Contact: Patti LaSalle

December 9, 2005

SMU Board Approves Leadership
Structure for Centennial Campaign

DALLAS (SMU) – As part of planning for the upcoming Centennial Campaign, SMU’s Board of Trustees has approved a structure for the top level of volunteers who will help to lead the comprehensive major gifts campaign.

The Board has authorized creation of a Campaign Leadership Council to consist of five co-chairs heading specific committees such as those for academic programs, campus life initiatives, national and international outreach, and special projects, along with eight to ten other members. The Council will begin work during the campaign’s quiet phase starting in January 2006. The quiet phase of a campaign is the planning period that precedes a public announcement of the campaign’s monetary goal and initial gifts toward that amount.

The Leadership Council will eventually oversee a larger campaign volunteer organization, consisting of about 50 members and including chairs for school campaigns, regional efforts, and cultivation of top-level gifts. At full force during the Campaign’s public phase, it is anticipated that several hundred volunteers around the world will provide leadership support. In its resolution authorizing the campaign structure, the Board noted that “the success of the Centennial Campaign will directly result from the active involvement and leadership of volunteers.”

“Our success with The Campaign for SMU: A Time to Lead was due in large part to the dedicated team of co-chairs who provided insightful guidance and set the pace for giving with their own generosity,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These high-level volunteers were essential in galvanizing other volunteers, identifying prospective donors, and helping us to make the case for giving at all levels.”

The Centennial Campaign will seek endowment for academic programs and professorships, scholarships, and other priorities advancing SMU’s quality and rise into the top tier of universities nationwide.

At its meeting December 4, 2004, the Board of Trustees authorized 2005-06 as a planning year for the campaign, but already, because of extraordinary trustee leadership, we find ourselves working ahead of that schedule,” says Brad E. Cheves, SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs. “At every board meeting the trustees have taken action to build the procedures and organization necessary for progress. Their vision and the University’s current strength are accelerating our momentum.”



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