A Southern Methodist University alum and her husband have donated $20 million to endow the institution’s School of Education and Human Development.
The gift from Harold C. and Annette C. Simmons also will serve as the lead gift for a new building for the school, which is being renamed the Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development.
The school’s goal is to develop educators’ skills and conduct research into how students learn, as well as provide specialized programs such as literacy training, bilingual education and gifted-student education.
Its also offers a new Ph.D. in education that focuses on literacy, language and learning.
Half the gift will fund a new facility to be named the Annette Caldwell Simmons Building, while $5 million will fund fellowships for graduate students and $5 million will fund faculty support and an endowed deanship.
Annette Simmons graduated from SMU in 1957 with a degree in elementary education.
Her husband, who is chair and CEO of Contran Corporation, has served on the executive boards of the university’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business and Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.