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May 20, 2003

$7.5 Million Gift from Lindsay and Bobbie Embrey to Fund a New Engineering Building at SMU

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Lindsay Embrey Jr. and Bobbie EmbreyDALLAS (SMU) -- A gift of $7.5 million from J. Lindsay Embrey Jr. and his wife, Bobbie, will help to construct a new building for the School of Engineering, filling critical space needs for two departments and reflecting SMU's commitment to excellence in engineering.

"Lindsay and Bobbie Embrey have a long history of support for engineering. We are grateful for this latest gift, another example of their leadership supporting academic needs that are critical to SMU's progress," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "Just a few short years ago SMU renewed its commitment to excellence in engineering, and it is gratifying to see donors and industry leaders embrace this goal through their generosity."

SMU's Department of Mechanical Engineering and the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering will be housed in the new three-story, 50,000-square-foot building, which will include classrooms, office space and research laboratories. Currently these departments are located across campus in various places, including a temporary building. The total cost of the new building is estimated to be about $15 million. Additional gifts will be raised to complete the building.

SMU Engineering Dean Stephen A. Szygenda says the new building will allow for more cross-disciplinary activity between the two departments, a benefit that goes beyond mere bricks and mortar.

"As the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Environmental and Civil Engineering are brought together in a space that promotes both educational and research agendas, there will be a new synergy between the faculty and students," Szygenda said. "This new cooperative outlook will broaden students' experience in the School of Engineering, making them more marketable and better equipped for the global perspectives demanded in today's careers in engineering. This donation from the Embreys will ensure that engineering at SMU will be able to achieve international prominence that is integral to the school's philosophy of engineering and beyond."

Established in 2001, the Department of Environmental and Civil Engineering offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in civil engineering, environmental engineering, and environmental science. In addition, the department offers a master's degree in facilities management.

The Department of Mechanical Engineering offers an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and graduate degrees in mechanical engineering, manufacturing systems management, and packaging of electronic and optical devices. The department also offers a Ph.D. in mechanical engineering.

In addition to these departments, the School of Engineering has Departments of Computer Science and Engineering; Electrical Engineering; and Engineering Management Information and Systems. The Jerry R. Junkins Electrical Engineering Building, which opened in August 2002, provides expanded and enhanced laboratory and classroom facilities for the school.

The building will become part of SMU's new East Quadrangle. With an entrance from SMU Boulevard off of Central Expressway, the East Quadrangle will serve as the new entryway to campus. Other facilities in the new quad include the recently completed Junkins Building and the upcoming Collins Executive Education Building, which will break ground this fall. In the center of this new quad is the Laura Lee Blanton Student Services Building, currently under construction. The new engineering building will incorporate many of the design features that characterize the Junkins Building.

In addition to the new $7.5 million gift, the Embreys previously have given a cumulative total of more than $6 million to SMU, primarily for engineering and athletics. These gifts include $2 million for the construction costs of the Junkins Building and $1 million toward construction of the Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Their other gifts include a $1 million endowed gift that supports two trustee professorships in engineering for promising junior faculty and the J. Lindsay Embrey Scholarship Fund for engineering students.

Embrey is the chairman of First Continental Enterprises Inc., a construction and development company engaged in commercial and industrial building operation, apartment building operation, and subdividing and development. He also is chairman of Embrey Enterprises Inc. and co-owner of several shopping centers. In the mid-1950s, Embrey and George Underwood Jr. began developing the Richardson Heights area and later developed a major portion of the city of Richardson.

"SMU has shaped my life in many important ways. My history with the school runs long and deep," said Embrey, who graduated from SMU in 1945 with a B.S. in civil engineering and a B.B.A. in 1947. "Therefore, it is a great pleasure to give to SMU. I take pride in its growth as a great institution of higher learning."

While at SMU, Embrey was a student leader, president of Phi Delta Theta fraternity and Blue Key honorary society, vice president of the Student Council and Alpha Phi Omega service organization and a letterman on the Mustang basketball team.

Since graduation, Embrey has served SMU in many capacities. He was a member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 1970 to 1987 and has been a trustee emeritus since 1991. He also served on the GTE/SMU Athletic Forum Board of Directors and was president of the SMU Alumni Association from 1972 to 1973, of which he is a lifetime member. Embrey also was president of the Mustang Club. Currently he serves on the executive board of the School of Engineering. The university honored Embrey in 1991 with the Mustang Award.