Calendar Highlights

Joaquín Achúcarro to present rare solo concert Friday, Sept. 1, 2017, in SMU’s Caruth Auditorium

Joaquin Achucarro 300pxThe Distinguished Performer Concert Series opens its 2017-18 season with a rare solo recital by world-renowned concert pianist, recording artist and Joel Estes Tate Professor Joaquín Achúcarro. The concert is dedicated to the memory of Jeanne Roach Johnson ’54, longtime friend of Meadows School of the Arts.

The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 1, 2017 in Caruth Auditorium, Owen Arts Center. Admission is $14 for adults, $11 for seniors, and $8 for SMU students, faculty and staff. Tickets are available from the Meadows Ticket Office, 214-768-2787 (214-SMU-ARTS), or online: bit.ly/AchucarroConcert.

The all-Chopin concert will feature six works by the 19th-century Romantic composer, including his Prelude, Op. 45 in C-sharp minor; Fantasia Impromptu; Nocturne, Op. Posth. in C-sharp minor; Barcarolle, Op. 60; Polonaise, Op. 53 in A-flat major; and, after an intermission, 24 Preludes, Op. 28. Following the concert, Achúcarro will fly to London to record these Chopin works for a new CD.

> In Memoriam: Dallas civic leader, SMU benefactor Jeanne Roach Johnson

The late Jeanne Roach Johnson (1932-2017) – Dallas civic leader, investor and philanthropist – was a longtime supporter of SMU and of the Meadows School. A lifelong music lover, she gave several major gifts to establish endowment funds and initiatives for Meadows piano programs.

“Whether they know it or not, Jeanne Johnson’s legacy of philanthropy at the Meadows School has touched virtually every single music student for the last 20 years,” said Meadows Dean Samuel Holland. “The impact of her giving included a complete renovation of the music practice room complex, new and refurbished Steinway pianos, and scholarships for deserving students – not to mention a major gift to the National Center for Arts Research.

“Over many years, in part because of her love for the piano, Jeanne and our distinguished artist-in-residence, Joaquín Achúcarro, developed a warm and wonderful relationship. Jeanne was seen at virtually every piano event at the Meadows School and eagerly followed the careers of Joaquín’s students and alumni. I can’t imagine a more fitting tribute for this great lady than for Achúcarro to dedicate this recital – of repertoire Jeanne particularly loved – to her memory and her legacy.”

In October 2015, the French magazine Diapason selected Achúcarro’s BMG-RCA recording of Bernard Herrmann’s Concerto Macabre for Piano and Orchestra with London’s National Philharmonic Orchestra as one of “The Best 100 Piano Recordings of All Time,” along with such legends as Rachmaninoff, Horowitz and Rubinstein. He has even had a planet named after him: The International Astronomical Union christened the miniplanet 22191 “Achúcarro” in his honor.

Since winning the 1959 Liverpool International Competition, Achúcarro has toured 61 countries and played in venues such as Carnegie Hall, the Kennedy Center, Berlin Philharmonie, Royal Albert Hall and Sydney Opera House. He has performed with more than 200 major orchestras, from the New York, Los Angeles and London Philharmonics to La Scala of Milan and the Tokyo Symphony. He has also played with more than 350 conductors, including Claudio Abbado, Zubin Mehta, Sir Yehudi Menuhin, Seiji Ozawa and Sir Simon Rattle.

He has also received the highest honors in the arts bestowed in his native Spain: the Gold Medal of Fine Arts, The National Award for Music and the Great Cross of Civil Merit.

> Read the full story at the SMU Meadows homepage

Acts of Aggression at SMU’s Pollock Gallery showcases contemporary Guatemalan artists, Sept. 9-Oct. 14, 2017

Manuel Chavajay, Oq Ximtali, 2017 video performance, 400px

Manuel Chavajay, Oq Ximtali, from a 2017 video performance. Image courtesy the artist & Galería EXTRA.

SMU’s Pollock Gallery will present objects, images, texts and social projects by 11 contemporary artists from Guatemala in a new exhibition, Acts of Aggression: An Exhibition About Community. The show runs Sept. 9-Oct. 14, 2017.

Working 20 years after the official end of Guatemala’s civil war, the artists in Acts of Aggression “navigate the reconciliation of historic brutality with ongoing violence, challenge political amnesia, care for themselves and others, and build strategies for working through and around disastrous systemic failures,” according to a press release for the exhibition. Participating artists include Hellen Ascoli, Esvin Alarcón Lam, Edgar Calel, Manuel Chavajay Moralez, Margarita Figueroa, Jorge de León, Reyes Josué Morales, Naufus Ramírez-Figueroa, Gabriel Rodríguez Pellecer, Mario Santizo and Inés Verdugo.

Curator Laura A. L. Wellen will offer a walk-through during an opening reception from 2-5 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9. The exhibit’s closing day, Saturday, Oct. 14, will feature a talk from 3-5 p.m. with Wellen, Meadows Division of Art Chair James Sullivan, and artists Hellen Ascoli and Reyes Josué Morales.

The exhibition is accompanied by a bilingual (English/Spanish) catalog.

Acts of Aggression exhibit 400pxWellen holds a Ph.D. degree in art history and is a 2017 recipient of the Creative Capital | Andy Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Grant for her website. She is also a 2017-18 Core Program Critic-in-Residence at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. Since 2014, she has been working between Houston and Guatemala City, where she runs the apartment gallery and artist residency Yvonne. Her writing has been published in ArtForum, Art Lies, Artishock, Art Review, Arts + Culture Texas and Pastelegram, among other international publications.

The Pollock Gallery is operated by the Division of Art in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and is located on the first floor of the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Tuesday-Friday and 1-5 p.m. Saturday. The gallery is closed Sunday and Monday. Admission is free.

For more information, call 214-768-4439 or visit the Pollock Gallery online.

Calendar Highlights: Back to school in brief, Fall 2017

Dallas Hall steps from a 3rd-story window

As the 2017-18 academic year gets rolling, here are a few Fall 2017 dates to remember:

  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 4 (University offices closed, no classes)
  • First Faculty Senate Meeting of 2017-18: Wednesday, Sept. 6
  • Family Weekend: Friday-Sunday, Sept. 22-24
  • Fall Break: Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 9-10
  • Homecoming Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 3-4
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 23-24 (University offices closed, no classes on Wednesday, Nov. 23)
  • Last day of classes: Monday, Dec. 4
  • Reading days: Tuesday-Wednesday, Dec. 5-6
  • Final exams: Thursday-Wednesday, Dec. 7-13 (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • December Commencement Convocation: Saturday, Dec. 16 (official close of term and date for conferral of degrees)
  • Christmas/Winter Break: Monday, Dec. 25, 2017-Monday, Jan. 1, 2018 (University offices closed)

Visit the SMU calendar to keep an eye on upcoming events.

By | 2017-08-31T10:43:19+00:00 August 29, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU Woman’s Club plans reception with President and Mrs. Turner Sept. 20, 2017

SMU Woman's Club logo

The SMU Woman’s Club invites current and prospective members to its first event of the 2017-18 academic year on Wednesday, Sept. 20.

President R. Gerald Turner and Gail O. Turner will host a wine-and-cheese reception at their home from 5-6:30 p.m., where President Turner will provide a state-of-the-University update.

Founded in 1915, the SMU Woman’s Club currently has more than 100 members and coordinates several cultural, social and philanthropic events throughout the academic year. The club is open to all faculty and staff members, as well as wives of faculty and staff members.

For more information on membership requirements, contact Renee Moore Hart ’07, ’17.

> Learn more at the SMU Woman’s Club Facebook group

By | 2017-08-24T16:26:51+00:00 August 24, 2017|Categories: Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|Tags: , , |

Tune In: Watch SMU’s 103rd Opening Convocation live, Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017

President R. Gerald Turner will deliver the opening address, “World Changers Shaped Here,” at SMU’s 103rd Opening Convocation. The ceremony beings at 5:30 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 20, 2017 in McFarlin Auditorium.

SMU Board of Trustees Chair Michael M. Boone ’63, ’67 , Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger and Student Body President David Shirzad will also give remarks. The Meadows Convocation Chorus, directed by Pamela Elrod Huffman, will provide music, accompanied by Sarah England.

The entire Convocation will be streamed over the internet via smu.edu/live. Click or tap the screen below to watch. The broadcast begins one hour before the ceremony starts.

> Download a PDF of the 103rd SMU Opening Convocation program

SMU Physics will project solar eclipse into Dallas Hall Rotunda on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017

SMU physics professors have devised a remarkable way to watch next Monday’s historic solar eclipse: They will use mirrors to turn the historic Dallas Hall Rotunda into a giant viewing chamber.

Weather permitting, Associate Professor of Physics Stephen Sekula will host for students and the public a homebrew viewing tunnel attached to a telescope on the lawn of Dallas Hall. The total eclipse of the sun will take place on Monday, Aug. 21, 2017. The Rotunda event is sponsored by SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences and the Department Physics.

The Rotunda image and the viewing tunnel will provide crisp images of the eclipse, and also correspond to NASA’s recommendation to avoid looking directly at the sun, Sekula said. Both methods eliminate the need for certified glasses to avoid eye damage. A surge in demand has made authentic safety glasses hard to find.

“There’s no sense risking your vision, and so this way you can come out and enjoy the eclipse without damaging your eyes,” he said.

Dallas is in the secondary shadow of the eclipse, not the primary shadow, so the region will not see the total phase of the eclipse, but rather 75 percent coverage.

“That’s still quite spectacular,” Sekula said, noting that peak viewing will be around 1:09 p.m. The partial eclipse begins in Dallas at 11:40 a.m. and ends at 2:39 p.m., according to NASA.

Wherever you and your students view the 2017 solar eclipse, don’t forget to observe these safety protocols, shared by SMU Health:

On Monday, Aug. 21, a historic total solar eclipse of the sun will be partially visible in North Texas from about 11:40 a.m. to about 2:40 p.m.  NASA offers recommendations for safely viewing the event because of the potential dangers it poses to eyesight if precautions are not taken. Please see NASA.gov for information.

SMU Dedman College Solar Eclipse Event

Pulitzer Prize-winner Matthew Desmond to give public lecture at SMU Thursday, Aug. 24, 2017

This post was originally published Aug. 18, 2017 and has been updated.

Matthew Desmond

The SMU and Dallas communities are invited to a lecture by Matthew Desmond, the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City. The SMU Reads event takes place at 6 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 24, in McFarlin Auditorium.

Desmond, a sociologist and MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient, went into the poorest neighborhoods of Milwaukee to learn the stories of families struggling to keep even a substandard roof over their heads. The incoming Class of 2021 will discuss the book with faculty and staff members as their Common Reading on Sunday, Aug. 20, before Opening Convocation.

> More on Evicted from the SMU Forum

Desmond is principal investigator of the Milwaukee Area Renters Study, an original survey of tenants in Milwaukee’s low-income private housing sector. Currently a professor of sociology at Princeton University, he previously served as Harvard University’s John L. Loeb Associate Professor of the Social Sciences and co-director of the Justice and Poverty Project. His work has been supported by the Ford, Russell Sage, and National Science Foundations, and his writing has appeared in The New York Times and Chicago Tribune.

He has written on educational inequality, dangerous work, political ideology, race and social theory, and the inner-city housing market. Recently, he has published on the prevalence and consequences of eviction and the low-income rental market, network-based survival strategies among the urban poor, and the consequences of new crime control policies on inner-city women; his writings have appeared in the American Journal of SociologyAmerican Sociological Review, Social Forces, and Demography.

Desmond is the author of three other books: On the Fireline: Living and Dying with Wildland Firefighters (2007), Race in America (with Mustafa Emirbayer, 2015), and The Racial Order (with Mustafa Emirbayer, 2015). He also is editor of the inaugural issue of RSF: The Russell Sage Foundation Journal of the Social Sciences, Volumes 1 & 2: Severe Deprivation in America (2015).

After receiving his Ph.D. in 2010 from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Desmond joined the Harvard Society of Fellows as a Junior Fellow. His primary teaching and research interests include urban sociology, poverty, race and ethnicity, organizations and work, social theory, and ethnography.

> Follow Matthew Desmond on Twitter @Just_Shelter

SMU Reads was created to encourage reading and support literacy in the Dallas community. Under the program, members of the community join in the University’s annual Common Reading, as chosen by the SMU selection committee. Campus and community participants are invited to take part in gatherings and events focused on the book, including a presentation by the author.

Evicted is available at a number online retailers, including Barnes & Noble. It is also available at a 10-percent discount at the SMU Barnes & Noble Bookstore, 3000 Mockingbird Lane. Call 214-768-2435 for more information.

The presentation is free and open to the public. For more information, visit the SMU Reads homepage: smu.edu/smureads.

Save the date: SMU Fall 2017 General Faculty Meeting, Wednesday, Aug. 23

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will address the University faculty at the Fall 2017 General Faculty Meeting Wednesday, Aug. 23 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. The meeting will begin at 3:45 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Theater, after a reception beginning at 3 p.m. in Centennial Hall and the Theater foyer.

Newly tenured faculty will receive their regalia during the meeting. In addition, 2017-18 Faculty Senate President Paul Krueger will give the Senate’s report. Provost Steven Currall will also address the meeting and announce the winner of the 2016-17 Scholar/Teacher of the Year Award from the General Board of Higher Education and Ministry of The United Methodist Church.

SMU welcomes the Class of 2021 with Mustang Corral 2017, Aug. 16-20

Camp Corral candlelight ceremony, 2016SMU welcomes new students to campus Aug. 16-20, 2017 with Mustang Corral, a five-day University orientation for first-year and transfer students. The Corral experience begins on Move-in Day, Wednesday, Aug. 16, and ends with the close of Opening Convocation on Sunday, Aug. 20.

The schedule includes the following:

Wednesday, Aug. 16: Move-in Day for First-Year Students, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
As new students arrive for their prescheduled check-in time, volunteers help unload cars and roll students’ belongings to their rooms. After move-in, families are invited to enjoy barbecues at Arnold Dining Commons, Umphrey Lee Dining Commons and the Mack Ballroom in Umphrey Lee.

Old Red Courthouse visit, Discover Dallas 2016Thursday, Aug. 17: Discover Dallas
Students board buses and take off to #DiscoverDallas through SMU’s popular morning field trips. Students choose one of 22 different tours to learn about their new hometown, with destinations ranging from the Dallas Zoo to the Perot Museum of Nature and Science to kayaking on White Rock Lake and touring AT&T Stadium. Students also can select community service sites, including the North Texas Food Bank, SPARK and Dan D. Rogers Elementary School.

> Check out the Discover Dallas 2017 interactive map

•  Thursday-Friday, Aug. 17-18: Camp Corral
On Thursday afternoon, students head to Camp Corral for a two-day, one-night retreat just outside of Dallas. Incoming and upper-class students will have the opportunity to interact while learning about the SMU community. Highlights include the Club Corral dance and closing candlelight ceremony.

Saturday, Aug. 19: Class photo, Night at the Club
The Class of 2021 gathers on the main quad Saturday morning for a class photo in the shape of a giant 2021. The day wraps up with Night at the Club at the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, an introduction to the hundreds of clubs, community service groups and campus activities for students.

SMU Opening Convocation choir, 2016Sunday, Aug. 20: University Worship, SMU Reads, Rotunda Passage and Opening Convocation
Sunday begins with University worship in the morning, and the SMU Reads discussions of SMU’s 2017 Common ReadingEvicted by Matthew Desmond, in the afternoon. Mustang Corral ends and the academic year begins Sunday evening at 5:30 p.m. with Rotunda Passage, a processional march through Dallas Hall’s Rotunda to Opening Convocation, the ceremonial gathering in McFarlin Auditorium where new first-year and transfer students are formally welcomed to SMU by faculty and administrators. SMU President R. Gerald Turner will present remarks.

For more information about Mustang Corral, visit SMU’s New Student Orientation blog.

— Written by Nancy George

See slide shows from Discover Dallas 2016

> Find a complete schedule at SMU News

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

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