A $1 million gift from Linda and William Custard of Dallas will establish and endow the position of Linda P. and William A. Custard Director of the Meadows Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts at SMU. An additional $1 million from The Meadows Foundation will add to the endowment of the position.
“We are deeply grateful to Linda and Bill Custard for their generosity in establishing this endowed position for the Meadows Museum and Meadows School,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Linda Custard has provided dedicated leadership on the SMU Board of Trustees and the Leadership Council of the Second Century Campaign. This endowed Centennial chair supports one of the campaign’s highest priorities. It brings the total of SMU’s endowed academic positions to 93 toward a goal of 100.”
The Centennial designation is a special gift category during SMU’s 100th anniversary commemoration, 2011-15. Centennial endowments include operational funding to support the immediate needs of a scholarship or academic position while the principal of the endowment matures.
Mark A. Roglán, who has served as director of the Meadows Museum since 2006, will be the first holder of the position of the Custard Director of the Museum and Centennial Chair in the Meadows School of the Arts. As the chair of the Meadows Museum Advisory Board since 2009, Linda Custard has worked closely with Roglán in development and expansion of Museum programs.
“Mark Roglán has enhanced the Meadows Museum’s international stature with important new programs, such as a partnership with the Prado Museum in Madrid,” said Linda Custard. “I have been privileged to assist him in implementing some of his exciting plans for the Museum. Bill and I are pleased that we can endow the Museum directorship and delighted that Mark will be the first person to hold the position.”
Linda Custard has served the University and its arts programs in numerous roles. A member of the SMU Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2012, she currently serves on the Campaign Steering Committee for Meadows School of the Arts and the Meadows School’s Executive Board, which she chaired from 2006 to 2010. She also serves as vice chair for special events of the Second Century Celebration of SMU’s 100th anniversary, extending from 2011-2015. She is a member of the Executive Board of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. She served as chair of the Jubilee Opening of SMU’s Greer Garson Theatre in 1992 and as chair of the International Festival of Opening Events for the new Meadows Museum at SMU in 2001.
“Linda Custard has a strong commitment to the arts in Dallas and at SMU,” said Linda Evans, president and CEO of The Meadows Foundation. “Her tireless efforts were a major factor in the success of the opening festival for the new Meadows Museum, which culminated in a visit from King Juan Carlos I and Queen Sofía of Spain.”
Linda Custard received an M.B.A. degree from SMU in 1999. She was honored with the Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award and SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
William Custard earned a B.B.A. degree in banking and finance from SMU in 1957. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Maguire Energy Institute in Cox School of Business and has served on the Executive Board of the Cox School. He was honored with the Cox School’s Distinguished Alumni Award.
Linda Custard is a general partner for Custard/Pitts Land and Cattle Company, a real estate and energy company based in Dallas. William Custard is president and CEO of Dallas Production Inc., a privately held oil and gas operating company. He is a member of the National Petroleum Council, advisor to the Secretary of Energy.
In addition to their new gift to SMU, the Custards, along with Linda’s father, the late L. Frank Pitts, have provided support for President’s Scholarships and the Custard Meadows Scholar Endowment Fund. In Cox School of Business, they have supported the L. Frank Pitts Oil and Gas Lecture Series, the L. Frank Pitts Oil and Gas Scholars and the L. Frank Pitts Energy Leadership Award.
Both of the Custards have provided leadership to Dallas civic and arts organizations. Linda Custard currently serves on the boards of the AT&T Performing Arts Center and the Susan G. Komen for the Cure. William Custard is a life trustee and board chair of the Dallas Theater Center and served as president of United Cerebral Palsy of Dallas and Texas. Both were recipients of the TACA/Neiman Marcus Silver Cup Award for contributions to the arts. Linda Custard also received the Hearts of Texas Lifetime Achievement Award from the Volunteer Center of North Texas.
“Linda and Bill Custard have generously provided a lifetime of volunteer experience and exemplary arts leadership to guide the growth and rapid evolution of the Meadows Museum over the critical last decade,” said José Bowen, dean of the Meadows School. “I am extremely grateful for their gift to permanently ensure SMU’s ability to recruit and retain arts management talent at an internationally competitive level and provide a new Centennial chair for our school.”
Meadows Museum and Meadows School of the Arts
The Meadows Museum, a division of Meadows School of the Arts, houses one of the largest and most comprehensive collections of Spanish art outside of Spain, with works dating from the 10th to the 21st century. It includes masterpieces by some of the world’s greatest painters and a group of sculptures by major 20th-century masters. Each year the Museum offers special exhibitions and educational programs for children and adults. The Museum attracts approximately 60,000 visitors annually, including 7,000 under the age of 18. The Meadows partnership with Madrid’s Prado Museum includes the loan of major paintings from the Prado and an internship exchange.
The original Meadows Museum, which opened in 1965 as part of SMU’s new arts center, was provided by Dallas philanthropist Algur H. Meadows and The Meadows Foundation. The Meadows Foundation provided funds for construction and endowment of the new Meadows Museum, which opened in 2001.
In addition to his gifts for the Museum, Algur Meadows endowed the SMU School of the Arts, which was formally established and named in his honor in 1969. The Meadows School of the Arts is one of the foremost arts education institutions in the United States. The Meadows School offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in advertising, art, art history, arts management and arts entrepreneurship, communication studies, dance, film and media arts, journalism, music and theatre. The goal of the Meadows School of the Arts, as a comprehensive educational institution, is to prepare students to meet the demands of professional careers. The Meadows School is a leader in developing innovative outreach and community engagement programs, challenging its students to make a difference locally and globally by developing connections between art, entrepreneurship and change.
The Meadows School of the Arts also is a convener for the arts in North Texas, serving as a catalyst for new collaborations and providing critical industry research. For more information, visit www.smu.edu/meadows.
Meadows Museum Director Mark A. Roglán
Mark A. Roglán, a native of Madrid, earned both master’s and doctoral degrees from the Universidad Autónoma de Madrid. A specialist in Spanish art, he worked at Madrid’s Prado Museum before coming to the Meadows Museum in 2001. He served as curator and interim director of the Meadows before becoming director in 2006. Under his leadership, the Meadows Museum has advanced exponentially. He is responsible for important acquisitions to the permanent collections and collaboration with museums worldwide in presenting outstanding exhibitions on the art of Spain and beyond, including Mexican, Chinese, American and French art. In 2010 King Juan Carlos I of Spain knighted Roglán for his contributions to the arts and culture. The Dallas Historical Society honored him with its Award for Excellence in Community Service-Arts Leadership in 2011. He will receive an M.B.A. degree from SMU’s Cox School of Business in May 2013.
Second Century Campaign
SMU’s Second Century Campaign coincides with celebration of the 100th anniversary of the University’s founding in 1911 and its opening in 1915. Including the new gift from the Custards, the campaign has raised $714 million toward a goal of $750 million to support student quality, faculty and academic excellence and the campus experience.