SMU’s Cox School of Business Gets its Largest Alumni Gift Yet

The Edwin L. Cox School of Business, which will reach 100 years old next year, has received $50 million from Carolyn L. and David B. Miller for an expansive strategic plan.

In what was described by the school as the largest alumni gift in SMU history, the Edwin L. Cox School of Business has received $50 million from Carolyn L. and David B. Miller.

The Cox School reaches 100 years of business education in 2020.

[Photo: Courtesy SMU]

The commitment is set to support an expansive strategic plan that includes modernizing the curriculum, offering more and broader scholarships to students worldwide, collaborating across interdisciplinary programs, enhancing facilities, and extending community outreach via corporate partnerships, and increased inclusivity.

David B. Miller is the co-founder and managing partner of EnCap Investments L.P., a Dallas- and Houston-based private equity firm. He’s served on the SMU Board of Trustees, as chair of the Cox School of Business Executive Board, and as a member of the University’s Campaign Leadership Council. And, he’s received a number of business leadership awards, such as being inducted into the Dallas Business Hall of Fame.

Carolyn L. Miller began her career as a teacher, later transitioning into social work as a program director at The Senior Source. She’s also served on several executive boards, such as the Women’s Initiative Advisory Committee for the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

The $50 million gift is the latest example of the couple’s support of SMU.

“For decades, the range and depth of Carolyn and David’s leadership and dedication have strengthened every part of our University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We thank the Millers for their remarkable gift. Their investment will amplify the long-term strategic plan for SMU’s top-ranked Cox School of Business and its facilities, students, faculty and programs. As a result, we’ll prepare tomorrow’s business leaders for success in the global economy.”

[Photo: Courtesy SMU]

The Cox School’s gifts include the David B. Miller Endowed Professorship; the Don Jackson Center for Financial Studies, named after a former professor who inspired Mr. Miller as a student; the MBA-Military Scholarships; the David Miller Endowed Scholarship Fund; and contributions that helped create the EnCap Investments & LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center.

The couple also supports the David and Carolyn Miller Annual Scholarships and Diversity Scholarships.

Plus, they provided $17.5 million toward the Moody Coliseum expansion and construction of the Miller Event Center, with Moody being renamed in David Miller’s honor last year. They also funded the Miller Boulevard Ballroom and have been involved with the Cultural Institute at SMU-in-Taos, including a $2.5 million lead grant in 2014 that created the Carolyn and David Miller Campus Center at the SMU campus in Northern New Mexico.

Both of the Millers are alumni of SMU, along with other family members such as Mr. Miller’s mother, who attended the school in the 1940s.

“SMU has been tremendously important in my own life and that of my family,” he said. “This gift is an investment in its future. We’re excited to support Cox’s forward-focused vision for advancing business education and developing talented business leaders.”

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