March 2022 News Perspective Online

Perkins Development Office Gears Up for Key Fundraising Events

Perkins’ Development Office is gearing up for two key fundraising events taking place in March: the Bolin Family Perkins Scholarship Luncheon on March 17 and SMU Giving Day on March 22.

Bolin Family Perkins Scholarship Luncheon: March 17

The Rev. Dr. Richie Butler will keynote the luncheon, which takes place at noon in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom at SMU.  A video tribute to the Rev. Dr. Zan Holmes and a presentation on the Black/Africana Church Studies Program (BACS) at Perkins will round out the event.

“The Bolin Family Perkins Scholarship Luncheon is a highlight of the Perkins’ calendar every year,” said John Martin, Director of Development for Perkins. “The event raises money for scholarships and helps raise awareness of the important work of Perkins School of Theology.”

Butler is senior pastor of St. Luke “Community” United Methodist Church, an influential, predominantly Black congregation in Dallas. A 1993 graduate of SMU, Butler serves on the Perkins and Dedman College Executive Board, the SMU Board of Trustees, the Communities Foundation of Texas board of trustees, the Dallas Assembly and the Real Estate Executive Council. He is founder of Project Unity, a collaborative effort to promote racial reconciliation in Dallas. He has received numerous awards for his efforts on behalf of racial reconciliation, including SMU’s Emerging Leader Award in 2008; the 2018 Silver Anniversary Mustang Award; the Dallas Bar Association 2017 Martin Luther King, Jr. Justice Award; Dallas Business Journal’s 2018 Minority Business Leader honoree; and the 2019 Juanita Craft Humanitarian Awards Visionary recipient, among others.

Holmes is pastor emeritus of St. Luke, where he served as senior pastor from 1979 to 2002.  Before receiving two graduate degrees from SMU’s Perkins School of Theology — a Master of Theology in 1959 and a Master of Sacred Theology in 1968 — Rev. Holmes graduated cum laude from Huston-Tillotson University in Austin. In addition, he taught and mentored students and ministers for 24 years as an associate professor of preaching at Perkins. As a community activist and leader, Holmes served in the Texas House of Representatives from 1968-1972 while serving as a United Methodist district superintendent. Many United Methodists know Holmes as the narrator and host of the “Disciple I Bible Study” video series produced by Abingdon Press. In 2002 the National Voting Rights Museum and Institute in Selma, Alabama, recognized Holmes as one of the civil rights movement’s “Invisible Giants.” He remains active as a life member of the NAACP.

For more information about table sponsorships, click here. Table sponsorships are available online or by calling John Martin (214.768.2026).  Sponsorships of 10-person tables are available at the following levels: Platinum, $10,000; Gold, $5,000; Silver, $3,000 and Bronze, $1,750. Individual tickets at $175 will be available closer to the event as capacity permits. Each sponsorship or ticket will be tax deductible, minus benefits received.  (Attendees will receive a statement for tax deductions.)

All proceeds from the Bolin Family Perkins Scholarship Luncheon will be used for scholarships for the BACS program. 

SMU Giving Day: March 22

Perkins alumni/ae and supporters will also have the chance to participate in SMU Giving Day on March 22.

SMU Giving Day is a once-a-year, 24-hour philanthropic blitz that rallies Mustangs everywhere for one big day of fundraising for the entire university. Donors may direct their donations to specific projects or programs within the university. Last year’s Giving Day on April 13, 2021, raised more than $2.5 million for SMU.

SMU Giving Day serves as a funding lifeline to many initiatives, at Perkins and beyond.  Many of the causes and student groups on campus rely on Giving Day to meet their financial goals. SMU administers gifts to the specific causes that donors select on the Giving Day website.

Perkins has selected four important initiatives which donors may support on March 22:

The Black/Africana Church Studies program at Perkins, with a fundraising goal of $4,000. Launched in Fall 2021, the program critically explores Black theology, Black Biblical studies and interpretation, history, pastoral theology, preaching, worship, religious education, ethics, and other practices in conjunction with African American, African, and other African Diasporic churches, non-profit organizations, and social justice ministries through programs designed primarily in order to enrich the educational, cultural, and communal experiences of Black School of Theology, Doctor of Ministry, and GPRS students as well as the broader SMU community.

General Student Financial Aid Fund. Scholarships are the most pressing need at Perkins.  This fund helps students afford theological education at Perkins. The goal is $4,000.

For the Global Theological Education project, there’s a goal of $2,000 to purchase a green screen for GTE’s new Digitally Mediated Ministries Lab, which will provide opportunities for faculty and students to create digital content and to experiment with ministries via digital platforms, including podcasting, livestreaming and more.

Finally, donors will have the option to contribute to a project for the Student Life Office of Perkins; details to come.

For more information on SMU Giving Day, visit