Campaign Leaders

Ruth Altshuler:

"As a long-standing trustee, I have seen SMU move from serving as a strong regional university to one that is nationally recognized and global in its reach. I also have seen SMU leaders build creatively and courageously on the achievements of their predecessors to keep the University moving forward, even during times of great challenge. But in my estimation, this is the most exciting time for SMU — with our outstanding leadership, our supportive alumni and friends, and our growing momentum." — Ruth Altshuler, SMU trustee and campaign co-chair

Ray L. Hunt:

"I like to make the point that if Dallas did not have SMU, it would do everything it could as a great city to develop such a university. When early civic leaders lobbied for the proposed new Methodist university to be located in Dallas, and others provided land and resources, they understood that the city and the university would prosper together. Today, we celebrate the many partnerships we have with our city, relationships that enrich the education of our students and provide Dallas with an educated corps of leaders. With this campaign, we will strengthen SMU as the university growing with and for Dallas and, with the city, making a global impact." — Ray L. Hunt, trustee and campaign co-chair

Caren Prothro:

"Those of us who support SMU do so because we see a great opportunity to make an impact on the future of young people across this nation. We want to see talented students develop their great potential at this first-rate university in a dynamic city. We are building additional centers of academic excellence at SMU that will serve high-achieving students with outstanding teaching, mentoring and research. Because of SMU’s breadth and quality of academic programs, we will send our students into the world with knowledge, confidence and the courage to take on the great issues of their time. It’s an honor to be a part of this effort." — Caren H. Prothro, SMU trustee and campaign co-chair

Mike Boone:

"SMU occupies a special place in the history and future of Dallas. From SMU’s opening in 1915, the University has strengthened the development of our city, and our city continues to be instrumental in our advancement as a University. SMU has responded to and anticipated area needs in establishing academic programs, and our civic and professional partnerships have enriched opportunities for students and faculty in those programs. Our Second Century of Achievement will be another win-win scenario for SMU and Dallas." — Michael M. Boone, SMU trustee

Linda Pitts Custard:

"SMU plays a vital role in the cultural and intellectual environment of Dallas. This contribution enriches our campus and community and adds to the relevance of both in shaping our nation and our world. The Second Century Campaign will further elevate this impact as we educate our talented students for leadership in professions ranging from the arts, to business, to law." — Linda Pitts Custard, SMU trustee

Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe

"SMU reflects with distinction and excellence the United Methodist heritage in higher education.  SMU’s plans for the future represent a forward-looking partnership between Church and city. The Second Century Campaign will reflect and renew a partnership that began many years ago with its founders in 1911. It’s exciting to see history repeat itself in ushering in a new era of possibility in honoring the vision and values of nearly 100 years ago. As a new member of the SMU Board of Trustees representing The United Methodist Church, and an alumnus, I am pleased to serve during this pivotal time in the history of SMU as it builds on the Church’s strong tradition and legacy in higher education." — Bishop W. Earl Bledsoe, SMU trustee; Bishop, The United Methodist Church, Dallas area

Scott McLean:

"The SMU education extends far and wide in its influence. The many alumni who live in Houston have contributed their knowledge and talents to strengthen our business community, our health professions and our cultural resources. We are committed to helping SMU rise even higher among national universities, to bring the best students to campus from close by or far away, and to provide the academic programs that will prepare them to succeed in a changing global marketplace." — Scott McLean, co-chair, Houston campaign steering committee

Dennis Murphree:

"As a native of Houston, I’m supportive of Texas having the very best public and private institutions of higher education. SMU is an important part of the mix of institutions in our state and plays a vital role in educating the state’s workforce and contributing to its cultural vibrancy." — Dennis Murphree, co-chair, Houston campaign steering committee

Connie O’Neill, President, Alumni Board:

"SMU alumni are excited about the University’s momentum and are eager to be a part of SMU’s continuing progress. Broad participation among alumni is a major goal of this campaign, so we will be asking greater numbers of alumni to show their support. No matter what the size of the gifts, alumni participation will represent satisfaction with their SMU education and the understanding that when they were students, they themselves were the beneficiaries of alumni giving. It’s a cycle of support that represents the best of SMU spirit." — Connie O’Neill, President, SMU Alumni Board

Campus Officials

Dennis Foster:

"The faculty is eager to help SMU join the ranks of the nation’s top schools. But to match the success of those schools in research and scholarship while maintaining our high standards for undergraduate teaching, we need to match their student/teacher ratios, their laboratory space and libraries. We look forward with anticipation to the people, programs, and academic improvements this capital campaign will make possible." — Dennis Foster, President, SMU Faculty Senate

Matt Doherty:

"Intercollegiate athletics can play a major role in raising awareness of a university’s major strengths and providing students with leadership development as members of a team. As SMU kicks off its Second Century Campaign to increase its strengths, all of us at SMU will be part of the team encouraging greater resources for high achievement in academics and campus life. And our basketball team will provide yet another reason to cheer for SMU. I like the fact that SMU aims high with its aspirations in all its endeavors." — Matt Doherty, SMU head basketball coach

June Jones:

"One of the things that attracted me to SMU is the administration’s commitment to providing students with the highest-quality campus experience, ranging from small classes to athletic and social activities that can build a sense of community. The Second Century Campaign will underscore this commitment by raising additional resources for academic and campus life. I look forward to raising the level of excitement among our constituents and others by bringing them to campus for exciting collegiate football as part of the overall collegiate experience." — June Jones, SMU head football coach

Public Officials

 Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson:

"I have always been a passionate advocate of the transformative power of education, making it very easy for me to embrace initiatives that speak to advancing its cause. Such is the case now as SMU embarks on a historical, major gifts campaign aimed at improving the overall academic quality of an SMU experience. I am a proud Mustang, having graduated from SMU in 1976 with a Master’s degree in public administration. I can testify to the world-class education that SMU offers its students, while also remaining cognizant of its responsibility to community enrichment on a local level here in Dallas, within Texas, and also as a national and international institution. As a legislator, I have a unique understanding of how vital thriving universities are, first to their immediate communities, and then quite literally to the rest of the world. SMU has been a stalwart academic, cultural and economic contributor evident alone in its forthcoming celebration of the centennial of its founding in 2011. In order to maintain and nourish this legacy, SMU must be able to compete. Thus the gifts campaign becomes an enterprise beneficial to us all." — Eddie Bernice Johnson, U.S. House of Representatives, 30th District, Texas

Rep. Pete Sessions:

"As you prepare to embark on one of the most ambitious major gifts campaigns in your history, I want to commend you on taking such an active approach to strengthening SMU’s standing in the region and the nation. SMU has a well-deserved reputation for a high quality education and faculty, a hardworking and diverse student body, and its ability to attract prestigious speakers from all over the world. This beautiful campus that sits in the heart of Dallas is proudly proclaimed as the alma mater for many prominent alumni including Karen Hughes, First Lady Laura Bush, Olympic gold medalist Lars Frolander and many others. SMU understands the importance of education and encourages independent thinking, helping transform them into well-rounded, educated young adults that contribute to our society and help move our country forward. I know SMU will continue to positively impact our community by supporting various research initiatives, developing our next generation of leaders and adding to our region’s economic strength and cultural richness." — Pete Sessions, U.S. House of Representatives, 32nd District, Texas

Mayor Tom Leppert:

"Nearly 100 years ago, when Dallas competed with other cities to be the location of Southern Methodist University, city leaders hoped that a first-rate higher education institution would be a tremendous asset to the region. What a success it has been! Since the University’s opening in 1915, SMU has educated leaders and professionals strengthening our region’s ability to compete. It has contributed research and expertise to city and societal challenges. It has established academic programs responding to area needs and enriched our region culturally and intellectually. Soon, it will bring the unique resources of a presidential library to our city. With its Second Century campaign, SMU is stepping forward with aggressive plans for its future. These advancements will strengthen our city and position SMU among the nation’s premier institutions of higher education. I congratulate the University for its many contributions to our community today, for its growing momentum and for its potential for even higher achievement in the future." — Thomas C. (Tom) Leppert, Mayor, City of Dallas

Mayor James H. Holmes III:

"The University Park City Council wholeheartedly supports SMU’s upcoming major gifts campaign. Since its incorporation in the mid-1920s, the City of University Park has had a close relationship and affinity for the University and the academic and cultural benefits the college provides. For us, the University is a neighborhood treasure, but we know that its influence reaches far beyond the city’s borders. Our region’s competitiveness, economic strength and cultural richness are all enhanced through the research conducted by your outstanding students and faculty. Having earned both my undergraduate and law degrees at SMU, I know firsthand that SMU prepares students for leadership in their professions and in their communities. I’m sure that this campaign will meet with great success and as a result, the University will aspire to even greater levels of achievement and citizenship." — James H. (Blackie) Holmes III, Mayor, City of University Park

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