Gifts totaling more than $4 million will endow and provide operational support for the new Tower Scholars Program – a unique immersion experience for undergraduates in public policymaking through SMU’s John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.

A gift of $2 million, made possible through the generosity of Highland Capital Management L.P., will endow the Highland Capital Management Endowed Tower Scholars Program Fund. The participating students will be recognized as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars.

A gift of $1 million from the Hamon Charitable Foundation will endow the Jake L. Hamon Endowed Internship Program in the Tower Scholars Program Fund. A $1 million gift from The Berry R. Cox Family Foundation will support endowment and provide operational support.

The University has received additional contributions totaling more than $400,000 toward operation of the Tower Scholars Program fund – important to the implementation of the program until the endowments mature.

Ten sophomore students will be selected as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars every year. Students may apply to the program during the fall term of their sophomore year; the first applications are being accepted in fall 2014. The first scholars will begin their studies in spring 2015, leading to a minor in Public Policy and International Affairs.

“The Tower Center is a signature program within SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and I’m delighted with the opportunity these gifts present for all of our SMU students,” said Dedman College Dean Thomas DiPiero.