Save the Date

Celebration of Life for longtime SMU staff member Gary Shultz to take place Monday, April 23, 2018

The SMU Office of the Chaplain has invited the University community to celebrate the life of longtime staff member Gary Shultz at 4 p.m. Monday, April 23, 2018. The event will take place in The Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, in the theology quad.

A former Dallas Times-Herald journalist, Shultz was an SMU employee for more than 25 years and most recently served as director of online media relations and communications in the Office of News and Communications, SMU Public Affairs. Among his many accomplishments was his involvement in the creation of SMU’s first website. The smu.edu site continues to bear the marks of his original and ongoing work.

Shultz died on Thursday, April 5 after a brief illness. He is survived by his wife, Mary Ann, two daughters, and grandchildren. His family requests that memorial donations may be made to the Arbor Day Foundation.

For more information, contact the SMU Office of News and Communication, 214-768-7650.

Updated SMU Facts map available for 2018; order by April 17

2018 SMU Facts Map, photo by Hillsman S. Jackson

The SMU Facts map has been updated for 2018, and it’s now available for order.

The map folds down to a compact 3- by 6-inch size. On one side, a three-dimensional view of campus offers information about each SMU school, Mustang athletics, the Meadows Museum and the George W. Bush Presidential Center.

The other side has vital statistics about University facilities, finances and student body, as well as important information about rankings, libraries, student life, alumni, research activity and much more – plus new and updated information on degrees conferred, external research funding, DFW alumni and other vital statistics.

Print copies are still only 25 cents each, and there is no minimum order. Maps are expected to arrive by early May.

To order copies, please send quantity, delivery location and account number to Lisa Barnes, marketing services director, by Tuesday, April 17, 2018.

Save the date: Spring Dance Concert to honor retiring SMU dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski April 4-8, 2018

Danny BuraczeskiThe SMU Meadows 2018 Spring Dance Concert will honor award-winning jazz dance faculty artist Danny Buraczeski, who retires in May after 13 years of teaching at SMU, with a retrospective of seven of his works.

Featured will be dances created over the past 30 years for professional companies and for SMU students, ranging from 1989’s Merry Go Round to In the City, which premiered in 2013 at SMU’s “Meadows at the Winspear” concert. Performers will include current students; alumni Albert Drake and Adrián Aguirre; and the Zenon Dance Company from Minneapolis, long-time collaborators of Buraczeski’s who performed his critically acclaimed Ezekiel’s Wheel in 2016 in Cuba.

The concert will be presented in two alternating programs, April 4-8, 2018, in SMU’s Bob Hope Theatre. On Tuesday, April 3, the Division of Dance also will host a panel discussion about Buraczeski’s choreography from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Hope Theatre. The panel will include dance artists who worked with Buraczeski in his professional companies and participated in creating some of his seminal works.

“Danny Buraczeski has for years been one of the country’s leading jazz dance choreographers,” said Samuel Holland, Algur H. Meadows Dean of the Meadows School of the Arts. “His artistry, passion and dedication to jazz music and dance have inspired both students and professional dancers for four decades. We will miss him greatly, but our dance department will continue to perform his exciting and inventive works and carry on his legacy for future generations of SMU dancers.”

“Danny is one of the most prolific and significant voices in the world of jazz dance,” said SMU Dance Chair Patty Delaney. “This retrospective allows us to experience his seminal works live and, through discussion with those who worked with him during their creation, we have the opportunity to fully appreciate the artistic contributions Danny has made to the field of dance. The SMU Dance Division is exceptionally fortunate to have had Danny on our faculty for 13 years.”

Buraczeski joined the SMU faculty in 2005 and rose to the rank of full professor. At SMU he taught classic jazz dance technique, composition and choreography and launched a national, biannual Teaching Jazz Dance Symposium, drawing educators, choreographers and dancers from around the country to SMU. He also served as artistic director for the Dance Division’s Brown Bag Concerts.  He was named Dance Educator of the Year by the Dance Council of North Texas in 2010 and Meadows Foundation Distinguished Teaching Professor in 2017. He retires as Professor Emeritus of Dance.

> Learn more about Danny Buraczeski and the Spring Dance Concert repertoire from SMU News

SMU’s 2018 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards take place Monday, April 16

Honors Day Convocation - Jodi Cooley, Bob Kehoe and studentsSMU’s annual celebration of high achievement in academics and community life takes place during the 2018 Honors Convocation and Hilltop Excellence Awards on Monday, April 16.

Honors Convocation begins at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium, and the Hilltop Excellence Awards ceremony takes place at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center.

> Coming April 16: Watch Honors Convocation live on the web at smu.edu/live

SMU reserves one Monday each April to celebrate the achievements of students, faculty, staff members, trustees and administrators in the two ceremonies. The Honors Convocation recognizes academic achievement at the University and department levels.

Read the full list of SMU’s 2018 Honors Convocation award and honors recipients

Maria Dixon HallThis year’s convocation speaker is Maria Dixon Hall, senior adviser to the SMU Provost, associate professor in the Division of Corporate Communication and Public Affairs in Meadows School of the Arts, and adjunct associate professor of homiletics in Perkins School of Theology. Appointed in August 2016 as Senior Advisor to the Provost for Cultural Intelligence, Dixon Hall is charged with oversight of the University’s efforts to ensure that all members of the SMU community are equipped to effectively create, collaborate, and work on solutions to change the world. In this role, she is responsible for development and implementation of the University’s new cultural intelligence curriculum and training program.

As director of mustangconsulting, Dixon Hall heads a staff of some of SMU’s best and brightest communication students. The group serves a global client list that includes corporate, nonprofit, and religious organizations such as Southwest Airlines (Dallas), The Dance Theatre of Harlem (New York), the Ugandan American Partnership Organization (Kampala/Dallas), The Lydia Patterson Institute (El Paso), and Carry the Load (Atlanta/Dallas).

A graduate of the Culverhouse School of Business at the University of Alabama, Dixon Hall earned her Master of Divinity and Master of Theology from the Candler School of Theology at Emory University, as well as a Ph.D. in organizational communication and religion from the University of Missouri-Columbia.

Find more information on Honors Convocation

Retired and current faculty members who have RSVP’ed for the ceremony will assemble for Honors Convocation in academic dress no later than 5:10 p.m. on the third floor of McFarlin Auditorium. The faculty procession will begin at approximately 5:30 p.m. A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the Main Quad.

Participating faculty members must RSVP online by Thursday, April 12, 2018. Faculty members with questions regarding the procession can e-mail ceremonies@smu.edu or call 214-768-3417.

Later, the University will present several awards for excellence – including its highest honor, the “M” Award – during the 2018 Hilltop Excellence Awards. The ceremony begins at 7:30 p.m. in the Martha Proctor Mack Grand Ballroom, Umphrey Lee Center. Hilltop Excellence Awards honorees will be listed in SMU Forum the day after the ceremony.

Follow SMU Student Activities @SMUStuAct for live updates from the ceremony, and share your Twitter and Instagram posts from the Hilltop Excellence Awards with the #HilltopExcellence hashtag.

Learn more about the Hilltop Excellence Awards from SMU Student Life

Save the date: SMU Research Day 2018 scheduled for March 28-29

This story was originally published Thursday, Feb. 22, 2018.

Research Day 2017SMU Research Day is growing so much that in 2018 it will take two days to share the experience. Save the dates for Tuesday and Wednesday, March 28-29, in Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

March 28 is devoted to the Poster Session, which is scheduled for 2-5 p.m. in the Promenade Ballroom. SMU graduate students and a select cohort of undergraduates will present results of ongoing and completed University-based research. The session aims to “foster communication between students in different disciplines, give students the opportunity to present their work in a professional setting, and share the outstanding research being conducted at SMU with their peers and industry professionals from the greater Dallas community,” according to the Office of Research and Graduate Studies.

New this year: the Three Minute Thesis Competition, which will take place 9 a.m.-noon on March 29. The 3MT competition format, developed by the University of Queensland, gives graduate students 180 seconds in which to explain their work, in language appropriate to a non-specialist audience. It is designed to help students cultivate, integrate and hone their academic, presentation, and research communication skills.

> Visit the SMU Research Day homepage

AT&T CEO Randall L. Stephenson to address SMU students during 103rd Commencement May 19, 2018

Randall L. Stephenson, ATT CEORandall L. Stephenson, chairman and chief executive officer of AT&T, will be the featured speaker during SMU’s 103rd all-University Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 19, 2018 in Moody Coliseum.

Since rising to the position of CEO in 2007, Stephenson has guided AT&T through a number of major milestones, including the ongoing acquisition of Time Warner, the 2015 acquisition of DIRECTV, and the purchase of Mexican wireless companies to create a North American network.

Stephenson also has led AT&T’s breakthrough “It Can Wait” campaign – an awareness program educating drivers about the dangers of distracted driving. The program has amassed more than 19 million pledges of support.

“We are honored to have a pioneering business and technology leader of Mr. Stephenson’s stature as featured speaker at Commencement,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He is a striking example of what can be accomplished when someone possesses a clear vision of where they want to go. I know he will inspire each of our graduating students to form their own grand vision of what they want to accomplish in their lives with the knowledge they’ve acquired at SMU.”

AT&T contributed $2.5 million to SMU in 2016 to endow the AT&T Center for Virtualization and fund its research into the fast, reliable cloud-based telecommunications necessary for global activity. SMU and AT&T have also partnered with other organizations to create the Payne Stewart SMU Golf Training Center at the Trinity Forest Golf Club, which will become home to the PGA Tour’s Byron Nelson this year and annually host NCAA invitational tournaments and additional high-profile professional and amateur events.

Stephenson began his career with Southwestern Bell Telephone in 1982 in Oklahoma. He served as the company’s senior executive vice president and chief financial officer from 2001 to 2004, and from 2004 to 2007 as chief operating officer. He was appointed to AT&T’s board of directors in 2005.

Stephenson is a member of the PGA TOUR Policy Board and National Chairman of the Boy Scouts of America. He received his B.S. in accounting from the University of Central Oklahoma and his Master of Accountancy from the University of Oklahoma.

SMU expects to award more than 2,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony. The University’s individual schools and departments will host diploma ceremonies throughout the day.

— Written by Kenny Ryan

> Keep up with the latest SMU Commencement information at smu.edu/commencement

Spring forward: U.S. Daylight Saving Time 2018 begins Sunday, March 11

Get ready for longer days ahead: Stock photo of a clock face with hands approaching 12U.S. Daylight Saving Time is here again. The time shift begins this Sunday, March 11, 2018, at 2 a.m. Don’t forget to set your clocks forward one hour, and check your computer and other electronic devices to be sure they’re displaying the correct time.

Get computer help from the Office of Information Technology

Save the date: Olympic medalist Ibtihaj Muhammad to speak at 2018 SMU Women’s Symposium on Wednesday, March 7

Ibtihaj Muhammad, Stars and Stripes

U.S. saber fencer Ibtihaj Muhammad, the first Muslim American woman to wear a hijab while competing for the United States in the Olympic Games, will deliver the Emmie V. Baine Lecture during the 53rd SMU Women’s Symposium. The all-day event is scheduled for Wednesday, March 7, 2018.

Muhammad was a member of the U.S. national fencing team that won gold in the 2014 World Championships and at the 2011 and 2015 Pan American Games. She earned a bronze medal in women’s team saber at the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, becoming the first female Muslim-American athlete to medal in Olympic competition. She will speak during the lunchtime session on the Symposium’s 2018 theme, “Hit Like a Girl.”

> Follow Ibtihaj Muhammad on Twitter: @IbtihajMuhammad

During the Rio Olympics, Muhammad became an international symbol of diversity and tolerance. In 2017, she also inspired Mattel’s first hijab-wearing Barbie, designed in her image. The doll, which is part of the Barbie “Sheroes” collection, comes dressed in fencing gear as well as a headscarf. It will go on sale later this year.

A native of Maplewood, New Jersey, Muhammad holds bachelor’s degrees in international relations and African and African-American studies from Duke University. She is a member of the Peter Westbrook Foundation fencing club, founded by the five-time U.S. Olympic Team member and 1984 men’s individual saber bronze medalist who was the first African-American to win a national fencing title.

> Find a complete 2018 Women’s Symposium schedule here

The SMU Women’s Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary, attracts hundreds of attendees each year. One of the longest-running events of its kind, the symposium features workshops, lectures and networking sessions designed to broaden and amplify women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

The event is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. in Hughes-Trigg Student Center. SMU faculty, staff and students receive discounted registration. Sign-up is requested by Thursday, March 1, 2018.

> Register online at smu.edu/womsym

Deadline to participate in SMU CUL survey is Thursday, March 1, 2018

Students Studying in Fondren Library CenterAttention SMU faculty members: Central University Libraries is seeking your input on the journals and publications you consider essential to your teaching and research.

CUL is preparing its annual budget and wants to identify the most used, most cited, and most valued content among its subscription services. Take their survey and let them know which journals and resources are most important to your work.

The survey is open through Thursday, March 1, 2018.

> Take the SMU CUL Library Plan Survey online

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

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