Gifts for a faculty directorship in Cox School of Business and an endowed chair in Dedman School of Law have propelled SMU closer to achieving The Second Century Campaign goal of 110 endowed faculty positions.
A gift of $2 million from Linda and Ken Morris ’72 will endow the Linda A. and Kenneth R. Morris Endowed Director of the Caruth Institute for Entrepreneurship in the Cox School in honor of Jerry F. White, who has served as director since 1988. A $2 million gift from Ellen K. Solender ’71, SMU law alumna and emeritus faculty member, will fund the Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and the Law.
The Morris endowment provides for the continued professional leadership of the Caruth Institute, which promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship through credit and noncredit courses as well as through numerous business community outreach programs. The Morris family has provided significant support to SMU over the years, including a recent gift supporting the Meadows Scholars Program.
“Endowments such as this are vital because they allow us to retain individuals of great distinction at the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This farsighted gift provides permanent funding for faculty, and we are proud that it comes from an SMU alumni family.”
“It is very important that we meet our ambitious goal for endowed faculty positions by the end of The Second Century Campaign,” said Caren Prothro, campaign co-chair. “Creating new permanent funding sources for faculty positions is vital in driving the University’s exciting rise among the best private universities in the nation.”
“Supporting the spirit of entrepreneurship at SMU’s Cox School bolsters the University’s commitment to student learning both inside and outside the classroom,” said Albert W. Niemi, Jr., dean of the Cox School of Business and the Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership. “This is at the very heart of what puts Cox graduates head and shoulders above their peers.”
The Solender Chair will support a Dedman Law faculty member who will focus teaching, research and community service on gender-related issues, including advancing the cause of women in legal education and the legal profession. The gift provides $1.5 million for endowment and $500,000 for operational support until the endowment matures.
“As only the second woman to receive tenure at the law school, Professor Solender has been a trailblazer in legal education,” said Jennifer Collins, Dedman Law’s Judge James Noel Dean and professor of law. “She has dedicated her career to promoting equity and mentored countless women along the way. This gift will allow the law school to continue Professor Solender’s critically important work and continue the conversation about how best to achieve parity throughout the legal profession.”
“My mother worked for the passage of the 19th Amendment and thought she would see equality in her lifetime. I thought I would see it in mine,” said Solender. “Now I worry whether my granddaughter and my great-great nieces will see equality in their lifetimes. I now realize these were only milestones on a longer journey to equality. These issues are so important to me, it is my hope that this endowed chair could be a catalyst and hopefully speed up the journey to equality for women.”