With the beginning of 2015, we have reached the final year of The Second Century Celebration, commemorating the centennials of SMU’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915. I am delighted to report that on its 100th anniversary your University has never been stronger, more influential or more highly regarded.

We will celebrate this success on September 24, 2015, and I hope you will make plans to join the entire SMU family on the Hilltop at events commemorating the centennial of SMU’s opening ceremonies.

I hope you take great pride in your connection to SMU. It is an honor for SMU’s leadership to be stewards of your University at this important and historic moment.

The Second Century Celebration has given us the opportunity to express our profound gratitude for the inspiring generosity of generations who have worked and sacrificed on SMU’s behalf and to celebrate the accomplishments of our current SMU family.

Even as we celebrate, we also must recommit ourselves to ensuring SMU’s bright future as an institution dedicated to shaping new generations of students who will excel in their professions and contribute to their communities, and faculty members whose research will continue to spur progress and innovation.

The Join the Stampede giving challenge is emphasizing the importance of yearly giving during 2014–15, the final fiscal year of the campaign. As part of that effort, I am issuing a challenge to all alumni, family and friends to expand your current involvements with the University and to provide a gift this year and every year to SMU.

The University’s first president, Robert S. Hyer, noted, “Universities do not grow old but live from age to age in immortal youth.” In this final campaign year, let us continue our efforts to propel SMU to new heights as an institution dedicated to benefiting the lives of generations of students and faculty to come.