Houston Couple Gives $6 Million to Engineering, Football
March 19, 2009 — As an alumnus of Lamar University and a member of the LU College of Engineering advisory council, Dan F. Smith has helped guide the college into a new era of growth, administrators said.
His support for the college took on extra meaning Thursday, (March 19, 2009) when he and his wife, Sandra, announced a $6 million gift to the university. The gift, which comes during the university’s Investing in the Future comprehensive campaign and raises giving totals to more than $54 million, will support both the college and the university’s efforts to reestablish its football program, officials said.
Lamar’s engineering college will receive $5 million from the Houston couple, and in celebration of their generous philanthropy, the chemical engineering department will be named the Dan F. Smith Department of Chemical Engineering officials announced in the atrium of the Cherry Engineering Building before an appreciative crowd.
The couple also gave $1 million to the university to assist in reinstating its football program. The university recently announced that 25 student-athletes have signed a National Letter of Intent to play football at Lamar beginning in the fall of 2009. Lamar will begin playing a full exhibition schedule in 2010 and conference play in 2011.
In recognition of the gift, the press box at the stadium will be named the Dan F. and Sandra A. Smith Press Box. The renovated press box will include a presidential booth with seating for 25; a kitchenette; a media center with seating for 32; a TV broadcast booth; two radio broadcast booths; restrooms; two camera decks, two coaches booths; scoreboard booth, and public address booth.
“This is a special day for Lamar University and for the College of Engineering,” said James Simmons, president of Lamar. “For Dan and Sandy, today is a continuation of their support of Lamar University.”