President R. Gerald Turner’s announcement Friday that the Second Century Campaign had reached its $750 million goal two years early isn’t the only milestone Southern Methodist University has to celebrate.
Thirteen years ago Carl Sewell, class of ’66, a trustee and the campaign co-chair, envisioned SMU’s average SAT score to be 1300 as the university charged into a new era of intellectual growth. The 2011-2012 SMU Annual Report reflected the university’s stride toward greater academic excellence. Upon entrance, the class of 2015 had an average SAT score of 1269.
New statistics revealed last week that this year’s entering class has raised the average SAT score to 1302. A statement released last week by SMU expressed
“Funding for new academic positions has enabled us to attract and retain scholars from throughout the world. Professors named to endowed chairs are distinguished scholars at the top of their careers and reputations,” Sewell said.
“They bring important research projects and work not only with graduate students, but also with undergraduates, mentoring them and involving them in their research.”
As to how this increase in average SAT score affects scholarships, the Second Century Campaign is looking to meet the demands of and rewarding such exceptional high school students. To date, the Second Century Campaign has raised funds for 472 new scholarships. By raising the campaign goal from $750 million to $1 billion, the campaign chairs look to add even more scholarships.
Dean of Undergraduate Admission Wes Waggoner shares the same sentiment as Sewell as he attributes the milestone to the success of not only his office, but also the university as a whole.
“Over the last decade, SMU faculty and students have been achieving great things both in and out of the classroom. That attracts the brightest students to SMU, and we are seeing that in the overall academic profile of our students,” Waggoner said.
“Every year, SMU has more students who contribute to a campus culture full of academic rigor and the ambition to make a difference in the world.”
SMU prides itself on quality, innovation and continuous improvement in the realms of academics, athletics and facilities. When Student Body President, Ramon Trespalacios gives an admissions tour, he makes it clear that he feels strongly about a university that is constantly looking to the future.
“If you take a campus tour and don’t see any construction or construction plans, don’t go. You want a university that is always looking to improve. SMU is that kind of university,” Trespalacios said to a group of high school seniors.
As far as student perception, many feel a strong sense of pride about not only SMU’s constant improvement but also the achievement of reaching the “1300 club.” Lauren Lyngstad, a senior and President’s Scholar who serves as the student representative to the Board of Trustees on the Developmental and External Affairs Board committee, is optimistic about the future of
“The increase in average SAT scores is a true testament to the hard work of our Office of Undergraduate Admissions and our Board of Trustees,” Lyngstad said.
“By attaining this new academic standard of excellence, SMU will continue to see even stronger students applying and enrolling at the university. With the type of students SMU is attracting, it is an incredible time to work as an admissions tour guide, as we help to recruit top students from across the country.”