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Southern Methodist U. to Get $20M from Dallas Couple


Philanthropists Harold and Annette Simmons plan to announce a $20 million gift to Southern Methodist University on Friday.

The money, one of the largest gifts in the university’s history, will go to support the education and human development school. The donation will help pay for a new building for the school, fellowships for graduate students, faculty recruitment efforts and an endowment to support the dean’s position.

“I’m just so glad that the gift will help other people enter this important field and that SMU can have one of the great education schools,” Annette Simmons, a former elementary school teacher, said in a story in Thursday’s online edition of The Dallas Morning News. “I’m very honored to have my name on it and be a part of it.”

The school, which was formed in 2005, will be renamed the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development in her honor.

SMU plans to use $10 million of the donation for a new building. It will use $5 million for the Fairess Simmons Graduate Fellowship Fund, in honor of Harold Simmons’ mother. The remainder will create the Leon Simmons Endowed Deanship and Faculty Recruitment Fund, in honor of his father.

Harold Simmons’ mother was a teacher and his father a superintendent in Golden.

Harold Simmons is known for his work in business and investments. His company, the Contran Corp., has interests in chemicals, metals and waste management.

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