In nearly every corner of Southern Methodist University, President R. Gerald Turner can point out signs of change.
From newly planted trees to the construction of five residential halls and a tennis complex, SMU is in the middle of a campus transformation. The 100-year-old university expects to complete about $375 million in building and renovation projects by the end of 2015 to support more students living on campus.
The projects are already changing the landscape on the eastern side of campus, where cranes and heavy equipment crawl over construction sites near Central Expressway — not far from where the George W. Bush Presidential Center has risen over the last 18 months.
SMU leaders hope the changes will be more than physical: They are symbolic of broader goals to boost university rankings, attract top students and faculty and become a greater academic and economic force in Dallas and the nation.