critical in helping these students gain a sense of the collegiate experience at SMU, whether you are welcoming visitors to your classes or helping them find their way to a campus destination. Many of the student visitors will be carrying red backpacks we have provided them, so it will be easy to identify them among our campus population. To these visitors, each of us will be the face of SMU, representing the character and values of the University.

Thank you for the important role you play in our recruitment effort. Together, we can continue the University’s rise in academic quality as we attract and retain increasingly high-achieving students to benefit from the outstanding programs of our University.


> Visit SMU Undergraduate Admission online

March 1, 2012|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|
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