SMU marks finale of Second Century Campaign with opening of Crain Family Centennial Promenade

SMU unveiled a new campus monument recognizing major donors and dedicated a new pedestrian thoroughfare on Friday, marking the finale to the University’s historic $1.15 billion Second Century Campaign.

The Crain Family Centennial Promenade creates a north-south walkway across campus. Brick by brick, it 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, and all who contributed were invited to share their reasons for giving online.

The Second Century Campaign broke previous University records with 183 commitments at the Leadership Gift level of $1 million or more. Major donors to the campaign, numbering more than 600, are also listed on the monument plaques.

“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.”

“The future for SMU and Dallas is brighter because of the incredible generosity of donors to this campaign,” said Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69, SMU trustee and convening co-chair of the 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.”

Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees and a campaign co-chair, said the relationship between SMU and its home in North Texas make for an ideal partnership.

“Dallas and SMU have grown up together, and both are experiencing an era of great promise and momentum,” Boone said. “Great global cities need great centers of learning that serve as incubators for creative ideas and innovative actions that change the world. I’m thrilled that this fundraising success helps ensure that SMU will continue to play a pivotal role in advancing the growth and entrepreneurial culture of Dallas for many years to come.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU celebrates Founders’ Day Weekend 2016 April 15-16

Peruna mascot at SMU Founders Day 2015SMU Founders’ Day Weekend will kick-start the University’s second century April 15-16, 2016 with a celebration of renovated library facilities, a new book on SMU history, the dedication of a new campus walkway, and a Mustang-sized finale to the Second Century Campaign.

Saturday’s community activities will include faculty talks at Inside SMU, opportunities to explore and create at the Meadows Museum, and an afternoon of fandom and Mustang football.

> Read the full story from SMU News

“We look forward to celebrating our beginnings at Founders Day each year, but in 2016 we also celebrate a very happy ending – the April 15 finale of the $1.15 billion fundraising campaign that has changed the trajectory of SMU,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “All of the opportunities the campaign has opened for SMU ultimately become community assets that we want to share.  We hope our North Texas neighbors will come explore the Hilltop and enjoy Community Day with us on April 16.”

FRIDAY, APRIL 15

• SMU will celebrate the renovation of Fondren Library, including the Fondren Foundation Centennial Reading Room, at 12:30 p.m. Friday.

• A 1 p.m. open house will honor the release of the new book from SMU historian Darwin Payne ’68One Hundred Years on the Hilltop: The Centennial History of Southern Methodist University.  Signed copies are available for order online and will be shipped to purchasers after Founders’ Day Weekend.

• At 6 p.m., the University will celebrate the campaign finale on the South Plaza of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center with a salute to the campaign’s major and leadership donors, the dedication of the Crain Family Centennial Promenade and the unveiling of a campaign major donor monument, including plaques listing major donors to the Second Century Campaign. During the reception that follows, guests can stroll the promenade and view their engraved pavers.

Read some of the stories behind the Crain Family Centennial Promenade bricks

• The day ends with Sing Song, the annual musical theater performance competition for SMU students hosted by SMU Program Council.  Scheduled for 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, the performances are centered on this year’s theme of “Twisted Tales.”  Tickets are available online.

> Celebrate Peruna’s Birthday during Founders’ Day Weekend 2016, Friday, April 15

SATURDAY, APRIL 16 – SMU COMMUNITY DAY

All SMU Community day activities are open to the public.

Guitarist in Meadows Museum, SMU Founders' Day 2015Inside SMU, scheduled for 8:30 a.m.-noon in Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, is a full morning of topical discussions delivered by SMU faculty and students. The plenary session at 9 a.m. features Darwin Payne ’68, SMU historian and professor emeritus of communications, sharing “Ten Stories You Should Know about SMU.”

Community Day at the Meadows Museum is from 10-1 p.m. and will enable visitors to explore its Salvador Dali exhibit, as well as participate in special activities for children.

SMU Athletics hosts afternoon events at Gerald J. Ford Stadium: Mustang Fan Fair begins at noon with inflatables and food trucks, followed by the SMU Spring Football Game at 1 p.m.

See the full schedule and register for activities

— Kimberly Cobb