It has been an extraordinary spring semester on the Hilltop.
At Commencement exercises May 12, SMU awarded more than 2,000 undergraduate and graduate degrees during a ceremony that included an address by former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice.
To begin SMU’s second century in the same way that it began its first, we are embarking upon a major new phase of campus construction, celebrated as part of SMU’s second annual Founders’ Day Weekend April 20-21.
Festivities included a groundbreaking ceremony for the new Residential Commons Complex. The complex includes five residence halls and a dining facility, and embodies a new model for the undergraduate residential experience at the University.
Spring also saw the release of The Power of Partnership: SMU Community and Economic Impact Report, highlighting the ongoing partnership between Dallas and the University and summarizing SMU’s many contributions to the region’s economic vitality and quality of life. The report generated significant media coverage, including a lead editorial in The Dallas Morning News.
The announcement in January that SMU was moving to the BIG EAST athletic conference was followed by an announcement in April that the University has named Hall of Fame coach Larry Brown as the head men’s basketball coach.
Support for The Second Century Campaign continues to make much of SMU’s remarkable progress possible. At the May 2012 meetings of the Board of Trustees and the Campaign Executive Committee, the campaign co-chairs announced that SMU has received more than $631 million in campaign commitments thus far to support scholarships, faculty and academic programs and the campus experience.
Looking ahead, this fall SMU will commemorate the 100th anniversary of the laying of the cornerstone of Dallas Hall. And next spring we will be celebrating the opening of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, expected to draw 450,000 visitors during its first year.
Thank you for your invaluable support, which has played such an important role in SMU’s progress. Your commitment remains crucial as we continue to lay a foundation for the University’s future.
R. Gerald Turner