Celebrating a landmark $20 million gift from Mary and Richard Templeton

Fueling the future of engineering

SMU celebrated a landmark $20 million gift from Mary and Richard Templeton, recognized leaders in Dallas philanthropy and technology. By creating the Mary and Richard Templeton Engineering Excellence Program at the SMU Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering and endowing and naming the school’s deanship, the Templetons will fuel research output and empower outstanding students for generations to come.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner

From the President

Spring on the Hilltop brings a sense of renewal and growth. Thanks to the incredible generosity of our donors, the future of SMU looks brighter than ever before. In this issue, you will learn about the landmark $20 million gift to the Lyle School of Engineering and see how our donors are fueling our campaign for impact, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow.

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Campaign quarterly report

Jack Knox '60, '63

Strengthening the University’s future

Dallas-Fort Worth business leader and entrepreneur Jack Knox ’60, ’63 has given $11 million to SMU Ignited. As a prominent alumnus and longtime University supporter, he hopes his support of the University’s campaign for impact encourages other to participate.

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William J. Ware '01

Q&A with William J. Ware ’01

A graduate of the Meadows School of the Arts, Ware currently serves as the president of Amarillo National Bank. As the chair-elect for SMU’s 21st Century Council, he is an active University donor and community member. He has contributed to the ongoing drive for the Garry Weber End Zone Complex and helps create lasting memories for the student members of Ware Commons, the student residence named for his father, SMU trustee Richard Ware ’68, and family.

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The Garry Weber End Zone Complex

Raising the bar for Ford Stadium

Continuing the momentum generated by donors, who in less than 12 months committed nearly $73 million to the Garry Weber End Zone Complex, SMU Athletics officially launched phase two of the fundraising drive for the project. The University seeks principal gifts of $1 million and more and expects to raise over $25 million more to renovate and expand Gerald J. Ford Stadium. Construction began in December 2022, and the new facility is projected to open before the kickoff of the 2024 season.

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Renovation and expansion of the Cox School of Business

Laying the foundation for business education

The ambitious renovation and expansion of the Cox School of Business is making steady progress toward an anticipated completion date of May 2024. The transformed spaces will inspire students, welcome visitors and promote new ways of approaching opportunities and challenges.

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The George W. Bush Presidential Center

Celebrating a decade on the Hilltop

Look back at the history of the George W. Bush Presidential Center at SMU, which opened in 2013. For ten years, the Bush Center has advanced the values of freedom, opportunity, accountability and compassion.

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Darwin A. Deason

Tackling new opportunities

A $2.5 million gift from both the Deason Foundation, established by SMU supporter and friend Darwin A. Deason, and his son Doug Deason will support engineering and cyber security research and development within the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering. The gift will support research that addresses the critical needs of businesses around the world.

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Perkins Chapel

Inspiring spiritual leadership

A $1 million anonymous commitment will empower Perkins School of Theology students as they study to become spiritual leaders and scholars. Providing funds for both endowed and current-use scholarships, the gift will help prepare students for faithful leadership in an ever-changing world and instill a deeper understanding of the Christian faith.

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Ann Warmack Brookshire '77 and Bradley W. Brookshire '76

Creating new avenues of success

The new Brookshire Scholarship expands the many options SMU offers to enable outstanding students to cost-effectively earn a prestigious bachelor’s degree. The scholarship, an endowment gift by Ann Warmack Brookshire ’77 and Bradley W. Brookshire ’76, establishes a new transfer scholarship for students who complete an associate degree at Tyler Junior College.

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Paul Layne '76

Honoring a lifetime of Mustang pride

A $250,000 gift has established a new endowed excellence fund to honor the late Paul Layne ’76, Mustang football superfan and beloved SMU alumnus. The Paul Layne 542 Endowed Excellence Fund for Spirit is the largest ever endowed fund to support SMU spirit programs, which encompass Peruna, the Mustang Band and cheer squads.

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SMU Giving Day

Making a difference in one day

SMU Giving Day took place on March 7, with SMU community members, students, alumni, faculty and staff raising over $5.1 million for more than 250 causes across the Hilltop. The University’s annual one-day giving challenge is a vital part of the SMU Ignited campaign. Donors at every level help fuel academic, athletic and financial aid programs that will help forge a brighter tomorrow.

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  • $5.1M+


  • 4,000+


  • 250+

    causes across campus

Myles Boateng '22

Creating access through opportunity

The Dallas Morning News profiled one recent SMU graduate and two seniors who exemplify hundreds of outstanding students helped by the new Opportunity SMU undergraduate student recruitment and retention fund. One of many programs the fund supports is Access SMU, which already helps 210 students from families with limited incomes pursue their college dreams.

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Mary Cabanas '23

Preparing the next generation of teachers

College students like Mary Cabanas ’23 will relieve the impact of widespread teacher resignations threatening U.S. public education. When Cabanas graduates from SMU, she’ll be well prepared, thanks to the training she received and a National Science Foundation scholarship.

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Suku Nair, Bishop Michael McKee ’78 and Nader Jalili

Innovative, dedicated leaders join SMU

Three new appointments to positions across campus underscore the University’s mission to inspire excellence and fuel discovery. Suku Nair has been named inaugural vice provost for research and chief innovation officer. Nader Jalili has been named the new dean of the SMU Lyle School of Engineering. Bishop Michael McKee ’78 has been named dean ad interim of the SMU Perkins School of Theology, in addition to his recent appointment as the Perkins Bishop in Residence.

Pegasus Park

Connecting in new spaces

SMU researchers from a wide array of disciplines will participate in research, development and entrepreneurial activities in a new hub for business and nonprofit organizations. Pegasus Park Tower will be the centerpiece of a 23-acre mixed-use office campus within minutes of downtown Dallas and the UT Southwestern Medical District.

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Meadows School in Manhattan

In December, the Meadows School had a strong presence in New York City with art exhibitions, opera performances and receptions performed and attended by members and friends of the arts school.

Remembering Marshall Terry

Honoring his more than 60 years with SMU, the family of the late Marshall Terry ’53, ’54 celebrated his memory with the dedication of a classroom in historic Dallas Hall.

Energy excellence

In February, the SMU Cox Maguire Energy Institute held a two-day energy symposium, featuring expert speakers and guests. Events also included the presentation of the 2023 L. Frank Pitts Award for Energy Leadership and Innovation to Vicki Hollub and the 2023 Pioneer Award to Daniel Yergin (pictured with Cox School Dean Matthew B. Myers, Bobby B. Lyle ’67, SMU President R. Gerald Turner, Kenneth Hersh and 2023 L. Frank Pitts Energy Scholarship recipient Blake Dieterlen ’23; not pictured, Pitts Energy Leadership Scholarship Award recipient James Green ’23).