SMU announces new $25 million gift to the Simmons School

Harold C. and Annette Caldwell Simmons
Annette and Harold C. Simmons have committed a new $25 million gift to SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Harold C. and Annette Caldwell Simmons have committed a new gift of $25 million to SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.

Their gift will fund a new building for the expanding programs of the school and support three new endowed academic positions. The new facility will be named Harold Clark Simmons Hall, in honor of Mr. Simmons, at Mrs. Simmons’ request.

Their combined gifts of $45 million to the school make Harold and Annette Simmons’ commitment among the largest to SMU’s Second Century Campaign, also making them among the most generous donors in SMU’s 100-year history.

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“We are truly fortunate to count the Simmons as partners in our academic mission and greatly value their leadership and generosity,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “They have established an enduring legacy of service and generosity benefitting SMU and show great foresight by supporting education. Since its creation less than a decade ago, the Simmons School has made significant and rapid contributions addressing the challenges facing schools and educators.”

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“Since our first gift to the school in 2007, we have been pleased to see the rapid progress the school has made in developing programs aimed at addressing the greatest challenges in our nation’s schools,” said Harold Simmons. “Our investment has resulted in the formation of innovative programs for education and human development, the hiring of outstanding faculty leading research that makes a difference, and growing outreach to communities with solutions that work. This progress is worthy of continued investment, which we are pleased to lead.”

“This extraordinary gift enables our school to leave a more durable imprint as we increase our capacity for making an impact,” said David Chard, Leon Simmons Dean of the Simmons School. “The new building and endowed faculty positions will enable us to expand dramatically the scope and quality of our teaching, research and service.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU breaks ground for Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall

Harold and Annette Caldwell Simmons

A year after celebrating a $20 million gift from Harold and Annette Simmons, SMU broke ground Dec. 5, 2008 on the building that will house the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development. Mrs. Simmons, a former teacher, is an elementary education graduate of SMU.

“When the Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall is completed, it will mark the culmination of the work and contributions of many, led by the vision and generosity of two – Harold and Annette Simmons,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As their own lives have been profoundly touched by education, this wonderful new building will be the starting place for new generations of educators and for new research on teaching and learning.

“Supporting the Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall is a great way to honor teachers,” Turner added. “One of the ways we will complete funding is for people to step forward to name every room in this building in honor of a teacher. It could be a spouse, it could be a child, or it could be a great teacher who changed your life. And although she didn’t want me to mention it here, my wife, Gail, was a teacher for 13 years, and I intend for one of those rooms to have a plaque with Gail’s name on it.”

Annette Simmons with Maple Lawn School Choir membersTo accomplish this, President Turner is committing $100,000 to the Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall, in addition to the Turners’ campaign commitment of $100,000 for library endowment funds.

The new Hall, targeted for completion in the spring of 2010, will consolidate programs that have been housed in a variety of classrooms and offices. The building, positioned prominently on the east side of campus, is designed to be welcoming to students and visitors. It will include classrooms; research laboratories, including exercise physiology and biomechanics labs; faculty and administrative offices and student support areas.

With the construction of this new building, as well as continuing programs at SMU-in-Legacy in Plano, the school will have a visible presence at both of SMU’s Dallas-area campuses.

(Above, Harold and Annette Caldwell Simmons stand before an artist’s rendering of the Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall. Right, Mrs. Simmons receives roses from members of the Maple Lawn School Choir, who gave a surprise performance at the groundbreaking ceremony. Mrs. Simmons taught 4th grade at the Dallas elementary school. Photography by Hillsman S. Jackson.)

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$20 million Simmons gift to support School of Education

Harold and Annette SimmonsA landmark $20 million gift from Harold C. and Annette C. Simmons (right) will provide endowment for SMU’s School of Education and Human Development and the lead gift for a new building to house the School. The School will be renamed the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development in honor of Mrs. Simmons, an elementary education graduate of SMU.

“Harold and Annette Simmons have demonstrated time and again their generosity and vision in meeting critical needs of our community, region and nation,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “As civic leaders who deeply value education as the foundation of human achievement, they will help us extend SMU’s leadership in education. This gift will be instrumental in further defining the scope and impact of these programs.” Read more from SMU News.