Tribute Gifts

A tribute gift is a meaningful way to convey sympathy to the bereaved, memorialize a loved one, or commemorate a special occasion such as an anniversary or graduation. Making an honorary or memorial gift is a generous and thoughtful way to recognize a person’s life and accomplishments and to ensure a legacy that extends far into the future.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Tribute Giving

Yes. For more information on creating a new fund or endowment, please contact Morgan Richards with the Office of Gift Planning, at

It is important to contact Donor Relations or email prior to asking for memorial gifts from friends and family so we can ensure funds are directed into the correct account.

When requesting memorial gifts in an obituary, SMU recommends using the following language:

The family requests that memorial gifts be made in support of the [specified fund] at SMU. Checks made payable to “SMU” can be mailed to:

SMU Office of Development
c/o Gift Processing
PO Box 750402
Dallas TX 75275-0402

Or you may make a gift online at Please indicate that the gift is in memory of [name] by writing a memo on your check or marking the “in memory of” box when making a gift online.

The only pavers currently available are through SMU Libraries. Library furniture is still available as follows:

  1. A chair in the Centennial Reading Room ($500)
  2. A small table in the Centennial Reading Room ($2,500)
  3. A large table in the Centennial Reading Room ($5,000)

Contact the Office of Donor Relations at for more information.

Tree Tributes

The donor may select an area of campus, and the Office of Donor Relations will provide you with 1-2 choices of specifically located trees within that area.

A 7”x5” bronze plaque, mounted to a limestone block, will be installed under the tree. The donor will work with the Office of Donor Relations on an approved message.

Upon final installation of the plaque, a photo and mapped location will be sent to the donor by the Office of Donor Relations.

A new tree will be planted in its place or the plaque may be moved to a living tree in the very near vicinity with donor approval.

If deemed necessary, SMU will replace the tree with the best choice at the time per the landscaping master plan for the University.

Bench Tributes

The Office of Donor Relations will help the donor select an existing, available bench on campus.

The Office of Donor Relations will work with the donor to approve a personalized wording and layout, which is then etched into stone benches.

Upon completion of the etching, a photo and mapped location will be sent to the donor.

Benches are maintained with periodic power washes pursuant to the University’s plan for general maintenance and upkeep. If necessary, broken benches are replaced with duplicates.

No. The Office of Facilities, Planning and Management determines when benches are replaced and will advise the Office of Donor Relations, which will coordinate a new etching with identical words and layout.