With great fanfare on September 12, SMU officially launched the largest fund-raising effort in its history – The Second Century Campaign. With a goal of propelling SMU to a new level of excellence regionally, nationally and globally, the University is well on its way with more than $317 million in quiet phase gifts and pledges toward its goal of $750 million.

SMU Trustee and convening campaign co-chair Gerald J. Ford said the campaign is befitting a University that always has aimed high.

“The campaign’s theme, SMU Unbridled, reflects the bold vision of our founders as they looked at the North Texas prairie and envisioned a great university there,” he said. “SMU’s founders were daring, imaginative and creative, and they foresaw unlimited potential in what they were establishing. This campaign will make real our lofty aspirations in preparing students for their own unbridled futures.”

The Second Century Campaign will enable SMU to expand its from that of a leading North Texas institution to an emerging international center of learning and research, capitalizing on its location in a global city.

“Recognizing our first 100 years, The Second Century Campaign looks boldly to the future in building a new era of achievement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

“This is the campaign that will make a marked difference in SMU’s quality, enabling us to strengthen academic resources and broaden our impact as a university rising in national prominence. The Second Century Campaign represents a great opportunity to join with our supporters in confidently shaping our future.”

Specifically, The Second Century Campaign seeks:

$200 million for Student Quality – to expand existing scholarship programs and create new scholarships, establish and expand programs that foster leadership and personal development, provide global scholarships to give more students the opportunity to study abroad and increase graduate fellowships to recruit students for key academic programs and vital research.

$350 million for Faculty and Academic Excellence – to increase to 100 the number of endowed academic positions; endow departments, institutes and interdisciplinary studies in core academic disciplines as well as in emerging issues; increase by 50 percent annual faculty research grants and expand opportunities for undergraduate research; and fund programs, technology and facilities that demonstrate the relevance and importance of faculty research across the University.

$200 million for the Campus Experience – to create residential colleges or commons as part of a sophomore housing requirement; provide students with more opportunities for community interaction through internships and philanthropic service; expand student services in areas such as health care, wellness and career placement; create additional leadership development opportunities that take advantage of Dallas resources; continue to enrich the campus environment on the main campus in Dallas as well as SMU-in-Legacy and SMU-in-Taos; and enhance competitiveness of the athletics program, which teaches leadership skills and builds community spirit.

Campaign co-chairs are trustees Ruth Altshuler, Gerald J. Ford, Ray L. Hunt, Caren H. Prothro and Carl Sewell. They lead the Campaign Executive Committee, guiding 36 Steering Committee co-chairs who will spearhead fund-raising efforts for various campus areas and in cities and regions beyond Dallas. Volunteers throughout the world will immediately begin spreading the message to more than 100,000 alumni.

“We on the SMU Board of Trustees believe that SMU has all the ingredients for a dramatic leap in quality, and it’s our commitment to accelerate this momentum,” said SMU Board Chair Carl Sewell, a co-chair of the campaign.