scholarships

Centennial gift from Sarah and Ross Perot Jr. endows Dedman Law scholarships in honor of Thomas W. Luce III ’62, ’66

H. Ross Perot, Tom Luce and Ross Perot, Jr.

H. Ross Perot, Thomas W. Luce III, and Ross Perot, Jr., celebrate the new Thomas W. Luce III Centennial Dedman Law Scholars Program at SMU.

A new Centennial gift from Sarah Fullinwider Perot ’83 and Ross Perot, Jr., will fund new scholarships in SMU’s Dedman School of Law in honor of one of its most distinguished graduates.

Their $1.75 million gift creates the Thomas W. Luce III Centennial Dedman Law Scholars Program, with $1.5 million going to endowment and an additional $250,000 in operating funds for the first five years. The “Centennial” designation of the program recognizes a gift that provides operational funds while the endowment matures.

Luce, who received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1999, earned his undergraduate degree on the Hilltop in 1962 and graduated from what is now Dedman School of Law in 1966.

“Sarah and Ross Perot have found the perfect way to honor their life-long friendship with Tom Luce,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Tom has been successful both in business and in public service and we are very proud of the history that he’s had here. Having Tom Luce’s name with us in perpetuity on a scholarship fund in the Dedman School of Law is a great way to honor his terrific contributions to SMU and the broader community.”

> Visit SMU’s Dedman School of Law online: law.smu.edu

Describing his family as big supporters of SMU, Ross Perot, Jr., said they agreed the best way to honor Luce was through a gift to his alma mater. In addition to financial support, students in the Luce Scholars Program will have both formal and informal opportunities to learn directly from Luce, who was a founding partner in the Dallas-based legal firm of Hughes & Luce LLP.

“Tom Luce is the role model for what a lawyer should be,” said Perot, Jr. “We hope that with this scholarship Tom will be able to attract great students to SMU, teach them to be great attorneys, and also to focus on public service.”

“I am so honored and grateful that my dear friends, Ross and Sarah Perot, chose to honor me in this way at my alma mater that means so much to me,” Luce said. “I look forward to working with the Luce Scholars in the years ahead.”

Jennifer Collins, Judge James Noel Dean of Dedman Law, said she expects the experience of working with Luce will be transformative for Luce Scholars.

“Not only has he excelled in the profession, but Tom Luce spends his time serving others on issues ranging from mental health to education,” Collins said. “He shows students what it means to be a world changer and how to really have an impact on their community, and those are the kind of lawyers we want to be sending out into the marketplace.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Meadows School announces $1.5 million challenge grant during 2015 ‘Meadows at the Meyerson’ benefit

Conductor and SMU Prof. Paul Phillips with mezzo soprano Michaela Martens, Meadows at the Meyerson, March 31, 2015

Martha Raley Peak Endowed Centennial Chair Paul Phillips conducts SMU’s Meadows Symphony Orchestra as guest artist mezzo soprano Michaela Martens sings during the 2015 “Meadows at the Meyerson” benefit concert at Dallas’ Meyerson Symphony Center.

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts announced a major new challenge grant during the most successful “Meadows at the Meyerson” concert in the event’s 22-year history on Tuesday, March 31, 2015.

A $1.5 million challenge grant from the Morris Foundation will support the school’s Meadows Scholars Program. Led by SMU alumnus Ken Morris ’72 and his wife Linda of Carefree, Arizona, the foundation will match gifts designated to the Meadows Scholars endowment by Thursday, December 31, 2015.  

Education is a primary focus of the Morris Foundation, and the family has provided significant support to SMU over the years, including gifts for the Information Technology Center in Blanton Student Services Building, Campus Technology Initiative, the Kenneth R. and Linda A. Morris BBA Scholars Endowment Fund, MBA Scholarships and, most recently, the Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Cox School of Business.

> $2 million gift to SMU establishes endowed directorship in Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship

Through donations and the Morris Foundation match for gifts designated to permanent endowment, the event raised over $1 million – a new record – for the Meadows Scholars Program.

The Meadows Scholars Program was launched in 2008 and provides scholarship support to applicants who meet both stringent academic and artistic criteria. The program has helped SMU successfully compete for the brightest and most talented students nationwide.

“We are deeply grateful to the Morris family for this generous commitment to enhance student quality at SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “With this challenge grant, the Meadows School of the Arts will be able to continue to build this critical scholarship program and to successfully attract the nation’s top students in the arts and communications fields.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

Simmons School creates scholarship fund honoring Peter Gifford

Peter Gifford portraitSMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development has established the Peter B. Gifford Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of their colleague and friend.

During his 41-year SMU career, Gifford served as assistant professor of physical education (1973-80) and then as associate professor and chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education (1980-92) within Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

In 1990, he became director of the SMU Wellness program within the Office of Student Affairs and served in that position for 17 years. From 2007 to 2012 he served as chair of the Applied Physiology and Wellness Department within the Simmons School. He passed away Nov. 5, 2014 at the age of 69.

Gifford was instrumental in creating both the Wellness and the Applied Physiology and Sports Management programs at SMU. He received a Rotunda Outstanding Professor Award in 2013.

To make a gift in memory of Peter Gifford, visit the SMU Giving site and choose the Peter B. Gifford Memorial Fund from the drop-down menu.

SMU Board of Trustees raises campaign goal to $1 billion

Bolstered by the success to date of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, the University’s Board of Trustees has raised the goal from $750 million to $1 billion.

At its quarterly meeting Friday, Sept. 13, the board voted unanimously to accept the new goal recommended by the campaign’s leadership.

The campaign seeks additional funds for scholarships, academic programs, faculty positions and campus improvements and facilities.

SMU already has surpassed its original goal and timetable, raising $780 million for a campaign scheduled to end in 2015, the 100th anniversary of the University’s opening. That date is now set to mark another milestone – the completion of SMU’s first $1 billion campaign.

SMU will join only 12 other private universities currently seeking goals of $1 billion or more. Among them are Columbia, Duke, Johns Hopkins, Georgetown, the University of Chicago and the University of Southern California. SMU is the first comprehensive university in North Texas to seek that amount.

“The generosity of our donors, the strength of our campaign leadership and the hard work of volunteers around the globe have resulted in record-breaking support for SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Even during uncertain economic times, our donors kept the momentum of the campaign going. They did not skip a beat in continuing to fund SMU’s rise in quality and reputation.”

Gerald J. Ford, trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign, said, “The notable investment made in SMU through the campaign demonstrates the University’s positive trajectory and unprecedented momentum. Raising and achieving the campaign goal is the next logical step for SMU as it expands its national and global impact.”

“Adding to SMU’s momentum during its Centennial era, 2011-2015, is the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Library, Museum and Institute,” Turner said. “This resource has attracted joint programming, concurrent appointments of SMU faculty and Bush fellows, visiting dignitaries, heightened visibility and more than 206,000 visitors to campus thus far. The support attracted by this resource has already been a tremendous benefit to the campus, city and nation.”

The funding campaign for the Bush Center, conducted by the Bush Foundation, proceeded separately from SMU’s Second Century Campaign, although at the same time. The Bush funding campaign raised more than $500 million for construction, programming and endowment for the Bush Center. “The campaigns have been synergistic, achieving mutual success,” Turner said.

Read about the $1 billion campaign goal in The Dallas Morning News.

Important SMU Priorities

Raising the campaign goal to $1 billion will provide gifts to fund additional scholarships, endowed faculty positions, academic programs and campus life enhancements, including new facilities.

Faculty and academic leadership positions targeted for endowments include those in areas such as entrepreneurship, biostatistics, science and technology law, the impact of the arts on communities, art history, theological studies and library support.

Academic programs earmarked for new endowments and operational support represent areas of growing importance to the region and nation, among them programs in energy management, public policy, interdisciplinary studies, cyber security, arts research and K-12 school leadership.

Increased scholarship funding is being sought to support top undergraduate and graduate students throughout the University. These resources will ensure that SMU can educate the next generation of leaders in areas such as the arts, sciences, business and engineering, disciplines that, with others, are critical to the future of Dallas.

Capital projects for academics include the renovation of Fondren Library Center in Central University Libraries and Bridwell Library in Perkins School of Theology. In addition, funding is being sought for new campus facilities, such as the Residential Commons complex and the Mustang Band Hall, now under construction. The campaign also seeks to complete funding for renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum and construction of new complexes for tennis, golf and other sports, along with operational support for athletics.

SMU Board of Trustees chair and campaign co-chair Caren Prothro emphasized the case for going forward with a new goal: “The campaign has achieved remarkable results that can be seen in our impressive gains throughout the University, but its momentum tells us that much more can be accomplished. On behalf of the students we seek to serve and the faculty who help to shape their futures, we need additional resources for scholarships to attract the best among them and continue to increase our diversity. We need to recruit and retain faculty devoted to teaching, research and creativity with an impact on their disciplines and society. We want to establish and support new academic programs that will prepare students for leadership in their professions and communities. And we must provide the best facilities for these endeavors in a living-learning environment that is second to none.”

To Mike Boone, chair-elect of the SMU Board of Trustees, the University stands at a crossroads of opportunity and is ready to take a bold step forward. “At critical times in Dallas’ history, the city has been transformed by decisions that resulted in world-class assets for our community. Among these are an airport that serves as a global hub, a thriving arts district, a distinguished medical school producing Nobel laureates and a vibrant business community. Our new campaign goal signals the unequivocal commitment to join the list of milestones that have changed our community and its impact on the world.”

Results and Impact

To date, the campaign has raised funds for 472 new scholarships; 24 academic programs such as new schools, institutes and centers; 34 endowed faculty positions, bringing SMU’s total to 96 out of a goal of 100; and 26 capital projects, including new or expanded facilities for libraries, academic programs and athletics.

Many of the new academic programs SMU has created have direct impact on the Dallas region, such as new centers for legal services and financial studies. Schools recently endowed are the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering and the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development, which focuses on school reform and programs for community impact. Other programs contribute to research and dialogue on important national and international issues, such as the Scholars Program of the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies, focusing on public policy and service, and the Embrey Human Rights Program. Still other resources, among them expanded acquisitions for the Meadows Museum and a new National Center for Arts Research, broaden the city’s reputation in the arts internationally.

In another measure of impact and rising quality, the average SAT score of entering students has risen from 1144 in 1999 to 1302 in 2013, thanks to increasing resources for scholarships.

“These resources bring outstanding students to Dallas and help to keep our bright local students in our region, all of which enriches the talent pool here,” said Carl Sewell, trustee and campaign co-chair. “Funding for new academic positions has enabled us to attract and retain scholars from throughout the world. Professors named to endowed chairs are distinguished scholars at the top of their careers and reputations,” he added. “They bring important research projects and work not only with graduate students, but also with undergraduates, mentoring them and involving them in their research.”

Ray L. Hunt, trustee and campaign co-chair, notes that increased academic resources “enable SMU to be nimble in creating new programs in emerging fields.” Examples include centers in alternative asset management, engineering leadership, and global markets and freedom. “Access to these programs will help our graduates to compete and lead in key areas where new expertise and perspectives are needed and will increase their contributions to critical areas for our nation and the world.”

As SMU changes with the impact of the campaign, “the community will be better served and Dallas will have the distinguished university it deserves,” said Mike Boone. “Regional leaders know that as SMU rises as a center of ideas, knowledge and service, our region will be strengthened as a global center of commerce and culture. Campaign resources have strengthened not only the University, but also the economic vitality of the region,” he said. “SMU is both an indicator and a predictor of success for Dallas and our region. We will continue to prosper together.”

Campaign Participation and Leadership

Thus far 58,159 donors have made one or more gifts to the campaign. This includes 279 who have given $100,000 or more, and 123 who have committed $1 million or more, an all-time high for SMU.

SMU’s campaign goals also include giving levels among alumni. The campaign seeks gifts from 25 percent of alumni each year and from 50 percent over the course of the campaign. Thus far more than 50 percent of SMU alumni have made one or more gifts during the campaign. A record 24 percent of alumni provided gifts in the fiscal year ending May 31, 2013, representing the highest number of alumni ever to give to SMU in a single year.

“The concept of a billion dollars may seem overwhelming, but the fact is that it will take gifts of all sizes for us to meet our new goal,” said Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler, a trustee and campaign co-chair. “So we’re asking our alumni to take part at any level they can afford. It all counts, and it all makes a difference. Together, we are living up to the theme of our campaign, SMU Unbridled.”

The Second Century Campaign is led by five co-chairs: Convening co-chair Gerald J. Ford, with Ruth Altshuler, Ray L. Hunt, Caren H. Prothro and Carl Sewell. They lead a 15-member Campaign Executive Council and nearly 40 Steering Committee co-chairs spearheading various fundraising efforts, such as those for each school, the libraries, athletics and student life. Regional campaigns range from New York to Los Angeles and from Mexico City to Hong Kong. Campaign committee members total more than 350 worldwide, and hundreds of others are providing volunteer support.

Initial deadline for SMU J Term 2013 is Wednesday, Nov. 21

SMU J Term 2013 logoApplication deadlines for SMU’s 2013 J Term are coming up fast. The initial course selection deadline for J Term courses is 4 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012, the day before Thanksgiving.

Late applications will be considered after the initial deadline but are subject to availability of class space. Forty different courses have been scheduled for the 2013 session, which takes place Jan. 7-16 at the SMU-in-Plano campus.

> Visit the SMU J Term course registration page

The courses qualify under the SMU Tuition Benefits Program for eligible University faculty, staff and dependents. Submit a tuition benefits application through Access.SMU’s Benefits > Tuition Benefits link as soon as a successful J Term course enrollment is complete.

Learn more about SMU’s Tuition Benefits Program

A limited number of tuition assistance scholarships are available to full-time SMU undergraduate students attending an SMU J Term course. The J Term Scholars Award can be combined with other J Term financial aid, not to exceed the cost of tuition. Interested students must send applications for the J Term Scholars Award to the SMU Financial Aid Office, 119 Blanton, by Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012.

Download the SMU J Term Scholars Award 2012-13 application (PDF format)

Assistance is awarded at the discretion of the SMU J Term Tuition Scholarship Committee, and the scholarship can only be applied towards the cost of tuition. Those receiving staff or dependent benefits through SMU are not eligible for the J Term Scholars award. The scholarship is not applicable to the Meadows New York Colloquium.

The J Term (short for January Term) allows students to complete one three-credit-hour course at a discounted tuition rate before the start of the spring semester. For J Term 2013, regular undergraduate students will pay a reduced tuition rate of $1,100 per credit hour ($3,300 per course), the same rate offered during the SMU 2012 Summer School program. Parking is free on the SMU-in-Plano campus, and no decal is required.

This year’s offerings include courses from the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Lyle School of Engineering, Meadows School of the Arts, and Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Find a complete list of 2013 J Term courses

J Term courses are not available for registration through Access.SMU. To enroll, students should meet with an adviser to select appropriate courses and to apply online or complete a J Term application form (PDF format).

Application forms may be submitted to the University Registrar Service Center on the first floor of the Blanton Student Services Building, or to the Taos/J Term office in 338 Blanton. They may also be faxed to 972-473-3433 or sent by e-mail to jterm@smu.edu.

Visit smu.edu/jterm online

For the Record: Dec. 2, 2010

Anita Ingram, Risk Management, was inducted as 2010-11 treasurer of the University Risk Management and Insurance Association (URMIA) at the organization’s 41st annual conference in Pittsburgh on Oct. 12, 2010. URMIA is an international nonprofit educational association promoting “the advancement and application of effective risk management principles and practices in institutions of higher education,” according to its press release. It represents more than 500 institutions of higher education and 100 companies.

Beth Newman, English, Dedman College, attended the North American Victorian Studies Association conference in Montreal Nov. 11-13, 2010, where she read a paper titled “Walter Pater, Alice Meynell, and Aestheticist Temporality.” The next weekend she read a slightly expanded version of the paper at the Clark Library (UCLA), at a symposium titled “Cultures of Aestheticism.”

Emily George Grubbs ’08, Bywaters Special Collections, Hamon Arts Library, wrote an article published in Legacies: A History Journal for Dallas and North Central Texas, published by the Dallas Historical Society. The article, “Texas Regionalism and the Little Theatre of Dallas,” discusses the collaboration between local artists and the Little Theatre of Dallas in areas such as program cover design, stage sets and publicity posters. Early in their careers, architect O’Neil Ford and artists Jerry Bywaters, Alexandre Hogue and Perry Nichols were among those who collaborated with the theatre.

Grant Kao and Justin Nesbit, graduate video game design students in The Guildhall at SMU, have been chosen to receive national scholarships presented annually by the Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences. Kao and Nesbit will receive $2,500 each through the Randy Pausch and Mark Beaumont scholarship funds, respectively. The scholarships are awarded by the AIAS Foundation, the philanthropic arm of AIAS. Read more from SMU News.

SMU’s Data Mining TeamSubhojit Das and Greg Johnson, third-year students in the economics graduate program; and Jacob Williamson, a second-year graduate student in applied economics – has placed second in the national 2010 SAS Data Mining Shootout competition. Their faculty sponsor is Tom Fomby, Economics, Dedman College. Winners of the national competition were announced Oct. 25 at the SAS Data Mining Conference in Las Vegas.

SMU 2010 Data Mining Team in Las VegasThe competition’s problem statement was to determine the economic benefit of reducing the Body Mass Indices (BMIs) of a select number of individuals by 10 percent and to determine the cost savings to federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as to the economy as a whole, from the implementation of the proposed BMI reduction program. This is the third year in a row that the University’s Economics Department has fielded one of the country’s top three data mining teams; SMU finished as national champions in 2008 and 2009. Read more from SMU News.

(In photo, left to right: Tim Rey of Dow Chemical Company; Subhojit Das, Tom Fomby, Greg Johnson and Jacob Williamson, all of SMU; and Tracy Hewitt of the Institute for Health and Business Insight at Central Michigan University. Dow Chemical and the Institute for Health and Business Insight were co-sponsors of the competition, along with the SAS Institute of Cary, North Carolina.)

$2 million in gifts to provide scholarships for Chinese students

Two gifts totaling $2 million will provide SMU scholarships for outstanding students from China.

A gift of $1 million from Helmut Sohmen of Hong Kong, alumnus of SMU’s Dedman School of Law and a university trustee, will continue the endowed scholarship program he established for Chinese lawyers to study at the Dedman School of Law.

Sohmen is chairman of the BW Group of companies, one of the world’s largest privately owned shipping fleets.

And a $1 million gift from the Barachel Foundation of Dallas will establish a scholarship fund to enable Chinese undergraduate students to attend SMU.

“Providing leadership for a global society is critical, and these gifts will help advance SMU’s goal to educate international leaders,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Enabling students from around the world to study and share ideas together benefits all students – those from other countries as well as those from the United States.”

The Sohmen program provides scholarships covering tuition, fees and living stipends for Chinese lawyers pursuing master of law degrees in comparative and international law at the Dedman School of Law. The program has graduated more than 1,500 lawyers from 80 countries.

The $1 million gift from the Barachel Foundation will provide scholarships for outstanding Chinese undergraduate students who come primarily from rural areas of China. The goal of the Barachel Foundation Scholarship Fund at SMU is to educate Chinese leaders who will make important contributions to the future of their country.

> Read the full story from Bob Miller of The Dallas Morning News

For the Record: Oct. 16, 2009

The G. William Jones Film and Video Collection, Hamon Arts Library, has been awarded a $28,000 grant from the National Film Preservation Foundation (NFPF) for the preservation of Carib Gold (1956), an African-American crime drama set in Key West and featuring Ethel Waters, Cicely Tyson and Geoffrey Holder. The film is notable for its documentation of the Key West waterfront and shrimping fleet as they existed in the mid-20th century. The NFPF funds will allow the Jones Collection to use its print to create a new negative, prints, and videos. The new materials will be available for teaching, research and public viewing.

Elizabeth Johnston, a senior cinema-TV major in Meadows School of the Arts, has won the 2009 undergraduate scholarship presented by Women in Film.Dallas and will receive $2,500 toward her SMU tuition. Every fall, the organization awards two scholarships, one for undergraduates and one for graduate students, to Texas women studying media production. The awards were announced Oct. 8 during the Chick Flicks Film Series and Festival held at the Dallas Studio Movie Grill.

For the Record: April 2, 2009

Esmeralda Duran, a December 2008 Dedman College graduate with majors in English and French, has been selected for a Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Continuing Scholar Graduate Award. One of the largest and most competitive scholarship programs in the nation, the Jack Kent Cooke Foundation Graduate Scholarship provides up to $50,000 per year for up to 6 years of graduate study. Duran held a Jack Kent Cooke Undergraduate Transfer Scholarship as an SMU undergraduate.

Pekka HamalainenPekka Hämäläinen (right) has received a 2009 Bancroft Prize, awarded by Columbia University, for his book The Comanche Empire (Yale University Press, 2008), published in cooperation with SMU’s William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies in Dedman College. Currently an associate professor of history and co-director of the Center for Borderlands and Trans-cultural Studies at UC-Santa Barbara, Hämäläinen was the Clements Center’s 2001-02 Bill and Rita Clements Fellow for the Study of Southwestern America.

Warren Seay: Scholar, citizen…school board member?

Warren SeayWarren Seay says service is in his future, and it’s his present focus as well. The junior Hunt Leadership Scholar has received a prestigious national award recognizing his potential – even as he’s running for public office for the first time, at age 20.

Out of more than 600 candidates, Seay is one of 60 students from 55 U.S. colleges and universities to be named a 2009 Truman Scholar. The award recognizes college juniors with exceptional leadership potential who are committed to careers in government or elsewhere in public service. It provides up to $30,000 for graduate study, in addition to leadership training and internship opportunities. Seay is the 12th Truman Scholar at SMU since the Harry S. Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975.

“This Truman Scholarship is a testament to the guidance I’ve received from my professors and mentors at SMU,” says Seay, a political science major in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and the president of Omega Psi Phi fraternity. “It represents the type of service-learning that SMU offers and that I want to be part of in the future.”

Seay learned about the Truman Scholarship Foundation during his time as a Department of Labor intern in the 2008-10 Institute for Responsible Citizenship. He began the intensive application process upon his return to SMU in Fall 2008, focusing on minorities and education, particularly in Texas schools and his hometown district of DeSoto.

“I’ve seen what education can do for a person,” he says. “The level of minority underachievement bothers me, and I want to devote graduate school and my career to closing the achievement gap that exists in our country.”

As a result of his research on struggling students and schools, Seay says, he decided to launch a bid for an open seat on the DeSoto Independent School District Board of Trustees.

He told The Dallas Morning News, “I’m a lifelong product of DeSoto’s public school system, I’ve studied the issues, and I know the schools well.” The school board election will be held May 9, 2009.

Read more from SMU News

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