Alumni Giving

After the Hilltop, many alumni continue the giving legacy that made their SMU education possible. Tuition only covers 70% of an SMU education. Alumni who donate help close the gap between the true cost of an SMU education and the price of tuition. Their generous support helps sustain the next generation of Mustangs and shows the world how much they value their SMU experience.

In fiscal year 2021, more than 7,500 undergraduate alumni contributed more than $38 million, dedicating nearly half of their support to scholarships, research, programs and other University current-use needs. Many of the remaining gifts bolster and expand student learning and development as well as faculty teaching and research. Ultimately, these gifts empower more Mustangs to think big and do good in ways that create positive change in local communities, our country and the world.


“As a recipient of athletic and academic scholarships, I recognize the value of the opportunity to attend SMU standing on the shoulders of those who came before me,” said Kristin W. Henderson ’82, 2021 – 2023 SMU Alumni Board chair.

Kristin still spends time each year with her SMU swim team coach, Vicki Veris, who helped her earn three scholarships that facilitated her coming to the Hilltop. (In the 1970s, female athletes were not accustomed to earning a full ride.) And although they didn’t date until they were both working in banking in downtown Dallas, Kristin first met her husband Stewart Henderson ’81 on the Hilltop.

“Stewart and I give to SMU to enable young men and women to have the opportunity to come to the Hilltop to experience all our incredible school has to offer to become the best version of themselves preparing them to embark on their life journey and be world changers.”

Today, Kristin is still setting world records with her U.S. Masters Swimming relay team.

Alumni Giving

Since tuition only covers about three-quarters of an SMU education, our students rely on the generosity of alumni, parents and friends who make current-use contributions. These current-use gifts provide annual support for academic programs, student experiences, and faculty members who shape a new generation of world changers.