Campaign Update | June 2022

Building business leaders

On May 6, SMU celebrated the future of the Cox School of Business with the groundbreaking of its $140 million renovation and expansion project. Made possible by more than 50 generous donors, the two-year project will expand the school’s footprint by more than 30%, construct four new buildings and connect existing facilities into a cohesive complex that supports collaboration within the Cox School and across the campus.

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Photo of Spears Family, President Turner, Dean Myers, and Vice President Brad Cheves

Driving innovation

On April 28, SMU announced one of the largest gifts in the history of the University from William S. Spears, establishing the William S. Spears Institute for Entrepreneurial Leadership. The new institute in the Cox School of Business will reimagine the business education landscape in Dallas and beyond by empowering students, bolstering faculty pursuits and igniting our community for future generations.

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Dr. Turner

From the President

SMU Ignited continues to fire up our campus, resulting in a record-breaking fundraising year for 2021 and, as of May 5, securing over $880 million toward its $1.5 billion goal. This month, you will read about exciting new developments taking place in the Cox School of Business, incredible breakthroughs by SMU students and researchers, and the bright future we are forging together with our donors, our community and our city. We hope you enjoy reading about these latest campaign events and the successes our donors make possible. Pony Up!

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Campaign quarterly report

Bill Armstrong ’82 and Liz Martin Armstrong ’82

Q&A with Bill Armstrong ’82 and Liz Martin Armstrong ’82

The recipients of the 2021 Distinguished Alumni Award are lifelong Mustangs. They met as first-year students in Geology 101 and went on to become the proud parents of future alumni Lindsey ’10 and Leigh ’11. Over the years, Bill and Liz have served the University on various boards and committees and contributed to initiatives like Armstrong Fieldhouse and the Vision 2025 Football Support Fund.

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SMU is poised to offer even greater chances for educational development and personal enrichment for our students.

— Liz Martin Armstrong ’82

Photo of groundbreaking ceremony

Diving into a new era of champions

On April 7, SMU celebrated the groundbreaking of the Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool, the newest addition to the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, made possible by lead gifts from the Robson, Hickman and Lindley families.

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Washburne family photo

Making new strides

On April 8, SMU celebrated the dedication of the new Washburne Soccer and Track Stadium. Donors led by Ray W. Washburne ’84 and Heather H. Washburne made possible an exciting new addition to the Hilltop and Mustang Athletics.

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People gathered in a board room

Vision 2025 Football Support Fund gains momentum

Launched in 2020 with a lead gift from Bill Armstrong ’82 and Liz Martin Armstrong ’82, the fund is attracting support from donors committed to forging a new future for SMU’s football program. The strategic fund aims to continue the growing impact of Mustang football through 2025 by addressing critical program needs such as equipment purchases, personnel, student-athlete support and other essentials. These investments are necessary for inspiring and developing athletic and personal excellence in current and future SMU football student-athletes.

To get involved, contact Matt Peters at or 214-768-7009.

Students walking on campus

Making an SMU education more accessible

In its ongoing mission to make higher education more accessible for meritorious Mustangs from all backgrounds, SMU launched Access SMU. The initiative seeks to meet full need for high-achieving scholars, starting with Texas students who receive federal Pell Grants.

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Matthew Merritt ’23

Mustang Scholar Profile: Matthew Merritt ’23

One of nine children, the music education major knows what it means to value community. “To be a Mustang is to be a world changer,” said Merritt. “It’s someone who has the passion, drive and capability to impact their community in a major way, and who has the power to invoke a positive change and foster environments for positive growth.”

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Picture of person giving a lecture

Researchers identify possible solutions to ER overcrowding

Supported by the Bobby B. Lyle School of Engineering Seed Funding Program in collaboration with the Edwin L. Cox School of Business and Parkland Memorial Hospital, SMU researchers have identified that the legal requirement that county hospitals screen uninsured patients for “compassionate dialysis” is driving an unintended consequence: extra strain on emergency rooms.

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Ph.D. student Claire Trotter ’16

Doctoral candidate wins prestigious fellowship

Applied physiology Ph.D. student Claire Trotter ’16 has been awarded a highly competitive American Heart Association Predoctoral Fellowship. The funding will support her ongoing research on multiple sclerosis and how women suffering from the disease may be more vulnerable to cardiovascular problems.

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Two people sitting at table

Training future theologians

The Baptist House of Studies at the SMU Perkins School of Theology has been awarded a $2.7 million, three-year grant from the Eula Mae and John Baugh Foundation, a Texas-based philanthropy committed to supporting the work of faith-based, nonprofit organizations.

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Group taking photo in front of Dallas Hall

Thank you for shaping the future on SMU Giving Day

Our generous and dedicated donors set a new record for SMU’s annual one-day giving challenge with more than $8.1 million from over 3,500 unique donors for more than 175 causes across the Hilltop.

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Mustangs on the move

The Mustang community demonstrated its support for SMU Ignited and the University’s bright future throughout the spring semester. In March, SMU Giving Day featured activities across campus and around the country for alumni, parents, students, faculty and staff to get involved. That same month launched a new era for Mustang basketball with new Men’s Basketball Head Coach Rob Lanier, whose experience in collegiate coaching spans over 30 years.

Happenings on the Hilltop (and beyond)

  • June 13

    Southern California Campaign Kickoff

  • July 21-24

    Taos Cultural Institute

  • September 6

    Tower Center Medal of Freedom Event

  • September 16

    Meadows School Owen Arts Center Celebration

  • September 23-25

    Family Weekend

  • October 20-23

    Homecoming and Reunions

  • October 20

    Distinguished Alumni Awards

  • October 21


  • October 22

    SMU vs. Cincinnati football game


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