About Us

The Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership was created in 2018 with a $4 million gift from an anonymous donor and the Dedman Foundation. The anonymous donor who made the lead gift requested that the Center be named in honor of Robert B. Rowling, owner and Chairman of TRT Holdings, Inc. Mr. Rowling is a 1979 alumnus of the SMU Dedman School of Law.


The Rowling Center's mission is to be a nationally and internationally prominent center of excellence, focusing on developing leaders at the intersection of business and law. The Center benefits from the vibrant DFW business environment and faculty expertise at SMU, including at the Cox School of Business and the Lyle School of Engineering. The Center also builds upon Dedman Law’s rich tradition in business law, its remarkably successful alumni base, and the entrepreneurial spirit of Dedman Law students. The Rowling Center is focused on the following key areas:

  • Engaging the broader DFW business community to provide high quality interaction with one another and with Dedman Law and the Rowling Center
  • Curriculum and programming for our students, including new courses, expanded experiential learning, and impactful business law and leadership programming
  • Executive education for attorneys and business leaders in the DFW area
  • Faculty scholarship and thought leadership

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Advisory Board

The Advisory Board is comprised of senior executives from a number of industries and backgrounds, including board members, CEOs, Chief Financial Officers, Chief Legal Officers, Chief Human Resources Officers, Chief Ethics & Compliance Officers, law firm partners, and other seasoned business leaders. The Advisory Board provides strategic guidance and support to the Rowling Center.

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Director Eric Hinton


Eric F. Hinton is the inaugural Director of the Robert B. Rowling Center for Business Law & Leadership and an adjunct professor of law at SMU Dedman School of Law.

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Faculty Advisory Committee

The Faculty Advisory Committee consists of key SMU Dedman Law faculty, including those specializing in business law, and provides input to the Center in determining academic priorities and areas of focus.

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