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Are you ACC ready?

When SMU becomes a member of the ACC on July 1, 2024, it joins a dynamic community alongside some of the country’s most prestigious universities and colleges. Support from our alumni and donors will fuel this exciting next chapter of SMU’s history.

SMU football players exult after a successful play

Our goals:

  • To transition into the Atlantic Coast Conference as a strong competitor, instead of a mere participant.
  • To compete at the highest levels for and win championships across all 17 sports.
  • To provide ACC-level resources to every student-athlete throughout their athletic and academic journeys.
  • To attract, recruit, retain and develop industry-leading talent across all coaching and administrative staffs
  • To build and improve the SMU Athletics infrastructure to welcome and serve all student-athletes, coaches, employees and fans.

This is our moment to charge into the ACC confidently. Together, we will showcase our Mustang strength and pride to the conference and the nation.

— R. Gerald Turner, SMU President

What is the ACC?

The Atlantic Coast Conference is a national conference of some of the most accomplished college athletic programs – and the premier conference when it comes to academics. As of August 1, 2024, its members will include:

Boston College

Boston College

Cal Berkeley

Cal

Clemson

Clemson

Duke

Duke

Florida State

Florida State

Georgia Tech

Georgia Tech

Louisville

Louisville

Miami

Miami

North Carolina

North Carolina

North Carolina State

North Carolina State

Notre Dame

Notre Dame

Pittsburgh

Pittsburgh

SMU

SMU

Stanford

Stanford

Syracuse

Syracuse

Virginia

Virginia

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech

Wake Forest

Wake Forest

Now in its 71st season, ACC schools have captured 186 NCAA team championships and 406 NCAA individual titles. Since 2015, the ACC has won seven national championships in football, men’s basketball, women’s basketball and baseball – the only conference to win each of those four titles over that stretch.

The conference is based out of Charlotte, North Carolina, and seeks to “maximize the educational and athletic opportunities that shape our leaders of tomorrow – in the classroom, in competition and in life.”

What does joining the ACC mean for SMU?

The University is furthering our momentum as an academic institution and an athletic powerhouse. As a member of the ACC, SMU will be better equipped to attract bright minds, talented student-athletes and innovative partnerships that positively impact the University, the city of Dallas and beyond.

How have donors to SMU Athletics impacted this transition?

Simply put, SMU would not have become an ACC member without the donor support. Since 2013, SMU has invested over $400 million in its championship facilities, dynamic programming and student-athlete support. These contributions have enabled SMU to excel in competition and garner national attention. Now, we seek additional investments so we can take full advantage of the opportunities that lie ahead.

With our entry into the ACC, SMU takes its place among the highest levels of collegiate athletics. I encourage every Mustang community member, friend and fan to join me in giving to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

— David B. Miller ’72, ’73, SMU Board of Trustees Chair

Why are additional contributions needed?

Competing at the highest levels requires the right equipment, proper facilities and talented coaching and support staff. In many cases, our new ACC rivals have larger athletics operating budgets and larger donor bases. SMU has agreed to forego Tier I distributions for nine years, a financial challenge that we are confident the SMU faithful can help us meet. This extra support from donors is critical to ensure that we enter the ACC as a strong competitor.

How will my contribution help?

Every member of our community has the power to demonstrate to the ACC and the nation the size and dedication of the Mustang community. We welcome gifts of all sizes to make our transition into the ACC strong and attention-grabbing. Your gift will directly fuel the success of our student-athletes by making sure they have the championship-caliber facilities, dedicated coaches and staff, and support services needed to succeed on the field and in the classroom. 

Some areas of impact include:

  1. Expanding coaching, support and administrative staffing numbers to the same levels as our ACC peers
  2. Increasing resources available to our student-athletes and support staff
  3. Improving, renovating and repairing training and competition spaces across campus
  4. Funding anticipated, one-time costs for ACC entry (e.g. updated branding and marketing materials, exit and entry fees)

How can I get involved?

Whether you give to facilities, operations or an endowment – and whether you give once or annually– there are many ways to be a part of this exciting transition. There are three fundraising priorities that will create the greatest impact on our entry into the ACC:

Artist rendering of two people viewing the Garry Weber End Zone Complex from the corner of the football field
The Garry Weber End Zone Complex will expand and improve our beloved Gerald. J. Ford Stadium. The complex will open in fall 2024, and funding is needed to finish the project. This exciting addition to the football complex will create new opportunities for our student-athletes and our fans for generations to come.
Costumed Peruna mascot holds sign with SMU and ACC logos
The ACC Competitiveness Campaign is our fundraising initiative to support the costs associated with our entry into the conference. Five-year commitments at all levels support our student-athletes and ensure we recruit, train and compete at a championship level.
SMU volleyball players and fans celebrate after winning a great point

Anyone who makes a gift of any size to any area of SMU Athletics becomes a member of the Mustang Club, supporting 484 student-athletes across 17 sports. As we enter the ACC, our goal is to reach 3,500 Mustang Club members by May 31, 2024 – a new department record.

SMU is primed for excellence because of the incredible generosity of our donors. Your gift strengthens our athletic programs, providing crucial support for our dedicated student-athletes.

— Rick Hart, SMU Director of Athletics