SMU energizes Second Century Campaign
with new goals and regional strategy

SMU’s Second Century Campaign received a boost Friday from more than 200 of its most passionate supporters.

SMU Second Century Campaign

DALLAS (SMU) – With new goals and an expanded regional focus, SMU’s Second Century Campaign received a boost Friday when more than 200 of its most passionate supporters gathered on campus to marshal forces behind the $1 billion fundraising campaign.

SMU Unbridled 100Campaign leaders, who met with Volunteer Summit attendees on SMU’s Main Quad, unveiled new strategies for the campaign’s next two years and highlighted the impact of the campaign on the University’s students, faculty, academic programs and campus life. A surprise came when SMU President R. Gerald Turner announced that a $15 million gift from SMU Trustee and Campaign Convening Co-Chair Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 had pushed the campaign’s total raised to $800 million.

Ford’s commitment is the lead gift to construct a campus research center for SMU faculty and students. The new building will support research facilitated by SMU’s high-performance computing capabilities, among other projects. It also will be the home of the Dedman College Interdisciplinary Institute, established in May 2012 through a gift from the Dedman family and Foundation.  The building will be located on SMU’s main campus at the corner of McFarlin and Airline.

“I believe it is important that SMU alumni and friends support all areas of the University — academic programs, scholarships, athletics and campus development,” Ford said.  “SMU is known for the breadth of the educational experience it provides, and this campaign is strengthening every critical component of the campus environment for our students.”

Read more about Ford’s gift.

Groups attending the Summit were the SMU Board of Trustees, the Campaign Leadership Council, the Campaign Executive Committee, the Campaign Steering Committee, the Development and External Affairs Committee of the Board of Trustees, the Alumni Board, the Young Alumni Board, the alumni chapter presidents and members of the University administration.

SMU volunteers and leaders were in high spirits even before the Ford gift and new campaign total were announced. “This is an exciting time to be involved, with the most pronounced transformation in SMU’s history now taking place,” said SMU Board of Trustees Chair and Campaign Co-Chair Caren Prothro.

With his focus squarely on the next two years, Turner announced three new goals for the campaign:

  • Increase the number of endowed scholarships to 500 by the end of the campaign. “The return on investment for scholarships is too great to let this moment pass,” Turner said. To date, SMU has received funds for 472 newly endowed scholarships.
  • Increase the number of endowed faculty positions to 110, up from the previous goal of 100. To date, SMU has 96 such positions, 34 of them funded by the current campaign.
  • Complete funding for 10 major capital projects, beyond the five already completed since the start of the campaign, for a total of 15.

SMU Trustee Carl Sewell ’66 outlined a new campaign structure, including the addition of four SMU trustees to the Campaign Leadership Council: Paul B. Loyd Jr. ’68, Bobby B. Lyle ’67, David B. Miller ’72, ’73 and Sarah Fullinwider Perot ’83.  Also new is an Alumni Campaign Steering Committee, chaired by Alumni Board President Leslie Melson ’77.

“We are in the process of recruiting alumni representatives from across a wide spectrum of graduation years and geographic locations,” Sewell said. “By creating the Alumni Campaign Steering Committee, we will keep the alumni energy high during the last two years of the campaign and beyond.”

Sewell also detailed a new regional strategy for the campaign, with significant focus on Texas and its more than 70,000 SMU alumni. Leading the Texas effort will be Trustees Michael Boone ’63, ’67 of Dallas, Scott McLean ’78 of Houston, and Richard Ware ’68 of Amarillo; along with Albon Head ’68, ’71 and Stephen Tatum ’76 of Fort Worth, and Dennis Murphree ’69 of Houston.

In addition to increased focus on the Lone Star State, regional efforts across the U.S. will broaden the campaign’s previous focus on cities. The effort is designed to attract donor interest in areas that are home to a sizeable portion of SMU alumni and also to thousands of SMU students and prospective students.  

Regional fundraising efforts in the Midwest, Northeast, Southeast and West will be led by Tim ’74 and Paulette Moen ’75, and Jim ’82 and Becky White ’82 (Midwest-Chicago); Paul ’86 and Sheri Diemer ’86 (Midwest-St. Louis); Jim MacNaughton ’72, ’73 (Northeast-New York City) and Ann Cole ’63 (Northeast-Washington, D.C.); Martin ’82 and Jennifer Flanagan ’82 (Southeast-Atlanta); and Liz ’82 and Trustee Bill Armstrong ’82 (West-Denver); Marion and Roger Palley, Kelly ’78 and Kevin Welsh, and Leslie ’81 and Trustee Ed Wilson (West-Los Angeles); and David Cush ’82, ’83 (West-San Francisco).

Trustees and Campaign Co-Chairs Ray Hunt ’65 and Ruth Altshuler ’48 commended the volunteers for their work in helping the campaign surpass its original goal of $750 million and highlighted the impact of the campaign. To date, the campaign has created 34 endowed faculty positions, 472 endowed scholarships, new academic programs and initiatives, and new facilities for academics and athletics; increased student support services; and expanded community outreach efforts.

“We have experienced a global impact from this campaign,” Turner said. “The campaign has altered the way others see us. It’s helped place us among a very select group of universities that have the kind of momentum and support to embark on a $1 billion campaign.”