March 20, 2014
DALLAS (SMU) – Harlan and Katherine Raymond Crow of Dallas have committed $5 million toward the construction of the Kathy Crow Commons in SMU's new Residential Commons complex, scheduled to open in fall 2014. Mrs. Crow is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and an alumna.
New facilities for the Commons complex include five residence buildings, a dining commons and a parking center designed to accommodate 1,250 students. The complex is part of a larger SMU initiative created to enhance students' living-learning experience and enable all first-year students and sophomores to live on campus.
"This gift from Harlan and Kathy Crow will support a campus home and gathering place for generations of students," said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. "Students who live in Kathy Crow Commons will be part of an academic and residential community that will become a key part of their SMU experience. We are grateful for the Crows for this generous gift."
SMU's new Residential Commons model of campus living, which includes 11 Commons created from new and existing residential buildings, will provide an integrated academic and residential student experience. Live-in faculty members will have offices and teach classes in on-site classrooms. In addition, each Commons will develop traditions and host gatherings and activities to create a sense of community among the residents.
"We have studied numerous institutions with strong residential communities," said Lori White, vice president for student affairs. "We know the Residential Commons model will strengthen the SMU experience by enhancing student involvement opportunities and creating common bonds and friendships among diverse groups of students."
“Research shows that multi-year housing on campus has been linked to higher retention rates and a greater sense of camaraderie among students. Faculty-in-residence will expand opportunities for learning, informal interactions and mentoring," says Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. "The Crows are supporting this exciting new model at SMU."
Since 1988, Harlan Crow has served as chairman and CEO of Crow Family Holdings, which manages the capital of the Trammell Crow family. The Trammell Crow Company, founded in Dallas in 1948 by Crow's father, is one of the nation's oldest and largest commercial real estate developers and investors. Mr. Crow has worked with Crow-affiliated entities for nearly 40 years. He serves on the board of directors of the American Enterprise Institute, the Southwestern Medical Foundation, the Supreme Court Historical Society, the George W. Bush Presidential Library Foundation and the Antiquarian Society. In addition Mr. Crow is the honorary consul of Denmark for the Southwestern region.
Dallas civic leader Kathy Crow earned her MBA from Cox School of Business. In addition to her current position on the SMU Board of Trustees, she has served on the boards of SMU's Tate Lecture Series and the Women's Economics and Financial Series at Cox School of Business.
“Harlan and I have been highly impressed by the leadership of Gerald Turner and others at SMU, and the positive momentum and aspirations of the University are infectious,” said Kathy Crow. “Those factors, plus SMU’s decision to aim for $1 billion in its campaign and my great pride in being an SMU Cox School alumna, inspired us to want to contribute to SMU’s goals in a meaningful and impactful way. We were pleased to be able to help complete the drive to construct facilities that will enable the University to implement its vision for an enhanced SMU student experience.”
"With this generous gift from Harlan and Kathy Crow, SMU fulfills one of the major goals of the Second Century Campaign, funding for a dynamic new Residential Commons experience that will enrich residence life and academics for all incoming students," said Brad Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs.
The $5 million gift for the Kathy Crow Commons counts toward the $1 billion goal of the SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, which to date has raised $844 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.