Milledge A. Hart III

Linda and Mitch Hart commit significant gift to SMU’s Ford Research and Innovation Building

Linda and Milledge 'Mitch' A. Hart IIIDallas business leaders Linda Wertheimer Hart ’65 and Milledge (Mitch) A. Hart, III have committed a significant gift to the Gerald J. Ford Research and Innovation Building at SMU. The new facility will house the University’s Linda and Mitch Hart eCenter, which includes SMU Guildhall, the world’s top-ranked graduate game design program. The building will be located on SMU’s main campus at the corner of McFarlin Boulevard and Airline Road.

“Thanks to the Harts’ generosity, we are one step closer to creating a world-class center for research and innovation on our campus,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are excited about the synergies we’ll derive from bringing advanced computer programs together under one roof.”

In 2000, the Harts made a generous gift to establish the Hart eCenter, currently located at SMU-in-Plano, as well as to endow the eCenter’s directorship. The Hart eCenter focuses on interdisciplinary research, education and innovation; it is the first university-wide initiative focused on interactive network technologies created at a major research university. Reporting directly to SMU’s provost, the Hart eCenter uses this freedom and flexibility to promote thought leadership at the intersections of multiple fields and disciplines.

The Hart eCenter’s most visible manifestation is SMU Guildhall. Since its founding in 2003, the program has graduated more than 700 students, who now work at more than 250 video game studios around the world. SMU Guildhall offers both a Master of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development degree and a Professional Certificate of Interactive Technology in Digital Game Development, with specializations in Art, Design, Production and Programming. In 2017, the Guildhall was named the world’s “No. 1 Graduate Program for Game Design” by The Princeton Review, based on a survey of 150 institutions in the United States, Canada and abroad that offer game design coursework and/or degrees.

> Visit SMU Guildhall online: guildhall.smu.edu

“SMU understands the value of interdisciplinary research in creating new knowledge and discovering new approaches to solving the world’s challenges. With a new facility dedicated to building these research collaborations, the University is stepping forward as an innovation leader,” said Linda Hart. “The growth of SMU Guildhall, both in programming and in stature, has been a source of tremendous pride for Linda and me ever since we made our first gift to establish the Hart eCenter. I look forward to seeing the exciting work this internationally recognized program will produce as it extends and expands its cutting-edge research in interactive technologies,” said Mitch Hart.

The Ford Research and Innovation Building was established with a $15 million lead gift commitment from Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 and Kelli O. Ford to construct a campus research center supporting SMU’s goal to expand advanced computing and interdisciplinary research throughout the University.

“One of SMU’s strengths is the research and other work we do at the intersection of multiple disciplines,” said Steven C. Currall, provost and vice president for academic affairs. “We plan to continue building on this strength to advance and expand our research capability.”

In addition to the Hart eCenter and SMU Guildhall, the new building will house the AT&T Center for Virtualization, which will allow researchers from across the University to conduct interdisciplinary work to address the technical, economic, social and security issues associated with virtual technologies and their applications. It also will be the home of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, established in May 2012 through a gift from the Dedman Foundation.

It is expected that the availability of the Ford Research and Innovation Building will encourage more faculty to use high-performance computing and attract greater levels of external research funding. The University’s Second Century Campaign added 54 new substantially endowed faculty positions, bringing SMU’s current total to 120, many of them senior-level scholars with active research agendas. Along with other faculty who are leading important research projects, these scholars need and expect the best facilities to support their work. In addition, high-performance computing will apply directly to the undergraduate curriculum in several disciplines.

“Linda and Mitch Hart have been visionary supporters of SMU for many years. This gift reaffirms their dedication to the University as a leader in interdisciplinary research and education,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “We are incredibly grateful for their support of excellence and innovation among our faculty and students, and for the opportunity to share these world-changing capabilities with our North Texas and global communities.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU celebrates Veterans Day with luncheon, Toys for Tots collection Friday, Nov. 10, 2017

Arc of Service banner, Maguire Center Veterans Day Luncheon 2017, 800px

SMU will celebrate its veterans from across the generations at a luncheon in their honor on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The SMU Veterans Day Celebration, “Arc of Service,” will take place noon-1:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

President R. Gerald Turner and U.S. Military Veterans of SMU will provide remarks recognizing the contributions and achievements of University service members. SMU Trustee Emeritus Milledge A. (Mitch) Hart III will deliver the keynote.

SMU Veterans pinThe luncheon will also feature live entertainment from the Meadows School of the Arts Brass Quintet, as well as the annual presentation of SMU Veterans lapel pins (pictured right).

In addition, the event will serve as a collection point for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys for Tots drive. All members of the SMU community can drop off new, unwrapped toys and other holiday gifts for underprivileged children and teens. (Toys for Tots prefers not to accept realistic-looking toy weapons or gifts that include food items, according to the organization’s FAQ.)

Organizers are compiling a service slideshow featuring photos of SMU veterans. If you have photographs taken during your service period and would like for them to be included in the presentation, please send the photos and your service dates to the Maguire Center.

The event is presented by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Thanks to a generous gift, Veterans Day luncheon tickets are complimentary for all SMU faculty, staff and students.

The Center also invites families, friends and loved ones of campus veterans to attend. Please RSVP by Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

Attendance is free – but seating is limited, and registration is required. Sign up at the link below, or contact the Maguire Center, 214-768-4255.

> Register at Eventbrite to attend SMU’s 2017 Veterans Day luncheon

Mitch Hart named SMU Trustee Emeritus

Milledge A. 'Mitch' Hart, IIIThe SMU Board of Trustees has named former trustee Milledge A. “Mitch” Hart, III as Trustee Emeritus. The Board passed a resolution to honor Hart with this designation during its quarterly meeting Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013.

For extraordinary service and leadership, former members of the SMU Board may be named emeriti members. To date, in its 100-year history, only nine individuals have been named Trustee Emeriti. Hart served on the SMU Board from 1996 to 2008.

“Mitch Hart provided and continues to provide the vision and resources to initiate new programs of significance at SMU,” said Caren Prothro, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. “This singular honor is a fitting recognition of his remarkable service to the SMU Board and the guidance he will continue to provide as trustee emeritus.”

During his SMU Board terms, Hart served on several committees: Academic Policy, Planning & Management; Audit; Buildings and Grounds; Development and External Affairs; Executive/Personnel/Compensation; and Investment. He also served as a member of the Dedman College Executive Board.

Hart currently serves on the Leadership Council of SMU’s Second Century Campaign, which is raising funds supporting student quality, academic and faculty excellence and the campus experience. He also is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees’ Development and External Affairs Committee and is a member and former chair of the Board’s Investment Committee. In addition, he serves on the Lyle School of Engineering Campaign Steering Committee and the school’s Executive Board. He is a member of the Hart Global Leaders Forum Advisory Board and is a member and former chair of the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series Board.

Hart’s election as an SMU trustee emeritus makes him the 9th individual so honored since the University created the designation in 1990 and one of 4 currently serving, including Edwin L. Cox, William L. Hutchison, and Cary M. Maguire. Past trustees emeriti included the late Gov. William P. Clements Jr., J. Lindsay Embrey Jr., William R. Hawn, Roy M. Huffington, and Elizabeth Perkins Prothro.

> Read the full story from SMU News

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