December 21, 2012

President R. Gerald Turner

In 2013 we will celebrate the third year of our Second Century Celebration. We started the commemoration in 2011, the centennial of our founding, and will culminate the festivities in 2015, the 100th anniversary of our opening. Every commemorative year has been filled with progress that would make our founders proud.

This fall we paid tribute to the architectural vision of founding President Robert S. Hyer by commemorating the birthday of Dallas Hall, whose cornerstone was laid in November 1912, and by celebrating the centennial of the first master plan. We also published the book, SMU at 100, showcasing SMU architecture and our enduring commitment to that plan.

We also celebrated groundbreakings for new and renovated facilities: Moody Coliseum and Band Hall renovations; construction of the five-hall Residential Commons, the Dr. Bob Smith Memorial Health Center renovation; construction of indoor and outdoor tennis facilities and a new Data Center on former site of Mrs. Baird’s bakery.

While the number of construction cranes on campus might suggest a building boom, there are other signs of tangible progress inside our classrooms and laboratories: ever-more talented students with the highest SAT average of an incoming class, 1274; SMU’s ranking at 58 among national universities in U.S. News & World Report; an increase in endowed faculty positions, and the addition of more than 200 scholarships since the Second Century Campaign began in 2008. Our fall campaign total is over $653 million toward our goal of $750 million.

The new year brings a unique and historic event – the dedication of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, secured after our competition with six other institutions. The dedication in April will attract U.S. and foreign leaders, scholars
and other guests from around the world. As never before the spotlight will be
on SMU, a chance to shine attention on our academic strengths, beautiful campus
and welcoming environment.

As our academic profile rises, so does our deep appreciation for the support of our alumni and friends, the sponsors of our progress for nearly 100 years and into the future.

R. Gerald Turner