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April 27, 2001


DALLAS (SMU) -- The Southern Methodist University School of Engineering will formally break ground May 4 on a new engineering building to be named in memory of the late Jerry R. Junkins, former chief executive officer of Texas Instruments and SMU trustee.

The new building is part of an overall strategic plan for expanding the engineering program at Southern Methodist University. Future plans call for construction of a second new building plus an expansion of Caruth Hall, the current engineering building.

"This expansion plan demonstrates SMU's commitment to developing the School of Engineering as a clearly focused, world-class engineering school that specializes in training the next generation of engineering leaders and conducting outstanding research," said Stephen Szygenda, dean of the SMU School of Engineering.

Two gifts totaling $5 million from the TI Foundation and the family of Jerry Junkins, and additional gifts in honor of Mr. Junkins, helped complete funding for construction of the new building. Other principal donors include James Lindsay Embrey and Bobbie Embrey, and the estate of Hugo R. Kamb.

"Engineering education is critically important because almost every aspect of modern life is touched by, if not founded upon the work of engineers," said Tom Engibous, Chairman, President and CEO of TI. "The new Junkins Engineering Building at SMU is a strategic asset that accelerates the development of Dallas - Fort Worth as a center of world-class engineering."

When completed in the fall of 2002, the $14.9 million building will be occupied primarily by SMU's Electrical Engineering Department. Classrooms and lecture halls will be located on the first floor and the third floor will provide office space for faculty and students. The ground floor and second floor will house a variety of teaching and research labs.

"This building will define the future of electrical engineering at SMU," said Jerry Gibson, chair of the Electrical Engineering Department. "The quality of our program and of our faculty is not reflected in our current facility."

The new building will allow SMU's Electrical Engineering Department to expand and update its digital signal processing, optoelectronics, microelectronics and biomedical research labs and add a new lab for wireless communications and networking. All the labs will be used for both teaching and research. SMU's electrical engineering program has particular expertise in the fields of communications and signal processing and micro- and optoelectronics.

"These new facilities will allow us to double the number of both undergraduate and graduate students we are able to accept in our electrical engineering program," Gibson said. "Our current building has been a real limit in terms of teaching and research."

Jerry Junkins was chairman, president and chief executive officer of TI at the time of his death in 1996. His involvement in SMU's engineering school dates back to the 1960s. He earned a Master of Science degree in engineering management from SMU in 1968 and later played an important role in the engineering school's revitalization. He served as vice chair of the school's Executive Board and led a task force that examined the school's impact on Dallas industries. He was a member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 1990 until his death.

"It is fitting for this new building to honor the memory of Jerry Junkins," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "He was a pioneer in development of the region's high-tech industry, and he helped SMU chart its future as a partner in the region's progress. We are grateful to the TI Foundation and the Junkins family for helping to provide this new building, which will strengthen SMU's alliance with Dallas-Fort Worth area industry."

Mr. Junkins grew up in Iowa and earned a bachelor's degree in electrical engineering from Iowa State University in 1959. After graduating, he and his wife, Sally, came to Dallas where he began work at a TI defense plant and moved up through a series of jobs in the company's defense business to head its military contracting operations from 1975 to 1981. He was named TI's president and chief executive officer in 1985 and added the position of chairman in 1988. Sally Junkins and their two daughters, Karen Junkins and Kirsten Kerrigan, reside in Dallas.

The 50,000-square-foot building will be the first built in a new east quadrangle on the SMU campus, two blocks from North Central Expressway. The new area is expected to eventually become the major visitors' entrance to the SMU campus.

Construction of the Junkins Engineering Building is part of The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead, SMU's $400 million capital campaign launched in April 1997.

The Junkins Building was designed by Hahnfeld Associates of Fort Worth in association with Ellerbe Beckett of Minneapolis. Construction manager for the project is Manhattan Construction of Dallas.