Creating a welcoming home

$5 million anonymous gift to enhance residence life

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

“This gift will enrich the integration of SMU’s academic, residential and social programs that help upper-division students thrive on the Hilltop and beyond,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are grateful to the donors for their long-standing support and for their commitment to helping students build connections, explore their opportunities and make an impact in the world.”

The gift supports the University’s efforts to provide students with the tools for success while helping every student feel a sense of belonging. Living on campus is linked with higher academic achievement, and it enables students to take full advantage of everything SMU offers. Since 2013, the University has invested more than $155 million in six new residential facilities.

Thomas House

Expected impact

  • Enhance residential programs.
  • Further an enduring tradition of vibrant campus life.
  • Contribute to a culture where on-campus experiences enhance student success.

“We are grateful for this generous contribution,” said Brad E. Cheves, vice president for Development and External Affairs. “This gift serves as a testament to the unwavering spirit of our SMU family and an invitation for other Mustang alumni and supporters to help sustain the University’s growth and commitment to a thriving campus life.”

At SMU, campus residents enjoy a comfortable living environment, meaningful interaction with faculty members, exciting academic and extracurricular opportunities, and spirited traditions and social gatherings. For students living on campus, the University is their front yard, with access to the academic resources, extracurricular amenities, faculty support and friends that make college life so rewarding.

“This gift will help SMU foster a dynamic, vibrant and inclusive campus that nurtures students as they achieve academic success and cultivate lasting relationships,” said K.C. Mmeje, vice president for Student Affairs. “We are grateful for the donors’ generosity and passion for residence life.”

This gift will help SMU foster a dynamic, vibrant and inclusive campus.

— K.C. Mmeje, SMU Vice President for Student Affairs

Located at 3130 Daniel Avenue, Thomas House is a 53,000-square-foot, three-story residence with 36 fully furnished two-bedroom apartment suites. Amenities include a laundry facility, kitchenette, study rooms and common space as well as 24-hour on-call staff, security escorts and professional on-site maintenance. Completed in 2020, it is the most recent addition to upper-division housing on campus and reflects SMU’s signature Collegiate Georgian architectural style.

This gift to SMU resident life is part of SMU’s multiyear $1.5 billion campaign for impact, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow. Modernizing and enhancing campus facilities and student services to support our students’ personal, professional and academic ambitions supports the campaign goal to enhance our campus and community.