A new pedestrian mall linking Moody Coliseum, Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports and Doak Walker Plaza is providing a passageway for students crossing campus and a new setting for two iconic SMU symbols – the Mustangs sculpture and Doak Walker statue.
SMU trustees, donors, faculty, staff and students, including the Mustang Band, cheerleaders and pom squad, gathered September 4 to celebrate the dedication of the Mustang Plaza and Mall.
“We are confident that this new mall situated between the mighty Mustangs and the legendary Doak Walker will soon become one of the most important outdoor areas on this beautiful campus,” said President R. Gerald Turner. “It will encourage all Mustangs to go to the great outdoors to rest their minds and exercise their bodies.”
Ultimately, the mall is slated to become a vital pedestrian link to the University’s planned expanded sophomore housing, to be located south of Dedman Center, Turner added.
The mall and plaza project was supported by generous contributions from the Dedman family, Robert Schlegel and Myrna Schlegel, John W. Carpenter, III, and Cele Slaughter Briscoe Carpenter ’78.
The Mustangs was created by sculptor Miley Frost.
The new space, stretching some 700 feet from Binkley Avenue to Doak Walker Plaza, comprises approximately 83,000 square feet of new pavestone. It contains a 30-foot-wide main walkway and a 108-foot-wide plaza around the Mustangs sculpture.
Thirty-six 10-foot-tall light poles, six light bollards and four flood lights provide illumination and atmosphere. Red oaks, crepe myrtles and magnolias, as well as azaleas and roses, were included among almost 31,000 new plantings as part of the project. Naming opportunities for donors wishing to provide additional support exist on more than 50 new benches.
The plaza and mall are important examples of SMU’s commitment to preserving open spaces on campus, including lawns, wooded areas and other walkways.
“I think this mall will become an important meeting space, and I think we will hear students, faculty and staff saying to each other, ‘Meet me at Mustang Mall,'” SMU Student Body President Patrick Kobler ’10 said during the dedication ceremony. “This mall will become a natural destination for students before a football or basketball game or during our homecoming activities. We may even hold a pep rally here.”