A $400,000 challenge from longtime SMU supporters Carl Sewell ’66 and Peggy Higgins Sewell ’72 has generated more than $834,000 in gifts and pledges for merit-based scholarships combined with unique programming for academically gifted students in SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.
Dedman College Scholars are chosen to inspire their peers, challenge their professors and contribute to the university’s academic reputation. The new funding will allow SMU to offer 20 new four-year scholarships, effectively doubling the number available in past years.
“The Sewells’ call to action, and the response of 17 new donors and donor families who met their challenge, is giving us the opportunity to offer admission in fall 2018 to the largest group of Dedman Scholars in SMU history,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These scholarships are a great opportunity for the recipients, but our Dedman Scholars also enrich the University as a whole.”
Carl Sewell, an SMU trustee, issued the challenge November 27, 2017, after the summer launch of the Pony Power initiative to raise more current-use funds for initiatives such as scholarships, faculty research and rewarding student experiences. The Sewells vowed to match every dollar in gifts and pledges up to $400,000 made by new donors to the Dedman College Scholars program by September 1; however new donors stepped up to meet the challenge and committed $434,614 before April 1.