DALLAS (SMU) – Construction cranes have been a part of the campus skyline throughout the University’s Second Century fundraising campaign. Stepped-up building activity over the last four years alone has contributed approximately $390 million to the regional economy through renovation and new construction projects.
The campaign’s impact will be measured in more than dollars and cents, as new programs, centers and initiatives funded by the campaign have a direct impact on the community through teaching, research and service.
“This unprecedented period of growth and construction is making room for expanded programs, increased student housing and important research on our campus,” said Philip Jabour, associate vice president and university architect in SMU’s Office of Facilities Planning and Management. “We’ve managed more than 350 renovation and new construction projects between 2011 and 2015 alone, working with an estimated 270 service providers, ranging from architects, engineers and contractors to furniture dealers and voice/data installers.”
Available within these new and renovated buildings are numerous opportunities made possible by donors for students and faculty to seek solutions to community problems and provide other community benefits and services.
Examples of campaign-funded programs, centers and initiatives that benefit SMU’s neighbors in North Texas and beyond include the following:
- The Budd Center for Involving Communities in Education in the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development addresses the academic challenges of children living in poverty by equipping schools and nonprofits to work together. The Budd Center leads a partnership that currently comprises 29 nonprofits; 16 public, private and charter schools; the DISD; and SMU.
- The National Center for Arts Research in Meadows School of the Arts analyzes the largest database of arts research ever assembled to provide data-driven evidence-based insights into challenges facing U.S. arts organizations to enable arts and cultural leaders to overcome challenges and increase impact.
- In Dedman School of Law, campaign-funded programs include the Tsai Endowed Center for Law, Science and Innovation; the Judge Elmo B. Hunter Legal Center for Victims of Crimes Against Women; and the VanSickle Family Law Clinic. The latter two provide free and low-cost legal services for low-income participants. Dedman School of Law provides a total of 10 legal clinics serving diverse community needs.
- The Darwin Deason Institute for Cyber Security in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering is working with research partners like Raytheon and IBM to find solutions to security issues, as sophisticated hacking attacks against U.S. companies and government databases continue to make headlines.
- The Meadows Museum, which opened in 2001 through gifts from The Meadows Foundation and other donors, enriches the community and beyond. The Museum houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain and provides outstanding special exhibitions and educational programming. It attracts nearly 70,000 visitors annually, including more than 10,000 schoolchildren participating in tours and other educational programs.
- The Center for Preaching Excellence and the Pastoral Care and Counseling Program in the Perkins School of Theology provide training for pastors of area churches and beyond.
- Many of the programs funded through the campaign have stretched the SMU definition of community to national and international levels. The Embrey Human Rights Program addresses global issues in human rights. The new Texas-Mexico research program in the John G. Tower Center for Political Studies will promote policy-based discussion on economic, political and social ties between Mexico and Texas. Both of these programs are based in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.