Marking A Milestone In History And SMU Leadership
A permanent reminder of SMU’s milestone anniversary and a lasting tribute to University leadership was dedicated September 9.
The 1.5-acre R. Gerald Turner Centennial Quadrangle, located in the eastern quadrant of the campus, includes the Cooper Centennial Fountain, funded by Susan Smith Cooper ’62 and William R. Cooper ’58. Also located within the quadrangle is the Gail O. and R. Gerald Turner Pavilion.
The Centennial Quad is bounded by the Laura Lee Blanton Building; Collins Executive Education Center and Fincher Memorial Building, both part of the Cox School of Business; and Caruth Hall, part of the Lyle School of Engineering.
Upon seeing the final plans for the quad space, Bobby B. Lyle ’67, trustee and chair of SMU’s Buildings and Grounds Committee, approached the Board of Trustees with the idea of naming the quadrangle and pavilion as a permanent tribute to the Turners.
“We wanted not only to recognize the tremendous progress President Turner has achieved for SMU since 1995, but more importantly to celebrate his ongoing leadership for many years to come,” says Caren H. Prothro, Board chair. “We also wanted to recognize the tremendous role that Gail Turner plays in the life and progress of the University.”
Inside the 20-foot octagonal pavilion, the dome is covered by a re-creation of the night sky pattern an observer would have seen on the date of SMU’s founding on April 17, 1911. A bronze SMU logo marks the center of the pavilion floor.
The Cooper Centennial Fountain is designed in the form of an architectural terrace overlooking the Quadrangle and Pavilion. The fountain features five arched niches that repeat the visual structure of the Blanton Building’s classical colonnade. Night lighting of the fountain and uplighting of the Blanton façade integrate the building and landscape.
“Gail and I want to emphasize that SMU’s tremendous progress has been a team effort with the vision and support of a forward-looking board, generous donors and the commitment of the entire University community,” Turner said. “What pleases us most about this new quadrangle is that it will provide a peaceful and attractive gathering place for our students and others, especially as we welcome growing numbers of visitors to campus during our Centennial celebration years. We are excited to be a part of SMU’s ongoing progress at this historic time.”
The $2.5 million Centennial Quadrangle project is fully funded by 100 percent of the current trustees and several former members of the Board who have served during Turner’s presidency. The gift counts toward SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised more than $574.1 million in gifts and pledges toward its goal of $750 million.