Goals & Priorities

Charging Ahead

Engaging Community

SMU was founded by a partnership with city leaders who provided land and investment to create a University for the growing Dallas region. Over the past 100 years, that has extended to communities spanning the globe through the contributions of our alumni, students and faculty. Conversely, SMU alumni engage in the life of the University through leadership and service.

“The concept of a billion dollars may seem overwhelming, but the fact is that it will take gifts of all sizes for us to meet our new goal. So we’re asking alumni and friends to take part at any level they can afford. It all counts, and it all makes a difference.”
— Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48, Trustee and Campaign Co-chair

Growth in Campus Housing

Each year SMU students and faculty give of their time and expertise to organizations and individuals in the Dallas region and beyond. Examples include:

  • SMU students provide more than 200,000 hours of community service each year.
  • Dedman Law students provide low-cost legal aid to residents who cannot afford representation.
  • SMU students complete social service projects across the nation during Alternative Spring Break, the second-oldest program of its kind.
  • Physics Department faculty host secondary school teacher workshops and the regional science fair for school-age children.
  • Each year 1,000 DFW middle school students come to the SMU campus to learn about engineering from SMU students, working engineers and innovators in a variety of industries.

Partnerships with Impact

SMU works with leading civic, cultural, educational, medical and corporate organizations to make a difference in areas such as these:

  • The Center for Communities and Education, in collaboration with the Dallas Faith Communities Coalition, promotes education reform in West Dallas, working with 10 public schools and 20 nonprofit agencies.
  • SMU partners with UT Southwestern Medical Center to host seventh- and eighth-graders from around the United States each summer to study chemistry, microbiology and anatomy, with the aim of increasing the number of minority students in biomedical research.
  • Simmons School faculty members evaluate science learning at the Rory Meyers Children’s Discovery Garden at the Dallas Arboretum.
  • SMU provides graduate-level coursework to Teach For America teachers working in the Dallas Independent School District and other local districts.
  • Meadows School of the Arts partners with Big Thought and the Dallas County Juvenile Department to provide training in the visual and performing arts to area at-risk students, offering a positive outlet for self-expression.

Alumni Giving Back

More than 50 percent of SMU alumni have given to The Second Century Campaign thus far, a significant indication of the University's broad community support.

Yearly Alumni Giving

A record 24 percent of alumni made a gift to the University in fiscal year 2013, the highest level to date. The campaign goal is 25 percent alumni giving each year.

Support from Non-Alumni Donors

The Second Century Campaign has drawn strong support from donors who are not alumni. About 35 percent of gifts have come from parents, friends, corporations and foundations.