As we celebrate the holiday season and reflect upon the passing year, I want to express my gratitude to all of those who have done so much to support SMU’s exciting progress.

Much of this progress is the direct result of contributions to The Second Century Campaign, which have enabled SMU to continue to take major strides forward in all areas.

The quality of our student body has been measurably enhanced, our esteemed faculty includes more experts in a wider array of disciplines than ever before and we continue to add critical new facilities to our unique campus.

The adjacent story reports on three new gifts to create endowed faculty positions, the most recent examples of support fueling the drive toward achieving a University total of 110 such positions.

In conjunction with our commemoration of the Year of the Faculty in 2014, SMU hosted a centennial luncheon during Homecoming Weekend that honored the generous donors of endowed faculty positions throughout the University’s history.

This issue of Campaign Update also includes a report on the ongoing success of Join the Stampede, the donor challenge designed to encourage at least 25 percent of SMU’s alumni to provide a gift this year and every year. Yearly gifts are an essential source of support and play an important role in university rankings.

While we rightly celebrate what the campaign has helped SMU achieve thus far, it is important to remember that our work is not complete. The end of the holiday season brings a new year that is of special significance to the University – the final year of The Second Century Campaign.

At this crucial time, let us remember that important goals remain to be achieved, including reaching the campaign’s overall financial goal. The commitment of all who care deeply about SMU’s future will be required as we move forward in the coming 12 months.

Now is the time to redouble our efforts as we work to ensure a truly great second century on the Hilltop.

Sincerely,

R. Gerald Turner