The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

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SMU’s New Front Door

Blanton Building to be dedicated
 SMUs New Front Door
SMU’s New Front Door

SMU’s New Front Door

The beginning of the semester — long lines snake frombuilding to building as students try to address finances.

Morgan Olsen, vice president for Business and Finance, said thenew Laura Lee Blanton Services Building will change that.

“The Blanton Student Services Building is a wonderful giftfor the students of SMU,” Olsen said. “It will be sortof a ‘One-Stop Shop’ where the students can take careof their administrative issues without running all over thecampus.”

The building will have its official ribbon-cutting ceremony at11 a.m. on Friday. All of its occupants have moved in.

The new 63,000 square-foot building is located on the west sideof Airline Road near SMU Boulevard. It cost approximately $13million. The building houses a welcome center, theRegistrar’s Office, the Enrollment Services division,Information Technology services, student finances and theInternational Student Services Center.

“The Blanton Building will be the first contact studentsmake with SMU, setting the tone for personal attention in a qualityacademic environment,” said Richard Ware, a member of theBoard of Trustees.

The building is planned as the centerpiece of a new eastquadrangle that will be accessible from Central Expressway via SMUBoulevard. It will become the main visitors’ entrance.

“Construction progressed smoothly and according toschedule,” Olsen said.

The initial gift of $5 million was from Jack and the late LauraLee Blanton. Several other people contributed to the project. TheBlantons’ gift was their second major gift to SMU’s$400 million capital campaign.

“Laura Lee Blanton was unassuming, funny and caring”said Jeanne Whitman, vice president for Development and ExternalAffairs. “I think that it’s appropriate that thestudents will be thinking daily of someone who thought so much ofthem.”

Laura Lee Blanton was a 1950 alumna and longtime member ofSMU’s Board of Trustees. She was known for her love ofstudents, Ware said.

“This is the perfect place for Laura Lee’s legacybecause she always felt like she was still a student and broughtthat attitude to the trustees,” Ware said.

Blanton died in 1999. Blanton served as secretary of the boardfrom 1992 to 1996. She also served as chairwoman of theboard’s buildings and grounds committee and on the executiveboard for the Meadows School of the Arts. 

In 1989, she received the SMU Distinguished Alumni Award. Shewas also a member of the presidential search committee thatrecommended the selection of R. Gerald Turner as SMU’s 10thpresident in 1995.

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