Beneficient Group founder and wife donate $11.5 million to build SMU business school commons

Dallas businessman and financier Brad Heppner was welcomed to the Southern Methodist University business school campus as an undergraduate student pursuing a triple major in the 1980s, thanks in part to a scholarship.



a man standing in front of a window: Brad Heppner, CEO of Beneficient Group in Dallas.


© Carly Geraci/Staff Photographer/The Dallas Morning News/TNS
Brad Heppner, CEO of Beneficient Group in Dallas.

“We had a dedication out front with all the students. You had Cary Maguire, Ed Cox, and Trammell Crow — all out there dedicating the opening of those buildings,” Heppner said.

Now, with an $11.5 million gift from Heppner and his wife Aurelia, his family’s name will adorn a brand new commons area the university is planning as part of a $10 million renovation of existing Cox School of Business facilities.

In addition to the commons, their donation includes $1.5 million to support research faculty salaries and scholarships through the Heppner Endowments for Research Organizations.

“We hope for those to grow

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