And North Texas philanthropy continues to simply amaze. A combined gift of $4M for SMU’s Dedman School of Law has just been revealed. Thanks to $1M from the Dedman Foundation and $3M from Mr./Mrs./Miss Anonymous, the center will “train the next generation of prominent legal and business leaders and influence national conversations surrounding business and corporate law.”
Ah, but there was an interesting request from the lead donor. And that was that the center be “named in honor of Dedman Law School grad Robert “Bob” B. Rowling, owner and chair of TRT Holdings Inc., which is the holding company for the Omni Hotels and Resorts as well as Gold’s Gym International.”
According to SMU President R. Gerald Turner, “Bob Rowling is the perfect example of the combined skills that will be the focus of the new center. Today’s law students will be navigating careers that we cannot even imagine at the moment. They need training in ethical leadership, business analytics and entrepreneurship to develop the skills they will need to be successful. The Rowling Center has a role to play in shaping the future of business and corporate law.”
The Center’s program will “build on the legal and business acumen centered in Dallas, collaborating with SMU’s Cox School of Business to provide an interdisciplinary approach. The center also will enhance Dedman Law’s mentoring program and provide new opportunities for students to connect with SMU’s extensive network of highly successful alumni and supporters.”
It will focus on two primary areas:
- Training through an interdisciplinary program that includes new and innovative courses and extracurricular offerings.
- National conversations related to business and corporate law topics through programming, faculty research and partnerships.
Bob admitted, “Dedman Law is my alma mater, of course, and I know from personal experience that a law degree is very useful in business. The center’s emphasis on business law and leadership will train law students in critical areas of business and position them well for future career success.”
The center will launch this fall.
Regarding Mr./Mrs./Miss Anonymous, SMU VP of Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves said, “This is great philanthropic synergy. We had a very generous donor who wanted to support an important initiative at Dedman Law and, at the same time, honor Robert Rowling, a Dedman Law alumnus who epitomizes the type of work on which this center will focus. We are delighted to see this idea come to fruition.”
Thank you notes may be addressed to Mr./Mrs./Miss Anonymous and the entire Dedman clan.