Aug. 18, 2011
DALLAS (SMU) - SMU Athletics today announced nearly $3 million in Ford Stadium improvements, including upgrades to the football locker room and team meeting rooms as well as a new playing surface.
"We are committed to competing at the highest level," said SMU Director of Athletics Steve Orsini. "Part of that commitment includes having top-notch facilities. With its academics, media market, alumni loyalty, and overall commitment to athletics, we know SMU is a great place for our student-athletes, as well as prospective student-athletes, and improvements like this only reinforce that."
The renovations include a new team meeting room with stadium-style seating as well as renovated positional meeting rooms. Changes to the locker room included the creation of a new team lounge, as well as new lockers, updated graphic and audio/visual equipment.
Walter Umphrey, a former SMU student and Beaumont attorney, donated $1 million to the efforts in honor of his former Mustang teammate Garry Weber. SMU alumnus and Austin businessman John Gorman and an anonymous Houston-based donor each gifted $500,000 for the project, and the remaining balance of the $2.7 million was from various donors.
SMU Athletics has set annual fundraising records for three straight years and has seen an astonishing 82% spike in annual giving since Steve Orsini's arrival as Director of Athletics in 2006, despite a challenging economic environment. For fiscal year 2011, which ended May 31, SMU Athletics added $6.6 million in annual gifts, breaking the $6 million mark for the first time. It was only a year ago that Athletics surpassed the $5 million mark for the first time. Including capital and other gifts, over $10.5 million was given to SMU Athletics in 2011.
To donate to SMU Athletics, contact Tim Leonard, Sr. Assoc. A.D./External Affairs, at 214-768-4465.