On April 15 – the first Founders’ Day of SMU’s second century – the University held a series of events that culminated with The Second Century Campaign Finale. On the new Crain Family Centennial Promenade, we thanked the thousands of donors, volunteers and supporters who helped this campaign become the first in the University’s history to exceed $1 billion.

It was a special opportunity to recognize our major and leadership donors, as well as to dedicate the new promenade made possible through the generosity of the Crain family and more than 10,000 other centennial supporters.

While we celebrate the many accomplishments of The Second Century Campaign, it is inspiring to see all the ways that generous donors are transforming our programs and our campus. New faculty positions and academic programs, endowed and annual scholarships, and renovated and newly constructed facilities are all supporting SMU’s national prominence. Our growing endowment is securing the University’s financial future, and our growing reputation is attracting high-performing students and faculty.

In addition to the ways these contributions strengthen SMU’s academic and campus assets, an outstanding location and enduring values make SMU’s future bright. Our location in a thriving world center of commerce and culture provides the ideal environment for a thriving 21st-century university that impacts the global community. The enduring commitments on which SMU was founded remain central: to academic freedom and open inquiry, to moral and ethical values, and to the University’s United Methodist heritage. To extend the legacy of its founders and subsequent supporters, SMU will continue to build bridges – between cultures, between academic disciplines, between individuals, between community groups.

SMU is uniquely positioned to impact our community and our broader world – in ways large and small, subtle and impactful. World changers are indeed shaped here – and will be far into the future.

Although this is the final issue of Campaign Update, we are working on some exciting plans for new ways to keep you informed about and connected with the work of the University. I look forward to working with you in the years ahead to continue our strong momentum. Thank you for all you continue to do to strengthen SMU and expand its reach.


R. Gerald Turner