Contact: Patti LaSalle or Robert Bobo, 214-768-7650


June 1, 2004


Brad Cheves color photo
SMU vice president for development and external affairs Brad Cheves (click on image above for a high-resolution version).

DALLAS (SMU) – SMU has named Brad E. Cheves as its new vice president for development and external affairs, after a nationwide search. Cheves has been serving as vice president for advancement and public affairs at Pepperdine University in Malibu, California, since 2001.

This appointment represents a return to SMU for Cheves, who served the university as associate vice president for development from 1998-2001. In that capacity he also served as associate director of The Campaign for SMU, helping to lead the most successful major gifts campaign in SMU history and the largest for any institution in North Texas. The five-year campaign exceeded its $400 million goal by raising $542 million for scholarships, faculty positions, academic programs, facilities, and student life programs.

As SMU vice president for development and external affairs, Cheves will be a member of the president’s executive staff and will supervise fund-raising, alumni relations, public affairs, special events and lecture programs, including the popular Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture Series. He will assume his new position at least by August 1.

“Brad Cheves brings exactly the right combination of skills needed during this time of opportunity for SMU, as we reach out to alumni and the broader community, and continue to develop resources supporting our academic progress,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He brings leadership, hands-on experience, and a knowledge of SMU that will keep us moving forward without interruption.”

As Pepperdine’s vice president, Cheves increased the number of alumni and other donors to the university. He reorganized the advancement operation, bringing together development and public affairs into one division. He began a branding project that resulted in establishment of Pepperdine’s Office of Marketing. He also was an assistant professor of public policy at Pepperdine, teaching courses at the graduate and undergraduate level.

“SMU is clearly on the rise in national prominence, with a strong faculty that is becoming more widely recognized and a diverse student body that forms a solid nucleus of strength for our future,” Cheves says. “When you combine that with a distinguished alumni constituency and the dynamic city of Dallas, we have the basis for becoming one of the premier private universities in the nation. That’s our goal as we raise support and visibility.”

Cheves, an attorney, has led a varied career in higher education advancement and public policy. Earlier in his career, he served as associate dean for the School of Public Policy and director of the Institute for Public Policy at Pepperdine University, coordinating the fund-raising campaign to establish a graduate school of public policy. He previously served as director of advancement and alumni relations at the Pepperdine School of Law.

His public policy experience also includes working as legal clerk in the Office of the General Counsel of the U.S. Department of Energy, and as chief of staff for a member of the Texas House of Representatives. Cheves is a member of the State Bar of Texas and is active in the Council for Advancement and Support of Education.

A native of Albuquerque, New Mexico, Cheves holds a bachelor’s degree in business administration and finance from Abilene Christian University in Texas and a J.D. from Pepperdine University School of Law.

Cheves succeeds Jeanne P. Whitman, who left as SMU vice president for development and external affairs May 31 to become head of The Hockaday School in Dallas.


Southern Methodist University is a private university in Dallas with more than 10,000 students and offers degree programs through six schools. More information about SMU is available at