August 7, 2007

A new distribution of more than $2 million to SMU from the will of former U.S. Congressman and Judge Brady P. Gentry will double the size of a scholarship fund for students from several East Texas counties.


Mary Ellen Greenwaldt attends SMU on a Gentry scholarship.

Gentry, who died in 1966, included in his will a trust that established the Brady P. Gentry Endowed Scholarship Fund at SMU, which provides scholarships for qualified students from the East Texas counties of Smith, Van Zandt, Gregg, Wood, Upshur, Camp, Panola and Rusk. Through the years, SMU has received grants from the trust worth more than $2.5 million. In October 2006 the trust was terminated and the proceeds were distributed. At that time, the University received more than $2 million for the Gentry Scholarship Fund, which totals approximately $5 million.

Gentry, who began his career as an attorney in Smith County of East Texas, became one of the nation’s foremost authorities on highway development and administration. As a member of the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Highways and Roads, he played a major role in shaping the national system of interstate highways.

“We are grateful for Brady Gentry’s foresight and generosity in creating a trust in his will enabling future generations of East Texas students to benefit from an SMU education,” says President R. Gerald Turner. “Planned giving through bequests, charitable trusts, gift annuities and other vehicles allows individuals to leave a lasting legacy that benefits future generations.”

Donors who help to ensure SMU’s future through planned gifts are members of the Dallas Hall Society, which has more than 450 members. For more information or to make a planned gift, visit or call 214-768-2675.