January 24, 2018
DALLAS (SMU) – More than $5 million in contributions to his alma mater from a consortium of donors will honor SMU alumnus and energy industry leader Kyle D. Miller ’01. SMU Trustee Tucker S. Bridwell ’73, ’74 led the effort to assemble tribute gifts in recognition of Miller’s extraordinary success in the energy industry. Bridwell and his wife, Gina, personally contributed to the effort, along with other SMU alumni and industry colleagues.
In recognizing Miller’s expertise and accomplishment in the energy finance arena, the majority of the tribute will establish the Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Program and the Kyle D. Miller Energy Scholarship Fund in the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. Both initiatives will receive endowment and current-use funding. The gift also will include a naming opportunity honoring Miller and his love of athletics within SMU’s planned Indoor Performance Center.
“It’s a fitting tribute that Kyle’s colleagues have chosen to honor him by supporting both academic and athletic programs,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Kyle was named outstanding young alumnus for the Cox School of Business in May 2015, and these contributions will help position other students to find the kind of success he has achieved in energy finance.”
For Bridwell, the opportunity to lead the effort to honor Miller while supporting SMU students and student-athletes was a perfect combination. "Kyle's education at SMU helped lead to his success in energy finance," Bridwell said. "The creation of this new program, scholarship fund and the plans for the new Indoor Performance Center provided all of us a chance to help future SMU students and student-athletes succeed and aspire to great careers while honoring Kyle, his achievements so far and his passion for the Mustangs."
"I am humbled and honored by the generosity, kindness and vision represented by this effort," Miller said. "I want to thank everyone who contributed to all of these initiatives that will benefit students and the broader community in the years to come."
The Energy Management Program will be based in the Maguire Energy Institute. It will augment the school’s existing MBA Concentration in Energy Finance and will strengthen the undergraduate offering in energy to meet the rising demand for BBA graduates in the energy sector. The program will also offer the Cox School multiple opportunities in executive education. Traditional business disciplines, particularly accounting and finance positions, currently comprise 6.1 percent of the total energy workforce, and this percentage is rising. In addition, the energy sector is increasingly technology-driven, placing greater emphasis on efficiency and productivity. Both of these characteristics fit the Cox School’s expertise in financial education and its strategy to enhance technology and innovation-based curricula in its programs.
Cox M.B.A. and undergraduate students who are pursuing energy finance concentrations meet with SMU alumnus Kyle D. Miller ’01, whose extraordinary career has inspired University initiatives that will help these future energy industry leaders aspire to and find the kind of success achieved by Miller.
The academic management of the program will be provided by Professor Kumar Venkataraman, who will be appointed to the Cary M. Maguire Chair of Oil and Gas Management and will work closely with the Director of the Maguire Energy Institute, Bruce Bullock, to provide modern and relevant curricula. The operational side of the program will be managed by a director whose position will be funded by the gift that establishes the program, and who also will work closely with the Maguire Chair and the Director of the Maguire Energy Institute.
"The new Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Program and Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Scholarship Fund are great examples of how new programs can be created quickly at SMU to meet the needs of employers and students," said SMU Provost Steve Currall. "The fact that the resources will come from a group of committed donors in recognition of one of our successful alums is also a great example of the power and commitment of SMU's growing base of financial support."
The Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Scholarship Fund will provide funds for both BBA Scholars and MBA Scholarships. Scholarships continue to be a competitive factor in the recruitment of highly qualified students to both undergraduate and graduate programs. The potential to attract the most talented students – those who would excel in the Cox BBA Energy Concentration or MBA Concentration in Energy Finance and be highly sought-after by corporate and industry leaders – grows as the value of scholarships increases. This fund will elevate the student profile for the energy management program.
"This is a very exciting new program and scholarship fund that will further increase the competitiveness of SMU and the Cox School of Business," said SMU Cox School of Business Dean Matthew Myers. “We are delighted that both the Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Program and the Kyle D. Miller Energy Management Scholarship Fund will be endowed so that they will continue in perpetuity.”
“It is no surprise that SMU trustee Tucker Bridwell had the foresight and vision to engage donors who have little experience with SMU, other than through working with or knowing our alumni, to commit significant contributions in support of scholarships and programming at SMU, said Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “He and the collaborating donors also wanted to set an example for younger generations and demonstrate that meaningful, impactful philanthropy is very important and something they need to get into the habit of doing regularly. We are grateful they chose to honor Kyle in this way.”
The contribution to the Indoor Performance Center will support SMU‘s commitment to establishing its Athletics department as the premier program in the American Athletic Conference by graduating student-athletes and competing for championships with integrity across all 17 intercollegiate sports. In pursuit of that vision, SMU has made significant investments in the student-athlete experience. Facilities are a visible, tangible symbol of commitment; and construction of an Indoor Performance Center will provide valuable space to facilitate athletic training and competition at the highest level. The facility also will serve the broader University community as a location for select campus activities and events.
"Kyle Miller has supported the Mustangs since childhood," said SMU Director of Athletics Rick Hart. "The portion of this gift that will be applied to our new Indoor Performance Center is a fitting tribute to man who is passionate about helping our students and student-athletes compete at the highest levels at SMU and in their future careers."
About Kyle D. Miller
Miller received his BBA in Finance from the Cox School in 2001. Prior to their acquisition in 2016, Miller served as the president and CEO of Silver Hill Energy Partners, LLC and Silver Hill Energy Partners II, LLC, private oil and gas companies that he founded in 2011 and 2016, respectively. Before founding Silver Hill, he was a principal and senior vice president of Energy Trust Partners. Miller holds leadership positions in a number of energy industry organizations. He is an active SMU alumnus, currently serving as a member of the 21st Century Council and the Mustang Club’s Board of Directors.
For more than 100 years, SMU has shaped minds, explored the frontiers of knowledge and fostered an entrepreneurial spirit in its seven degree-granting schools. Taking advantage of unbridled experiences on the University’s beautiful campuses and SMU’s relationship with Dallas, the dynamic center of one of the nation’s fastest-growing regions, alumni, faculty and nearly 12,000 graduate and undergraduate students become ethical leaders in their professions and communities who change the world.