November 6, 2012
DALLAS (SMU) – Alumni, parents and friends of SMU from the Houston area have committed more than $100 million toward SMU’s Second Century Campaign, capped by a $12.1 million endowed scholarship fund from Houston business leader and attorney W. Yandell “Tog” Rogers, Jr.
SMU President R. Gerald Turner, University officials and members of the Campaign Steering Committee for Houston honored SMU law alumnus Rogers at a reception and presentation at the Houstonian Thursday evening, Nov. 1. Turner shared the story of how Rogers, grateful for a law professor’s role in securing him a much-needed scholarship 50 years ago, is now expanding opportunities for other promising students.
“Tog never forgot how that scholarship shaped his future,” Turner said. “To this day he understands a scholarship’s potential value in the life of a talented student who may be struggling financially to stay in school. So in the spirit of giving back, Tog came forward with a very generous campaign commitment to SMU – a charitable trust that in 2020 will distribute approximately $12 million to support scholarships in SMU’s Dedman School of Law. “
“I’m paying back a debt,” said Rogers. “Without a scholarship, I wouldn’t have made it through the SMU School of Law. This gift is to help other people in need do what I was able to do.”
Rogers, who received his JD in 1961 from the SMU School of Law, is a retired lawyer and businessman. He moved to Houston in 1967 and served as general counsel for Ridgway Blueprinting, a small, publicly traded company, before becoming president of the company. He took Ridgway private and purchased the company, selling it to American Reprographic Co. in 2000. More information is available here on Rogers and his gift.
Houston is home to more than 6,200 SMU alumni – the largest concentration of former SMU students outside Dallas. Rogers’ commitment to endow law scholarships brings to an even dozen the number of commitments of $1 million or more from the Houston alumni, parents and friends of SMU listed below:
Houston donors have given more than 10,000 gifts totaling more than $100 million during SMU’s Second Century Campaign, which began in September 2008, resulting in 15 new endowments for professorships, scholarships and academic and student life programs. Forty-nine Houston donors have made commitments of $50,000 or more and more than 1,100 donors have been recognized by SMU’s Hilltop Society for two-to-20 years of consecutive years of giving to SMU.
Scott McLean ‘78, CEO of Amegy Bank of Texas, and Dennis Murphree ‘69, principal of Murphree Venture Partners, are co-chairs of the Campaign Steering Committee for Houston.
“The dedication and enthusiasm of alumni and friends like you has been inspiring,” McLean told the group at the Houstonian. “And it sends a strong message to alumni across the country – that Houston believes what SMU is doing now will positively impact the lives of future Mustangs. Thank you for your support.”
To date, SMU’s Second Century Campaign has received commitments of more than $653 million toward its goal of $750 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience. The campaign coincides with SMU’s celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915.
SMU is a nationally ranked private university in Dallas founded 100 years ago. Today, SMU enrolls nearly 11,000 students who benefit from the academic opportunities and international reach of seven degree-granting schools.