Life is full of transitions.  As we successfully wrapped up the academic year, we said goodbye to our graduates.  We are pleased that they will be serving in many capacities in a world that is desperate for leadership.  This year’s graduating class totaled 95 students.  What an impact they will make through their ministries!

Let me fill you in on a number of end-of-the-year endeavors.

  • The Perkins Executive Board continues to be the backbone of our financial supporters. I can’t say enough about the women and men who comprise the Perkins Executive Board!  This group of 43 people is interested in Perkins prospering, in every sense of that term.  Coming from various walks of life, they serve as trusted advisors to the Dean.  Three are SMU Trustees, and two are Bishops of the United Methodist Church.

Under the outstanding leadership of Chair Julie Yarbrough and Vice Chairs Bishop Mike McKee, Katherine Lyle, and Dodee Crockett, the Executive Board is taking an active role in helping the Dean think through important priorities for the future.

  • Rose BurnsI am grateful for the extraordinary abilities of my new co-worker, Advancement Associate Rose Burns (maburns@smu.edu, 214.768.3688). Our mission is to provide each Perkins donor with confidential and excellent service.  We believe that all gifts, of whatever size, are important and we assure you that Perkins carefully stewards the funds you entrust to us.  We know that when you give, you are making an investment in the future of the Church.  We are thankful for your faithfulness.
  • Over the next few months, various administrators and faculty members will be fanning out to many Annual Conferences of the United Methodist Church. At those yearly gatherings, we will break bread with hundreds of Perkins graduates.  Dean Hill and others will give a brief update.  We love to meet alumni/ae and friends.  Your accolades are great, but even more helpful are your constructive criticisms which will spur us on to do even more excellent work.
  • The SMU fiscal year ended on May 31. You may be aware that we are now finishing up the first year of the public phase of SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow.  Both Perkins and the University are making great progress in the campaign.  I will be reporting on highlights over the next several months.
  • An “easy way” to support Perkins is to set up automatic withdrawals from your bank account or debit/credit card. I have found that to be very helpful in my regular giving.  Simply go to https://giving.smu.edu/schools-areas/perkins/ and follow the instructions.  For Online Giving, click on “Make a Gift Online” which will direct you to a page where you can specify from the drop-down menus to donate to Perkins School of Theology and any fund within Perkins. While there are only options of making a one-time gift or a monthly gift, please do not hesitate to contact my office to assist you with any arrangements that you prefer to make. Your giving can be monthly, quarterly, or yearly. It is a simple and convenient and I encourage you to try it

On behalf of Dean Hill and the entire school, thank you for your interest in Perkins School of Theology.  Remember that Matthew 6:21 states, “where your treasure is, there also is your heart.” Many of you have shown that your heart is with Perkins because you have entrusted us with some of your treasures.

For that, we say: Thank you!

John A. Martin
Director of Development