The Robert and Margaret Folsom Institute for Real Estate


The Margaret and Robert Folsom Institute was established at the SMU Cox School of Business in 1984 through a generous gift from former Dallas mayor and real estate developer Robert Folsom. It has been the backbone of real estate activity at SMU, supporting research and the real estate academic programs at both the BBA and MBA levels. Today, SMU Cox is committed to building upon its success by broadening the Institute’s presence in the real estate industry on a national basis. The expanded real estate program will focus on three key dimensions: academics, applied research, and industry and community outreach.

The Institute’s mission is supported by an executive advisory board of industry leaders who collaborate with the Institute’s staff and Cox School faculty to guide the direction and efforts of the program. Members of the Institute board contribute on an annual basis to support the operational budget of the Institute, which provides the resources necessary to carry out the Institute’s mission of creating a nationally recognized academic center for the study of real estate.

Operational funding of the Folsom Institute supports the following initiatives:

  • Scholarships to draw the best students interested in pursuing a career in commercial real estate to SMU Cox
  • Student and faculty access to industry-specific data sources and training
  • in industry-related software
  • Student and faculty membership dues in key industry organizations
  • Travel costs for student participation in key industry conferences and
  • academic case study competitions
  • Experiential learning opportunities, such as company visits, property tours
  • and lectures by industry experts
  • Increased access to mentorship, internship and full-time employment
  • opportunities for students
  • Community outreach opportunities for students to work directly on urban-related issues in our community and beyond
  • Funding for essential applied research in the area of real estate
  • Funding to enable the creation of new academic offerings in real estate

Contact Us

Mailing address:
Folsom Institute for Real Estate
Director: Joseph D. Cahoon
SMU Cox School of Business
PO Box 750333
Dallas, TX 75275-0333

Local: 214.768.3155
Fax: 214.768.4099

The Folsom Institute also serves as a unique center for knowledge and networking among its board members. The Institute holds small-format biannual board meetings for its members to review the performance of the Institute and provide guidance for its future. In addition, these meetings offer opportunities for high-level industry panel discussions, closed-door roundtable discussions and unique keynote speakers. The Institute also hosts other periodic events and conferences that give a unique perspective on current industry issues. The Folsom Institute brings the best of the real estate industry directly to the academic program at SMU Cox to create the next generation of industry leaders.