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The Spears Institute was gifted by William S. Spears in the spring of 2022; this generous gift is driving innovation, pushing the entrepreneurial beginnings of SMU Cox students, and has a bright future ahead. Read more below.

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About William S. Spears

William S. Spears is a renowned civic and financial leader, known throughout the region for his work in the energy sector, the many boards on which he has served and his dedication to excellence in the education field. Introduced to SMU through wife Candye Gould Spears ’06 and stepdaughter Meghan Bartos ’05, both SMU alumni, Spears’ gift to the Edwin L. Cox School of Business builds on a long legacy of philanthropy across the country and a lifelong passion for business excellence that stretches far beyond the University.

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Celebrating A Shared Future

SMU announced Spears’ historic gift and the establishment of the Spears Institute on April 28, 2022. Joined by guests from across the Hilltop, the University celebrated this innovative new addition to the Cox School of Business in a special event marking the occasion. Following the announcement, SMU was further honored by Spears through the addition of the “Red SMU Room” at the headquarters of his energy conservation company, Cenergistic. A Mustang-themed meeting/office space, the Red SMU Room was officially dedicated by Spears on June 2, 2022, alongside his wife Candye Gould Spears ’06, SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad E. Cheves.

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Spears Gift Fueling The Future Of Business

On April 28, 2022, SMU announced the establishment of the Spears Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership, housed within the Edwin L. Cox School of Business. Made possible by a gift from energy expert William S. Spears, the new institute will drive innovation and fuel excellence in the Cox School’s students for generations to come.