SMU president to receive Folsom Leadership Award

SMU President R. Gerald Turner to receive the Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award for community service.

R. Gerald Turner

Methodist Health System Foundation has named R. Gerald Turner, president of Southern Methodist University, philanthropist, and education and community leader, as the 2016 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award recipient. 

SMU President R. Gerald Turner
Pres. R. Gerald Turner

The award will be presented at a dinner Wednesday, Oct. 19, at the Hilton Anatole Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. 

Established in 2005, the award recognizes individuals whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulate the achievements of former Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom.

Dr. Turner has been a fixture among academic, civic, and business leadership for more than two decades in Dallas. As the longest-serving president of SMU, Dr. Turner has led an era of unprecedented progress, including a $1 billion major gifts campaign that surpassed its goal in September 2015, three months ahead of schedule. 

SMU is now among 34 private universities to conduct a campaign to raise $1 billion or more in resources. SMU consistently ranks in the top one-fourth of the best national universities as listed in U.S. News & World Report. Working with the SMU Board of Trustees, Dr. Turner led efforts to attract the George W. Bush Presidential Center, which opened on the SMU campus in May 2013.

Beyond SMU, Dr. Turner has served on the boards of the American Council on Education and the National Association of Independent Colleges and Universities, and he is a former co-chair of the Knight Commission on Intercollegiate Athletics. In Texas, he serves on the boards of the Methodist Health System Foundation, the Salvation Army of Dallas and two publicly-traded companies.

Before joining SMU in 1995, Dr. Turner was the chancellor of the University of Mississippi and served in administrative and teaching positions at the University of Oklahoma and Pepperdine University. A native of New Boston, Texas, he earned a B.S. degree in psychology from Abilene Christian University and M.A. and Ph.D. degrees in psychology from The University of Texas at Austin. He and Gail have two married daughters and five grandchildren.

About Methodist Health System

Guided by the founding principles of life, learning, and compassion, Dallas-based Methodist Health System (Methodist) provides quality, integrated health care to improve and save the lives of individuals and families throughout North Texas. Four hospitals and 27 Methodist Family Health Centers and Medical Groups are among the facilities served by the nonprofit Methodist Health System, which is affiliated by covenant with the North Texas Conference of the United Methodist Church. Recognized by Modern Healthcare as one of the fastest-growing health systems in America, Methodist continues to add facilities and services to enhance patient care along the entire continuum.