SMU Trustee Richard Templeton and Mary Templeton (seated) are joined by (L-R) nephew William Templeton, son Jim Templeton ‘14 and daughter Stephanie Templeton.

SMU Trustee Richard Templeton and Mary Templeton (seated) are joined by (L-R) nephew William Templeton, son Jim Templeton ‘14 and daughter Stephanie Templeton.

A gift of $2 million from Mary and Richard Templeton to create a new endowed faculty position in electrical engineering in Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering will support an outstanding faculty member in an academic discipline dedicated to designing the most sophisticated technology of the 21st century.

Their gift establishing the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering provides for a $1.5 million endowment and $500,000 in operational support. The special “centennial” designation underscores the foresight of donors who recognize the need for operational funds to allow immediate impact while the endowment matures.

“This commitment is meaningful because it comes from a family of engineers who understand the reach of science and technology,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “The Templetons know better than most how their gift will help SMU attract outstanding faculty in this important engineering discipline, and how it will influence students and prepare them to contribute to the engineering profession.”

Richard Templeton is president and CEO of Texas Instruments and an SMU trustee, and Mary Templeton is a computer scientist and community volunteer. Their son, Jim Templeton ’14, received his own bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.

The search to fill the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering is under way.

“An outstanding faculty member can spark creative ideas in a student who goes on to change the world with an invention, or lead research that reveals a different way of looking at an old problem,” said Mr. Templeton. “It means a great deal to us to be able to help support that kind of educator.”