Kenda North Photography Collection

September 13, 2017

Kenda North Photography Archive Donated to the DeGolyer Library, SMU


Kress Building Series No 30787

It is an honor to announce that Kenda North has donated her photographic archive to the DeGolyer Library to be included in the Archives of the Women of the Southwest. The spectacular lifework collection includes color photographs from the 1970s to the present.

The list of North’s achievements, exhibitions, and awards is long. She has been working and exhibiting her photography since receiving her MFA in 1976.

Kenda North has been specifically working in color in photography her entire career with innovative work with dye transfer materials in the late 70s and early 80s. Her career has been marked by consistent experimentation and techniques of available color processes. North has had over 50 one person exhibitions and participated in over 100 group exhibitions, both nationally and internationally. Her photographs are in over 50 public collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. From 1989 to the present, North has been on the faculty at the University of Texas, Arlington.

A retrospective exhibition of her work is on view at the Arlington Museum of Art from August 19-October 8, 2017.


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Joining the SMU Community

August 14, 2017

Preparing students to join college life has always been a concern to university administrators.

In 1915 (and for some years after), freshmen at SMU were called “Fish.” During that first spring semester, seniors pranked two unsuspecting classes with fake finals.  As early as 1919, incoming freshman had mandatory psychological tests. These tests (although updated) remained in place until the mid-1970s.

The first formal freshman orientation was in 1924 and it lasted one day.  It began with a devotional exercise, and President Charles Selecman spoke on the ideals and traditions of SMU.  By 1928 that freshman day had expanded into a five-day-long orientation.

Beanies were a part of freshman life from 1916 until 1963. The first-year student were required to wear beanies until the end of the fall semester or if SMU won the homecoming game—whichever came first.  Beanies had one’s name printed on the front of the hat—and were not the most “fashion-forward” items.  Anyone caught not wearing their beanie was tossed into the fountain.   In 1963, a beanie cost $1.28.


In a book called, “The Freshman Girl,” published in 1925, there was no talk about a formal orientation program, but deans and professors from different colleges and universities discussed how to acclimate new students on how to study, survive social life, budget, and take care of their health.  “There are few groups of human beings more interesting than a class of schoolgirls going out into the new world of college or of society. There are few hearts of men or women that do not yearn toward them, longing to help them….”

Fifty years ago, in 1967, the SMU’s orientation process included a Tuesday to Sunday program-filled schedule.

Freshman in 1967 moved in to their dorm rooms on Tuesday morning. After their first lunch in the cafeteria, they were welcomed in an assembly by Provost Neill McFarland.  Another meeting at 7 pm introduced the group to the Student President.  At 10 pm, men in their dorms, women in theirs, learned their “respective rights and privileges.” Wednesday and Thursday students pored over physical and psychological exams deeming them “fit to be a Mustang.” An all-university street dance was held Thursday night behind Boaz Hall. On Friday, students registered for their first semester of classes.  After learning the SMU cheers on Saturday, students attended a 10 pm until midnight dance. Women had a special curfew of 1 am that night.  On Sunday, students went to religious services.

Today, in the late summer SMU first-year students still take part in an orientation to college life.  Today that process takes place in two steps, AARO  (Academic Advising, Registration, & Orientation) and Mustang Corral.  At AARO, a two-day event, incoming students are advised on classes, and parents are counseled about student life.  During Mustang Corral, a five-day event, first year students are introduced to Dallas, each other, SMU policies, and traditions.

No matter how or when you became a Mustang, we are happy that you joined Southern Methodist University. To relive some of your glory days, you can always visit the SMU Archives in the DeGolyer Library in person or online.


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Happy 100th Birthday to Julia Scott Reed (1917-2014)

June 30, 2017

The Archives of Women of the Southwest remembers Julia Scott Reed this July 17th on what would have been her 100th birthday. We are honored that Ms. Reed’s family placed her papers here at DeGolyer Library for future generations of scholars.

Dallas native Julia Scott Reed was born July 17, 1917, daughter of Johnnie and Nina McGee. She graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in Dallas, Texas, attended Wiley College, and graduated from Phillip’s Business School.

Early in her career Ms. Reed worked for the African-American newspaper The Dallas Express, where she often took her own photographs to accompany her articles. She eventually served as the paper’s city editor. For eight years she reported “News and Views” as a radio personality on Dallas radio station KNOK. In 1967, Ms. Reed became the first African-American writer to join the Dallas Morning News staff, and she also became the first African-American woman to join the Dallas Press Club and Dallas Altrusa Club. Her column “The Open Line” featured articles on community issues, politics, religion, race relations, and other current events.

Ms. Reed received numerous accolades and awards such as the Dallas Business and Professional Women’s Club’s Extra Mile Award, the Maura Award, and Woman of the Year Award from both the Florence B. Brooks Club and the Zeta Phi Beta Sorority. She served on various boards, task forces, associations, and political campaigns including the NAACP, Social Welfare Association, various children’s and senior citizen advocacy groups, Precinct 335 chairperson, and Planned Parenthood to name a few. After she suffered a stroke in 1978, Ms. Reed was unable to continue her career as a newswoman and community advocate; however, her achievements and activism inspired generations of young women from her community including Dallas journalist Norma Adams-Wade.

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