It has been another year of giant steps for SMU. During year two of The Second Century Campaign’s public phase, the University continued to take significant strides in every area.

Thanks to the inspiring commitment of alumni, family and friends, the campaign ended its second public phase year May 31 having raised a total of $438 million, more than 58 percent of the overall campaign goal of $750 million. SMU received more than $71 million in cash contributions during the year, the third highest yearly total in the University’s history.

In addition, SMU advanced to its highest ranking ever in the top tier of national universities in the 2011 edition of Best Colleges published by U.S. News Media Group. The University ranked 56th among 191 institutions, up from 68th the previous year and 73rd in 2004.

“The recognition given our outstanding students and faculty, small classes, strong graduation rates and committed alumni is gratifying,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The timing is particularly relevant as we prepare to celebrate the University’s centennial, beginning next year, and as we remain committed to achievement at the highest levels.”

SMU’s ongoing initiative to increase student quality, a key goal of the Centennial Strategic Plan, has also yielded profound results. Thus far in the campaign, the University has added endowed funding for 207 scholarships, compared to a total of 171 endowed scholarships created during the entirety of the last campaign, “A Time to Lead.” The impact of this investment in scholarships is clear. The average SAT score of first-year students entering in fall 2009 was the highest in SMU’s history. The score of 1242 was 98 points higher than the average score of just a decade earlier and takes SMU closer to achieving its goal of an average SAT score of 1300.

SMU received leadership support for a wide range of projects and priorities in the past year. Commitments included:

  • A $2.5 million commitment in support of the operation of the W.W. Caruth Jr. Child Advocacy Clinic in Dedman School of Law
  • A $2 million endowment establishing the Hunter and Stephanie Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity in Lyle School of Engineering
  • A $2 million endowment establishing a distinguished chair of Art History in Meadows School of the Arts
  • A $1 million planned gift creating a chair in Dedman School of Law
  • Two $1 million commitments in support of undergraduate Chinese student scholarships and Chinese law student scholarships
  • A $1 million endowment for a faculty position in the Hunt Institute for Engineering and Humanity in Lyle School of Engineering
  • A $1 million endowment for a faculty position in the Clements Department of History in Dedman College
  • $1 million for construction of the Bill and Susan Cooper Centennial Fountain in the east quad on the west side of the Blanton Student Services Building
  • $1 million in support of construction of the new Caruth Hall in Lyle School of Engineering

These commitments have contributed to the extraordinary progress and momentum SMU has achieved since the campaign’s launch. Major accomplishments of the campaign thus far include:

  • Two newly named schools: the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering
  • One newly endowed department, the Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences
  • 12 new endowed academic institutes, centers and initiatives
  • 17 new endowed faculty positions (compared to a total of 16 in the last campaign)
  • 13 new or renovated facilities (compared to a total of 14 in the last campaign)

With the ongoing support of those who care about SMU’s future, the University will continue to move forward, gaining increased prominence as a nationally recognized center for teaching, learning and scholarship, educating tomorrow’s leaders and providing solutions to tomorrow’s challenges.