Richard Ware is a member of the Campaign Leadership Council, co-chair of The Second Century Campaign Steering Committee for Campus and Student Life and vice-chair of alumni celebration for The Second Century Celebration. He has served as a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees and numerous other University boards and committees. His children, Anne Clayton Ware ’97, ’01, Patrick O’Neill Ware ’01, ’07 and William James Ware ’01, are also graduates of SMU.

Campaign Update: This issue of Campaign Update is focusing on a major initiative by SMU to add and modernize a range of facilities, especially in the southeast section of campus. Would you speak generally about SMU’s commitment to providing the best facilities for learning and living?

Ware: A lot of people say that if Disney were to make a movie about college life, they would film it at SMU. In my opinion, no other college or university in Texas has a campus in any way comparable to ours. The quality of campus life and the fact that SMU students learn so much outside the classroom help set the University apart. And when many of us think back on our college days, we’re reminded that most of our truly memorable experiences occurred on campus. Three of the scheduled renovation projects – Moody Coliseum, Mustang Band Hall and the health center – look very much the same as when I was a student! Renovation of these facilities will dramatically enhance the student experience.

CU: Through construction of the Residential Commons Complex, as well as renovations to existing residence halls, SMU is changing the model of living on campus. Would you describe how that new model will change the student experience?

Ware: President Turner wants to ramp up what’s already a special campus experience by adding new world-class housing for first-year students and sophomores that includes accommodations for faculty and their families. I think it’s exciting that the old coliseum parking lot – the site of the new complex – is giving way to a center for better campus experiences for all students. And the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, which is also a center for campus social life and exercise, ties in to the development. It’s all going to make living on campus even more stimulating. Late night “bull sessions” might even produce something memorable!

CU: What would you say to someone considering a gift for one of these initiatives?

Ware: It’s time to give if you care about SMU’s future, because we’re building a foundation for that future right now. We are a little less than halfway toward reaching our financial goals for these initiatives, so we need your support to make the dreams a reality. You will be thrilled when you see what your generosity can accomplish.