Meadows arts facilities exterior

Transforming visual arts education

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts celebrated the dedication of its enhanced visual arts facilities on September 16, 2022. Donors led by The Meadows Foundation, Gene and Jerry Jones, Nancy C. and Richard R. Rogers, and G. Marlyne Sexton and family will fuel creative discovery by future generations of artists, visionaries and scholars from across the world.

Rendering of Weber End Zone Complex

Shaping champions

A $15 million commitment from entrepreneurs Bill Armstrong ’82 and Liz Martin Armstrong ’82 will enable SMU to break ground in early December for the  Garry Weber End Zone Complex, the expansion and improvement project at SMU’s Gerald J. Ford Stadium, home to Mustang football. The $100 million drive for the complex was launched in January 2022 with a $50 million gift from the Garry Weber Foundation, established by former Mustang football letterman Garry A. Weber ’58. The groundbreaking of the new complex is currently scheduled for December 2, 2022.

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SMU President R. Gerald Turner

From the President

Through the dedication of our donors and the strength of our community, SMU Ignited is forging a brighter future for our students, our research and our global impact. In this issue, you will read about how our donors are fueling exciting developments and initiatives across campus and sparking excellence in our students and our community. Pony Up!

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Campaign report charts 2022
SMU Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History Alessandra Comini

Fueling artistic passions: Retired SMU professor inspires future generations

Donors to the Meadows School of the Arts inspire some of the most moving and groundbreaking forms of artistic expression in the country, including support from the very individuals who once taught within its walls. Through a $2 million planned gift, SMU Distinguished Professor Emerita of Art History Alessandra Comini, who retired in 2005, will inspire students and enrich art research for generations to come.

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Opportunity SMU chart

New fund supports undergraduate student recruitment and retention

To help meritorious undergraduate students, SMU has launched the new Opportunity SMU fund to expand scholarship, financial aid and student support programs. These programs enable the University to attract, retain and graduate outstanding students.

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SMU students explore SMU’s campus

Texas students see immediate impact of efforts to meet need

More than 250 returning and first-year undergraduates from Texas families with limited incomes have received Access SMU scholarships for the 2022-2023 school year. The scholarship program, which launched in the spring of 2022, seeks to make higher education more accessible for meritorious students.

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Seun Suberu ’23 celebrates big win

Inspiring big dreams: Seun Suberu ’23

In his three years at SMU, startup co-founder Seun Suberu ’23 has honed business skills that now serve the next generation of students. His CollegePlus app provides incoming college students, particularly first-generation and low-income students, with the resources necessary to find the right college to pursue their goals.

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Dedman Law graduate Haley Taylor Schlitz ’22

Student profile: Haley Taylor Schlitz ’22

For graduating seniors, commencement marks a new chapter in life and the official start to their professional journeys. For Haley Taylor Schlitz ’22, it means a great deal more. Schlitz, who graduated in May with her Juris Doctor from Dedman School of Law, is the youngest law student to ever graduate from SMU, at only 19.

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Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84

Q&A with Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 recently concluded four years of service as the chair of the SMU Board of Trustees. He has dedicated much of his life and resources to the growth and success of SMU and its students, serving the University on various boards and committees. Earlier this year, The Dedman Foundation, helmed by Dedman, gifted $3 million for need-based scholarships.

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Thomas House’s renovated facilities to inspire residents

Welcome home, Mustangs

A $5 million anonymous gift will support residential programs and help SMU foster an enduring tradition of vibrant campus life, sparking growth, discovery and community both inside and outside the classroom. In recognition of this generous gift, SMU will rename Daniel House, the upper-division residence completed in 2020, to Thomas House.

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Pamela R. Metzger with Brittany K. Barnett ’11 and Sharanda Jones

Championing justice

New gifts from the Deason Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation will further the mission of SMU’s Deason Criminal Justice Reform Center within the Dedman School of Law. The foundations previously contributed the initial funds to establish the center in 2016.

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Folsom Institute Director Joseph Cahoon instructs students

Investing in the future

The Cox School of Business’s Folsom Institute for Real Estate has launched a dynamic new fund to spur innovative investment, offer hands-on investing opportunities and make a positive impact in underserved communities throughout the state of Texas. The Cox Real Estate Impact Investment Fund is made possible by several SMU donors, including a $1 million lead gift from Mimi and William H. Vanderstraaten ’82 .

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Houston infographic

Expanding our Houston connections

Second only to Dallas in its number of SMU alumni, Houston has proved to be home to some of the SMU Ignited campaign’s most dedicated supporters. Donors in the Houston-The Woodlands-Sugar Land metropolitan statistical area – one of the country’s largest – have made 7,477 gifts to campaign initiatives across campus.

Excellence in academic leadership

In an ever-evolving learning landscape, strategic leadership plays a key role in student success and faculty achievement. In support of the University’s mission to fuel excellence in legal and graduate education and leadership, SMU has welcomed two new academic deans to the Hilltop.

Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies Dean Robin Suzanne Poston

Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies Dean Robin Suzanne Poston

Dedman School of Law Dean Jason P. Nance

Dedman School of Law Dean Jason P. Nance

Remembering with music: Mustang Band performs at D-Day ceremonies

On June 6, 2022, SMU’s Mustang Band performed at the D-Day Memorial Parade in Sainte-Mère-Église in Normandy, France and in ceremonies at the American Cemetery in Brittany and the American Cemetery at Omaha Beach. The trip was made possible by lead gifts from Scott McLean ’78 and William Green ’69 and Dianne Green ’70, as well as support from Ray L. Hunt ’65 and the late Edwin L. Cox, Sr. ’42, among others.

Southern California campaign kickoff

On June 13, 2022, SMU celebrated the Southern California launch of the SMU Ignited campaign. Hosted by our West Coast neighbors at the SoFi Stadium Club in Inglewood, California, the event was attended by over 200 Mustangs from across the region.

Celebrating Mustang pride

On August 4, 2022, SMU’s annual Dallas Send-Off Party welcomed students, past and present, to connect with their fellow Mustang community members and their families. Held at the Park City Club, the event commemorated the graduation of our recent alumni alongside the arrival of fresh faces to the Hilltop. With similar events held across the country each year, SMU welcomes Mustangs and their families to come together to connect, share stories, ask questions and Pony Up!

Inspiring the creative and the curious

After a two-year hiatus necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic, the SMU-in-Taos Cultural Institute returned, offering participants a chance to explore the culture, art and history of northern New Mexico. Against a backdrop of endless sky and stunning natural vistas, guests enjoyed a weekend filled with educational courses and engaging activities.

Happenings on the Hilltop (and beyond)

  • October

    Washington, D.C. World Changers Alumni networking event

  • October
    20 - 23

    Homecoming and reunions

    Oct. 20 - Distinguished Alumni Awards

    Oct. 21 - Reunions

    Oct. 22 - SMU v. Cincinnati football game

  • November

    Celebration of Lights

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