2019-20 Annual Report

In times of adversity, Mustangs rise to the challenge. SMU’s bold thinking and enterprising spirit empower leaders to shape the future. Our welcoming community attracts the curious and creative, inspires transformative research and works to improve our communities. Nestled in the heart of Dallas, SMU offers limitless opportunities to effect real change and solve 21st century problems.

A pathway to healing

Richie Butler ’93, activist and pastor, creates opportunities for safe conversations about race to bridge the rifts in our society and provides much-needed services for the underserved in our community.

Cooking up something good

The faculty mentors living in SMU’s 11 Residential Commons are building community by bringing a feeling of home – and the taste of homemade baked goods – to the college experience.

The power of scholarship

For many students, college is an inevitable rite of passage on their way to adulthood. For others, it is an opportunity to explore a world of exciting possibilities. For Kaitlyn Contreras ’20, recipient of the Robert H. Dedman Scholarship for North Dallas High School, it was a bit of both.

Elevating excellence

Ray W. Washburne ’84 and Heather Hill Washburne established the new Washburne Soccer and Track Stadium with a $5 million commitment. It will house SMU’s men’s and women’s soccer teams, along with the track and field and cross-country teams.

Making history on the Hilltop

In high school, David Miller ’72, ’73 dreamed of playing basketball at SMU. Now, he and his wife, Carolyn, are helping current and future students pursue their dreams through a historic $50 million gift benefiting the Cox School of Business.

Student innovators

Two SMU student teams are among the winners of $5,000 challenge grants from venture capital firm RevTech. The students designed programs to help make our campus safer during the pandemic.

Sensing a solution

In the midst of a global pandemic, SMU engineers are safeguarding the security of users against attacks on their private information by detecting new types of ransomware.

Hacking the health crisis

A new network of healthcare professionals and innovators are working together to solve problems, brainstorm solutions and find creative ways to navigate the world’s “new normal.”

Shine a light

Continuing a family legacy of philanthropic activism, Ashlee Hunt Kleinert ’88 is working to educate the public about the realities of sex trafficking and provide resources for its victims.

Tsai center

Funding legal innovation

The same anonymous donor who established the Tsai Center for Law, Science and Innovation in 2014 has forged an exciting new path for the study of law and its relationship with the ever-changing technology landscape.

Serving our communities

The year 2020 has seen lives and communities forever altered by economic uncertainty and unparalleled change. In the midst of the chaos, 10 SMU students focused on programs and research to help at-risk communities affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Finding peace during a pandemic

Ruben Habito, professor of world religions and spirituality, director of spiritual formation at SMU and founder of Dallas’ Maria Kannon Zen Center, has a suggestion for finding calm during the pandemic: practice meditation.

Inspiring the extraordinary

A landmark $100 million gift from the Moody Foundation launched the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, fueling research and innovation in SMU’s newest degree-granting school.

Powering the future

Bobby Lyle ’67 has designated $10 million to power the Lyle School of Engineering’s new strategic vision, combining innovation, agility and swift responses to shifts in technological capabilities with enduring institutional support.

Answering the call

What started as a Zoom call between SMU and the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine soon became a team effort to combat the novel coronavirus by deploying artificial intelligence, computer science and the data from more than 50,000 published scientific papers.

A creative journey

Alice Heeren Sabato, a Ph.D. candidate in the Meadows School of the Arts and the 2020 recipient of the Alessandra Comini International Fellowship for Art History Studies, examines the relationship of art and architecture to the at-times crushing political realities surrounding them.