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Investing in a culture of collaboration

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Investing in a culture of collaboration

Postby AfricanMustang » Thu Oct 08, 2020 8:55 pm

An $11.5 million gift from Aurelia and Brad Heppner ’88 and family to SMU’s Edwin L. Cox School of Business will strengthen the school’s commitment to fostering the leadership skills of tomorrow’s executives and investing in groundbreaking research that impacts the business world.

The Heppners have committed $10 million to establish the Heppner Family Commons, creating a new hub for collaboration between members of the Cox and SMU community, and a centerpiece of the future Cox School renovation and expansion project.

Additionally, $1.5 million to support Cox faculty research will be received from the Heppner Endowments for Research Organizations (HERO).

“With this gift, the Heppners will give SMU students the space to work together with each other and with our faculty, making critical connections and sparking inventive ideas,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “We also thank HERO for supporting the pioneering research of Cox faculty.”

The Heppner Family Commons will serve as the collaborative heart of the Fincher Building in the Cox School of Business. It will provide an elegant place for students and faculty from all disciplines, as well as community members, to generate and share vibrant ideas that power innovation. The expansive, light-filled Commons will be a distinctive calling card for the school.

Matching the traditional collegiate Georgian architectural design of other campus buildings, the open-concept Commons will attract outstanding students, faculty and corporate partners.

Furnished workstations and study rooms will strengthen the Cox School’s efforts to build a “9-to-9 culture” where students choose to stay on campus from morning to night – because they benefit significantly from the teamwork and problem-solving they do between classes. Students will find a second home in the vibrant gathering spaces where they will relax between classes, work on team projects and share coffee and ideas with their professors.

Originally from Kansas, Mr. Heppner was a founder and previous director of his hometown’s community foundation and currently serves on the board of the Cox School of Business. He earned a master’s of management degree from the Kellogg School at Northwestern University and a BBA, B.B.S. and B.A. from SMU, where he was a member of the Lambda Chi Alpha fraternity and student government.

Throughout her career, Mrs. Heppner has also dedicated herself to her family as a proud working mother.

Originally from France, Mrs. Heppner grew up on a sailboat, traveling the world with her French parents, then relocating to Texas to attend SMU on an academic scholarship. She holds a B.A. in business and marketing from the University of Texas at Dallas.

The Heppners have five children, one of whom attends SMU.

https://www.smu.edu/News/2020/Featured- ... laboration
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