December 4, 2007

Current B.B.A. Scholars thank businessman Edwin L. Cox for his latest gift to SMU.

As an international business leader, Edwin L. Cox knows what it takes to compete in a global marketplace – the best minds armed with the best education through nationally recognized academic programs. So he knew that providing funds for merit scholarships at SMU would be a wise investment. Cox is providing $5 million for merit-based undergraduate scholarships in the school that bears his name – SMU’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business.

The gift will serve as a challenge grant to stimulate additional contributions toward the goal of a $10 million endowment fund for the Cox School’s B.B.A. Scholars Program, to be called the Edwin L. Cox B.B.A. Scholars Program.

"Ed Cox has supported SMU generously with his time, talents and resources for more than 50 years," says President R. Gerald Turner. "It is characteristic that he would step up to fund one of the University’s greatest priorities – the support of high-achieving students."

The B.B.A. Scholars Program provides scholarships for outstanding first-year students with an interest in business as a major. SMU students typically concentrate on general education courses in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences in their first year and declare a major in their sophomore year. Students chosen as B.B.A Scholars follow the same general education curriculum but are pre-selected for direct admission to the Cox School as first-year students, thus receiving early access to Cox programs and services.

Approximately 100 students enter SMU as B.B.A. Scholars each year. They receive scholarship support throughout their academic experience at SMU. In addition to merit scholarships, they receive benefits such as customized academic advising and career services, networking with Dallas business leaders and invitations to special events.

SMU’s School of Business, established in 1920, was renamed in 1978 to recognize Cox as its major benefactor. He has served SMU in numerous capacities. Cox was chair of the Board of Trustees from 1967 to 1987 and was named trustee emeritus in 1991. He served on the Cox School Committee for SMU’s recent capital campaign and serves on the School’s Executive Board and the Advisory Board of the Cary M. Maguire Energy Institute in the Cox School. The University honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 1974, Volunteer of the Year Award in 1985 and Mustang Award in 1996.

Cox is chair of the Edwin L. Cox Company, a holding company for his private investments. He formerly was chair of Cox Oil and Gas Inc., which became Cox Exploration, one of the largest independent oil and gas exploration and production companies in the United States.