gifts

Jody and Sheila Grant pledge $1.5 million to SMU’s Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center

Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center, artist's rendering

Former varsity swimmer Joseph M. “Jody” Grant ’60 met his wife, Sheila Peterson Grant, while they were both SMU students. Now they have provided $1.5 million to help fund the University’s new Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center.

With their gift, they’ve also created the Sheila and Jody Grant Challenge, which encourages other donors to give the remaining $1.5 million to complete the Center’s $22 million funding goal. The 42,000-square-foot facility, soon to be home to the University’s internationally recognized men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, will be dedicated Friday, Nov. 3, 2017, during SMU Homecoming.

Jody and Sheila Grant

Jody and Sheila Grant

“As community business and philanthropic leaders, Jody and Sheila Grant know the importance of reaching the finish line and completing worthy goals,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Their generosity is inspirational and helps get us closer to completing funding for the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and providing a place where our student athletes can continue the championship legacy of SMU swimming and diving.”

Jody Grant attended SMU on a swimming scholarship. He earned four individual Southwest Conference swimming championships and was twice named to the All-America team.

“SMU’s swimming program has been near and dear to my heart since Coach Red Barr recruited me many years ago to swim for the Mustangs,” said Dr. Grant. “I am honored to support this new facility, which will be home for the swimming program that was so meaningful to me.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

$2 million gift establishes William F. May Endowed Directorship in SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility

Rita Kirk, William F. May Endowed Director, Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, SMU

Rita Kirk is the first William F. May Endowed Director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

A $2 million gift from SMU trustee emeritus and longtime benefactor Cary M. Maguire will endow the directorship of the University ethics center that bears his name in honor of the center’s founding director, ethicist William F. May.

Each director of the Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility will now carry the title of William F. May Endowed Director, beginning with current director Rita Kirk.

“Cary Maguire’s gifts to SMU always have been transformative,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “His commitment to the William F. May Endowed Directorship will position the Maguire Center for future excellence while permanently linking Bill May’s name with both the center he founded and the field to which he devoted his illustrious career.”

“SMU is committed to the teaching of ethics throughout its curriculum, and to promoting dialogue on important issues with the surrounding community,” said Steven Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Cary Maguire’s latest act of generosity will ensure that this dialogue continues in perpetuity with a talented, equally committed faculty member leading the way.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Highland Park UMC establishes Umphrey Lee Professorship in Methodist History to honor SMU’s centennial

One of SMU’s oldest neighbors has given the University a lasting 100th birthday present.

A $1.5 million gift from Highland Park United Methodist Church (HPUMC) will endow the Umphrey Lee Professorship in Methodist History, as well as support the HPUMC Future Church Leaders Program, in SMU’s Perkins School of Theology. The announcement of the gift fell on the date of the SMU Centennial – Sept. 24, 2015 – allowing the University to celebrate its longstanding relationship with the church that held its first service on the SMU campus in 1916.

“Our church history dates back to the founding of SMU, but our relationship is more than just an overlapping of time and geography,” said Rev. Paul Rasmussen ’04, HPUMC senior pastor, during the University’s Centennial Convocation. “It is our privilege to endow this professorship and to support the growth of future church leaders as we prepare for future generations of congregants. The Perkins School of Theology is our partner in so many ways, and remains at the heart of the SMU tradition of outreach in the community and the world.”

The gift includes $1 million to establish the faculty position in the Perkins School of Theology, and $500,000 to support educational opportunities for individuals aspiring to serve in church leadership roles. Recipients of “future leaders” funding may include students enrolled in graduate, undergraduate, certificate or continuing education programs or courses across the University, with students identified and recommended by HPUMC.

“When it comes to Umphrey Lee, it’s hard to know where SMU ends and Highland Park United Methodist Church begins, because Rev. Lee served us both for so many years,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Our HPUMC neighbors are part of the SMU family and we feel a special sense of pride that this gift will support us in teaching the rich Methodist history that we share and help to prepare future church leaders.  It’s a wonderful way to celebrate our combined centennials.”

Lee arrived at SMU in 1915, the first year classes were held on the Hilltop, and was elected the first student body president. He received his master’s degree as a member of SMU’s first graduating class in 1916. He served as pastor of HPUMC for 13 years, as SMU’s fourth president for 15 years (including during the World War II years) and as its chancellor after he stepped down as president. Over his lifetime he wrote 10 scholarly books on topics including Methodist history, the relationship between church and state, and pacifism in the context of the historic church.

“Umphrey Lee was a scholar of Methodist history who believed that the liberal arts should make students think about their responsibilities in society, and that a successful experience at Southern Methodist University would help instill personal and social values,” said Perkins Dean William B. Lawrence. “This gift from the congregation that Rev. Lee loved to the University that he also loved is a wonderful tribute to a man whose influence on SMU was transformational.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU reaches $1 billion Second Century Campaign goal; announcement made during Centennial Convocation

SMU President R. Gerald Turner has announced that SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign has reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule. He delivered the news on Thursday, Sept. 24, at the University’s Centennial Convocation in McFarlin Auditorium.

Read the full text of Dr. Turner’s Centennial Convocation address

The campaign’s official completion date is Dec. 31, 2015; campaign gifts will continue to be counted to that date.

The Centennial Convocation – gathering of volunteers, donors, alumni, civic leaders and other members of the campus and Dallas communities – was the official celebration of the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening on Sept. 24, 1915, as well as a rally for its future. The centennial is being celebrated during a weekend of Homecoming and other special events.

> Find a full schedule of Centennial Homecoming events

“This is a doubly historic day for us,” said President Turner. “As we celebrate the 100th anniversary of SMU’s opening, we are pleased to announce unprecedented new support for our future. Our founders were forward-looking leaders, and they’d be pleased to see that today’s supporters are generously investing in our next century of achievement. These donors are truly the founders of our second century.”

> Find a summary of the advancements funded by the Second Century Campaign from SMU News

SMU is one of 34 private universities nationwide that has conducted a $1 billion gift campaign. Other institutions who have done so range from Columbia University and the University of Notre Dame to Emory and Vanderbilt universities.

The Dallas Morning News: SMU reaches $1 billion fundraising goal

“By raising $1 billion to support academic excellence, SMU joins distinguished company within the higher education community,” said Gerald J. Ford, SMU trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign. “This stature underscores the reality of our growth in quality and reputation. SMU is proving to be a wise and worthy investment, not only among donors, but also among the young people who will invest their futures with us as students.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

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

SMU receives $45 million gift from The Meadows Foundation, the largest single gift in University history

Meadows Museum, SMUIn the largest single gift in SMU history, The Meadows Foundation, Inc. has pledged $45 million to SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and Meadows Museum. With this commitment, The Meadows Foundation has provided more than $100 million to the University since 1995.

The $45 million gift, the largest in The Meadows Foundation’s history, includes $25 million to support goals and programs at the Meadows Museum, which houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain. The gift designates $13 million for exhibitions, education programs and initiatives; $6 million for acquisitions; and $6 million for an acquisition challenge grant.

In addition, the gift will help the Museum expand relationships with international cultural institutions and enhance its reputation as the center for Spanish art in the United States.

“SMU has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with The Meadows Foundation, one initiated by Algur H. Meadows himself through the endowment of the Meadows School and the creation of the Meadows Museum,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The resulting collaboration has enhanced the lives of thousands of students, faculty and members of the local, regional and international communities. This year, as we celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the Meadows Museum and the centennial of SMU’s opening, we are honored to accept a gift that will continue this extraordinary partnership.”

The Meadows Foundation gift also designates $20 million to the Meadows School of the Arts to support its goal to lead the nation in arts education. The funding will be used to attract and retain top faculty and students, create and maintain innovative programs of national importance and provide enhanced studio, gallery and state-of-the-art classroom spaces. The gift designates $12 million for facility enhancements, including a $10 million challenge grant, and $8 million for student and faculty recruitment and retention, as well as new strategic initiatives.

“Algur H. Meadows’ vision of an innovative school of the arts and a museum of international distinction has been realized in the Meadows School of the Arts and Meadows Museum,” said Linda P. Evans, chairman and CEO of The Meadows Foundation. “This historic gift recognizes their remarkable transformations over the past two decades, as well as the talented leadership in place at SMU. It also serves as a strategic investment in the dynamic futures of the Meadows School of the Arts and the Meadows Museum, serving diverse audiences around the globe.”

The Meadows Foundation is a private philanthropic institution established in 1948 by Algur H. Meadows and his wife, Virginia, to benefit the people of Texas. Since its inception, the Foundation has disbursed more than $775 million in grants and direct charitable expenditures to more than 7,000 Texas institutions and agencies. The Meadows Foundation’s primary areas of giving are arts and culture, civic and public affairs, education, health, and human services, in addition to initiatives focused on the environment, mental health and public education.

Meadows School of the ArtsThe Meadows School of the Arts was named in 1969 in honor of Algur H. Meadows, its primary benefactor.

“This generous gift will help the Meadows School to maintain and continue its historic journey as a national model for arts education,” said Sam Holland, the Algur H. Meadows dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “We are honored to reflect Algur Meadows’ legacy with a School that continues to create and maintain important programs and initiatives in the arts.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

 

SMU breaks ground on Harold Clark Simmons Hall

Harold Clark Simmons Hall at SMU, artist's rendering

An artist’s rendering of Harold Clark Simmons Hall, the second building in SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development quad. The University broke ground for the new facility on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014.

SMU broke ground on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014 for the second building in the University’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development complex.

Harold Clark Simmons Hall was funded by a gift of $25 million from Annette Caldwell Simmons and Harold C. Simmons in February 2013. The gift will also support three new endowed academic positions. The new facility will be named in honor of the late Mr. Simmons, at Mrs. Simmons’ request.

“This new building will support the growing impact and leadership of the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. The Simmons School excels in research productivity and innovative programs that have direct application to the critical education needs in our community and beyond,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The generosity of Harold and Annette Simmons reflects their wisdom and foresight in supporting programs that expand human potential and achievement. We are grateful to them for enabling us to increase student and faculty achievement in the school.”

> Visit the Simmons School online at smu.edu/simmons

Situated along Airline Drive, Harold Clark Simmons Hall will be a three-story, 40,000-square-foot academic building and home to the Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education, the Teacher Development Studio and the Department of Teaching and Learning. The facility also will include classrooms, labs, faculty and administrative offices and conference rooms to meet the expanding program needs of the school. Completion is scheduled for late 2015.

“One dean should not have this much fun,” said David Chard, Leon Simmons Endowed Dean of the Simmons School, noting that in the space of a very short time, he has been privileged to break ground on two buildings made possible by Harold and Annette Simmons.

“Harold C. Simmons Hall represents a generous commitment to the teachers and children of our region,” Chard added. “It will enable the Simmons School to help teachers optimize their impact on children’s education. It will also serve as the hub of our community-based programs, allowing us to expand our understanding of the relationship between schools and the communities they serve.”

In 2007 Harold and Annette Simmons made a historic $20 million gift to SMU, which established endowments for the school and provided funding for the school’s first new building, Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall. The gift created an endowed graduate fellowship fund and an endowed deanship and faculty recruitment fund, both of which honored Mr. Simmons’ parents, who were educators in Golden, Texas. In recognition of their commitment, SMU named the school the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Their combined gifts of $45 million to the school make Harold and Annette Simmons’ commitment among the largest to SMU’s Second Century Campaign, also making them among the most generous donors in SMU’s 100-year history. Previous gifts include the endowment of four President’s Scholars and the creation of the Simmons Distinguished Professorship in Marketing in the Cox School of Business.

“The innovative programs of the Simmons School, including those to be housed in the new Harold Clark Simmons Hall, have the potential to influence the direction of American education,” said Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “They are also examples of the kind of intellectual capital that SMU is increasingly able to provide for the region and the nation.”

“We were a collection of unrelated programs,” Dean Chard said to Mrs. Simmons. “The seeds you and Harold planted have (allowed the Simmons School to become) a force for change.”

Harold Clark Simmons Hall will serve as home for these Simmons School programs:

  • The Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education focuses on a strategic and holistic approach to fighting poverty by transforming education. It equips school districts and nonprofits as they work together to assess and meet the extraordinary needs of children in poverty. The center builds data-sharing infrastructure, makes previously inaccessible data available, teaches partners to translate data and uses data to develop collaborative and highly targeted plans to accelerate students’ academic success. Its work centers on West Dallas as a model that eventually can be adopted by other urban areas. Endowed in 2014 by Russell and Dorothy Budd ’06, the center is the backbone organization for The School Zone, a West Dallas collaboration of 26 social service agencies and 23 public and private schools.
  • The Teacher Development Studio will occupy three laboratories that are technologically equipped to train students in teaching, instructional design and assessment. These labs offer teachers a place to practice being teachers in low-stakes environments:
  • The Teaching Performance Lab will simulate pre-K–12 classroom environments with computer avatars standing in for students. The avatars play the roles of students in classroom situations, and the teacher interacts through the same technology used in video games.
  • The Assessment Lab offers software programs that allow teachers to create assessments and evaluate student performance. Assessment outcomes will be relayed to the Instructional Design Lab, where teachers can construct the resources they need to connect with their students.
  • The Instructional Design Lab will provide teachers access to state-of-the-art technology as well as conventional materials to develop unit and lesson plans and technology applications to support student learning.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt fund new SMU legal center for victims of crimes against women

Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt

Nancy Ann and Ray L. Hunt

A new legal center in SMU’s Dedman School of Law will provide services for the victims of domestic violence, sex trafficking and other crimes against women.

Ray L. and Nancy Ann Hunter Hunt have committed $5 million to create the Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women, named in honor of Mrs. Hunt’s father. The late Judge Hunter was a distinguished Missouri state and federal judge and longtime advocate of merit as the determining factor in the selection of judges.

“Ray and Nancy Ann have recognized the great need for free legal assistance to some of our community’s most vulnerable members,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As is typical of the Hunts, they have acted with generosity and insight to fill the need, while also expanding educational opportunities for law students to make a difference in this important area of the law. We are grateful for the generosity of Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt, who carry on a tradition of thoughtful giving to SMU and numerous other institutions.”

Under the supervision of law faculty, Dedman Law students working in the Hunter Legal Center will provide legal services such as protective orders; divorce, custody and child support agreements; as well as assistance with credit and housing issues. Using a holistic approach, students will gain experience with the myriad needs and complexity of issues that victims encounter and will see the human faces behind related legal issues.

“We are honored to name this Legal Center after my father, whose main interest as a judge was the well-being of individuals through fair treatment and protection under the law,” said Nancy Ann Hunt. “As a result of this program, participating law students will enter the legal profession with a deeper understanding of the victims of exploitation, trafficking and abuse and what they need for their lives to be restored. Their suffering may be hidden from our sight and may be uncomfortable to acknowledge publicly. But through the availability of free legal services, we hope they will feel empowered to come forward and obtain help.”

An estimated 1.3 million women are victims of domestic violence each year. It also is believed that incidents are under-reported by victims out of fear or concern that there will be no remedies for their plight. Estimates are that more than 300,000 individuals, including children, are trafficked in the sex industry in the United States each year. The average age for entering the sex industry is 13.

“Dedman Law’s clinical education program is central to our mission of providing outstanding legal education and public service, along with developing professional responsibility,” said Julie Forrester, interim dean of the Dedman School of Law. “The clinics are among the programs that keep Dedman Law in the forefront of legal education, which must evolve to meet emerging needs. The Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women underscores our commitment to equip our law students not only to practice law, but also to become community leaders well-informed about societal issues.”

This latest gift counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $844 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign coincides with SMU’s commemoration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.

> Read the full story from SMU News

$7.75 million gift will create cyber security institute in SMU Lyle

Darwin Deason

Darwin Deason

A $7.75 million gift from Darwin Deason, founder of Affiliated Computer Services, will launch the Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security and support the Deason Innovation Gym in SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.

Deason’s gift provides a $5 million endowment, as well as $1.25 million in operational funding, for the new institute, headed by renowned cyber security expert Fred Chang. Formerly research director at the National Security Agency (NSA), Chang joined SMU in fall 2013 as the inaugural Bobby B. Lyle Endowed Centennial Distinguished Chair in Cyber Security with the goal of creating the Institute that now bears Deason’s name.

The gift provides another $1.5 million to support the operation of the Innovation Gym, also named in honor of the Deason family. The Innovation Gym is a facility in which students are immersed into a fast-paced environment to solve engineering problems.

“This support immediately positions the Lyle School to make significant contributions to the science of cyber security,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Darwin Deason’s generous gift of operational funding, in addition to the endowment, allows the Institute to begin addressing critical cyber security issues from day one, advancements that will have an impact far beyond our campus nationally and globally.”

“Darwin Deason’s gift will support important research and education across a broad spectrum of student involvement,” said Lyle School Dean Marc Christensen. “The institute will attract the best minds to address the threats of cyber crime and cyber terrorism. The Innovation Gym helps develop young minds, turning students loose to solve real-world problems under tight deadlines, overcoming intermediate failures as they learn to innovate. By supporting the institute, this gift recognizes the importance of research at the highest level to solve a global challenge. By funding the Innovation Gym, the gift helps to develop the next generation of innovators equipped to solve emerging problems.”

Deason is the founder of Affiliated Computer Systems, launched in 1988 to handle business processes for clients such as E-ZPass, 7-Eleven, United Parcel Service (UPS), the City of Dallas and numerous state and federal agencies. Serving in a variety of executive positions, including as chairman of the board and CEO, Deason took the company public in 1994 and sold it to Xerox for $6.4 billion in 2010.

Previously, Deason worked for the data-processing firm MTech, where he was promoted to CEO at the age of 29. Before joining MTech, Deason worked in data processing for Gulf Oil in Tulsa, having started there as a mail clerk.

“My business career was built on technology services, so clearly the issue of cyber security is something I take very seriously,” Deason said. “The work of the institute will have a far-reaching impact, spanning retail, defense, technology, healthcare, energy, government, finance and transportation – everything that makes our world work.”

Several members of Deason’s family have SMU connections: Deason’s son, Doug, is married to Holly, who is an alumna. Doug’s son, Preston, and Holly’s daughter, Fallon, both currently attend SMU.

The gift counts toward SMU’s Second Century Campaign, which has received more than $800 million toward a $1 billion goal to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign continues to work toward raising the number of endowed faculty positions at the University to 110; raising the number of endowed student scholarships to 500; and completing 15 major campus facilities.

Written by Kim Cobb

> Read the full story from SMU News

Gerald J. Ford gives $15 million for new SMU research center

Confetti streamers fly at the announcement of Gerald J. Ford’s $15 million gift to establish a new research center at SMU. Ford’s new commitment brings to $800 million the total raised to date by the University’s Second Century Campaign.

Business leader and banker Gerald J. Ford has committed a $15 million lead gift for a campus research center that will help expand advanced computing and interdisciplinary research throughout the University.

The new state-of-the-art building will support research facilitated by SMU’s high-performance computing capabilities, among other projects. It also will be the home of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, established in May 2012 through a gift from the Dedman family and Foundation. The building will be located on SMU’s main campus at the corner of McFarlin Boulevard and Airline Road.

The Gerald J. Ford Research Center joins other advancements SMU is implementing to support its accelerated research push. Among them is completion of a new University data center in a companion building under construction on SMU property south of Mockingbird Lane. Technology in the new building will enable SMU’s high-performance computing capacity to grow from 2,000 to more than 10,000 CPU’s.

“The new Gerald J. Ford Research Center will help to transform the research and educational landscape of the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Students must be prepared for a world in which data analyses, modeling and visualization are critical decision-making tools, while faculty continue to push the boundaries of knowledge and innovation. Gerald Ford’s new gift continues his tradition of strong support for faculty research. We are extremely grateful to him for this major boost to SMU’s academic aspirations and impact.”

In 2003 Ford established the Gerald J. Ford Research Fellows program at SMU, which annually honors outstanding faculty members with funding to support their research and creative endeavors. To date 48 professors have been named Ford Research Fellows.

“I believe it is important that SMU alumni and friends support all areas of the University – academic programs, scholarships, athletics and campus development,” Ford said. “SMU is known for the breadth of the educational experience it provides, and this campaign is strengthening every critical component of the campus environment for our students.”

The surprise announcement of Ford’s new commitment was made Friday, Oct. 25 at a meeting of leaders and volunteers for SMU’s Second Century Campaign. The Volunteer Summit attracted more than 200 participants and coincided with the University’s Homecoming Week.

Ford’s new commitment brings to $800 million the total raised to date by SMU’s Second Century Campaign. The University announced in September that it was raising its original monetary goal from $750 million to $1 billion, based on the campaign’s rapid progress ahead of schedule. Seeking resources for scholarships, faculty positions, academic programs, facilities and the campus experience, the campaign was publicly launched in 2008.

Based on continuing campaign momentum and expansion of the goal to $1 billion, SMU has adopted ambitious new goals to:

  • Increase the number of endowed scholarships to 500 by the end of the campaign, December 31, 2015.
  • Increase the number of endowed faculty positions to 110, up from the original goal of 100. To date 96 such positions have been established, 34 through The Second Century Campaign.
  • Complete funding for 10 major capital projects, beyond the five already completed since the start of the campaign, for a total of 15.

> Read more about the Ford Research Center from SMU News

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