A century ago, an extraordinary group of church and civic leaders founded a university on the Texas prairie.

Today, SMU stands as a testament to the founders’ vision, a great international university with top students and faculty and world-class facilities. And while SMU has grown well beyond anything the founders would recognize, it is also poised to take its greatest steps ever.

In recognition, SMU has embarked on “The Second Century Celebration,” a five-year commemoration of the centennials of SMU’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915 – a celebration of the past and a time to rededicate ourselves to the University’s future progress.

Key goals include:

  • Honoring our heritage. The celebration will commemorate the leadership of those who shaped SMU in its first century.
  • Defining the next 100 years. SMU will continue its rise as a top-tier university by continuing to enhance student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.
  • Engaging the community. We will welcome returning alumni, prospective students and their families, community members and visitors and engage them in SMU’s future.

As a centerpiece of the centennial festivities, the University will mark the first annual Founders’ Day on April 15. The day will feature a series of special events, including an all-SMU community gathering at 1:30 p.m. to raise the centennial flag, which will fly over campus for the five-year centennial celebration period.

The centennial celebration coincides with The Second Century Campaign, which continues to support SMU’s extraordinary progress. The celebration will work in conjunction with the campaign by drawing additional attention to SMU’s continuing rise as an internationally recognized educational and research institution.

I encourage all SMU alumni, family and friends to visit the campus at some point during the centennial period. In particular, I hope all alumni will make a particular effort to visit SMU for your special Centennial Reunion.

Together we will celebrate the past and chart a course for a remarkable future.

R. Gerald Turner