Making new strides with Washburne Soccer and Track Stadium

Ushering in an exciting new addition to the Hilltop and Mustang Athletics, SMU celebrated the dedication of the new Washburne Soccer and Track Stadium on April 8, 2022. Led by a principal gift from Ray W. Washburne ’84 and Heather H. Washburne, the stadium was made possible by the University’s Mustang fans, generous donors and spirited alumni.

“Washburne Soccer and Track Stadium represents the kind of dedication and leadership that we strive to achieve on the Hilltop,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We are incredibly grateful to the Washburnes and all of the donors who contributed to this important undertaking that fuels athletic excellence in SMU student-athletes and growing excitement in our Mustang fans.”

Washburne Stadium will act as the new home and spirit hub for SMU’s men’s and women’s soccer, as well as its cross-country and track and field teams. Featuring an updated track, conference room and private team locker rooms, the 2,577-capacity stadium offers Mustang fans a dynamic new environment to celebrate athletic events and cheer on the school’s teams, while supporting SMU’s student-athletes as they train for and pursue athletic distinction both on and off campus.

My family feels honored to have Washburne Stadium bear our name, and we are excited to join our fellow Mustang  fans in support of our school and its teams.

— Ray Washburne ’84

Over the past 45 seasons, SMU men’s soccer has advanced to the NCAA Tournament 33 times, finishing 30 times in the Top 25. Men’s soccer has further captured 20 regular-season conference championships and 10 conference tournament titles, reaching the Elite Eight 13 times. The men’s soccer players’ solid academic performance record includes 15 all-time Academic All-American selections and 31 Academic All-District honors.

SMU women’s soccer teams have advanced to the NCAA Tournament 14 times, finishing in the Top 25 on 10 occasions. Women’s squads have captured 11 regular-season conference championships and seven conference tournament championships. Other accolades include six each All-American selections and AAC players of the year. The women’s soccer players’ strong classroom performance includes three student-athletes named to Academic All-American selections; nine honored by the College Sports Information Directors of America; and three named to the United Soccer Coaches Scholar All-Region.

Combined accolades for SMU’s cross-country and track and field teams include 12 conference team titles and 18 NCAA Top-25 finishes. During program history, the teams have brought 154 conference champions, 92 All-American selections and 17 NCAA individual national champions. Last year, women’s cross-country had the highest team GPA (3.645) for all Mustang women’s sports.

Floorplan image

Expected impact

  • Provides a new home for Mustang soccer, cross-country and track and field teams.
  • Establishes a new 2,577-capacity stadium for Mustang events and fans.
  • Fuels athletic excellence through a new, updated track.

“Through Ray and Heather’s leadership giving, Washburne Stadium stands as a striking and beautiful addition to the heart of the Hilltop, benefiting not only our student-athletes, but our entire campus community,” said Brad Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “Washburne Stadium is a remarkable achievement for SMU Ignited, and the Washburnes’ generosity sets the pace for future momentum and development across the University.”

Supported by a $5 million commitment from the Washburne family in February 2020, Washburne Stadium is part of SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, the University’s $1.5 billion campaign for impact. The Washburnes’ gift builds on Ray Washburne’s enduring legacy of giving and volunteer leadership at SMU by answering the call of student-athletes across campus and supporting the campaign’s goals to enhance SMU’s campus and foster a welcoming community.

“My years at SMU were some of the most influential of my life,” said Ray Washburne. “I am proud to be a part of this exciting new chapter in SMU Athletics and the impact the new stadium will have on future student-athletes. My family feels honored to have Washburne Stadium bear our name, and we are excited to join our fellow Mustang fans in support of our school and its teams.”

“The Washburne family has been an incredible force for impact in Mustang Athletics and at SMU,” said SMU Athletics Director Rick Hart. “Washburne Soccer and Track Stadium will support our athletes, excite our fans and help us recruit incredible talent to the Hilltop.”

Since 2010, SMU Athletics has invested nearly a quarter billion dollars to develop and enhance championship-caliber athletic facilities across campus. The dedication of Washburne Stadium showcases the University’s ever-growing partnerships with donors and alumni that benefit SMU students, faculty, staff and other community members.

Washburne Soccer and Track Stadium will support our athletes, excite our fans and help us recruit incredible talent to the Hilltop.

— SMU Athletics Director Rick Hart

Ray W. Washburne ’84 and Heather H. Washburne

Heather and Ray WashburneRay Washburne ’84 currently serves as chairman of the board at Sunoco LP and president and CEO of Charter Holdings, a Dallas-based investment company involved in real estate, restaurants and diversified financial investments. He is also the co-founder and co-owner of Mi Cocina Restaurants and serves as the president and managing director of Highland Park Village. He served as president and CEO of Overseas Private Investment Corporation from 2017 to 2019, and on the United States President’s Intelligence Advisory Board from 2018 to 2021.

Heather Hill Washburne graduated from Mary Baldwin University and has served as executive director of the Dallas County Republican Party and later started her own political fundraising company, Victory Associates. She has served on the boards of such organizations as Council for Life, Focus on the Family and St. Mark’s School of Texas, and was appointed in 2019 to serve on the board of the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts.

Ray and Heather Washburne’s legacy on the Hilltop is continued in their children, Hill Washburne ’22, Andrew Washburne ’24 and Margo Washburne ’26.

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, 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.