SMU observes its 101st Commencement May 13-14, 2016 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.
Technology and civic leaders, and SMU parents, Richard and Mary Templeton will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 14 in Moody Coliseum. The University expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.
Cancer prevention pioneer and global health leader Dr. Groesbeck Parham will receive an SMU Doctor of Science honoris causa during the ceremony.
Technology and civic leaders Richard and Mary Templeton will share the delivery of the SMU Commencement address at an all-University ceremony in Moody Coliseum at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 14. The ceremony, including the commencement address, will be broadcast live at smu.edu/live.
“Richard and Mary Templeton’s lives reflect an exceptional commitment to community service and a determination to squarely face and adapt to unanticipated life changes,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Their message will both inspire and guide our students at this important stage of their lives.”
Richard Templeton, a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, is president and CEO of Texas Instruments, and Mary Templeton is a financial analyst and computer scientist. Their $2 million gift in 2014 established the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair in Electrical Engineering, providing for a $1.5 million endowment and $500,000 in operational support. The couple has three children, Stephanie, John and Jim – who is a 2014 graduate of SMU’s Lyle School of Engineering.
Mary Templeton is a philanthropist and community volunteer who had a 14-year career with General Electric Company (GE) before moving to Dallas. She has served on the boards of trustees for her alma mater, Union College, the University of Dallas, John Paul II High School, Ursuline Academy of Dallas Foundation, the Southwest Region Boys and Girls Club of America, AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Dallas Arboretum. Mrs. Templeton is a member of the Advisory Council of The Catholic Foundation. In 2011 she received the 29th Catholic Foundation Award for her support of Catholic education.
With more than 30 years of experience in the semiconductor industry, Richard Templeton has been chairman of the board at TI since 2008, and president and CEO since 2004. In addition to his TI duties, Mr. Templeton serves on the board of the Semiconductor Industry Association, the board of directors of Catalyst, and the board of trustees for Southwestern Medical Foundation. He is also a member of the Business Roundtable. In addition to serving as an SMU trustee, he also serves on the executive boards for the Lyle School of Engineering and the Cox School of Business.
The gift establishing the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering provides for a $1.5 million endowment and $500,000 in operational support.
The special “Centennial” designation underscores the foresight of donors who recognize the need for operational funds to allow immediate impact while the endowment matures.
“This commitment is meaningful because it comes from a family of engineers who understand the reach of science and technology,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The Templetons know better than most how their gift will help SMU attract outstanding faculty in this important engineering discipline, and how it will influence students and prepare them to contribute to the engineering profession.”
Richard Templeton is president and CEO of Texas Instruments, and Mary Templeton is a computer scientist. They were together on the SMU campus last May as Mr. Templeton delivered the commencement address at the Lyle School and as their son, Jim, received his own bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering.
“The SMU formula for success is to combine bright, motivated students with talented, innovative faculty members,” said SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Paul Ludden. “This gift of an endowed chair gives us the ability to attract and support a strong, academic leader in the field of electrical engineering.”
The search to fill the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering is underway.
“An outstanding faculty member can spark creative ideas in a student who goes on to change the world with an invention, or lead research that reveals a different way of looking at an old problem,” said Mr. Templeton. “It means a great deal to us to be able to help support that kind of educator.”
“Jim had such a wonderful experience at SMU that we want to help ensure the same access to superior faculty members for students who come after him,” said Mrs. Templeton.
The gift to fund the Mary and Richard Templeton Centennial Chair of Electrical Engineering counts toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, and toward the campaign’s goal to reach 110 endowed faculty positions. To date the campaign has raised more than $902 million in gifts and pledges to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.