SMU may be closed this week for spring vacation, but that doesn’t mean things aren’t bubbling. Word just arrived from Methodist Health System Foundation President/CEO April Box that SMU President Gerald Turner will receive the 2016 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award.
Shouldn’t surprise anybody. As the longest-serving SMU president, Gerald has more than grown the university stature in national rankings since his arrival in 1995. He led the charge to overshoot the $1-billion major gifts campaign three months ahead of schedule in 2015; he also wooed the George W. Bush Presidential Center to call SMU home.
But Gerald’s involvement in the North Texas community hasn’t been limited to the Mustangs home. He “serves on the board of the Methodist Health System Foundation, the Salvation Army of Dallas and two publicly-traded companies.”
According to April, “We are very pleased to honor Dr. Turner with this prominent award. As the leaders of my alma mater and a longtime Methodist supporter and board member, there is no one who understands the Methodist mission and values better than Dr. Turner.”
Born in New Boston, he earned his bachelor of science from Abilene Christian University and master’s degree and Ph.D. at the University of Texas at Austin.
Make plans to have dinner with Gerald and his wife, Gail Turner, on Wednesday, October 19, at the Hilton Anatole Grand Ballroom, when he will join the list of Folsom Awardees like Roberts S. Folsom, Nancy Ann Hunt, Troy Aikman, Laura Bush, the late Norman Brinker, Pat and Emmitt Smith, Trevor Rees-Jones, Mike Boone, Rev. Mark Craig, Bobby Lyle and Jack Lowe Jr.
BTW, this dinner is a keeper. No one, not even the honoree, knows what will be on the program, but it’s always guaranteed to be carried off with laughs and respect. No wonder this event has raised more than $14M for Methodist Health System‘s programs and services since it was established in 2005.