DALLAS (WBAP/KLIF) – SMU announced Tuesday the largest gift in school history.
According to the University, a landmark $100 million commitment from the Moody Foundation will fund the University’s eighth degree-granting school – the Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies.
“We cannot overstate the power and reach of this gift,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This is a transformational moment for SMU and Dallas, signaling that SMU is a premier institution with the means to be a full partner in commercial and global problem-solving, and a pipeline for leaders to tackle those challenges.”
Turner said that as the Texas economy booms, companies and institutions look to universities like SMU for innovative ideas, data-driven research and technology that can create opportunity.
“The Moody School will be the portal to all of our resources – the entry point for any organization with a research challenge to approach the University for partnership,” said Turner.
The Moody Foundation gift will include endowment and operational funds in support of SMU faculty and renowned visiting faculty, as well as a deanship. It also includes endowment and operational funds to provide competitive financial support for graduate students and to provide flexibility in stimulating interdisciplinary work. It will also allow for construction of Moody Hall, to serve as headquarters for the Moody School and facilitate faculty and student interaction that generates interdisciplinary research.
“The Moody Foundation exists to strengthen the future of Texas and Texans through big ideas like this one,” said Frances Moody-Dahlberg, the Foundation’s executive director and chairman. “We all know that transformative discoveries come when people from different disciplines and broad perspectives are free to collaborate in unique ways. SMU’s Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies will encourage and support such innovative connections. I am eager to see what the combination of world-changing students and faculty coupled with exceptional resources will produce on this campus, in the region and across Texas.”
The Moody School will begin formal operations during the 2020-21 academic year.
“The profound nature of the Moody’s Foundation gift is the latest example of the growth of SMU’s status academically, programmatically and philanthropically,” said SMU Vice President for Development and External Affairs Brad E. Cheves. “With the sophisticated way the Foundation has structured this investment, SMU and the new Moody School will be well prepared in terms of facilities, endowed resources and operating funds to execute its important mission, which itself supports the University’s strategic plan.”
The creation of the Moody School will increase the reputational value of an SMU graduate degree. Research with impact depends on strategically growing SMU’s talented pool of exceptional faculty and attracting the best and brightest master’s and Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows. Together they provide the academic framework for discovery.
“SMU has long offered premier undergraduate and professional programs,” said Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs ad interim Peter K. Moore. “The creation of a graduate school will enable the University to build on its excellent graduate educational programs in the sciences, humanities, engineering, arts and education to fuel research, strengthen teaching and reputation, and deliver greater impact in everything we do. It also means more opportunities for undergraduates, who are mentored through association with research faculty, graduate students and postdoctoral fellows.”
According to the University, “the broad endowment funding provided by the Moody Foundation will guarantee the strength of the school in perpetuity, while the operational funds included in the gift will provide for immediate impact.”
A celebration and official announcement with confetti cannons and guest speakers was held on the SMU campus Tuesday afternoon.
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