The start of a new school year is always invigorating for those of us who are a part of the SMU community. That is especially true now, as we begin the second year of the University’s centennial commemoration period, marking the 100th anniversaries of SMU’s founding and opening.

The year began with the exciting news, announced at the September meeting of the SMU Board of Trustees, that commitments to The Second Century Campaign totaled more than $653 million as of August 31. This historic success is a testament to the inspiring support of alumni, family, friends and the campus community, whose commitment to the University is enabling SMU to move forward boldly as a center for learning, research and scholarship.

As I welcomed our incoming students at SMU’s 98th convocation ceremony, I was reminded of how historic the coming year will be in other ways.

We are looking forward to an exciting season of Mustang football, including the home game against TCU September 29, when SMU will seek to maintain possession of the Iron Skillet, symbolic of victory in the great rivalry between the two universities.

The total number of visitors to Centennial Hall, which features displays and interactive exhibits about SMU’s past, present and future, is on track to exceed 100,000 in the coming months.

The dramatic transformation of campus will continue through a range of construction and renovation projects, part of SMU’s commitment to provide students and faculty with the buildings and tools needed for achievement in every area of endeavor.

In November the University will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of Dallas Hall, which inaugurated our campus Master Plan and launched construction of the University in the collegiate Georgian style.

We also are looking forward to Founders’ Day on April 19, 2013. In addition to celebrating the University’s creation, this year’s commemoration will begin the countdown to the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center the following week.

I encourage everyone to take the opportunity to visit the campus in the coming months and see firsthand the exciting progress that has already been achieved and the strides SMU is continuing to take.

Thank you for all you have done to support SMU’s remarkable rise in this historic time for the University.


R. Gerald Turner