Dallas Hall Society


Southern Methodist University began as a dream of a handful of visionary individuals. They dreamed of a university on "the hilltop" which would stand for moral integrity and academic excellence.

That "handful" grew to encompass dedicated citizens of the young Dallas community and leaders of the Methodist Church. The group acted upon this dream. Their foresight resulted in the contribution of land on which to build a great university and the funds with which to construct its first building.

Dr. Robert S. Hyer, the first president of SMU, envisioned a building "…of such architectural beauty as to be worthy of the crowning feature of the campus" of a major university. When completed in 1915, Dallas Hall housed the entire university as well as a bank and barbershop.

Named "Dallas Hall" to honor those citizens of Dallas, Texas who steadfastly led the effort to locate Southern Methodist University in Dallas, this domed red-brick building continues not only as the architectural focus of SMU’s collegiate Georgian campus but also the heart of its liberal arts educational core.

With its graceful lines and quiet strength, Dallas Hall still commands the central focus of campus and represents the legacy of those early visionaries. Thousands of students have been shaped by their ideals of academic excellence and high moral standards, graduating to become leaders of their businesses, communities and families.

The Dallas Hall Society was established in 1995 to recognize the generosity and foresight of those who join the university’s founders in securing the future of SMU. These individuals have embraced the vision for that future by establishing a deferred gift that will benefit SMU and its students and faculty in the future. The hallmark of this special group is the commitment of each of these supporters to a strong, financially sound university as it enters its second century of providing an exceptional educational opportunity to its students.

Membership in Dallas Hall Society is extended to an individual who:
1. includes SMU as beneficiary of his or her will;
2. names the university as the beneficiary of a life income gift such as a charitable gift annuity, a charitable remainder trust or a charitable lead trust;
3. names the university as the beneficiary of a life insurance policy or retirement plan;
4. makes a gift of a personal residence or farm to SMU, with a life estate retained for his or her use

Please join this group of dedicated individuals who have provided future gifts for SMU. For more information, contact the SMU's Office of Gift Planning at 214-768-1911.

eBrochure Request Form

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A charitable bequest is one or two sentences in your will or living trust that leave to Southern Methodist University a specific item, an amount of money, a gift contingent upon certain events or a percentage of your estate.

an individual or organization designated to receive benefits or funds under a will or other contract, such as an insurance policy, trust or retirement plan

"I give to Southern Methodist University, a nonprofit corporation currently located at Dallas, TX, or its successor thereto, ______________* [written amount or percentage of the estate or description of property] for its unrestricted use and purpose."

able to be changed or cancelled

A revocable living trust is set up during your lifetime and can be revoked at any time before death. They allow assets held in the trust to pass directly to beneficiaries without probate court proceedings and can also reduce federal estate taxes.

cannot be changed or cancelled

tax on gifts generally paid by the person making the gift rather than the recipient

the original value of an asset, such as stock, before its appreciation or depreciation

the growth in value of an asset like stock or real estate since the original purchase

the price a willing buyer and willing seller can agree on

The person receiving the gift annuity payments.

the part of an estate left after debts, taxes and specific bequests have been paid

a written and properly witnessed legal change to a will

the person named in a will to manage the estate, collect the property, pay any debt, and distribute property according to the will

A donor advised fund is an account that you set up but which is managed by a nonprofit organization. You contribute to the account, which grows tax-free. You can recommend how much (and how often) you want to distribute money from that fund to SMU or other charities. You cannot direct the gifts.

An endowed gift can create a new endowment or add to an existing endowment. The principal of the endowment is invested and a portion of the principal’s earnings are used each year to support our mission.

Tax on the growth in value of an asset—such as real estate or stock—since its original purchase.

Securities, real estate or any other property having a fair market value greater than its original purchase price.

Real estate can be a personal residence, vacation home, timeshare property, farm, commercial property or undeveloped land.

A charitable remainder trust provides you or other named individuals income each year for life or a period not exceeding 20 years from assets you give to the trust you create.

You give assets to a trust that pays our organization set payments for a number of years, which you choose. The longer the length of time, the better the potential tax savings to you. When the term is up, the remaining trust assets go to you, your family or other beneficiaries you select. This is an excellent way to transfer property to family members at a minimal cost.

You fund this type of trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. You can also make additional gifts; each one also qualifies for a tax deduction. The trust pays you, each year, a variable amount based on a fixed percentage of the fair market value of the trust assets. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SMU as a lump sum.

You fund this trust with cash or appreciated assets—and may qualify for a federal income tax charitable deduction when you itemize. Each year the trust pays you or another named individual the same dollar amount you choose at the start. When the trust terminates, the remaining principal goes to SMU as a lump sum.

A beneficiary designation clearly identifies how specific assets will be distributed after your death.

A charitable gift annuity involves a simple contract between you and SMU where you agree to make a gift to SMU and we, in return, agree to pay you (and someone else, if you choose) a fixed amount each year for the rest of your life.

Personal Estate Planning Kit Request Form

Please provide the following information to view the materials for planning your estate.