SMU announces two new gifts for endowed faculty positions

Two new gifts to SMU totaling $3.5 million will create two new endowed faculty positions in two schools.

A gift of $2.5 million, made through the Texas Methodist Foundation, will establish the Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology in Perkins School of Theology. A gift of $1 million from two SMU alumni will establish the Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations in Cox School of Business.

The new gifts were announced Friday, Nov. 14. 2014 at a campus event honoring donors of endowed faculty positions.

“Increasing the number of endowed faculty positions at SMU is a major goal of our Second Century Campaign,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These two new gifts for faculty positions in the theology and business schools move us closer to our goal of achieving 110 endowed faculty positions by the end of the campaign in December 2015. We are grateful to all of the donors who have helped us add to the strength of the SMU faculty by supporting this goal.”

Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist UniversityThe Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology honors the woman referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” Her sons, John and Charles Wesley, led a revival within the 18th-century Anglican Church that sparked the emergence of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the American colonies. Historians point to her “practical theology” as a source of inspiration for her sons.

The Texas Methodist Foundation, which conveyed the gift, provides grant and stewardship services that advance The United Methodist Church and Christian ministries.

The chair’s “Centennial” designation represents a gift that includes operational funds to provide immediate impact while the endowment matures. The Wesley Chair commitment includes endowment funding of $2 million and annual operating support of $100,000 for the first five years. These operating funds will make it possible to fill the chair in the next academic year.

“The discipline of practical theology helps students reflect on and formulate conclusions about the various fields of theological inquiry as they relate to one’s practice of ministry,” said Perkins School Dean William Lawrence. “Perkins School of Theology graduates are facing an ever-changing world of ministry opportunities. Helping students think theologically in ministry settings is essential for successful pastors and Christian workers.”

SMU Cox School of BusinessThe Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations is designed to strengthen the Cox School of Business in an area of increasing importance to corporations and other types of institutions.

“The Department of Management and Organizations in the Cox School offers students tools to succeed in a globally competitive environment,” said Cox Dean Al Niemi. “The increased faculty strength provided by this new professorship will enable more students to develop skills that help prepare them for future leadership in the business world.”

Janet and Craig Duchossois earned B.B.A. degrees from SMU’s business school in 1966 and 1967, respectively. Craig also earned an M.B.A. degree from SMU in 1968. he is CEO of The Duchossois Group, Inc., which deals in commercial and residential access control. Mr. Duchossois was honored in 2002 with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award. Janet previously owned an interior design and home furnishings business..

The Wesley Centennial Chair and the Duchossois Endowed Professorship bring the total to 40 endowed faculty positions established during SMU’s Second Century Campaign. SMU now has 102 fully endowed faculty positions toward its goal of 110, which includes positions previously endowed throughout the University’s history.

> Read the full story from SMU News