SMU has made a property trade with one of its sorority chapters to take effect Monday, April 1, 2013. The Iota Alpha chapter of Chi Omega at SMU will build its new house at 3034 Daniel Avenue, while the current Chi Omega house at 3014 Daniel Avenue will become the property of the Division of Student Affairs.
Chi Omega will begin construction on a new house this year, and its membership wanted to locate the facility closer to the hub of SMU’s sorority activity. In 2012, sorority members began discussions about the exchange with SMU vice presidents Brad Cheves, Development and External Affairs; Chris Regis, Business and Finance, and Lori White, Student Affairs. Cheves helped negotiate the swap.
Later this spring, the sorority will begin abatement and demolition of the SMU Faculty Club building currently located at 3034 Daniel, on the northeast corner of Daniel Avenue and Durham Street. The new Chi Omega house is scheduled to open at its new address in Fall 2014.
The University plans to relocate the Faculty Club to a new visitors’ center, currently in the planning stages. Plans for the facility at 3014 Daniel will be announced at a later date.
The move may have a minimal short-term impact on Faculty Club events such as the Distinguished Luncheons, which are frequently held in larger venues due to high levels of interest. In addition, Faculty Club members will continue to gather in the Faculty/Staff Dining Room in RFoC @ Lee.
In recent years, the Faculty Club has provided office space for Alumni Relations and Engagement and the Faculty Senate. Both offices have moved to the University’s East Campus on North Central Expressway – Alumni Relations to the 6200 Building and the Faculty Senate to the 12th floor of Expressway Tower at 6116 North Central.
The month of March has been devoted to removing and storing all Faculty Club property from the 3034 Daniel house, as well as reusable fixtures ranging from faucets to door handles, says Alison Tweedy, senior director of campus services. “Facility Services will take out anything that can be reused or repurposed,” she says.
The SMU Faculty Club, which is open to both faculty and staff members, was founded in 1921 as a social club for male faculty members. A women’s club was founded in 1928, and the two merged in 1963. Both clubs held their meetings in Atkins Hall (now Clements Hall) until the male club moved to the second floor of McFarlin Auditorium in the 1940s.
As Faculty Senate president in 1972-73, Ruth P. Morgan, who would later become University provost, made it a priority to establish a new home for the Faculty Club. Provost H. Neil McFarland provided the property at 3034 Daniel Avenue, then a sorority house, in 1973. The club was officially chartered in that location on August 6, 1973.