Southern Methodist University

Creating a branded student destination

The Challenge

Southern Methodist University (SMU) enlisted Miller Zell as its environments expert to ensure consistency of branding across all campus facilities. It also tested us with an initial urgent request and a seemingly crushing deadline: transform “The Varsity” lounge in its student center into a hangout and destination in just 60 days before students showed up for the fall semester.

The Solution

Miller Zell offers a full suite of environmental capabilities, so a rush job requiring precise production and project management was in our sweet spot. We worked backward to establish a detailed timetable, developing a plan for installation, manufacturing, and shipping. We then calculated the window for creating concepts and final designs.

The Result

The Varsity Lounge was conceived, manufactured, and completed on time and on-budget before students reported for the 2019 school year. It opened to rave reviews. Miller Zell continues its partnership with SMU, developing the entire 80,000-foot student center along with an ongoing multiyear, campus-wide environments branding initiative.