During The Second Century Campaign Finale on April 15, SMU unveiled a new campus monument recognizing major donors and dedicated the new Crain Family Centennial Promenade. The event, the centerpiece of this year’s Founders’ Day Weekend, commemorated the success of the University’s historic $1.15 billion Second Century Campaign.
The campaign major donor monument carries the names of the leadership and major gift donors to the campaign. Breaking previous records, SMU received 183 commitments of $1 million or more, plus commitments of $100,000 or more from 610 additional major donors. Both groups – and the names of more than 65,000 donors overall – can be viewed online at smu.edu/secondcentury.
The Crain Family Centennial Promenade opens a vital pedestrian walkway across the campus. It provides a welcoming space for the community to celebrate the broad support of those whose gifts are increasing the University’s prominence and academic stature.
Brick by brick, the walkway links the namesake Crain family with more than 10,000 other donors whose inscribed pavers line the new promenade. Each paver’s inscription tells a Hilltop story. All who contributed to the project can find the locations of their pavers and share their reasons for giving at smu.edu/pavers.
“This is a joyful day for all of us,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Not only do we celebrate a job well done by our major donors and legions of others, but we also have the opportunity to join our friends and families in strolling this beautiful new promenade and reading the inscriptions. It’s a perfect finale for The Second Century Campaign and a lasting tribute to our generous donors.”
SMU alumnus Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69, an SMU trustee and convening co-chair of the campaign, said the University is poised for greatness in its second century. “The future for SMU and Dallas is brighter because of the incredible generosity of donors to this campaign. What their gifts will do for the next generation of leaders, researchers, innovators, artists and entrepreneurs is impossible to measure at this time, but the impact will be unprecedented.”
Through the naming of the promenade, SMU paid tribute to its longstanding relationship with the Crain family, which began with the enrollment of the late Ann Lacy Crain ’41. Mrs. Crain married Bluford Walter “B.W.” Crain, Jr. and together they had three children, Lacy Crain, B. Walter Crain, III ’72 and Rogers Lacy Crain. Mrs. Crain and her family now constitute three generations of SMU alumni.
The Second Century Campaign, which concluded December 31, 2015, was an unprecedented success. Donors provided 689 new endowed student scholarships; added 54 new endowed faculty positions to reach a new total of 116; and provided for 68 new or significantly enhanced academic programs and initiatives, including endowments for two schools. Twenty-four capital projects have been substantially funded, including new facilities for academic programs, student housing and athletics. Other gifts for campus enhancements support expanded career services and leadership programs. A complete campaign report can be accessed at smu.edu/second century.