Apply  Give Now


$1 Billion. And Change.

Two new gifts for endowed faculty positions at SMU to be announced at event honoring donors

November 14, 2014

DALLAS (SMU) — Two gifts totaling $3.5 million will strengthen the SMU faculty with new endowed positions in two schools. A gift of $2.5 million, made through the Texas Methodist Foundation, will establish the Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology at Perkins School of Theology. A gift of $1 million from two SMU alumni will establish the Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations in Cox School of Business.

The new gifts were announced November 14 at a campus event honoring donors of endowed faculty positions.

“Increasing the number of endowed faculty positions at SMU is a major goal of our Second Century Campaign,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “These two new gifts for faculty positions in the theology and business schools move us closer to our goal of achieving 110 endowed faculty positions by the end of the campaign in December 2015. We are grateful to all of the donors who have helped us add to the strength of the SMU faculty by supporting this goal.”

Susanna Wesley Centennial Chair in Practical Theology

Perkins Chapel at Southern Methodist UniversityThe new theology chair honors Susanna Wesley, frequently referred to as “the mother of Methodism.” Her sons, John and Charles Wesley, led a revival within the 18th century Anglican Church that sparked the emergence of the Methodist Episcopal Church in the American colonies.  Historians point to her “practical theology” as a source of inspiration for her sons.

The chair’s special “Centennial” designation represents the foresight of donors who recognize the need for operational funds to provide immediate impact of their gift while the endowment matures. The Wesley Chair commitment includes endowment funding of $2 million and annual operating support of $100,000 for the first five years. These operating funds will make it possible to fill the chair in the next academic year.

The Texas Methodist Foundation, which conveyed the gift, provides grant and stewardship services that advance The United Methodist Church and Christian ministries.

“The discipline of practical theology helps students reflect on and formulate conclusions about the various fields of theological inquiry as they relate to one's practice of ministry,” said Perkins School Dean William B. Lawrence. “Perkins School of Theology graduates are facing an ever-changing world of ministry opportunities. Helping students think theologically in ministry settings is essential for successful pastors and Christian workers.”

Perkins School of Theology is one of the 13 theological schools of The United Methodist Church and one of only five university-related United Methodist theological schools.

Janet and Craig Duchossois Endowed Professorship
in Management and Organizations

SMU Cox School of BusinessThe new Duchossois Endowed Professorship in Management and Organizations will strengthen the Cox School of Business in an area of increasing importance to corporations and other types of institutions.

“The Department of Management and Organizations in the Cox School offers students tools to succeed in a globally competitive environment,” said Cox Dean Albert W. Niemi. “The increased faculty strength provided by this new professorship will enable more students to develop skills that help prepare them for future leadership in the business world.”

The Cox School of Business ranks among the top business schools nationally and globally, according to Bloomberg Businessweek, The Economist and Forbes.

Janet and Craig Duchossois earned B.B.A. degrees from SMU’s business school in 1966 and 1967, respectively. Craig also earned an M.B.A. degree from SMU in 1968.

Craig Duchossois is the CEO of The Duchossois Group, Inc. The company’s operating business deals with commercial and residential access control. Mr. Duchossois was honored in 2002 with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award.

Janet Duchossois previously owned an interior design and home furnishings business. Both Mr. and Mrs. Duchossois provide leadership to their community and beyond. They serve on several boards, including educational, medical and arts organizations. The Duchossois family received the American Cancer Society’s Medal of Honor in 2011 for contributions to research and care of cancer patients and their families.

The Wesley Centennial Chair and the Duchossois Endowed Professorship bring the total to 40 endowed faculty positions established during the Second Century Campaign. Including positions previously endowed throughout the University’s history, SMU now has 102 fully endowed faculty positions toward its goal of 110.

Donors of Endowed Faculty Positions to Be Honored

As part of its centennial commemoration, on November 14 SMU hosted a historic gathering to honor donors whose gifts have provided endowed faculty positions since the University’s founding and the faculty who currently hold those positions.

“Donors of endowed chairs help SMU to attract and retain outstanding faculty who bring with them active research programs as well as a dedication to teaching,” said Paul Ludden, SMU provost and vice president for academic affairs. “Interacting with other distinguished faculty, they enable us to build a community of scholar-teachers who inspire our students and each other.”

Donors honored included the following: 

  • Kenneth Z. and Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler
  • Kathryn H. and Stephen L. Arata
  • The Belo Foundation
  • Rita Clements and the late William P. Clements, Jr.
  • Berry R. and Jeanne Tower Cox
  • Linda Pitts Custard and William A. Custard
  • Nancy Dedman and the late Robert H. Dedman
  • Mary Helen and Mike A. Fabacher
  • Linda W. and Milledge A. Hart, III
  • Jack D. Knox
  • Nate A. and Ann E. Levine
  • Bobby B. Lyle
  • Cary M. Maguire and the late Ann Thompson Maguire
  • The Meadows Foundation
  • David B. and Carolyn L. Miller
  • The Noel family
  • Fay C. and William J. O’Neil
  • Martha R. and Preston A.  Peak
  • The Joe and Lois Perkins Foundation
  • Sarah Fullinwider Perot and Ross Perot, Jr.
  • Caren H. Prothro
  • Annette Caldwell Simmons and the late Harold C. Simmons
  • Gay F. and William T. Solomon
  • Mary C. and Richard K. Templeton
  • The Texas Instruments Foundation
  • John C. and Debra J. Tolleson
  • Amy Abboud Ware and Leslie D. Ware

SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, launched in 2008, is the largest fundraising effort in the University’s history, with a goal of $1 billion. To date, it has raised more than $902 million 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.

# # #