The Meadows Foundation, Inc. has pledged $45 million to Meadows School of the Arts and the Meadows Museum, the largest single gift in SMU history. With this commitment, The Meadows Foundation has provided more than $100 million to the University since 1995.

“SMU has enjoyed a long and productive partnership with The Meadows Foundation, one initiated by Algur H. Meadows himself through the endowment of the Meadows School and the creation of the Meadows Museum,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

“The resulting collaboration has enhanced the lives of thousands of students, faculty and members of the local, regional and international communities. This year, as we celebrate both the 50th anniversary of the Meadows Museum and the centennial of SMU’s opening, we are honored to accept a gift that will continue this extraordinary partnership.”

SMU students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends gathered March 23 in Dallas Hall to celebrate the historic gift from The Meadows Foundation.

SMU students, faculty, alumni, parents and friends gathered March 23 in Dallas Hall to celebrate the historic gift from The Meadows Foundation.

The $45 million gift, the largest in The Meadows Foundation’s history, includes $25 million to support goals and programs at the Meadows Museum, which houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside Spain. The gift designates $13 million for exhibitions, education programs and initiatives; $6 million for acquisitions; and $6 million for an acquisition challenge grant. In addition, the gift will help the Museum expand relationships with international cultural institutions and enhance its reputation as the center for Spanish art in the United States.

The Meadows Foundation gift also designates $20 million to the Meadows School to support its goal to lead the nation in arts education. The funding will be used to attract and retain top faculty and students, create and maintain innovative programs of national importance and provide enhanced studio, gallery and state-of-the-art classroom spaces. The gift designates $12 million for facility enhancements, including a $10 million challenge grant, and $8 million for student and faculty recruitment and retention, as well as new strategic initiatives.

“Algur H. Meadows’ vision of an innovative school of the arts and a museum of international distinction has been realized in the Meadows School of the Arts and the Meadows Museum,” said Linda P. Evans, president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation. “This historic gift recognizes their remarkable transformations over the past two decades, as well as the talented leadership in place at SMU. It also serves as a strategic investment in the dynamic futures of the Meadows School of the Arts and the Meadows Museum, serving diverse audiences around the globe.”

The Meadows School was named in 1969 in honor of Algur H. Meadows, its primary benefactor. The School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in advertising, art, art history, arts management, communication studies, creative computing, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music and theatre.

“This generous gift will help the Meadows School to maintain and continue its historic journey as a national model for arts education,” said Sam Holland, Algur H. Meadows dean. “We are honored to reflect Algur Meadows’ legacy with a School that continues to create and maintain important programs and initiatives in the arts.”

In 1962 Dallas businessman and philanthropist Algur H. Meadows donated funds to establish a museum at SMU to house his private collection of Spanish paintings. The Meadows Museum in Owen Arts Center opened to the public in 1965. With a $20 million gift from The Meadows Foundation in 1998, its largest gift at that time, a new museum building was constructed on campus to provide an appropriate home for the internationally acclaimed and growing Spanish art collection.

Important international relationships formed since then include the 2010 partnership with the Museo Nacional del Prado of Madrid, enabling loans of important paintings, jointly organized exhibitions and international fellowships for pre- and post-doctoral scholars specializing in Spanish art. Funds from The Meadows Foundation also have made possible the continued acquisition of masterpieces such as Portrait of Mariano Goya, the Artist’s Grandson, by Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. Today the Museum is home to works ranging from the 10th to the 21st centuries.