May 19, 2014

Approximately 11,000 Mustang alumni have made their marks on the future of SMU with gifts to The Second Century Campaign. That support’s extraordinary impact is apparent across the campus in dedicated faculty, accomplished students and world-class facilities.

Taylor Martin '99

Taylor Martin ’99

These achievements are points of pride for the alumni community, says Taylor Martin ’99.

“SMU has come so far in the 15 years since I’ve graduated. We’ve really found our direction,” says Martin, who chairs the Class of 1999 Centennial Reunion Committee. “When I run into classmates who haven’t been back in a while, I tell them to visit the campus because they’ll be inspired and impressed by what they see.”

This year SMU is working toward a goal of 25 percent participation – that’s 13,000 alumni – by the end of the fiscal year, May 31, 2014.

As a member of the Fort Worth Chapter leadership, Martin has been “spreading some red behind the purple curtain” – and spreading the word about the importance of alumni giving. He notes that the annual alumni giving percentage affects SMU’s national rankings by U.S. News & World Report and others. The ranking agencies use the number as an indicator of alumni satisfaction with the education they received.

“Rankings influence the caliber of students and faculty SMU attracts,” Martin adds. “And, as SMU rises in the rankings, so does the value of our degrees.”

Martin’s ties to his alma mater are rooted in family, friendship and stewardship. During football season, he and wife Lauren Martin, a 2004 SMU graduate, enjoy Boulevarding with his sister and brother-in-law, Liz Armstrong ’82 and Bill Armstrong ’82, who serve on the executive board of Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and co-chair the Denver Campaign Steering Committee. Bill also serves on the SMU Board of Trustees. The Armstrongs’ alumni daughters, Lindsey Armstrong ’10 and Leigh Armstrong Young ’11, also join in.

“It’s easy to get involved in the fun things, like Boulevarding,” says Martin, a member of the Fort Worth Campaign Steering Committee. “But something alumni don’t always consider – and we should – is what our annual giving participation means to SMU today and tomorrow.”

All gifts of any amount made by alumni before May 31 go toward the annual participation goal including:

  • Reunion gifts
  • Mustang Club gifts
  • Gifts to schools, libraries, scholarships and other areas of the University
  • Special gifts for etched pavers on the Crain Family Promenade

“My yearly gift is a statement that I believe in SMU’s mission and it’s future,” says Martin, a member of the SMU Hilltop Society, which honors consistent giving.

“We’re so close to meeting the 25 percent goal – one of the final big goals of the campaign. Making a gift today is an easy way for every Mustang to make a huge difference.”

To make a gift, visit or mail to SMU Office of Development, P.O. Box 750402, Dallas, Texas 75275-0402.