December 22, 2011

Preserving A Legacy While Pursuing Aspirations

It has been a year for cherishing memories and celebrating milestones.

In the centennial year of SMU’s founding, 2011, we honored our heritage. We gathered as a community to celebrate Founders’ Day in April. We transformed the first floor of Hughes-Trigg Student Center into Centennial Hall, a multimedia, interactive display of our history, our present and our potential for even greater achievement.

President R. Gerald Turner

We hosted Centennial reunions, expanded the Homecoming parade, and produced a stunning full-color picture book capturing SMU’s grandeur as a place of learning and living. We invited SMU, Dallas and national experts to take part in our Centennial academic symposium, “The University and the City: Higher Education and the Common Good.” Our web site at captures the many ways we are marking the Centennial period, 2011-2015, and welcoming your ongoing participation.

Most important of all, we honored the legacy of our founders by building on their dreams.

Once again, we welcomed the most academically gifted entering class in our history, with an average SAT score of 1268, up from 1243 last year, and moving closer to our goal of 1300. SMU’s average SAT scores have risen 125 points in the past ten years, and applications have more than doubled. It is clear that SMU is increasingly attractive to the best students, and we’re determined to keep that momentum going.

A key way to accomplish that, of course, is to continue raising funds for merit scholarships, a major goal of our Second Century Campaign, which has reached another milestone: We have reached $574.1 million toward the $750 million goal, and we’re still in full swing.

So, as we enter 2012, we have much to celebrate and anticipate. We will continue to mark the special milestones of our past through Founders’ Day activities and other Centennial events. And we’ll continue to commemorate ongoing progress. We will break ground on the new Residential Commons, implement a new University curriculum and proceed with upgrades to facilities such as Moody Coliseum. Most of all, we remain grateful for your unwavering support of the University’s founding vision and enduring aspirations. Today’s donors are the founders of our future, and we celebrate you.

R. Gerald Turner