SMU Looks to Future With $1.5B Campaign

To re-imagine the role of education and SMU itself in an era of rapid change, the university has launched a $1.5 billion fundraising campaign focused on opportunities created through scholarships, meaningful research and teaching, and its North Texas community.

“We are heartened by the opportunity to make an SMU education accessible for more excellent students from every background, and we’re energized by the opportunity to extend our impact – particularly through research – across North Texas and around the world,” President R. Gerald Turner said. “Quite simply, this effort is about strengthening our ability to do good in the world.”  

SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow with the largest fundraising target ever set by a private school in Texas has three primary objectives:

• Transform the lives of high-achieving students regardless of finances by enabling them to come to SMU. The plan includes more need-and merit-based scholarships and provides a safety net for students who can be derailed by sudden financial crises.

• Enrich teaching and research by investing in faculty pursuits that have substantial societal impact. The university’s plan to reach the highest level of research capability recognized by the Carnegie Classification system will also support excellent teaching, corporate and industrial partnerships, and Dallas’s emergence as a technology hub.

• Enhance the campus and community by increasing partnerships with corporations and nonprofits, such as the West Dallas STEM School and Dedman School of Law legal clinics for those who cannot afford representation.

Tens of thousands of donors have established strong momentum during the planning phase of the SMU Ignited campaign by committing more than $654 million to date, an amount that already exceeds the $542 million raised during the entire life of SMU’s first campaign, A Time to Lead, from 1997–2002. The University raised $1.15 billion in its second campaign, SMU Unbridled: The Second Century Campaign, from 2008–2015.

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