The Moody School of Graduate and Advanced Studies will house the post-graduate degree programs of the Dedman College of Sciences and Humanities, the Simmons School of Education and Human Development, the Lyle School of Engineering, and the Meadows School of the Arts. The largest gift in SMU history also will fund construction of Moody Hall, the first building in a planned three-building quadrangle that will serve as the graduate school's headquarters, and provide endowments as well as operational funds for a deanship, the recruitment of faculty, graduate student financial support, and a tech innovation incubator.
According to SMU, the creation of the graduate school will support greater interdisciplinary collaboration and creative problem solving; attract students with strong academic backgrounds and potential; lead to an increase in research grant funding; boost the university's reputation for research excellence; and strengthen high-impact collaborations with other universities, including UT Southwestern Medical Center and major corporations.
"We've created outstanding graduate programs, but we haven't been able to coordinate and boost them for interdisciplinary research in areas that are new and emerging," SMU president R. Gerald Turner told the Dallas Morning News.
Slated to begin operations next fall with an initial focus on doctoral programs, the Moody School will take over administration of all post-graduate degree programs at the four schools over the next three years. While the Cox School of Business, Dedman College of Law, and Perkins School of Theology will continue to manage the highest degrees awarded in their respective fields, the Moody School will coordinate interdisciplinary research and professional development across all schools at the university.
"We all know that transformative discoveries come when people from different disciplines and broad perspectives are free to collaborate in unique ways," said Moody Foundation chair and executive director Francie Moody-Dahlberg. "I am eager to see what the combination of world-changing students and faculty coupled with exceptional resources will produce on this campus, in the region, and across Texas."
(Photo credit: Southern Methodist University)