Celebrating a Historic Gift to Education
SMU was founded to serve the most important education needs of our city, region and nation. As the University enters its second century, we remain committed to this purpose, now strengthened by a gift from Harold C. Simmons and Annette Caldwell Simmons ’57, establishing the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
About the Simmons Gift
Programs in education have been a part of SMU’s curriculum since the early years of the University. Today, SMU has recommitted itself to this mission, bringing together in a single academic unit the University’s education degree offerings, continuing studies and human development programs, and faculty research on education-related topics.
The Simmons’ transformational leadership gift establishes a permanent financial base for the school, broadening the future scope and impact of its programs.
A significant shortage exists of well-trained, certified teachers with knowledge and experience in educational research. SMU has responded to this need with programs to prepare teachers for certification, as well as graduate degrees to enhance the knowledge and skills of educators already working in classrooms.
The Simmons’ gift establishes the Fairess Simmons Graduate
Fellowship Fund, which provides graduate fellowships at both the Master’s and Ph.D. degree levels
and enables SMU to compete for the nation’s best students. The
fund is named in honor of Mr. Simmons' mother, Fairess Simmons, a
dedicated public school teacher.
A school’s faculty defines the quality of its curriculum and its areas of research expertise. Talented faculty members attract student-scholars as well as resources from external funding agencies. The faculty includes experts in a variety of fields, such as childhood literacy and teaching for students with learning disabilities.
The Simmons’ gift establishes the Leon Simmons Endowed
Deanship and Faculty
Recruitment Fund to support the dean's position, as well as to
support faculty recruitment, to attract and retain strong academic
leadership and new faculty members from among the nation’s top experts in the field of education.
The deanship is named in honor of Mr. Simmons' father, Leon Simmons,
a public school teacher and, for many years, superintendent of
schools in Golden, Texas.
The school currently uses a variety of classrooms and offices on the University’s main campus. In addition, the school offers programs for adults in Counseling and Dispute Resolution at SMU-in-Legacy in Plano. Now SMU can create a visible and functional presence for the school on its main Dallas campus.
The University plans to construct a new facility, including classrooms, research laboratories, faculty and administrative offices and student support areas. The
Annette Caldwell Simmons Building will be designed to welcome the many off-campus constituents who participate in the school’s programs.
In addition to the Simmons’ lead gift, SMU will raise funds to meet the total project cost.
Join Our Commitment to the Future
Serving the educational needs of the community has been SMU’s highest priority since its founding. SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development prepares students for one of the noblest pursuits: educating future generations of citizens and teaching them the skills and strategies to lead lives filled with opportunity, accomplishment and hope.
We invite you to join Harold and Annette Simmons by investing in students, faculty and a permanent new home for the school. Your support will help build this new school to national prominence, providing meaningful programs and services to Dallas and the nation.