Hunt Leadership Scholars

$15 million gift to endow SMU’s Hunt Leadership Scholars Program

Hunt Scholars Group Portrait with Tate Speaker Indra Nooyi

Nancy Ann Hunt (third from left, front row) and Ray L. Hunt (fifth from left, front row) with Hunt Leadership Scholars.

A $15 million gift from the Nancy Ann Hunt Foundation (a supporting organization of the Communities Foundation of Texas) will ensure the long-term support of one of SMU’s signature scholarship programs. With this gift, Nancy Ann ’65 and Ray L. Hunt ’65 will have contributed $65 million to the University’s Hunt Leadership Scholars Program – a nationally recognized scholarship program that attracts academically gifted and exceptional service-driven student leaders from across the country.

In 1993, the Hunts  and SMU announced a vision to create an annually funded leadership program to preserve the well-rounded and entrepreneurial nature of SMU’s student body while the University grew its academic standing. They believed that an SMU education fosters, and benefits from, students who exhibit demonstrated leadership skills, intellectual ability, a spirit of entrepreneurism and a strong work ethic, combined with a desire to grow these skills and apply them in service of the community.

> Learn more about SMU’s Hunt Leadership Scholars Program: smu.edu/hunt

“SMU has benefited enormously from Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt’s historic generosity,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Today SMU receives three times the number of applicants than it did in 1993 with many now having proven leadership, entrepreneurial and academic strengths. Therefore, although the Hunts feel that the original program’s objectives have been accomplished, we were delighted when they agreed to make this significant gift that will enable the University to create an endowment to insure the long-term continuation of the Leadership Scholars program and the legacy that the Hunts have created.”

“We are grateful for the impact this program has had upon the lives of so many students, both at SMU and beyond, in terms of preserving and enhancing the entrepreneurial spirit and “Texas heritage” which Nancy Ann and I enjoyed years ago when we were both students at SMU,” said Ray L. Hunt. “We are honored that SMU wishes to sustain this program in perpetuity to meet the needs of students at SMU and the Greater Dallas community in the years to come.”

“Our intent was to create a scholarship program that would be based upon more than just strong academic credentials,” said Nancy Ann Hunt.  “We wanted to help SMU attract truly outstanding students who demonstrate a strong potential to be a leader throughout their lives; young men and women who will stand up, speak out, and make a positive difference to a broader community.  We firmly believe that Hunt Scholars represent that type of person.”

Ten million dollars of the Hunts’ gift will be placed in an endowment that will generate funds in perpetuity. The remaining $5 million will be spent over the next several years as the endowment matures, allowing time to develop additional sources of support for the Hunt Leadership Scholars Program.

— Written by Regina Moldovan

> Read the full story from SMU News

Top high school scholars converge on campus March 19

SMU students in front of Bishop Boulevard marker

SMU’s annual Scholarship Interview Day brings more than 100 of the nation’s best high school students to the Hilltop to show them what the University has to offer.

The 2010 event, which takes place March 19, is an opportunity for these top students to learn more about SMU and its two leading merit-based programs – the President’s Scholars program, directed by Associate Provost Tom Tunks, and the Hunt Leadership Scholarship program, directed by Associate Provost Ellen Pryor.

It will be a busy weekend for prospective students: The Office of Undergraduate Admission is also hosting more than 1,000 interested high school juniors and their parents. Later, on March 25-26 and April 9-10, accepted students and their parents will visit campus to learn more about SMU and make their final decisions.

For the University, Scholarship Interview Day helps determine its next class of top scholars – and as such, it may be the most important opportunity for the University to make its case to its most highly qualified applicants.

“We know that prospective students have many choices and offers of admission and that universities like SMU are in fierce competition for the best and brightest,” SMU President R. Gerald Turner wrote in an e-mail message to faculty and staff March 16. “Thankfully, we have a remarkable campus community that can attract, enroll and serve these promising students as they pursue their studies.”

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Top scholarship candidates visit campus March 20

Dallas Hall groupOn March 20, more than 100 of the nation’s best high school students will visit SMU for an annual event that will show them what the University has to offer and help determine its next class of top scholars.

Merit Scholars Day 2009 is an opportunity for these top students to learn more about SMU and its two leading merit-based programs – the President’s Scholarship program, directed by Associate Provost Tom Tunks, and the Hunt Leadership Scholarship program, directed by Associate Provost Ellen Pryor.

But it’s also an opportunity for the University to make its case to some of its most highly qualified applicants, Tunks says.

“These students are among the brightest in the country,” he says. “They have opportunities at many institutions, and they get many offers as good as ours. Part of this whole process is making sure we present our best face.”

Read more under the link below.

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