The Meadows Symphony Orchestra performed at the annual Meadows at the Meyerson benefit concert March 31.

The Meadows Symphony Orchestra performed at the annual Meadows at the Meyerson benefit concert March 31.

A $1.5 million challenge grant from the Morris Foundation to support the Meadows Scholars Program at Meadows School of the Arts was announced at the School’s annual Meadows at the Meyerson benefit concert March 31 in the Meyerson Symphony Center.

Led by Ken Morris ’72 and his wife, Linda, the foundation will match gifts designated to the Meadows Scholars endowment by December 31, 2015. Education is a primary focus of the Morris Foundation, and the family has provided significant support to SMU over the years, including gifts for the Information Technology Center in Blanton Student Services Building, the Campus Technology Initiative, the Kenneth R. and Linda A. Morris BBA Scholars Endowment Fund, MBA Scholarships and, most recently, the Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Cox School of Business.

The Meadows Scholars Program was launched in 2008 and is targeted to applicants who meet both stringent academic and artistic criteria. The program has helped SMU successfully compete for the brightest and most talented students nationwide.

“We are deeply grateful to the Morris family for this generous commitment to enhance student quality at SMU,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “With this challenge grant, the Meadows School of the Arts will be able to continue to build this critical scholarship program and to successfully attract the nation’s top students in the arts and communications fields.”

Held each spring, the concert features the nationally acclaimed Meadows Symphony Orchestra and honors a community leader. This year’s honoree was noted arts and civic leader Caren H. Prothro, who formerly served as chair of SMU’s Board of Trustees. The 2015 event chair was Heather Furniss, and the honorary chairs were Sarah Perot ’83 and Ross Perot, Jr.

“Meadows at the Meyerson is the embodiment of our values as an arts organization in the community,” said Sam Holland, dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “We present the critically recognized Meadows Symphony Orchestra in our city’s Arts District and raise money for scholarships to bring even more talented students from around the world to Dallas.”