With the SMU Mustang Band, cheer squad and Peruna standing by to celebrate, Southern Methodist University officials just kicked off the public phase of an ambitious, $1.5 billion fundraising campaign in front of the school’s iconic Dallas Hall.
“SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow” is the third and largest fundraising campaign under President R. Gerald Turner, who said “SMU Ignited” will be “about strengthening our ability to do good in the world.” The campaign’s three major objectives are to raise at least:
- $450 million to help high-achieving, under-served students attend SMU with more need- and merit-based scholarships;
- $600 million to enhance teaching and research by investing in “star-quality” faculty whose pursuits will have substantial societal impact; and
- $450 million to increase partnerships with corporations and nonprofits like the West Dallas STEM school.
Under Convening Co-Chair Gerald J. Ford, an SMU trustee, the “SMU Ignite” co-chairs are SMU Board Chair Robert H. Dedman Jr. as well as trustees Michael M. Boone, Kelly Hoglund Compton, Ray L. Hunt, David B. Miller, Caren H. Prothro and Carl Sewell Jr.
During its planning phase, more than $654 million has already been committed to the new campaign, SMU officials said. Key gifts and commitments so far have included $100 million from the Moody Foundation, $50 million from Carolyn and David B. Miller and more than 90 individual contributions of $1 million or more.
The previous fundraising campaigns under Turner ran from 1997 to 2002, raising a total of $542 million, and from 2008 to 2015, resulting in $1.15 billion raised.