Building on excellence

Flanagans commit $5 million to Garry Weber End Zone Complex

A $5 million gift from SMU alumni Jennifer Gelety Flanagan ’82 and Martin (Marty) L. Flanagan ’82 will strengthen SMU Athletics by supporting the Garry Weber End Zone Complex to expand and improve Gerald J. Ford Stadium. A $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 University is scheduled to break ground on the new complex on December 2, 2022.

“Gifts like the Flanagans’ show how Mustang pride and generosity fuel the future of the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “They will make an inspiring impact on the lives of our student-athletes and help create wonderful experiences for our entire community of fans.”

The gift supports one of the major goals of SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, the University’s multiyear $1.5 billion campaign for impact, by enhancing the campus and community through competitive athletics and diverse programming that build civic pride.

As students, Jennifer and I were avid fans of Mustang football and our support has only strengthened as alumni and SMU parents.

— Martin L. Flanagan ’82, president and chief executive officer of Invesco

“Marty and I have always enjoyed watching SMU teams pull together to accomplish extraordinary things, and we’re proud to join the other donors making this project happen,” said Jennifer Gelety Flanagan ’82, renowned Atlanta humanitarian and civic volunteer. “We’re excited to make possible new and exciting experiences for future generations of SMU students and our fellow Mustang fans.”

The new Garry Weber End Zone Complex will anchor Ford Stadium’s south bowl that will connect the stadium’s existing east and west gate entries. The three levels of the new complex will increase the functionality, efficiency and overall experience of Mustang football for student-athletes and fans. Team-focused spaces will include new locker rooms, a weight room, position-specific meeting rooms, a full-team auditorium and a kitchen and training table to support all 484 SMU student-athletes. The new facility will also house football coaches, support staff, and video and recruiting services.

Expected impact

  • Bolsters the efficiency, occupancy and functionality of Ford Stadium through better accessibility and premium fan seating.
  • Empowers Mustang student-athletes with dynamic new spaces for strategy- and team-building activities.
  • Strengthens the health and well-being of SMU Athletics through improved nutrition and sports medicine facilities, as well as better training and recovery options.
  • Furthers SMU Athletics’ momentum toward the upper echelons of competitive athletics.

“SMU Athletics continues to gain momentum from the incredible support of our donors and the achievements of our student-athletes,” said Rick Hart, director of SMU Athletics. “We are incredibly grateful to Marty and Jennifer Flanagan for their commitment to the bright future of Mustang football.”

Gerald J. Ford Stadium has come to represent athletic distinction and Mustang pride at SMU. Opening in 2000, the stadium was made possible by and named for SMU trustee Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69, who was joined by dedicated Mustang alumni, donors and community members. By facilitating the return of Division I football to Dallas and to the SMU campus, the stadium also helped initiate the University’s tradition of “Boulevarding” – tailgating along Bishop Boulevard before home football games.

Gifts like the Flanagans’ show how Mustang pride and generosity fuel the future of the University.

— R. Gerald Turner, SMU President

“As students, Jennifer and I were avid fans of Mustang football and our support has only strengthened as alumni and SMU parents,” said Martin L. Flanagan ’82, president and chief executive officer of Invesco and recipient of the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award in 2019. We are pleased to join our fellow donors in this initiative to support SMU Athletics and its student-athletes for years to come.”

Since graduating from SMU in 1982, the Flanagans have contributed generously to causes across SMU. In 2010 and 2015, they committed gifts totaling $1 million to establish and grow the Jennifer and Marty Flanagan Endowed Master of Arts/Master of Business Administration Scholarship, supporting graduate students pursuing careers in arts management through SMU’s innovative dual-degree program, the first of its kind in the nation. In 2019, the Flanagans contributed $1 million to help establish the SMU Indoor Performance Center, featuring Armstrong Fieldhouse, a multipurpose facility that supports high-performance athletics at SMU. Additionally, the couple has contributed generously to the Mustang Excellence Fund for SMU Football and the Albert W. Niemi Endowed Center for Economic Growth and Leadership Development Fund at the Cox School of Business.

“The continual improvement of SMU would not be possible without the dedication of SMU community members, alumni and donors like Marty and Jennifer Flanagan,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for development and external affairs. “They are incredible ambassadors for SMU in Atlanta and around the world, and we thank them for their enduring generosity.”

Marty and I have always enjoyed watching SMU teams pull together to accomplish extraordinary things, and we’re proud to join the other donors making this project happen.

—Jennifer Gelety Flanagan ’82, renowned Atlanta humanitarian and civic volunteer

Martin L. Flanagan '82 and Jennifer Gelety Flanagan '82

Martin L. Flanagan ’82 and Jennifer Gelety Flanagan ’82
A 2019 recipient of the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award, Martin Flanagan graduated from SMU in 1982 with a bachelor’s in business administration from the Edwin L. Cox School of Business and a Bachelor of Arts in Ibero‐American civilization from the Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. He currently leads Invesco Ltd., one of the world’s leading investment management companies. The company’s president and chief executive officer since 2005, Martin Flanagan also serves as a member of the board of directors and as vice chair and trustee of Invesco Funds.

A certified public accountant, Flanagan is also a CFA charter holder, serving on the board of governors of the Investment Company Institute. Prior to joining Invesco, Flanagan held leadership positions at Franklin Resources, Inc., and Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger, Ltd.

He was honored by the SMU Cox School of Business with a Distinguished Alumni Award in 2005 and an Outstanding Young Alumni Award in 1999.

His long engagement with SMU includes currently serving as an SMU Trustee, co-chair of the National Campaign Steering Committee for SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, and a member of the Cox School of Business executive board.

In his community, Flanagan serves on the Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce board and executive committee and is chair of Engage Ventures, an independent venture fund and platform established to strengthen collaboration between leading corporations and top entrepreneurs. He also serves on the boards of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, Commerce Club and Woodruff Arts Center.

Jennifer Flanagan also graduated from SMU in 1982 with a Bachelor of Arts in art history from the SMU Meadows School of the Arts. She is a community volunteer involved in charitable organizations across Atlanta. She serves as chair of the Chastain Horse Park board, as a trustee of the University of Georgia Foundation, and as a member of the board of directors at the High Museum of Art. She is a past member of the board of the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. She previously worked at Templeton, Galbraith & Hansberger Ltd.

For SMU, Jennifer Flanagan served on the Atlanta Campaign Steering Committee for SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign from 2008 to 2015 and on the Meadows School of the Arts executive board from 2009 to 2015. She has also volunteered her time to the SMU Mother’s Club. As a student, she was a member of Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and participated in an SMU-in-France study abroad program.

The Flanagans’ efforts on behalf of the University extend to their home city of Atlanta, where they have hosted holiday parties for the SMU Atlanta chapter for over 10 years, including a special Atlanta kickoff celebration for SMU Ignited in December 2021. Both also have been active in the SMU Parent Leadership Council.

 

SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow
SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMU’s alumni, faculty and more than 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they direct change in their professions, communities and the world. Building on its history of excellence, the University has launched SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow – a multiyear $1.5 billion campaign to empower outstanding students, to enrich teaching and research, and to enhance our campus and community.