Calendar Highlights

SMU celebrates its 2017 December Commencement Convocation Saturday, Dec. 16

December Commencement 2013, blue mortarboards

The SMU community will celebrate 2017 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 16. Kenneth A. Hersh, president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, will give the address.

The ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student, faculty and platform party procession. Guests can enter Moody Coliseum starting at 8:30 a.m. Student line-up begins at 8:30 a.m. in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.; doors close at 9:40 a.m. In order to attend the ceremony, faculty must RSVP (online form here). The faculty should assemble in academic dress no later than 9:40 a.m. in the Champions Club.

On Friday, Dec. 15, undergraduate candidates will participate in Rotunda Recessional. Candidates should wear SMU regalia and begin lining up at 5:15 p.m. at the flagpole on the Main Quad. Hot cider will be served.

> Watch the December Commencement Convocation livestream at smu.edu/live

The December Commencement Convocation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. No honor ribbons or other decorations or adornments may be worn to this ceremony, including messages or images on mortarboards.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Limited concession service will be available in Moody Coliseum beginning at 8:30 a.m. No outside food or drink is allowed in Moody.

Commencement participants and guests should not bring the following prohibited items to the Coliseum, including but not limited to animals (except licensed service animals), backpacks, banners, binocular cases, briefcases, camera bags, cans, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, firearms, flags, glass items, guns, inflated balloons, knives of any size and type, laser pointers, luggage, noisemakers, purses larger than a small clutch, radios, seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments, selfie sticks, signs, stun guns, throwing objects, umbrellas (unless threat of rain or raining), and weapons.

All bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and may not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches. Bags may be one-gallon clear plastic resealable storage bags. Small clutch purses with or without straps, no larger than 8.5 x 5.5 inches, are permitted. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag. Items that are medically necessary are evaluated individually.

> More information for students and guests at SMU’s December Commencement homepage

SMU Bookstore offers double discounts for faculty and staff during its grand re-opening Nov. 30-Dec. 3, 2017

SMU Bookstore Grand Re-openingThe SMU Bookstore celebrates its grand re-opening Thursday, Nov. 30, 2017 with food, music, demonstrations, and extra discounts for University faculty and staff members.

Present your SMU faculty or staff ID for an extra 10 percent off – 20 percent total – on SMU gear, plus 50 percent off clearance items.

The event takes place 4-7 p.m. on Thursday, but the discounts will last until Sunday, Dec. 3, 2017.

Some exclusions apply, including textbooks and tablets. The extra discount is also not applicable to other discounts and promotions. No discounts are available on gift cards.

For more information, call the SMU Bookstore at 214-768-2435.

SMU Guildhall students play games for good during 2017 Extra Life Game-a-Thon Dec. 2-3

Extra Life logo 2017This weekend, you can join SMU Guildhall for 24 hours of esports excitement and gaming for good – all from the comfort of your living room.

The Guildhall’s Extra Life Game-a-Thon returns Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 2-3, 2017, to raise funds for Children’s Miracle Network. The student-led event features online battles in both popular titles and new student-designed games, and the event will be streamed from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. both days on the SMU Guildhall Twitch channel.

Watch Extra Life 2017 live at Twitch.TV/SMUGuildhall

Guildhall graduate students have raised more than $12,000 for Children’s Medical Center Plano during their two years of Extra Life competition. The team has set a 2017 goal of $7,500, with The Hersh Foundation pledging to match dollar-for-dollar all funds raised up to $10,000. The Dallas-based foundation was created in 1997 by Kenneth A. Hersh, president and CEO of the George W. Bush Presidential Center, and his wife, Julie, who serves as its president.

> Visit Team SMU Guildhall’s Extra Life direct-donation link

The students will return with some of the most popular competition titles, including Mario Party, Rocket League Tournament and Overwatch. New this year: Mowin’ and Throwin’, a full-length game designed by Guildhall alumni that began as a 24-hour design challenge during last year’s game-a-thon.

> Sign up for a Mowin’ and Throwin’ play test at House Pixel Games

A partial list of this year’s tournament titles:

The event will include an appearance by local esports team Dallas Fuel, competitors in the new Overwatch League. They will discuss the life of a professional esports gamer beginning at 5:15 p.m. on Sunday. In addition, SMU Guildhall will give away two copies of Star Wars Battlefront II provided by alumni donors; more giveaways and fun activities will take place throughout the weekend and will be announced during the streams of each game.

Since its inception in 2008, Extra Life has raised more than $30 million for sick children through thousands of gamers from around the world, raising funds from friends and community to help heal sick and injured kids. One hundred percent of donations, which are tax-deductible, go to local Children’s Miracle Network hospitals.

> Read the press release from the SMU Guildhall website

> Learn more at the SMU Guildhall Extra Life team page

Celebration of Lights opens SMU’s holiday season Monday, Nov. 27, 2017

SMU Celebration of Lights 2016

As Thanksgiving Break ended, SMU ushered in the holiday season with one of its most beloved annual traditions: the Celebration of Lights. Sponsored by the SMU Student Foundation, the 2017 ceremony took place Monday, Nov. 27, at 7 p.m. on the Main Quad.

The ceremony features thousands of decorative lights, luminarias lining the sidewalks, seasonal songs performed by student musicians, and SMU President R. Gerald Turner reading the Christmas Story. The public was invited to attend and to share cookies and hot chocolate with the campus community before the ceremony began.

The festivities continue with other beloved traditions:

  • Advent Worship ServiceSMU’s Perkins School of Theology celebrates its Advent Worship Service on Thursday, Dec. 7, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Perkins Chapel. Both services, under the theme “Ero cras…I shall come tomorrow,” will feature the Seminary Singers, directed by Simon Hill ’17 and accompanied by Hannah Cruse. The 8 p.m. service will include a special performance by the Orpheus Chamber Singers, led by founder and Artistic Director Donald Krehbiel ’83. Readers for the service will be Perkins faculty and staff members including Charles L. Aaron, associate director, Intern Program; Carlos F. Cardoza Orlandi, director, Doctor of Ministry Program; Laura Figura, coordinator of student life; Craig C. Hill, dean; Tamara E. Lewis, assistant professor of the history of Christianity; Evelyn Parker, associate dean for academic affairs and Susanna Wesley Centennial Professor of Practical Theology; Margot Perez-Greene, associate dean for enrollment management; and Mark W. Stamm, professor of Christian worship.
  • All-University Holiday Celebration: President and Mrs. Turner invite all SMU faculty and staff members to their annual holiday reception Wednesday, Dec. 13, from 3:30-5 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.
  • December Commencement Convocation: SMU celebrates its 2017 December Commencement Convocation Saturday, Dec. 16, at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum. Retired and current faculty members will assemble for procession in academic dress no later than 9:40 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club. The ceremony will be livestreamed at smu.edu/live beginning at 9:45 a.m.

Three Roads to Magdalena author David Wallace Adams receives Weber-Clements Book Prize Nov. 15, 2017

Three Roads to Magdalena coverAcclaimed as a unique and enduring window into borderlands history, David Wallace Adams’ 2016 book, Three Roads to Magdalena: Coming of Age in a Southwest Borderland, 1890-1990, received this year’s Weber-Clements Prize for Best Non-Fiction Book on Southwestern America on Wednesday, Nov. 15, 2017. The public event was hosted by the William P. Clements Center for Southwest Studies.

Three Roads to Magdalena is a unique blend of oral, social and childhood history about a region of New Mexico that Adams fell in love with while serving as curriculum director at a Navajo Reservation school in Alamo, New Mexico. Thirty miles to the northwest was Magdalena, a once-booming frontier town where Navajo, Anglo and Hispanic people have lived in shifting, sometimes separate, sometimes overlapping worlds for well over a century.

Adams’ time as a Clements Center Fellow from 2005-06 afforded him the opportunity to hone several thousand pages of multi-faceted, highly personal research he had collected into what would become this 454-page book, published by University Press of Kansas.

David Wallace Adams, kroberts@abqjournal.com

David Wallace Adams

Now professor emeritus of history and education at Cleveland State University in Ohio, Adams teaches courses about the American West and Native American history. He also is the author of the acclaimed 1995 book, Education for Extinction: American Indians and the Boarding School Experience, 1875-1928.

The Weber-Clements Award, overseen by the Western History Association (WHA), honors fine writing and original research on the American Southwest. The competition is open to any nonfiction book on Southwestern life published in the year prior to its selection. The winning author receives $2,500.

Three Roads to Magdalena “draws upon a precious trove of interviews to explain what it was like growing up in this multicultural borderland during the late 19th and 20th centuries,” WHA judges noted. “From the hazy, tactile memories of early childhood through the hot and precise recollections of adolescent adventures, people across the region shared moving and intimate stories of the kind historians are seldom privileged enough to hear. Balancing critical distance with insight, humor and compassion, Adams has woven these recollections together into a book that is wise, challenging, absorbing, ingeniously researched and beautifully written.”

SMU history professor Neil Foley recently made the book required reading in his graduate-level class, “Citizenship and Transnational Identity.” When Foley learned that two of his assigned books had been considered for the Weber-Clements Prize, “I decided to ask the students, ‘If you were on the prize committee, which one of these two finalists do you think should win?’ After a straw poll, the students unanimously agreed Three Roads to Magdalena should take the prize. And to everyone’s delight, Foley informed the class that Adams’ book did win.

“That just goes to show you don’t have to be a professional historian to write good history [Adams has a doctorate in education] – and you don’t need to be a professional historian to know when you’re reading good history,” Foley says.

— Written by Denise Gee

Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017 runs Nov. 8-12 in Bob Hope Theatre

Bolero by Christopher Dolder, photo by Paul Phillips

Scene from Bolero by Christopher Dolder, SMU Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017. Photo credit: Paul Phillips

Three contemporary works, including newly created pieces by Complexions Ballet co-founders Dwight Rhoden and Desmond Richardson and by Associate Professor Christopher Dolder, are highlights of the Meadows School of the Arts’ Fall Dance Concert. The show runs Nov. 8-12, 2017 in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center.

The program will open with Dolder’s new version of Bolero, set to a London Symphony recording of Ravel’s famous work. An interactive set featuring a circular stage space, curving ramps and central spire provide the physical backdrop for dancers representing an array of societal archetypes perennially caught in the cycles of life and culture. Dolder, a former soloist with the Martha Graham Dance Company, has previously expressed a fascination for architectural design in productions of His Handle (2014), Metropolis (2015) and a collaboration with Canadian wood sculptor Erik More in The Orca Project (2016).

Ascension is a new piece created by Visiting Artists-in-Residence Richardson and Rhoden, featuring a blend of ballet and contemporary dance expressed in sculptural choreography. Complexions Ballet has received numerous honors, including The New York Times Critics’ Choice Award, and has performed at Lincoln Center and The Joyce Theater in New York, the Bolshoi Theatre in Moscow, and most recently at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C., as part of “Ballet Across America.”  Celebrated for his choreography and wide-ranging collaborations with well-known dance artists, Rhoden has created over 80 ballets for Complexions and for numerous other major companies. Richardson is a Tony-nominated actor and the first black American principal dancer of American Ballet Theatre.

Drop Me Off in Harlem by Moncell Durden Fall Dance 2017 photo by Paul Phillips

Scene from Drop Me Off in Harlem by Moncell Durden, SMU Meadows Fall Dance Concert 2017. Photo credit: Paul Phillips

Concluding the program is Moncell Durden’s Drop Me Off in Harlem, a tribute to the music and dance of the 1930s. Premiered earlier this year, it uses vernacular jazz movement to recount the adventures of three ladies from Pennsylvania who travel to New York City to dance at the famous Savoy Ballroom and watch the battle of the bands between Benny Goodman and Chick Webb. The audience follows Norma, Mabel and Dawn as they navigate the spirited streets, subways and ballrooms of New York and Harlem nightlife. Durden is a choreographer, historian, dance educator and current faculty member at the University of Southern California, where he teaches jazz, hip-hop and improvisation.

Fall Dance Concert performance times are 8 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Tickets are $14 for adults, $11 for seniors and $8 for students, SMU faculty and staff.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit the Meadows website or call 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS).

— Written by Victoria Winkelman

> Buy Meadows Fall Dance Concert tickets online at Vendini

Enjoy this gallery of photos by Paul Phillips from Fall Dance Concert rehearsal. camera, slide show icon

SMU Dance Marathon benefiting Children’s Health Dallas returns Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017

SMU Dance Marathon logo

SMU students are throwing a dance party to benefit sick children, and the entire community is invited to join in.

The second annual SMU Dance Marathon is scheduled for 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2, 2017 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms. And as a follow-up to its wildly successful debut, the student-led organization wants to bring in more faculty and staff attendees and participants, says senior Kimberly Rose, Dance Marathon president.

The organization raises money year-round for Children’s Health Dallas, a Children’s Miracle Network nonprofit hospital. The biggest part of those funds come from the marathon itself, which Rose describes as both a grand finale for the fundraising year and “a celebration of the children we work so hard to benefit.”

In 2016, the Dance Marathon raised more than $32,000, about $10,000 of it during the event itself. “It was a great start to what we hope is a longstanding tradition here at SMU,” says Rose, a journalism major minoring in advertising, fashion media and European studies. “You don’t have to be good at dancing in the slightest. It’s all about having fun, and opening up your heart to a cause we can all connect with – helping sick children.”

And dancing isn’t the only thing on the entertainment menu, she adds. “We have live performances, hospital stories, fund-raising, a rave hour, T-shirt sales, and so much more.”

Marathon organizers encourage students to stay for the entire event, “to honor the struggles of children who fight illness all day, every day,” Rose says. Faculty and staff members are welcome to register as participants – but all are welcome even if you don’t dance.

“We encourage anyone – faculty, staff or student – to come by, even for a few minutes, and enjoy any part of the event,” Rose says. “We want to be really welcoming to SMU, so that SMU will continue to welcome us.”

> Register for the 2017 SMU Dance Marathon, or donate online

SMU to dedicate Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2017

Robson and Lindley Aquatics Center, SMUSMU will dedicate the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center, the new home of SMU’s international championship swimming and diving programs, at 3 p.m. Friday, Nov. 3, 2017. The 42,000 square foot center, located on the East Campus at 5550 SMU Boulevard, makes a big splash in Division I swimming and diving with facilities, coaching and training technology designed to prepare men’s and women’s swimmers and divers for the highest level of competition.

“For more than 70 years, SMU swimming and diving has produced Olympians, All Americans and NCAA champions,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “The completion of the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center affirms SMU’s commitment to providing first-rate facilities to support our student-athletes.”

The Aquatics Center natatorium, named for legendary Mustang swim coaches A.R. “Red” Barr and George “Mac” McMillion ’55, features an indoor Olympic-sized pool configured for eight 50-meter competition lanes or twenty-two 25-yard lanes. Its diving area boasts a 10-meter diving tower with four springboards. Just like cupolas on campus and the Mustang on Expressway Tower, the diving tower will be lit in red when Mustang swimming is victorious.

The natatorium also features seating for 800 spectators on the mezzanine level. Three large high-definition video boards across from the seating area display swimming times, live video or graphics and swimming and diving scores.

As a practice facility, the center features the SwimPro video system, with underwater and above-water cameras to analyze swimmers’ performances. Video can be viewed on the pool deck or downloaded for review by coaches and student-athletes. The diving well also features cameras to capture 1-meter, 3-meter and platform diving.

“The video can be shown on mounted TVs on the deck so the coaches can review technique with the swimmers while practice is going on,” said Steve Collins, head coach of Mustang women’s swimming. “Video can also be viewed in the conference room for more detailed study with the swimmers or divers. The U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs is setting up a similar system.”

The pool deck also includes men’s and women’s varsity and visitor locker rooms, a student lounge and classroom, and coaches’ and administrative offices. Public locker rooms are also available for community events, such as competitions and swim lessons.

“Recruits will see SMU’s commitment to swimming and diving the minute they walk in the door of the Robson & Lindley Aquatics Center,” said Eddie Sinnott ’76, head coach of Mustang men’s swimming. “Combined with SMU’s outstanding academic reputation and the great city of Dallas, SMU swimming and diving will offer a great opportunity to student-athletes for many years to come.”

“I will always be grateful to have had the opportunity to be involved with SMU swimming while attending SMU,” said donor Bruce Robson. “My family and I are honored to be part of helping honor the legacy of Coach Barr and Coach Mac and the swimmers and divers who built this incredible program. This new aquatics center will do its part in helping the current and future coaches at SMU to attract the top swimming and diving talent to SMU for years to come.”

— Written by Nancy George

> Read the full story from SMU News

Reunions, celebrations and a Mustang Band centennial at SMU’s “Homecoming of Heroes,” Nov. 2-5, 2017

The entire SMU community is invited home to the Hilltop for a “Homecoming of Heroes.” Homecoming 2017 takes place Nov. 2-5, and this year it includes a special centennial celebration for the Mustang Band, founded in 1917.

> SMU News: Mustang Band celebrating 100 years of spirit

Hosted and organized by the SMU Student Foundation, the festivities include the 2017 Distinguished Alumni Awards, the traiditional Homecoming Parade, and reunions for the classes of 1972, ’77, ’82, ’87, ’92, ’97, ’02, ’07 and ’12, as well as Mustang Mini-Reunions for student groups.

The SMU Staff Association invites all staff members to march with them in the Homecoming Parade at noon Saturday, Nov. 4. To participate, register with SMUSA and arrive by 2:45 p.m. at Mustang Plaza and Mall near Moody Coliseum. Family members are welcome, and the first 50 staff members to sign up will receive free T-shirts.

> Register to walk with the Staff Association during the SMU Homecoming Parade

SMU Homecoming of Heroes 2017This year’s parade celebrates SMU veterans from every generation and features the U.S. Military Veterans of SMU as grand marshals. NBC 5 anchor Katy Blakey ’06 will serve as parade announcer.

> Find a guide to Homecoming events at the Student Foundation homepage

Traditional activities also include the Mustang Band’s Pigskin Revue and tailgating on The Boulevard and Mustang Alley, followed by the Mustang football game against the nationally ranked UCF Knights at 6:15 p.m. in Ford Stadium.

> More info on the SMU-UCF Homecoming game at Gameday Central: smumustangs.com/gameday

SMU celebrates Veterans Day with luncheon, Toys for Tots collection Friday, Nov. 10, 2017

Arc of Service banner, Maguire Center Veterans Day Luncheon 2017, 800px

SMU will celebrate its veterans from across the generations at a luncheon in their honor on Friday, Nov. 10, 2017. The SMU Veterans Day Celebration, “Arc of Service,” will take place noon-1:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

President R. Gerald Turner and U.S. Military Veterans of SMU will provide remarks recognizing the contributions and achievements of University service members. SMU Trustee Emeritus Milledge A. (Mitch) Hart III will deliver the keynote.

SMU Veterans pinThe luncheon will also feature live entertainment from the Meadows School of the Arts Brass Quintet, as well as the annual presentation of SMU Veterans lapel pins (pictured right).

In addition, the event will serve as a collection point for the U.S. Marine Corps Reserve’s annual Toys for Tots drive. All members of the SMU community can drop off new, unwrapped toys and other holiday gifts for underprivileged children and teens. (Toys for Tots prefers not to accept realistic-looking toy weapons or gifts that include food items, according to the organization’s FAQ.)

Organizers are compiling a service slideshow featuring photos of SMU veterans. If you have photographs taken during your service period and would like for them to be included in the presentation, please send the photos and your service dates to the Maguire Center.

The event is presented by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. Thanks to a generous gift, Veterans Day luncheon tickets are complimentary for all SMU faculty, staff and students.

The Center also invites families, friends and loved ones of campus veterans to attend. Please RSVP by Monday, Nov. 6, 2017.

Attendance is free – but seating is limited, and registration is required. Sign up at the link below, or contact the Maguire Center, 214-768-4255.

> Register at Eventbrite to attend SMU’s 2017 Veterans Day luncheon

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