November 17, 2015
DALLAS (SMU) — As part of its centennial commemoration, on November 17 SMU hosted a luncheon honoring donors whose gifts have provided new student scholarships and support funds as part of The Second Century Campaign. Scholarship recipients also were honored at the event.
Honoring the Donors
The campaign, which has raised support for 582 student scholarships, reached its $1 billion goal ahead of schedule on September 24 and continues through December 31, 2015.
The speaker at the November 17 luncheon was Carl Sewell, chairman of Sewell Automotive Companies and a national leader in the automotive industry. A member of the SMU Board of Trustees since 1996, he served as chair of the board from 2006 to 2010. He also has served as a co-chair of The Second Century Campaign and as co-chair of the Second Century Celebration. He has been a strong advocate of the strategic initiative to recruit higher-achieving students and a generous donor of merit scholarships.
“This fall marks the 100th anniversary of the enrollment of SMU’s first students,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Through the years, student support – including scholarships, internships, awards and graduate fellowships – has enabled SMU to attract and retain high-achieving, diverse students from throughout Texas, the United States and the world. We are grateful to the farsighted donors whose generous support has made it possible for us to provide SMU’s educational excellence to these young achievers.”
Many individuals and organizations have provided generous gifts for student support, including the following who have given at the leadership level: AIM Foundation, William E. Armentrout Foundation, Gina L. Bridwell and Tucker S. Bridwell, CFP Foundation, Edwin L. Cox, Linda Pitts Custard and William A. Custard, Jennifer Gelety Flanagan and Martin L. Flanagan, Brady P. Gentry†, Frederick B. Hegi, Jr. and Jan Vestal Hegi and family, Roy M. Huffington†, Nancy Ann Hunter Hunt and Ray L. Hunt, Carolyn L. Miller and David B. Miller, Kenneth R. Morris and Linda A. Morris, C. Robert Palmer and Rebecca S. Palmer, Sarah Fullinwider Perot and Ross Perot, Jr., Estate of Catherine S. Perrine, Suzie Rogers and Yandell Rogers, Jr., Carl Sewell and Peggy Higgins Sewell, Annette Caldwell Simmons and Harold C. Simmons†, Anna P. Sohmen and Helmut Sohmen, John C. Tolleson and Debra J. Tolleson.
“Through the Second Century Campaign and the previous Campaign for SMU, which ended in 2002, more than 750 new scholarships have been received,” said Brad E. Cheves, vice president for development and external affairs. “This student support has attracted talented students who continue to build the reputation of SMU. After completing successful academic experiences, many become leaders who contribute significantly to the development and vitality of Dallas and other communities.”
Scholarship investments have enabled SMU to compete increasingly for top students at the national level. Student applications have nearly doubled over the past 10 years, setting a record of more than 14,000 applicants for a first-year class of 1,374 in 2015. The SAT average of 1309 for the fall 2015 entering class is nearly 100 points higher than that of a decade ago.