June 2021 News Perspective Online

Development Update: A Year of Generosity

What a school year we have had!  A killer virus, tornados in Dallas, a record-breaking ice storm and freeze—I was waiting for the Fourth Horseman of the Apocalypse!

But, we made it through all of the chaos.  As President Turner recently told SMU Staff at the annual staff picnic, “We rallied, worked together, made adjustments, and persevered.  And we did it!” And Perkins’ faithful donors “did it” too, responding to appeals and opportunities in a miraculous way. Let me tell a quick story of one of these mini-miracles:

A few days ago, I received a phone call from a woman in another state who wanted to honor a long-time friend.  This friend is a retired pastor who graduated from Perkins in the 1980s.  The caller decided to endow a scholarship in her friend’s name and told me she would send the required $100,000 to endow the fund.  This donor did not want to wait the requisite four years for the scholarship to begin producing income, so she agreed to send $5,000 a year for the next four so that the scholarship can begin funding students this fall!

That is just one of the many happy surprises we have experienced this year at Perkins. You, our community, have continually stepped up in surprising ways and showed us how much Perkins means to you. Scores of people participated in the SMU Day of Giving.  Even though we held our Scholarship Event virtually for the first time this year, we had more table sponsorships than ever. A faculty member just significantly increased his monthly giving because he wants Perkins to thrive.

But, despite a banner year for us, students continue to have needs.

The COVID-19 pandemic has put a severe financial strain on the students of Perkins School of Theology.  We have students, and spouses of students, who have been severely impacted by events of the last year.  Our student emergency fund has been stretched to its limit.  Current scholarship funds available for next year won’t cover all of the needs of students.

Our new fiscal year has just begun.  I am asking all of our alumni and friends to help us begin the year with a strong start.  Please be involved with this effort.

Donations for the SMU Fund for Perkins and the Student Scholarship Fund can be made on the Perkins giving page at  Those two funds are the top designations in the drop-down menu.  It is those funds which we need to fill.

If donating by check, it should be made out to “SMU” with the appropriate designation on the notation line.  Our mailing address is:

John A. Martin
Perkins Development
PO Box 750133
Dallas, TX 75275-0133

Please join in helping students during this extraordinary time of need.  The future leaders being trained at Perkins need your support.

Thank you in advance.

John A. Martin
Director of Development