Advancing graduate education and research

Introducing Frances Anne Moody Hall


SMU celebrated the dedication of Frances Anne Moody Hall, the new home of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies, on September 15, 2023. The 44,000-square-foot, three-story building named for SMU trustee and Moody Foundation Chairman and Executive Director Frances Anne Moody-Dahlberg ’92 provides valuable resources for SMU graduate students, who comprise more than 40% of the student body. Moody Hall and the Moody School are supported by a $100 million gift from the Moody Foundation – the largest gift in SMU history.


Frances Anne Moody Hall


“Frances Anne Moody Hall will be a place of groundbreaking research and graduate education,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Thanks to the generosity of the Moody Foundation, SMU provides our graduate students with a place to launch their academic success and future innovation.”

We understand that an investment in graduate studies at SMU is an investment in a better world and brighter future for all.

— Frances Moody-Dahlberg ’92, Moody Foundation Chairman and Executive Director and SMU Trustee


The Moody School brings doctoral and other graduate programs in several schools under one institutional umbrella and supports students with competitive fellowships and other essential resources, allowing them to launch successful careers and become leaders in their chosen fields.


Additionally, the Moody School, which began operations in fall 2020, provides resources for new and current graduate students to support faculty-led initiatives that create groundbreaking research and offer dynamic instruction. Expanding graduate programs and funding graduate student and faculty success supports our goal to enrich teaching and research – one of the priorities of SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, the University’s multiyear $1.5 billion campaign for impact.


“The Moody Foundation is proud to support SMU as it enters a new era of bold research,” said Frances Moody-Dahlberg. “SMU has shaped world changers for more than a century. We understand that an investment in graduate studies at SMU is an investment in a better world and brighter future for all.”

Our new home for graduate education

Moody Hall was designed to serve the modern pedagogy that is part of the vision for the Moody School. It provides state-of-the-art seminar and classrooms as well as collaborative and quiet spaces for graduate research, writing and study. In addition to offices for the Moody School leadership, Moody Hall houses the SMU Office of Research and Innovation.


The building’s signature Collegiate Georgian exterior harmonizes with the rest of the SMU campus design. The interior provides a crisp and professional palette of sustainable materials and resources for students and faculty. Moody Hall features an open core structure from the ground level to its iconic cupola, allowing natural light to flow into the heart of the building.


Moody Hall is the first facility located on the master-planned 10-acre property bounded by University Boulevard, Dublin Street, McFarlin Boulevard and Airline Road.


Expected impact

  • Attracts high-caliber graduate students with strong academic backgrounds and potential.
  • Provides modern and collaborative facilities to spur research and discovery.
  • Fosters innovative teaching and provides essential resources for the academic community.

Graduate education for a better world

The landmark $100 million gift from the Moody Foundation powers SMU’s efforts to deliver transformational graduate education and support the needs of students to pursue and succeed in their advanced studies at SMU. As a direct result of this investment, Ph.D. fellows supported by the Moody Foundation gift are creating significant impact in their fields of study through rigorous academic inquiry and faculty-mentored scholarly investigations into the world’s biggest problems.

“At the heart of the Moody School are the fellowships we offer to outstanding doctoral students,” said Robin Poston, dean of the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies. “The promise and the accomplishments of our fellows demonstrate the tremendous impact of the partnership between the Moody Foundation and SMU. We are proud of the impact we are having both within and beyond the Dallas community.”


Moody Hall provides our graduate students with a launching place for their academic success and future innovation.

— R. Gerald Turner, SMU President

The Moody Foundation’s gift ignites the impact of the financial support for graduate at SMU to succeed at every step of their academic journey:

  • Moody Endowed Deanship funding provides the dean of the Moody School with discretionary resources available for staff positions, programming and highest priority needs.
  • Moody Endowed Graduate Fellowships position SMU with other elite universities to attract and support the best and brightest graduate students. These students supercharge faculty research, enrich the University’s intellectual environment and serve as SMU ambassadors when they earn positions at other institutions.
  • Moody Endowed Ph.D. Dissertation Fellowships provide the support necessary to enable timely completion of doctoral degrees.
  • Moody Endowed Faculty Fellowships support outstanding faculty, including visiting faculty, and increase their capacity to mentor graduate students and conduct research.
  • Moody Research Incubator funding attracts nationally and internationally renowned scholars to SMU to conduct high-impact, cutting-edge research.
  • Moody Academic Initiatives funding stimulates interdisciplinary work across the University and supports high-impact projects, including capital projects and research initiatives.
  • Moody Hall, the new home of the Moody School, spurs faculty and student interaction for significant, interdisciplinary research.


The accomplishments of our fellows demonstrate the tremendous impact of the partnership between the Moody Foundation and SMU.

— Robin Poston, Dean of SMU Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies

Moody Foundation

The Moody Foundation was established by W.L. Moody, Jr. and Libbie Shearn Moody in 1942 to share their good fortune and make a difference in the lives of the people of Texas. Since then, the foundation has pledged and awarded more than $2 billion in grants throughout the state to organizations that have educated, healed, nurtured and inspired generations of Texas. The Moody Foundation continues with a board of three trustees: Frances Moody-Dahlberg ’92, Ross Moody and Elizabeth Moody.


Generous support from the Moody Foundation makes this era in graduate education at SMU possible and extends a decadeslong partnership. During those many years, the two organizations have joined forces to make SMU facilities such as Fondren Science Building in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, Owen Arts Center in Meadows School of the Arts and Moody Coliseum exceptional resources for the SMU campus and the greater Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. The two organizations have also collaborated to empower faculty research at the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development that improves the lives of people in the Houston/Galveston area and throughout Texas.


Frances A. Moody-Dahlberg ’92

Frances A. Moody-Dahlberg '92

Frances “Francie” A. Moody-Dahlberg ’92 is the chairman of the Moody Foundation and has served as its executive director since 1998; she oversees the foundation’s activities throughout the state. A graduate of SMU, she has strong interests in women’s and children’s issues and the arts. She has championed the foundation’s philanthropy in these areas with signature grants to Parkland Foundation, Family Place and a number of child welfare, early childhood and educational programs as well as Moody Performance Hall and Moody Fund for the Arts. She serves as a trustee of SMU and is on the boards of SMU Simmons School of Education and Human Development, SMU Meadows School of the Arts, AT&T Performing Arts Center, Transitional Learning Center, Moody Endowment and the advisory board of Crystal Charity Ball.


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 lead change in their professions, communities and the world. Building on its history of excellence, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow is the University’s multiyear $1.5 billion campaign to empower students, to enrich teaching and research and to enhance our campus and community.