Tower Scholars Program gifted more than $4 million

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A panel speaks to a crowd about the North Korean conflict on Feb. 24, 2014. (Courtesy of SMU)

SMU has received donations totaling more than $4 million for its new Tower Scholars Program, an immersion experience for undergraduates in public policymaking through the John Goodwin Tower Center for Political Studies.

Highland Capital Management L.P. contributed $2 million for the tower’s endowment, the Hamon Charitable Foundation gifted $1 million, which will fund the Jake L. Hamon endowed Internship Program and The Berry R. Cox Family Foundation donated $1 million to fund endowment and operational support.

Additional funds were donated totaling more than $400,000, toward operation of the Tower Scholars Program fund.

Ten sophomores will be selected every year as Highland Capital Management Tower Scholars. Students can apply to the program during the fall of their sophomore year, and the first round of applications are being accepted this semester.

The first class of scholars will begin their studies in Spring 2015 leading to a minor in public policy and international affairs. These students will be educated in domestic and foreign affairs, national security and defense and international political economy. They will have access to global and national leaders and policy makers, as well as study abroad opportunities and senior year internships.

“Few American universities offer a program designed for undergraduates with as much real world policy education and experience as does the Tower Scholars Program,” said President R. Gerald Turner in a press release. “The gifts that make this program possible allow students to begin gaining professional perspectives while working toward their undergraduate degrees, bridging the usual gap between graduation and career development.”

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