Q & A

Frances “Francie” Moody-Dahlberg ’92

Frances “Francie” Moody-Dahlberg ’92

SMU Trustee Frances “Francie” Moody-Dahlberg ’92 is a champion for families and communities throughout Texas. As chairman and executive director of the Moody Foundation, she has strengthened and expanded research and education initiatives across Dallas. In 2019, the foundation made the landmark $100 million gift to establish the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies at SMU, strengthening research and graduate programs across the Hilltop.

What was your experience like at SMU? What do you think makes SMU unique?

SMU played an important role in my growth as a person and a professional. It combines the charm of a small university with the excitement and diversity of Dallas. The work being done here improves countless lives.

Your family has long supported education, arts and family programs. What drives you to improve your community and how can others get involved?

I’ve seen firsthand how our work affects Texans, and that inspires me to want to do more. There are so many ways to get involved – monetary donations, giving your time, sharing your professional talents – and they all make a difference!

Groundbreaking ceremony

How has the pandemic informed the Moody Foundation’s philanthropy?

The pandemic has uprooted families, altered business practices and reshaped the way we see the world. We shifted our giving priorities to funding relief grants and helping current grantees, from mental health resources and PPE to food insecurity and disaster relief. It’s been an incredibly trying time, and we want to help wherever we can.

The Moody Foundation gave the University its biggest gift to date to establish the Moody School. What prompted the foundation to make this gift?

To address the challenges we face and to seize the opportunities ahead of us, we need to bring experts from different fields together and support their work. Collaboration inspires new perspectives and dynamic partnerships. We’re excited by what SMU students and faculty are creating and discovering – and sharing with the world.

The newly announced Frances Anne Moody Hall bears your name. Can you talk about the importance of campus investments that enrich the greater community?

Campus investments are critical to student success, offering spaces to explore ideas, celebrate accomplishments and find new answers to complex questions. I feel honored to have my name associated with the new hall, and I look forward to seeing how it powers the future.