May 31, 2012

As new projects begin, SMU outlines return on investment

In 2012 we are heralding another Centennial milestone – the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of Dallas Hall, inaugurating our campus master plan in the Collegiate Georgian tradition.

President R. Gerald Turner

Today, we are continuing the tradition of stately and state-of-the-art facilities as we further develop the campus. On our second Founders’ Day April 20, we broke ground on new projects in the southeast quadrant of campus, near Central Expressway and Mockingbird Lane:

• A new Residential Commons with five halls and a dining facility
• The renovation and expansion of Moody Coliseum
• A planned new Mustang Band Hall
• The Crain Family Centennial Promenade
• And south of Mockingbird, on the former Mrs. Baird’s bakery site, a new tennis complex, computer center and throwing fields.

Elsewhere on campus are two other important new projects – renovating Fondren Library Center and updating the Memorial Health Center. We thank our lead donors as we continue to raise funds for all of these projects.

We also celebrate the role of Dallas in partnering with the Church to establish SMU. We prepared an Economic and Community Impact Report to document the return on investment to Dallas. In 1911 city leaders provided $300,000 in start-up funding for SMU. Today, our regional economic impact totals $7 billion annually, including spending by SMU, its 40,000 alumni in the region, and the 300,000 visitors attracted to campus, along with capital projects and employment. Our assets stand at $4 billion, including our endowment of $1.2 billion. The full report, Dallas and SMU: The Power of Partnership, is available online at

The report also details the growth in academic quality of our students, expanding research activity, cultural significance and public service.

In all, the intellectual resources, cultural enrichment and community service we provide are immeasurable benefits to Dallas and its growing importance to our nation and world. Our immediate impact on the region is remarkable, but our influence also extends more broadly with priceless human capital – the 112,000 alumni who lead, succeed and serve throughout the world.

Thank you for enabling SMU’s impact to grow.

R. Gerald Turner