A $1 million gift from Linda and William Custard of Dallas will establish and endow the position of Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts. An additional $1 million from The Meadows Foundation will add to the endowment.
The Centennial chair supports one of the Second Century Campaign’s highest priorities, bringing SMU’s endowed academic positions to 93 toward a goal of 100. The Centennial designation is a special gift category during SMU’s 100th anniversary commemoration, 2011-15. Centennial endowments include operational funding to support the immediate needs of a scholarship or academic position while the principal of the endowment matures.
Mark A. Roglán, who has served as director of the Meadows Museum since 2006, will be the first to hold the endowed director position.
As Meadows Museum Advisory Board chair since 2009, Linda Custard has worked closely with Roglán in developing and expanding Museum programs. “Mark Roglán has enhanced the Meadows Museum’s international stature with important new programs, such as a partnership with the Prado Museum in Madrid,” she says. “I have been privileged to assist him in implementing some of his exciting plans for the Museum.”
Linda Custard has served SMU and its arts programs in numerous roles. A member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2012, she serves on the Campaign Steering Committee for the Meadows School of the Arts and its Executive Board, which she chaired from 2006 to 2010. She also serves as vice chair for special events of the Second Century Celebration of SMU’s 100th anniversary from 2011-2015. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. She served as chair of the Jubilee Opening of SMU’s Greer Garson Theatre in 1992 and as chair of the International Festival of Opening Events for the new Meadows Museum in 2001.
“Linda Custard has a strong commitment to the arts in Dallas and at SMU,” says Linda Evans, president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation. “Her tireless efforts were a major factor in the success of the opening festival for the new Meadows Museum.”
Linda Custard received an M.B.A. degree from SMU in 1999. She received the Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award and SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award. She is a two-time recipient of the Outstanding Trustee Award given by the SMU Students’ Association.
William Custard earned a B.B.A. degree in banking and finance from SMU in 1957. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Maguire Energy Institute in Cox School of Business and has served on the Executive Board of the Cox School. He was honored with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Linda Custard is a general partner for Custard/Pitts Land and Cattle Company, a real estate and energy company based in Dallas. William Custard is president and CEO of Dallas Production Inc., a privately held oil and gas operating company. A member of the National Petroleum Council, he is adviser to Secretary of Energy Steven Chu.
In addition to their new gift to SMU, the Custards, along with Linda’s father, the late L. Frank Pitts, have provided support for President’s Scholarships and the Custard Meadows Scholar Endowment Fund. In Cox School of Business, they have supported the L. Frank Pitts Oil and Gas Lecture Series, the L. Frank Pitts Oil and Gas Scholars and the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award.
The Custards have provided leadership to Dallas civic and arts organizations. Linda Custard serves on the boards of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. William Custard is a life trustee and board chair of the Dallas Theater Center and served as president of United Cerebral Palsy of Dallas and Texas. Both were recipients of the TACA/Neiman Marcus Silver Cup Award for contributions to the arts. Linda Custard also received the Hearts of Texas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Volunteer Center of North Texas.
The Meadows Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, with works dating from the 10th to the 21st centuries. The Museum attracts approximately 60,000 visitors annually.
Mark A. Roglán, a native of Madrid, worked at Madrid’s Prado Museum before coming to the Meadows Museum in 2001, after earning a master’s and doctoral degrees in Spain. In 2010 King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted Roglán for his contributions to the arts and culture. The Dallas Historical Society honored him with its Award for Excellence in Community Service-Arts Leadership in 2011. He received an M.B.A. degree from Cox School of Business in May 2013.