VIDEO: Quad, fountain dedication ushers in next century
Published: Monday, September 12, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, November 20, 2012 16:11
The R. Gerald Turner Centennial Quadrangle, Gail O. and R. Gerald Turner Centennial Pavilion and the Cooper Centennial Foundation dedication ceremony was full of optimism regarding SMU's next century.
"SMU has succeeded for two reasons," Caron H. Prothro, chair of the Board of Trustees, said, "Our donor generosity and our institutional leadership."
The quadrangle, a 1.5 acre site that includes live oak trees, ornamental shrub gardens and colored pavers, serves as a tribute to the progress SMU has made under the leadership of President Turner for the last 15 years.
SMU has become a Tier 1 school that now ranks as the 56th best in the nation, according to U.S. News' annual ranking.
The aesthetic of the school has also improved to one of the top neoclassical college campuses.
"Fifteen years ago, parts of SMU were unattractive," Turner, said. "This quadrangle and fountain are a culmination of a number of projects."
While the Turner family graciously accepted the monument from the Board of Trustees, Turner was quick to give credit to the Cooper family.
"Today, we add a credit to the Cooper family for their contributions."
In character with his charm, Turner warned the crowd that he was not retiring just because he has a tribute in his name.
After making a few wiles about SMU's obsession with pristine buildings, he spoke about the symbolism of the event.
"It's been a great 16 years with the school. Maybe it won't be 16 more, but it will be a great time and even better time."
Carl Sewell, a class of 1966 Board of Trustee member, closed the ceremony by raving about SMU's bright future.
"What SMU wants to be, it can be. We can be equal to any university in the nation," she said.
For students attending the event, the moment was an inspirational one.
"SMU is becoming an even more amazing school. Everything is going up from our rankings to our athletics," first-year Daisuke Takeda said.
For those that missed the enlightening moment, Turner had a piece of advice.
"I urge all of you to come out and see the fountain one night," he said. "It is just fantastic."
Video by: Sydney Giesey firstname.lastname@example.org