Contact: Patti LaSalle
SMU Public Affairs
(214) 768-7660


April 19, 2002


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DALLAS -- SMU today announced that its major gifts campaign has raised $532,668,245 to date for academic programs, scholarships, faculty positions and facilities. Surpassing its $400 million goal, The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead is the most successful fund-raising effort in the university's history, with the largest goal ever achieved by an institution in North Texas.

To celebrate the campaign's success, volunteers, donors, alumni and members of the SMU community gathered on campus April 19 for the announcement of the campaign's total, followed by a picnic and open houses at the various schools.

Southern Methodist University launched the five-year campaign in April 1997 with a goal of $300 million. The goal was raised to $350 million in December 1997, after plans for a football stadium were added to the campaign, and to $400 million in 1999 because of the campaign's early success.

"The campaign is providing SMU with the resources to build on its strengths as a premier private university," SMU President R. Gerald Turner said. "Campaign results will enhance our ability to attract a diverse population of top students and professors, contribute research and expertise to the community and society, and advance SMU's position of leadership nationally in higher education. We will strengthen our total collegiate experience, which includes providing personal attention in small classes, strong academic programs and leadership opportunities."

The campaign's impact can be seen in virtually every corner of the campus. Campaign commitments have resulted in 80 new endowments for academic programs, 171 new student scholarships and awards, 28 new campus life initiatives, 16 new academic positions and 14 new or renovated facilities.

Approximately one-third of the campaign gifts are designated for faculty and academic support; one-third for construction, renovation and equipment, most of which are for academic purposes; and one-third for scholarship aid and unrestricted use.

The campaign attracted gifts from more than 40,000 donors, the largest number in SMU history. They include 110 gifts of $1 million or more, over 30,000 gifts ranging from $1 to $499 and all levels of gifts in between. Including alumni, parents, friends, foundations, corporations and organizations, donors represent all 50 states, the District of Columbia and 45 foreign countries. The general campaign was global in scope, and individual campaigns were conducted in Germany, Taiwan, Japan, Panama and Guatemala.

"Beyond the dollar goal of the campaign, broad-based participation is among our top priorities," said Ruth Altshuler, chair of the SMU Board of Trustees and campaign co-chair. "We continue to welcome gifts of every size and want donors at all levels to be a part of our success. The tremendous support we are receiving shows that SMU constituents and the community strongly endorse SMU's mission and place of importance in higher education. Our momentum has never been greater."

The campaign brought the largest gifts in SMU history from three types of donors: an individual couple -- more than $35 million from Robert H. and Nancy Dedman for the Dedman Life Sciences Building, Dedman School of Law endowment and Dedman Scholars; a corporation -- buildings and land valued at more than $20 million from Electronic Data Systems Corporation for SMU-in-Legacy, located in Plano; and a foundation -- more than $20 million from The Meadows Foundation for the new Meadows Museum.

The campaign attracted significant support from non-alumni friends, foundations, corporations and others, which were responsible for 42 percent of the gifts.

Benefits to Region

Results of the campaign extend beyond the SMU campus to enrich Dallas and the region. Of special benefit to the area are the new Meadows Museum, with its expanded exhibition space and public programming, and Gerald J. Ford Stadium, offering football in a collegiate setting. Area businesses benefit from expanded continuing education opportunities offered through SMU-in-Legacy. The Dedman Life Sciences Building will help advance the Metroplex as a major center for the health sciences, and the James M. Collins Executive Education Center will house the internationally ranked Executive M.B.A. program and executive development programs of Cox School of Business. The Jerry R. Junkins Electrical Engineering Building will strengthen SMU's ability to educate engineers and technology leaders needed by area industries. (See full list of new and renovated facilities below.)

Several new centers contribute expertise to the city and region in diverse subject areas, including ethics and public responsibility, politics, Southwest studies, retail industry, e-communications, reading research and advertising. (See academic programs below.)

In addition, the regional economy benefits from construction and renovation projects resulting from the campaign. The total estimated impacts of these projects, including those completed, under construction and planned, involve the expenditure of $290 million and contract opportunities for an estimated total of 2,340 design firms, contractors and suppliers. Most of the organizations involved are located in the Dallas area.

Although not funded by the campaign, three new parking facilities, with spaces for nearly 1,600 cars, make campus programs and activities more accessible to visitors.

"Through its generous support of the campaign, the community has recognized that SMU plays a vital role in the competitiveness of our region and enhances our city as a center of educational excellence," said campaign co-chair W.R. Howell, who was chair of the SMU Board of Trustees when the campaign began. "As SMU rises in quality and visibility, so will our great city."

Academic Programs

A total of 80 new endowed academic funds will enrich academic life throughout the university. In recognition of multimillion-dollar gifts, SMU named the Dedman School of Law and the William P. Clements Department of History and established the Clements Center for Southwest Studies. Foremost among several new library funds, the J.S. Bridwell Foundation Endowed Library Fund provides support for Bridwell Library, housing one of the nation's finest rare book collections of early printing. Several new funds will support faculty research in diverse disciplines.

New academic centers supported by campaign gifts include:

  • Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility
  • William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies
  • Linda and Mitch Hart eCenter
  • JCPenney Center for Retail Excellence
  • Graduate Institute for Reading Research
  • Temerlin Advertising Institute for Education and Research
  • Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center and Blanton Academic Development Complex, providing academic support services to undergraduates
  • John G. Tower Center for Political Studies (previously established; received additional funding from campaign).

"The impact of the campaign on the academic programs and scholarly efforts of students and faculty cannot be overstated," said Ross C Murfin, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "The addition of scholarships, new faculty positions, institutes and research centers, new equipment and laboratories, classrooms and academic resources will change SMU forever."

Faculty Positions

The strength of the SMU faculty will continue to grow as outstanding scholar-teachers assume the 16 new endowed faculty positions. These positions, representing diverse disciplines, include:

  • Belo Distinguished Chair in Journalism
  • Texas Instruments Chair in Reading
  • John G. Tower Distinguished Chair in International Politics and National Security
  • Nate and Ann Levine Endowed Chair in Jewish Studies
  • Tolleson Chair in Business Leadership
  • Alan D. Feld Professorship in Law

Scholarship Assistance

The 171 student scholarships and awards funded through campaign gifts will attract a diverse group of talented students. Among them are:

  • The Hunt Leadership Scholars Program, a nationally competitive scholarship program for students who have demonstrated exceptional leadership qualities.
  • The Dedman North Dallas High School Scholarship Fund, designated for graduates of this inner-city school, the alma mater of Robert H. Dedman Sr.
  • The Charles and Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Endowed Scholarship Fund, serving as a challenge grant for additional scholarship gifts for Perkins School of Theology.
  • A Community College Scholarship Fund, offering assistance to transfer students from community colleges.

Student Life

A total of 28 campaign gifts are targeted to enrich the overall campus experience of SMU students. Among them:

  • The new Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building will house the Division of Enrollment Services, the new International Center, the SMU-in-Taos program and Information Technology Services.
  • The Hegi Family Career Development Center includes expansion of current facilities and services to help students prepare for successful careers.
  • The Office of the Chaplain, which coordinates activities of 31 student religious life groups, is receiving support from a new endowment fund.
  • Other funds to benefit students range from emergency relief and loan funds to endowments supporting SMU's nationally ranked swimming team and other sports.


Construction and renovation projects funded through campaign gifts support academic and student life programs. These projects include:

  • Meadows Museum, completed
  • Dedman Life Sciences Building, including Bob Smith, M.D. Foundation Pre-Medical Studies Center, completed
  • Jerry R. Junkins Electrical Engineering Building, under construction
  • Fondren Library Center and Laura Bush Promenade, completed
  • James M. Collins Executive Education Center, construction to begin in 2003
  • Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building, under construction
  • Altshuler Learning Enhancement Center and Blanton Academic Development Complex, completed
  • SMU-in-Legacy facilities in Plano, completed
  • Perkins Chapel renovation, completed
  • Gerald J. Ford Stadium and adjoining Paul B. Loyd Jr. All-Sports Center, completed
  • Classroom renovations in Dedman School of Law and Cox School of Business, completed
  • Digital newsroom and television studio, to open in fall 2002
  • Owen Arts Center renovations, to include new dance and visual arts wings, in planning stage.

International Outreach

Campaign efforts in Europe, Asia and Latin America strengthened SMU's relationships with alumni and parents in these areas. The Sohmen Chinese Scholars Program in Dedman School of Law will provide post-graduate study opportunities for lawyers from China. The new American Airlines Global Leadership Program, a three-week program that includes two weeks in Latin America, Europe or Asia, is integrated into the first year of the full-time M.B.A. program in Cox School of Business. The new SMU International Center, to be housed in the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building, will coordinate services for SMU's nearly 800 international students and the university's study abroad programs.

Campaign Leadership

Five Dallas leaders served as co-chairs of the SMU campaign:

  • Ruth Altshuler, civic and philanthropic leader, chair of SMU's Board of Trustees
  • Robert H. Dedman Sr., chair of ClubCorp, Inc., SMU trustee
  • W.R. Howell, chair emeritus of J.C. Penney Company, Inc., SMU trustee
  • Ray L. Hunt, chair, president and CEO of Hunt Consolidated, Inc., SMU trustee
  • Caren Prothro, civic and philanthropic leader, SMU trustee

The five co-chairs led a 40-member Campaign Executive Committee, representing SMU's six schools and other areas of the university. The campaign engaged more than 500 volunteers in 24 states and 15 foreign countries.

The campaign supports SMU's Strategic Plan, whose goals are to enhance the academic quality and competitiveness of the university, to improve teaching and learning, to strengthen scholarly research and creative achievement, to support and sustain student development and quality of life, to broaden global perspectives and to advance the university through select strategic alliances.

Although the campaign officially ends May 31, SMU will continue seeking funds to complete capital projects and raise more resources for scholarships, faculty positions and other priorities.

"The reality in higher education today is that fund raising must be ongoing for an institution to remain competitive, as well as to move up in quality and reputation," President Turner said. "Our goal is to move higher in the ranks of the premier private universities in the nation; we are well on our way, and with our donors' generosity and continued support, we will succeed."

The Campaign for SMU: Related Materials