Answering The Billion-Dollar Question

R. Gerald Turner President

R. Gerald Turner

As you read in this magazine about our new campaign goal of $1 billion, you may well ask, “Why”? Since we exceeded our original goal of $750 million in summer 2013, ahead of our 2015 target date, why not stop now, thank our donors for their generosity and celebrate the achievement?

One answer, of course, is that success can breed further success. Our new goal derives from the tremendous speed, breadth and level of giving we have enjoyed to date. Our donors are responding enthusiastically to The Second Century Campaign, fueling our unprecedented momentum. In this atmosphere of “can do” for SMU, we know that there are potential new donors who will answer the call to give, as well as longtime donors who will continue their support.

Donors are embracing our goals to complete funding for important projects improving our libraries, health center, and academic and athletics facilities. They want us to hire and retain the best faculty and explore new opportunities, such as establishing centers of expertise in areas ranging from cyber security to economic freedom. And they support our continuing commitment to provide scholarships, so that all students worthy of an SMU education can indeed afford
to study here. For those students and the faculty who inspire them, we can and must do more. You’ll read more about our new and continuing goals in this SMU Magazine.

And the time is right. Our centennial era, 2011-2015, gives us the opportunity to reaffirm boldly and publicly our founding vision and carry it forward. Our donors have become the next generation of University builders for our second century of achievement.

A pragmatic question is, “If not now, when?” With a billion-dollar goal, SMU is among 34 private universities that have sought or are seeking that amount or more. If we chose not to join this distinguished group, we would be failing to fulfill the potential that presents itself to us now. And it would take another 10 years of planning and cultivating to reach a similar intersection of opportunity. Our founders had a bold vision when they established SMU, and we are committed to continuing that tradition.

We’re moving on with our fundraising so that SMU can continue moving forward. Thanks to all who have brought us to this new milestone, and to those who will join in the days and months ahead.

R. Gerald Turner

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