May 1, 2008

Gary and Sylvie Crum


MU basketball has a new MVP: the $13-million, 43,000-square-foot Crum Basketball Center. Dedicated February 21, the Center was made possible by a leadership gift from SMU Board of Trustees member Gary T. Crum (’69) and his wife, Sylvie, of Houston.

Other major donors are David and Carolyn Miller, Vic and Gladie Jo Salvino and the Embrey Family Foundation.

Projects like the Center benefit the entire SMU community, Board Chair Carl Sewell (’66) said, because “an athletics program that reflects the standards of excellence and leadership embraced at the University level strengthens the overall campus experience for our student athletes, alumni and fans. The victories of our student athletes in the arena are victories shared by all, creating a sense of school pride that lasts long after graduation.”

Now in her 17th season as SMU’s women’s head basketball coach, Rhonda Rompola (’83) says the new facility “shows SMU’s commitment to both basketball programs and will help us to recruit the best players.”

A full-court press by SMU’s men’s head basketball coach Matt Doherty, who arrived at the Hilltop in April 2006, helped turn the hoop dream into a reality. “I have helped design facilities at other universities, but the Crum Basketball Center is, by far, one of the finest practice facilities in the nation,” he says. “The Crum Center will provide players with the opportunity to work on their skills year-round and shows the commitment to big-time basketball at SMU.”

The men’s and women’s programs have their own full-sized practice court, locker room and lounge. The lower level connects via a tunnel to Moody Coliseum, where the Mustangs will continue to play their games.

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Senior Janielle Dodds, who graduates in May, calls the Crum Center “our own home, not one we have to share.”
The Mustangs’ top female scorer believes the new facility will help ease the burden of juggling class schedules with practice time.

The Crum Basketball Center shares its lineage with the venerable Moody Coliseum, which in 1959 also was designed by what is now HKS Sports and Entertainment Group, one of the world’s premier designers of sports facilities.