SMU Raises Over $100 Million in One Week for ACC Transition

SMU, also known as Southern Methodist University, has made headlines by raising more than $100 million in just seven days to aid its transition to the Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC) next year. The university announced this impressive feat on Monday, leaving many in awe of the support it has received. Here’s everything you need to know about this remarkable achievement.

Acceptance into the ACC

On September 1, SMU accepted an invitation to join the ACC alongside prestigious institutions like Stanford and Cal, with the move set to take effect from the upcoming season. However, as part of the agreement, sources familiar with the arrangement revealed that SMU would be forgoing nine years’ worth of ACC television money, which amounts to approximately $24 million per year.

Generous Boosters Step In

Despite the significant financial sacrifice, SMU boosters have stepped up to the plate and pledged to contribute over $200 million to offset the loss of TV revenue. The recent announcement of raising $100 million in just one week is a testament to the unwavering support and dedication of these generous donors.

Remarkable Donor Support

The $100 million was raised by a small group of 30 donors, showcasing their commitment to SMU’s success. This incredible show of support highlights the deep-rooted connection between the university and its benefactors.

Positive Impact on Athletics

In addition to the substantial financial contributions, SMU has also witnessed a surge in men’s basketball season ticket sales, which have jumped by 30% since the September 1 announcement. Furthermore, “hundreds” of new football season tickets have been sold as well, indicating a renewed enthusiasm and excitement surrounding SMU’s move to the ACC.

SMU’s Unique Position

SMU’s acceptance into the ACC is a significant achievement considering its relatively small size compared to other Power 5 schools. With an enrollment of just over 12,000 students and fewer than 8,000 undergraduates, SMU stands out as one of the smallest schools in this prestigious athletic conference. However, the university has always had the advantage of having deep-pocketed donors, including influential Texas energy magnates, who have consistently supported SMU’s growth and success.

David B. Miller’s Influence

One notable billionaire donor is David B. Miller, a former SMU basketball player who made his fortune in the energy sector. Miller has been a member of SMU’s board of trustees for over a decade and currently serves as its chair. His significant contributions and leadership have played a crucial role in SMU’s success and continued growth.

Statements from University Leaders

SMU President R. Gerald Turner expressed his gratitude for the overwhelming support, stating, “This is an unprecedented financial commitment from a core group of donors who have understood from the beginning that moving to the ACC will be transformational for our university on both athletic and academic levels.” Turner emphasized that while there is still work to be done, the outpouring of support within just one week demonstrates the recognition of the excellence this opportunity presents and the willingness of SMU and Dallas to back it.

Chairman David B. Miller also shared his excitement, stating, “To be able to raise this level of support in such a short period of time is astounding. It is an incredible start in our campaign to position SMU to compete for championships. I cannot express how grateful I am for the visionary leadership it demonstrates.”

Looking Ahead

SMU’s successful fundraising campaign sets a strong foundation for its future endeavors within the ACC. With substantial financial backing and increased ticket sales, the university is poised to make a significant impact in both athletic and academic spheres. As SMU continues its preparations for the transition, the support it has received serves as a testament to its dedicated community and their shared vision for success.

In conclusion, SMU’s ability to raise over $100 million in just one week is a remarkable achievement. This financial support, coupled with increased ticket sales, positions the university for a successful transition into the ACC. As SMU prepares to embark on this new chapter, its deep-pocketed donors and dedicated community ensure a bright future for the institution within the prestigious athletic conference.

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