Why support SMU

Annual gifts to SMU make an immediate difference. Tuition only covers 70% of what it takes to power the SMU experience. SMU donors who make current-use gifts help fund many pressing needs from scholarships and pioneering research to elevated student activities and hands-on work opportunities. The collaborative generosity of SMU’s dedicated donors made the following inspiring stories possible.

Student Affairs

Disorienting times have a stellar ending

The Mustang experience is like no other. From orientation to graduation, gifts to Student Affairs pave the way for students to be true to red and blue every step of the way. Jillian shares how being an Orientation Leader during the pandemic taught her valuable leadership skills far beyond performing skits and knowing facts about SMU. Read her story here.


Student-athletes lead with heart

SMU student-athletes learn more than how to hone their athletic abilities. SMU Athletics programs instill leadership skills and the value of giving back. Learn how SMU’s Student-Athlete Advisory Council set out brighten the day of children affected by cancer. Read the story.


Thriving in a company of dancers

Meadows School of the Arts empower young artists to launch careers. One young dancer attributes her growth as an artist and subsequent invitation to join a professional dance company during her sophomore year at SMU to the platforms, programs and people at Meadows. Read her story.

Dedman College

Innovations in the defense of dignity

Gifts to the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences support cutting-edge research and innovative programs like SMU’s human rights program. One of only seven of its kind in the nation, the SMU Human Rights Program is preparing the next generation of visionaries to defend human dignity around the globe. Read more.

Cox School of Business

Opportunities for high achievers

Providing scholarships for underrepresented undergraduate and graduate students is just one of the many important ways annual gifts can make a life-altering difference. Learn how the Cox School of Business is expanding opportunities.


Scholarships for the calling

Five individuals who were called to a life ministry started their Perkins School of Theology education in 2020 thanks to the generosity of several donors. Read more about how donors help current and future students prepare for a life of ministry.


Future teachers excel as community partners

The School Zone partnership is a collaboration with local schools and nonprofits. It provides hands-on experience to future teachers and meets the extraordinary needs of children in poverty. Learn how gifts to the Simmons School of Education and Human Development drive positive change on the Hilltop and beyond.

Lyle School of Engineering

Nimble science with relevant results

Innovations such as the “lab on a chip” are made possible with gifts to the Lyle School of Engineering. Learn how a new antibody test being developed at SMU has the potential to detect COVID-19 antibodies faster and more accurately than current antibody testing.


Safe spaces for students

Creating safe spaces for students to learn and grow means being prepared for the unexpected. In order to keep students learning when the pandemic hit, SMU Libraries implemented a myriad of changes. Contactless Locker Pick Up was one solution. To find out about other ways SMU Libraries support and enrich the Mustang community, read the latest Library Newsletter.

Dedman Law

Clinics make lasting legal impressions

Legal clinics that offer hands-on litigation experience are just one way that gifts to the Dedman School of Law give aspiring lawyers a leg up. Katie Davis ’19 recalls her quick pivot from law student to student attorney while trying a criminal case from start to finish. Read about her experience as a volunteer in an SMU legal clinic on page nine of Dedman School of Law’s Legal Clinic online magazine.