Garry Weber End Zone rendering

Countdown to kickoff!

On December 2, SMU celebrated the groundbreaking of the Garry Weber End Zone Complex, the expansion and renovation project for Gerald J. Ford Stadium. SMU’s latest investment in its century-long commitment to competing at the highest levels, the new complex will provide SMU’s student-athletes with dedicated spaces for development and team building while offering expanded and upgraded facilities for the Mustang community.

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SMU President R. Gerald Turner

From the President

Fueled by the generosity of its donors, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow is continuing to shape the future of SMU. In this issue, you’ll learn about the impact our donors are having across the Hilltop, supporting student success and innovation, creating new avenues for opportunity and investing in groundbreaking research.

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Campaign report charts 2022
SMU leaders join Liz Martin Armstrong and Bill Armstrong at gift announcement.

Empowering the future of Dedman College

A $5 million gift from entrepreneurs Elisabeth Martin Armstrong ’82 and William D. Armstrong ’82 will further the academic and research excellence of the SMU Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences by endowing the school’s dean position, renaming it the Elisabeth Martin Armstrong Dean. Through their gift, the Armstrongs will support Dedman College’s future-focused leadership and strategic vision in perpetuity.

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Inspiring spaces for aspiring artists

The newly renovated and expanded visual arts facilities within the Meadows School of the Arts is a home for creativity, collaboration and discovery on the Hilltop. View images from the recent dedication ceremony and learn more about how these spaces will inspire artistic expression at SMU for generations to come.

Brian and Terry Modoff

Q&A with Terry and Brian Modoff

As parents of two SMU alumni and a current sophomore, Terry and Brian Modoff were recently named co-chairs of the Parent Leadership Council, which is comprised of dedicated parent donors and volunteers. Through their service, the Modoffs support and further the leadership council’s mission to “strengthen ties between the University and parents of current SMU students and increasing gifts to the SMU Parent Fund.”

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Innovation through compassion

Inspired by real-world experiences and supported by donor-funded programs, Raleigh Dewan ’23, Mason Morland ’24 and Johns Hopkins student Emily Javedan have started a medical-tech startup named for its core product, the SteadiSpoon. The self-stabilizing eating utensil enables people suffering from disorders that cause shaking – such as Parkinson’s and essential tremors – to feed themselves with ease and dignity.

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Stuyvie Coleman ’21 and Dean Rider, III ’25

Surrounding others with support

Stuyvie Coleman ’21 and Dean Rider, III ’25 seek to bring hope and healing to students struggling with mental health and addiction. To date, their efforts and connections have led to over $250,000 being raised for mental health and recovery services on SMU’s campus. Utilizing their personal experiences and networking expertise, Coleman and Rider’s advocacy is changing hearts, and their generosity is inspiring others to help.

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These scholarships provide a transformative opportunity for our students to go out and make their mark on the world as researchers, teachers, and cultural ambassadors and to extend SMU’s reach and reputation on a global scale.

— Elizabeth G. Loboa, SMU Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs

Pursuing greater purpose

Eight recent SMU graduates have accepted awards for international study, research and teaching in countries across Europe and Asia. Five have received the prestigious Fulbright Award, based on their leadership potential, academic and/or professional achievement and record of service. Three have received the Boren Award, aimed at building foreign language and international skills needed for key federal roles.

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Belle Stumberg Berg '71 and Donald A. Berg '70, '77

Fueling excellence in engineering research

A $1 million gift from Belle Stumberg Berg ’71 and Donald A. Berg ’70, ’77 will support innovative problem-solving and creative discovery in the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. The couple’s gift will establish the Belle and Donald Berg Endowed Research Excellence Fund, which will provide financial support for the research needs of Lyle School faculty.

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Chester John 'Don' Donnally, Jr. '67, '68

Continuing a legacy

Honoring his decades of generosity and dedication, over 150 SMU students and alumni have created an endowed scholarship in recognition of the late Chester John “Don” Donnally, Jr. ’67, ’68. Donnally was a proud SMU alumnus, a longtime supporter of the University and a cherished member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity.

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Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership

Expanding opportunities for business law

A generous gift from the Cain Foundation will endow and name the Cain Denius Business Law Boot Camp, housed within the Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership at the SMU Dedman School of Law. The endowment will provide permanent funding to support the innovative and intensive business and law course offered to second- and third-year law students interested in gaining business insight and proficiency.

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AT&T Center for Virtualization

Reducing AI system bias

Seeking to quantify and minimize bias in artificial intelligence systems, the SMU AT&T Center for Virtualization has launched the Intelligent Systems and Bias Examination Lab or ISaBEL Lab, as it has been coined. The new lab will work to understand how artificial intelligence systems perform on diverse populations.

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Donor gift chart

Celebrating donor impact

Through an overwhelming outpouring of support, donors to SMU Ignited are making a lasting impact on every area of the University. As our campaign continues to gain momentum, the University celebrates the increasing numbers of donors contributing to campaign initiatives at historic levels. Gifts of every size are welcomed and appreciated as we work to forge a brighter tomorrow for our campus, our community and beyond.

Just over a year into the public phase of SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, donors have already made a significant impact. In this short video, students and faculty members describe their experiences and bring to life the difference our supporters make.

Mustangs on the move

There’s no time quite like fall on the Hilltop! This semester, SMU’s campus was a hub of activity, with events like Family WeekendHomecoming Weekend and Celebration of Lights. Thanks to our supporters, SMU continues to be a place where all are welcome to think big and do good. In this season of generosity and gratitude, we wish you happy holidays and a prosperous new year.

Happenings on the Hilltop (and beyond)

  • March

    SMU Giving Day

  • March

    Meadows at the Winspear

  • April

    Founders’ Day Weekend

Contact us

We are excited to have Mustangs, SMU family and friends involved in SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow. To learn more about how you can achieve your philanthropic objectives and about our plans to think big and do good, please contact your representative at SMU or email