Building enterprising spirit

Jane R. and Pat S. Bolin ’73 commit $7.5 million to the Cox School of Business

Building enterprising spirit

A $7.5 million gift from Jane R. and Pat S. Bolin ’73 to SMU’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business will foster collaboration inside and outside the classroom, and strengthen students’ advanced data analysis skills.

The Bolins’ gift will combine with a $7.5 million designation by Gina L. and Tucker S. Bridwell ’73, ’74 from their previously announced gift to create the new Bolin-Bridwell Hall, part of the future Cox School renovation and expansion project. Bolin-Bridwell Hall will offer a learning environment that mirrors the evolving workplace and uses the latest technology to build students’ data fluency.

“I am grateful to Jane and Pat for empowering students who will become the next generation of business leaders,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Bolin-Bridwell Hall will be a vital addition to the educational facilities of the Cox School.”

“This is the perfect time to invest in the future of the Cox School.”

Inside Bolin-Bridwell Hall, classroom spaces and areas for collaborating outside of class will support innovative teaching practices and build the collaboration skills that top companies seek and that entrepreneurs need. The facility will promote all three of the school’s curriculum pillars: leadership, analytics and experiential learning. 

“Jane and I were inspired by the generous gift to SMU made by Gina and Tucker, who have been great friends to us for more than 50 years,” said Pat Bolin, a longtime leader in the energy industry and the Dallas community. “We feel this is the perfect time to invest in the future of the Cox School and in preparing students for the ever-evolving world of business.”

Some Bolin-Bridwell Hall classrooms will be dedicated to technology, data and data analytics. Meeting spaces will provide room for collaboration that drives innovation and research. Students will also develop their business skills through highly engaged projects with corporate partners. Bolin-Bridwell Hall will also be the new home for the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom, which will examine and promote free enterprise in markets around the globe.

Expected impact

  • Builds the leadership, analytics and collaboration skills that top companies seek and that are vital to entrepreneurs.
  • Provides modernized spaces that foster collaborative learning inside and outside the classroom.
  • Strengthens students’ advanced data analytics skills.
  • Offers a new home for highly engaged projects for corporate partners and for SMU’s leading energy industry institute.

“Gina and I are happy to partner with our friends Jane and Pat to further elevate the output of Cox students, faculty and staff,” said Tucker Bridwell, an esteemed energy industry executive.

The new Bolin-Bridwell Hall will raise the acclaimed academic experience of Cox School students and elevate the school’s edge in attracting outstanding students, faculty and corporate partners. Facing Bishop Boulevard and sharing the traditional collegiate Georgian architectural exterior of other SMU buildings, the new facility will act as the northwest anchor of the transformed business school quad. 

“I thank the Bolin and Bridwell families for their investment in the future of the Cox School,” said Matthew B. Myers, dean of the SMU Cox School of Business. “What happens in Bolin-Bridwell Hall will exemplify our new pedagogy that enhances the leadership skills our students need.” 

The gifts extend the Bolin and Bridwell families’ legacies of support for SMU and the Cox School of Business and promise to elevate the Cox School’s already outstanding global reputation.

“Pat and Jane have been fixtures of the North Texas philanthropic community for many years, and we have always been grateful for their steadfast support of SMU,” said Brad E. Cheves, SMU vice president for Development and External Affairs. “It’s fitting that Bolin-Bridwell Hall will be a place that builds the enterprising spirit the Bolins and Bridwells have demonstrated through all their business and charitable initiatives.”

Pat S. Bolin serves as executive chairman of Eagle Oil & Gas Co., which he co-founded in 1976 with his father, D. Phil Bolin, and business partner, Warren T. Ayres. He is also the company’s former president and CEO. Pat Bolin serves on the board of Veritex Community Bank of Dallas. He graduated from SMU in 1973 with a BA in psychology and is a member of the SMU Cox School of Business Executive Board and the school’s Maguire Energy Institute Advisory Board. 

Pat is a long-time member of the Mustang Club and a supporter of SMU Athletics. He is a member of the Salesmanship Club of Dallas and is actively involved in all the club’s activities and community outreach. Pat is also an active member of the Dallas Wildcat Committee, where he has served as chairman, in addition to other various leadership roles. Having served as the chair for The Nature Conservancy Dallas advisory board, Pat Bolin continues his support as a board member. He is also an active member of the board of directors for Goodwill Industries. In 2008, Pat and his wife, Jane, created the Pat and Jane Bolin BBA Scholars Endowment Fund for the SMU Cox School of Business. Pat and Jane Bolin were also supporters of the Moody Coliseum Renovation. In 2010, SMU’s Cox School of Business recognized Pat Bolin with its Distinguished Alumni Award.

“Jane and Pat Bolin are empowering students to become the next generation of business leaders.”

Jane R. Bolin is an adviser to the Pat and Jane Bolin Family Foundation and a board member of Sterling Family Partners since its formation in 2013. Born and raised in Indianola, Mississippi, Jane Bolin graduated and earned a BA from the University of Mississippi in 1978. Currently, Jane is a board member of the SMU Perkins School of Theology and serves on the advisory committee of the Celebrating Women Luncheon benefitting Baylor Scott and White Dallas Foundation. Jane is a past board member of Camp John Marc and Elizabeth Toon Charities. Jane has also served as honorary chair of the Wesley-Rankin Community Center Benefit, as well as past honorary chair of the annual Multiple Sclerosis “On The Move” Luncheon. The Bolins have two sons, two incredible daughters-in-law, and three grandchildren.

Tucker S. Bridwell is president of the Mansefeldt Investment Corporation and the Dian Graves Owen Foundation in Abilene, Texas. Additionally, he manages MDJ Minerals. He is a board member of Concho Resources, Inc. and First Financial Bankshares, where he serves as lead director. He received BBA and MBA degrees from SMU’s Cox School of Business and is a member of SMU’s Board of Trustees and vice chair of the Cox School Executive Board. SMU named him a Cox School Distinguished Alumnus in 2007 and honored him with its Distinguished Alumni Award in 2018. Tucker Bridwell’s civic accolades include an honorary doctorate of humanities from McMurry University, Abilene Outstanding Citizen of the Year, and the Distinguished Citizen Award from the Boy Scouts of America.

Gina L. Bridwell served on the Governor’s Commission for Women, the Advisory Council of the Texas Conference for Women, and as a trustee for the Old Jail Art Center, The Grace Museum, and Hendrick Hospice Care. She was president of The Cotillion Club and the Alumnae Panhellenic Association and chaired the Pastoral Council of Holy Family Church in Abilene. She is a graduate of Oklahoma State University. At SMU, the Bridwells have generously supported student scholarships, the Moody Coliseum renovation, the construction of the Indoor Performance Center and the establishment of the Bridwell Institute for Economic Freedom. They have four children, one of whom graduated from SMU.