Diving into a new era of champions
In Spring 2022, SMU broke ground on 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. Once completed, the project will establish the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center as the only U.S. university facility with both indoor and outdoor Olympic pools.
Gifts to the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center – including $4.5 million from Bruce A. Robson ’74 and Emily K. Robson, $2.5 million from the Hickman Family and $1.7 million from Steven J. Lindley ’74 and Shelli Mims Lindley – will further fuel the University’s vision as it looks to the future of SMU Athletics. Part of the University’s $1.5 billion campaign, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, the Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool will support SMU’s goal to strengthen the University’s competitiveness in athletics by investing in facilities, innovative programs, student-athlete success and community outreach efforts.
My family and I are excited to see the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center expanded to include the new Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool, which will help Mustang swimming and diving reach new heights.
— Bruce A. Robson, Managing Partner of Robvest
“The Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool promises to showcase SMU’s historically strong Mustang swimming and diving teams,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful to the Robson, Hickman and Lindley families for their investment in the future of SMU Athletics.”
The Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool will include an eight-lane, 50-meter-by-25-yard outdoor pool, 1- and 3-meter diving boards and a 20-by-40-foot instructional pool for lessons and rehab/therapy. Other amenities feature a locker room facility – accessible from both the indoor and outdoor pools – including an indoor dryland training area, which will specifically benefit the SMU diving program. Exterior showers and a decorative overhang to provide shade will complete the project.
- Establishes the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center as the only U.S. university facility with both indoor and outdoor Olympic pools.
- Builds on a legacy of proud Olympians, world record-holders and 155 national titles.
- Will serve as a hub of community engagement and help SMU attract local and national swimming and water polo events to SMU and the city of Dallas.
“I will always be thankful to have had the opportunity to be involved with SMU swimming while attending SMU,” said Bruce Robson, managing partner of Robvest and co-chair of the Athletics Campaign Steering Committee for the SMU Ignited campaign. “My family and I are excited to see the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center expanded to include the new Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool, which will help Mustang swimming and diving reach new heights.”
The Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool will be a hub of community engagement and help SMU attract local and national swimming and water polo events to SMU and the city of Dallas. With the addition of the outdoor pool to the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, SMU Athletics will further establish itself as a home for champions, offering dynamic training and competition spaces that reflect the University’s mission of excellence.
We are grateful to the Robson, Hickman and Lindley families for their investment in the future of SMU Athletics.
— R. Gerald Turner, SMU President
“My family and I believe the best way to honor my late husband’s memory is to help future Mustang athletes achieve their goals,” said Jo A. Hickman. “Holt treasured his time on the Hilltop, and he would be happy to know the Hickman name will be connected to the future of SMU swimming and diving teams.”
“SMU Athletics continues to be able to provide a best-in-class student-athlete experience because of gifts like these from the Robson, Hickman and Lindley families,” said Rick Hart, SMU director of Athletics. “The expanded Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center positions our programs to compete at the highest level of athletics and enhances our ability to serve our student-athletes as well as the greater Dallas community.”
Building on a legacy of proud Olympians, world record-holders and 155 national titles, SMU opened the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center and Barr-McMillion Natatorium on November 3, 2017. The 42,000-square-foot center is home to SMU’s internationally recognized men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams. The center hosted the American Athletic Conference championships in 2021 and will do so again February 16–19, 2022.
“SMU appreciates how the Robson, Hickman and Lindley families have provided the lead funding for making this project a reality,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “Their leadership has inspired other alumni and supporters to make this project a successful part of the SMU Ignited campaign and an important part of the future of the University.”
Making a big splash
Built with the help of former SMU swimmers, divers, coaches and friends of men’s and women’s swimming and diving teams, the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center supports the future of SMU’s aquatics programs. The addition of the Holt Hickman Outdoor Pool supports the SMU Ignited campaign goal of enhancing campus infrastructure and strengthening the North Texas community through competitive athletics and diverse programming and encouraging civic pride. To date, of the more than $700 million that has been committed to SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, donors have given more than $190 million to SMU Athletics.
My family and I believe the best way to honor my late husband’s memory is to help future Mustang athletes achieve their goals.
— Jo A. Hickman
Bruce A. Robson ’74 and Emily Robson
Former SMU swimmer Bruce Robson earned a bachelor’s degree in business from SMU in 1974. Since 1993, he has served as managing partner of Robvest. He is former president and CEO of Robson Petroleum Company and president of the Nick and Alma Robson Foundation. The Robsons, who are current SMU parents, have been generous contributors to SMU Athletics, the Cox School of Business, the Simmons School of Education and Human Development and the Lyle School of Engineering. Bruce Robson is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees, serves on the Cox Executive Board, and also serves as co-chair of the Athletics Campaign Steering Committee for SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow. He previously served on the Athletics Steering Committee for the SMU Unbridled campaign. Emily Robson, a graduate of the University of Virginia and the University of Chicago Booth School of Business, previously served as a member of the Executive Board of the Simmons School.
The Hickman family
The Hickman family made this gift in honor of their husband and father, Holt Hickman. Hickman graduated from SMU in 1954. He swam for Coach A.R. “Red” Barr alongside future SMU Coach George “Mac” McMillion, for whom Barr-McMillion Natatorium is named. Hickman swam for the Mustangs from 1952 to 1954, helping SMU to two Southwest Conference championships and winning multiple freestyle sprints. Hickman was a generous supporter of SMU Athletics, donating to the construction of Ford Stadium, in addition to other facilities. He served as a first lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force and later founded Lone Star Manufacturing Co., which became the world’s largest automotive HVAC system company. His business accomplishments extended into commercial and industrial real estate, with the founding of Hickman Investments, and the entertainment business, with his ownership in Billy Bob’s Texas. The Billy Bob’s Texas investment rekindled Hickman’s love of the Fort Worth Stockyards and his purchase of over 78 acres and buildings in this district for its preservation. His Stockyards purchase has led to the current renovation underway in the historic area. He was named Business Man of the Year by the Fort Worth Chamber of Commerce and Fort Worth Business Press.
Steven J. Lindley ’74 and Shelli Mims Lindley
Steven Lindley is president of Johnson & Lindley LLC, a family-owned investment firm. He is also a managing partner of PinHigh Capital Partners and was in senior management of Athlon Solutions, Permian Mud Service Inc. and Champion Technologies Inc. A 1974 graduate of SMU’s business school, his support of SMU swimming and diving dates to his friendship with Sigma Alpha Epsilon roommate and SMU swimmer Bruce Robson and his respect for Coach George McMillion. Steven Lindley currently serves as a member of the Cox Executive Board and the National Campaign Steering Committee for SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow. He previously served SMU as a member of the Houston Steering Committee and Perkins School of Theology Steering Committee for the SMU Unbridled campaign and as a member of the executive boards of SMU Alumni, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and Perkins School. Shelli Lindley currently serves on the Glasscock Foundation Board of Trustees in Houston and previously served as a member of the Executive Board of the Simmons School.
SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow
SMU is the nationally ranked global research university in the dynamic city of Dallas. SMUʼs alumni, faculty and more than 12,000 students in eight degree-granting schools demonstrate an entrepreneurial spirit as they lead 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.