A $2.5 million gift from Carolyn and David Miller will help fund a $4 million new campus center at SMU-in-Taos in New Mexico.
The center will be a valuable addition to the 423-acre SMU-in-Taos campus, which includes the 19th-century Fort Burgwin and the 13th-century Pot Creek Pueblo archaeological site. Courses are designed to take advantage of the area’s environment and mix of cultures. Students earn course credit during three summer terms and, new this year, a January term, at SMU-in-Taos. Participation in summer terms has increased more than 40 percent in the last three years.
The Carolyn and David Miller Campus Center will include academic spaces, a media room and a gathering area for groups as large as 100. The great hall will have outdoor views on three sides and a fireplace for chilly mountain evenings. Outdoor spaces include a deck that surrounds the building, a plaza that connects the center to other buildings and an entry terrace with seating for events. A groundbreaking is scheduled for July with completion scheduled for May 2015.
“The campus center will add another facet to the ‘classroom without walls’ experience at SMU-in-Taos,” said Mike Adler, director of SMU-in-Taos and associate professor of anthropology. “The Millers’ gift is a tremendous step toward the $4 million cost of the building. We look forward to the support of other generous donors.”
David and Carolyn Millers’ gift to SMU-in-Taos is the most recent example of their generous support of SMU. Their 2011 gift created the 39,245-square-foot Miller Event Center expansion to Moody Coliseum. The Miller Event Center features a furnished entertainment area and premium guest suites with courtside views.
David Miller fulfilled his dream of attending college and playing basketball at SMU after being awarded an athletic scholarship. He earned B.B.A. and M.B.A. degrees from SMU, where, as an undergraduate, he was a three-year starter and letterman on the varsity basketball team and a member of the 1971-1972 Southwest Conference Co-Championship team.
Mr. Miller went on to co-found EnCap Investments L.P., a leading private equity firm based in Houston and Dallas, where he serves as a Managing Partner. He also serves as president of The David B. Miller Family Foundation, with Mrs. Miller serving as vice president
Through the foundation, Mr. and Mrs. Miller have supported the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, SMU Athletics, SMU-in-Taos and scholarships for students in several different areas of study. In 2012, Mr. and Mrs. Miller received the Mustang Award in recognition of their extraordinary philanthropic support of SMU.
In addition to their financial contributions, Mr. Miller serves as an SMU trustee and as a member of the Executive Board for the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, and Mrs. Miller serves as a member of the Executive Board for SMU-in-Taos. Mr. Miller has been awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from both SMU and the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, recognizing his professional success and leadership.
The Millers’ gift supports a new master plan for SMU-in-Taos. SMU began acquiring the New Mexico property in l964 and added facilities to offer summer classes in 1973. In addition to SMU students, SMU-in-Taos hosts the annual Taos Cultural Institute, which attracts nearly 150 adults for a summer weekend of informal courses taught by SMU faculty and other experts. The 28-building campus also hosts youth groups, conferences and retreats year-round. Other special events offered at the site include lectures, concerts and art exhibitions, all open to the public.
To learn more, contact Pam Conlin, assistant vice president of University Development, at 214-768-3738 or firstname.lastname@example.org.