SMU celebrated the future of the Cox School of Business and its role as a driver of Dallas innovation — breaking ground in May on a $140 million renovation and expansion project designed to train students for a collaborative and technologically integrated world.

At left (left to right): SMU Vice President of Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves; Gary T. Crum ’69; Sylvie Crum; William C. Shaddock ’74; Kim M. Shaddock; Bryan S. Sheffield ’01; Sharoll M. Sheffield; Carolyn L. Miller; David B. Miller ’72, ’73 (immediately behind Carolyn Miller); SMU President R. Gerald Turner; Gina L. Bridwell; Tucker S. Bridwell ’73, ’74 (immediately behind Gina Bridwell); Aurelia C. Heppner; Brad K. Heppner ’88 (immediately behind Aurelia Heppner); Pat S. Bolin ’73; Jane R. Bolin; Fritz Duda; SMU Provost Elizabeth Loboa; Cox School Dean Matthew B. Myers.

“Our improved facilities will nurture an environment that will lead to a richer learning experience and a lifetime of connections. This really marks a new era for the Cox School.”

Cox School Dean Matthew B. Myers

The two-year project will expand the School’s footprint by more than 30%, with the construction of four new buildings connecting the existing facilities into cohesive space that supports collaboration within the Cox School and across the campus, as well as with the Dallas business community.

“This project will add to the Cox School’s stellar national reputation and will enable it to continue attracting outstanding students, faculty and industry partners,” says SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Since 75% of our Cox School graduates stay in Texas, this ambitious project is a commitment to SMU’s role as a talent magnet for the state and the North Texas region.”

Donors, alumni, students, faculty and staff were on hand for history in the making.

Turner announced that the Cox School’s renovated and expanded facilities will be called the David B. Miller Business Quadrangle, honoring Miller for his decades- long financial support and leadership of the Cox School. A former Mustang basketball standout, Miller, BBA ’72, MBA ’73, and his wife, Carolyn, along with The David B. Miller Family Foundation, made a $50 million commitment to SMU in October 2019 — half of which was earmarked for the Cox School project. That historic commitment, the largest alumni gift in the history of the University, is a dramatic punctuation to the relationship that began when Miller arrived at SMU in 1968 on an athletic scholarship.

(Left to right) Incoming SMU Board of Trustees Chair David B. Miller, BBA ’72, MBA ’73; Cox School Dean Matthew B. Myers; Incoming Cox Executive Board Chair Tucker Bridwell, BBA ’73, MBA ’74; and Cox Executive Board Member Kirk Rimer, MBA ’89. As co-chairs of the Cox School’s Campaign Steering Committee, they help drive the fundraising efforts for the renovation and expansion project. Co-chairs not in this photo are Cox Executive Board Members Kyle D. Miller ’01 and Mark B. Plunkett ’96.

As part of the University’s multiyear fundraising campaign, SMU Ignited: Boldly Shaping Tomorrow, more than 50 generous donors have already invested more than $100 million toward new and enhanced facilities at Cox, including new principal gifts:

  • $5 million from Fritz Duda and Mary Lee Duda and The Fritz and Mary Lee Duda Foundation
  • $2 million from Susan Smith Cooper, BBA ’62
  • $1 million from Harlan R. Crow and Katherine Raymond Crow, BBA ’94
  • $1 million from Jennifer Tucker Clyde, BBA ’85, and R. Andrew Clyde, BBA ’85, and Murphy USA

A list of those who have given $1 million or more to the project appears here, and the full list of donors to date is available here.

(Left to right) SMU Vice President of Development and External Affairs Brad Cheves, Angela Cheves, Berry Cox ’77, SMU Trustee Jeanne Tower Cox ’78, John Cox ’11 and Cox Executive Board member Justin Cox ’08 celebrate groundbreaking day with a barbecue lunch hosted by SMU.

“We are re-tooling the Cox School to create a more collaborative environment — to give students and faculty easier access to collaborate, to gather and share ideas and gain inspiration from one another,” says Cox School Dean Matthew B. Myers. “We will offer students more opportunity to obtain their business education in a ‘9 to 9’ environment, meaning they’ll come to classes, stay for lunch or dinner, work together with other students and their professors and remain connected with and at Cox all day long. In short, our improved facilities will nurture an environment that will lead to a richer learning experience and a lifetime of connections. This really marks a new era for the Cox School.”

Find more information on the renovation and expansion plans, including a virtual tour of the future David B. Miller Business Quadrangle, here.

With the renovation and expansion project underway at the Cox School, the work that usually takes place in the Fincher, Crow and Maguire buildings will be taking place in other SMU locations for the next two years. Check out where everyone will be relocated during construction.