May 7, 2010

The Mary Alice and Mark Shepherd Jr. Atrium in the new Caruth Hall.

A $1 million gift from Mary AliceShepherd on behalf of her late husband,Texas Instruments pioneer Mark Shepherd Jr. ’42, has been made for a major component of Caruth Hall.

At 94 feet tall, the Mary Alice and Mark Shepherd Jr. Atrium serves as both an architectural focal point and a source of energy-saving sunlight for the building’s top three floors.

Shepherd, who died in February 2009 at 86, led Texas Instruments as it developed a global manufacturing market for semiconductors and consumer electronics. He was head of
the semiconductor team in 1958 when Jack S. Kilby invented the integrated circuit, and rose to become company chairman.

The SMU alumnus spent two of his busiest professional decades as a member of the University’s Board of Trustees.

“Mark devoted his life to the advancement of technology as a way to improve human lives, and he was especially interested in opening opportunities for bright young minds to continue that progress,” Mrs. Shepherd says. “Now, every student who walks through the atrium to be inspired by the engineering programs in Caruth Hall will continue to feel his impact.”