As we celebrate the centennials of SMU’s founding and opening, it’s appropriate that we should be making history as well. For instance, His Holiness the Dalai Lama spoke to SMU and high school students as part of the Hart Global Leaders Forum. In another milestone, SMU was for the first time listed as a university with “high research activity,” an important indicator of quality, by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.

To increase SMU’s quality by other measures, The Second Century Campaign has already produced more new scholarships, new faculty positions and new and enhanced facilities than any other fundraising initiative in SMU history. New gifts of $37 million announced this spring are certain to continue that tremendous progress.

The first leadership gift for SMU’s Residential Commons supports new housing that will enable 1,250 additional students to live on campus in a learning community that includes faculty. The five new buildings and dining facility that comprise the complex will bring an entirely new dimension to the campus experience, aiding student retention and academic success.

A gift endowing SMU’s first Centennial Chair brings to life a new model for attracting and recruiting top faculty. Centennial endowments combine endowment funds with operational funds, making it possible for the University to hire desired faculty members on a highly expedited timetable.

Gifts renovating landmark venues such as Moody Coliseum and creating new gathering places on the east quadrant of campus are changing the experience of living, studying and working here.

Thank you for all you are doing to help us achieve and continue such remarkable momentum. Your support remains crucial as we lay the foundation for an extraordinary future at SMU.

R. Gerald Turner