SMU began the final year of the $1 billion Second Century Campaign with six new leadership commitments that accelerated campaign momentum.

As SMU moves closer to reaching the campaign’s overall financial goal, campaign volunteers also continue efforts to achieve the important goal of a 25 percent alumni yearly participation rate by May 31, 2015, the end of SMU’s current fiscal year.

“We are delighted that the campaign’s momentum continues to build,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “In just the past few months we launched the Join the Stampede participation drive, announced new planned giving options for the final year of the campaign and celebrated new commitments supporting students, faculty and programs. We are grateful for this support and eager to exceed our goals.”

The Second Century Campaign launched publicly in 2008 with goals of attracting $750 million in financial support and achieving 25 percent yearly alumni giving and 50 percent cumulative alumni giving over the entirety of the campaign. After the campaign achieved its financial goal ahead of schedule, the SMU Board of Trustees raised the goal to $1 billion in September 2013. To date, SMU’s yearly alumni participation has reached 24 percent, while cumulative alumni participation has skyrocketed past the original goal to 56 percent.

“SMU is known for the breadth of the educational experience it provides, and the campaign is strengthening every critical component of the campus environment,” says Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69, convening co-chair of The Second Century Campaign.

Two schools (Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and Lyle School of Engineering) and an academic department (Roy M. Huffington Department of Earth Sciences) have been named during the campaign through the generosity of donors. In addition, new centers and institutes and new academic programs have enriched the University’s academic offerings and created new partnerships with other institutions.

The number of substantially endowed faculty positions has risen from 62 to 104 since the beginning of the campaign, en route to reaching a goal of 110.

Scholarship support drives SMU’s ability to attract and retain outstanding students, and the equivalent of 552 endowed scholarships (at an average of $100,000 each) have been created during the campaign.

Visitors are amazed by the physical transformation that has taken place on campus during the campaign time frame. A range of new and renovated facilities are now integral parts of the campus. These include five new Residential Commons and a new dining commons; new facilities for Lyle School of Engineering, Perkins School of Theology, Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development and SMU-in-Taos; Crum Basketball Center; Moody Coliseum and Miller Event Center; Mustang Band Hall; the SMU Tennis Complex and the new data center. Facilities still to be built include Ford Research Center and the Dr. Bob Smith Health Center as well as others to come.

“SMU has made great strides in improving its academic standing nationally, its value to the DFW region and the state, and its global reputation,” says Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67, SMU board chair and a co-chair of The Second Century Campaign. “Much of that progress stems directly from support for The Second Century Campaign, which has been truly transformative.”

More than 400 volunteers have played instrumental roles in the campaign, spending hours strategizing and cultivating prospects. The campaign has raised $942 milion to date.

“SMU is indebted to the many alumni, parents and friends who have worked so hard to enable the University to achieve such progress as an institution of higher education and a resource for North Texas and the nation,” says Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “As we begin the campaign’s final year, we must all redouble our efforts to ensure that we finish strong and surpass our goals.”