2014 Archives

Denver-area commitments of more than $7.6 million support SMU Second Century Campaign

Bill and Liz Martin Armstrong among friends and supporters honored at Denver event

October 10, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) – Alumni, parents and friends of SMU from the Denver area were acknowledged Oct. 9, 2014, at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science for their generous combined commitments of more than $7.6 million toward the University’s Second Century Campaign.

DenverSMU President R. Gerald Turner, Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves and members of the Campaign Steering Committee for Denver hosted members of the SMU community living in the Denver area – home to more than 1,500 alumni and more than 80 current SMU undergraduate students. The Denver celebration underscored the impact that Second Century Campaign donors in the region are having on SMU students, faculty and the campus.

Denver Campaign Co-Chairs Liz Martin Armstrong, who serves as chair of the SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences executive board, and Bill Armstrong, who is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, are 1982 SMU graduates with degrees in geology. Two of their three children also graduated from SMU.

The Armstrongs have committed more than $6 million to their alma mater during the campaign in support of residential campus housing, athletics, student scholarships, faculty, Dallas campus lighting enhancements and student housing at SMU-In-Taos, SMU’s 300-acre campus in northern New Mexico. Armstrong Commons, one of SMU’s new student housing facilities on the main campus in Dallas, is named in recognition of a 2011 gift from the Armstrongs.

“SMU and Denver have a special connection,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The Armstrongs and the hundreds of other SMU supporters from the city and region stand as testimony to this connection and to the passion of our alumni, parents and friends in Colorado.”

Nine Denver-area donors have made commitments of $50,000 or more. Seventeen percent of SMU undergraduate alumni living in the Denver area made a gift to the University during the last fiscal year – an important measurement for national university rankings.  In all, more than 750 Denver-area donors have made more than 2,500 gifts to SMU during the fundraising campaign, which began in 2006.

Thirty-three Denver-area contributors have been recognized as President’s Associates donors for giving $1,000 or more in a fiscal year, and 158 donors are members of SMU’s Hilltop Society, acknowledging those who have consecutive years of giving to SMU.

“SMU has a special place in our hearts,” said Bill Armstrong. “Liz and I met at SMU. We have siblings and children who have attended SMU. We continue to benefit from not only the academic experience, but also from the strong network of friends and business connections we maintain today.”

The Denver-area gifts count toward the $1 billion goal of SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign.  To date the campaign has raised more than $902 million in gifts and pledges 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.

Scenes from the Denver Celebration

SMU Denver Donors
SMU Denver Donors SMU Denver Donors


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.