Calendar Highlights

Matthew Desmond’s Pulitzer Prize-winner Evicted will be SMU’s 2017 Common Reading

'Evicted' cover, Matthew DesmondIn 2017, most poor renting families are spending more than half of their income on housing. Eviction, once a rare, last-resort scenario, has become an ordinary occurrence, especially for single mothers.

Harvard sociologist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient Matthew Desmond went into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to learn the stories of families struggling to keep even meager shelter. The Pulitzer Prize-winning book that resulted – Evicted: Poverty and Profit In the American City – is SMU’s 2017 Common Reading.

Significantly, one of the families Desmond profiles includes a landlord and her husband, writes Peter K. Moore, SMU associate provost for curricular innovation and policy. “Discussing the great difficulties the poor face just to keep a roof over their heads, it would have been easy to demonize the landlords, but Desmond shows their struggles as well — providing real nuance and a window into the issue’s complexities.

“Ideally, this work will reveal to our students how much some people struggle to stay afloat financially — introducing them to the fact that those living near the poverty line typically spend up to 50 percent and in some cases 90 percent of their income on a decent and safe place to live,” Moore added.

> Follow Matthew Desmond on Twitter: @just_shelter

In a Washington Post review, Carlos Lozada wrote, “In this astonishing feat of ethnography, Desmond immerses himself in the lives of Milwaukee families caught in the cycle of chronic eviction. In spare and penetrating prose, [he] chronicles the economic and psychological toll of living in substandard housing, and the eviscerating impact of constantly moving between homes and shelters. With Evicted, Desmond has made it impossible to consider poverty without grappling with the role of housing.”

“Written with the vividness of a novel, [Evicted] offers a dark mirror of middle-class America’s obsession with real estate, laying bare the workings of the low end of the market, where evictions have become just another part of an often lucrative business model,” wrote Jennifer Schuessler in The New York Times.

The annual book discussion with faculty, staff members and new SMU students will take place on Sunday, Aug. 20, before Opening Convocation.

In addition, Desmond will visit the University Thursday, August 24, for a 6 p.m. lecture in McFarlin Auditorium, with a Q&A session and book-signing afterward.

> Learn more at the SMU Reads website: smu.edu/smureads

Ticket discounts (and free hats) for SMU Day at the Texas Rangers, Sunday, June 4, 2017

SMU-themed Rangers capJoin your fellow SMU community members as Women’s Basketball Coach Travis Mays throws out the first pitch on SMU Day at the Texas Rangers, Sunday, June 4, 2017. The Rangers take on the Houston Astros in Globe Life Park at 2:05 p.m., and Mustangs receive a special discount on tickets.

In addition, the first 1,000 SMU fans to show their special event ticket at the designated cap redemption area on game day will receive a limited edition SMU-themed Rangers hat.

Here’s how to take advantage of this special promotion:

  1. Purchase your ticket(s) through the “Buy Tickets” link at texasrangers.com/smu. Only tickets purchased through the “Buy Tickets” link will be eligible for the SMU-themed Rangers cap.
  2. Arrive at Globe Life Park early on Sunday, June 4. Gates open at 12:30 p.m., and the first 1,000 fans to line up at area inside the Southwest Airlines Third Base Gate will receive a SMU-themed Rangers hat.
  3. Enter through any entrance and head to the area inside the Southwest Airlines Third Base gate to get your cap.

To purchase 20 or more tickets, please contact Jeremy Christopher at the Texas Rangers, 817-273-5173.

By | 2017-06-01T15:33:38+00:00 June 1, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

SMU MayTerm students present The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee June 1-2, 2017

'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' logo

Celebrate the close of SMU MayTerm 2017 in style – with a student presentation of the hit 2005 musical The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The show goes up at 2:30 p.m. June 1-2 in the Margo Jones Theatre, Owen Arts Center. Admission is free and open to the public, and all seating is first come, first served.

The cast is made up of music and theatre students in Meadows School of the Arts who have taken the American Musical Theatre class with Professors Virginia Dupuy and Hank Hammett during MayTerm.

The Tony- and Drama Desk Award-winning musical they’ll present follows a group of awkward young spelling aces vying for the title championship, all while sharing sometimes funny, sometimes touching moments from their lives.

> Read more from the SMU Meadows website

By | 2017-06-01T14:19:09+00:00 June 1, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|

Save the date to celebrate: SMU’s 2017 President’s Picnic is Wednesday, May 24

President's Picnic 2017The SMU Staff Association (SMUSA) and President R. Gerald Turner invite all University staff members to the 2017 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Wednesday, May 24 on the Clements Hall South Lawn.

This year’s edition of the annual event features food, games, popcorn, and a photo booth.

All SMU staff members with 25 years or more of service are asked to stop by the Staff Association table.

> Visit the SMU Staff Association online: smu.edu/smusa

SMU Guildhall’s 2017 Spring Exhibition takes place Friday, May 19

SMU Guildhall hosts its annual showcase of video games developed by graduating students on Friday, May 19, 2017. The 2017 Spring Exhibition honors Cohort 25 – 36 master’s degree candidates who specialize in art creation, level design, production and programming – and will take place in Building 2 of the SMU-in-Plano campus at 5232 Tennyson Parkway.

Tanya WatsonThe Exhibition includes two Capstone games that are now shipped titles. The 3D platformer Dawn and VR puzzle game Mouse Playhouse both won approval through the Steam Greenlight process for free distribution through the popular Steam gaming platform.

The invitation-only Graduate Reception takes place 6-9 p.m. on Friday evening, following the exhibition. This year’s keynote speaker is Tanya Watson, co-founder of Squanchtendo. The speech and graduation ceremony can be seen live on the SMU Guildhall Twitch channel starting at 6:45 p.m.

These events are open to the public:

  • 2:30-4 p.m.: Exhibition of student games
  • 4-5 p.m.: Capstone Team games presentations
  • 5-5:30 p.m.: Honors Awards

> Learn more about the 2017 Spring Exhibition at the SMU Guildhall website

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