The Collins Center

by |

When the James A. Collins Executive Education Center opened in 2005, it was one of only seven business institutes in the nation designated specifically for executive education. The collective commitment of the Dallas business community, including global powerhouses like EY, helped make the center a reality, and today it is a premier environment for learning, knowledge building and networking that offers innovative custom programs to the city's Fortune 500, as well as serving as home to working professionals in the SMU Cox Executive MBA and Executive Education programs.

A State of the Art Business Education Hub

Echoing SMU's stately campus architecture on the exterior, the Collins Center's dramatic interior looks to the future. Inside, you'll work alongside peers and faculty in high-tech classrooms and meeting rooms. Also on hand: a modern business center and conference rooms, the 300-seat Crum auditorium and its sophisticated AV capabilities, an executive lounge, a dining room and a rooftop terrace for relaxed networking. There's even a stock ticker that spans the entrance to the Bank of Texas Dining Room.

The combination of state-of the-art features and comfortable gathering places makes the Collins Center an ideal place for students to connect with real-world business professionals and entrepreneurs — in the classroom and during downtime.


A Comfortable Setting for Corporate Events

The Collins Center is designed to accommodate the needs of companies who want to offer workshops, meetings and conferences in a striking setting away from the workplace.

The center hosts a wide range of events for outside groups in addition to university-related events. It has hosted a range of visiting dignitaries, among them the French Ambassador to the United States, the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services, the Chair of the Federal Reserve and the Hong Kong Commissioner for Economic and Trade Affairs to the United States.

Here's how a few companies made use of the Collins Center's flexible facilities:

  • Coca Cola hosts 300 employees at an annual two day regional meeting.
  • JCPenney Retail Academy holds its annual five-day class for middle managers in several of our classrooms and the Bank of Texas Dining Room.
  • CBS Radio presents a monthly breakfast forum to its sales representatives.
  • Citigroup holds a quarterly day-long management meeting in our classrooms.
  • The FDIC held their 75th anniversary celebration and luncheon for 200 guests in the Hillcrest Commons.
  • UNICON, the International University Consortium for Executive Education hosted a three-day team development conference for 200 leaders from graduate business schools worldwide.
  • Sewell Automotive holds Quarterly Breakfast Business Briefings with its "Diagonal Slice" employee groups in the Collins Bank of Texas Dining Room and Crum Auditorium.
  • Dean Foods holds monthly senior management group meetings in the Pistor Board Room.

To schedule an event in the Collins Center, call 214-768-4333 or email TK.


Honoring James M. Collins

The Collins Center is dedicated to the memory and achievements of James Mitchell Collins, a business leader, public servant and alumnus of SMU. He was a man of deep convictions who committed his life to giving back to his community.

Congressman Collins earned a Bachelor’s degree in marketing from SMU in 1937, later serving as president of the SMU Alumni Association and member of the SMU Board of Trustees. In 1971, he received SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award. He also lectured at the Edwin L. Cox School of Business, where an endowed chair in finance is named in his honor.

After his distinguished service in World War II, Congressman Collins became president of Fidelity Union Life and went on to build successful businesses in several industries. He was active in civic life, too, becoming director of the Dallas Chamber of Commerce.

Congressman Collins served in the U.S. House of Representatives for eight terms. After his retirement, he dedicated his energy to the community, business endeavors, philanthropy, and his family.

His example inspires us and sets the tone for business education and leadership at the James M. Collins Center.