From Perunapalooza to Pony Preview, from Meadows Museum Family Day to the Luck of the Loydians Residential Commons celebration, and from the Red-Blue Scrimmage to Mustang Fan Fair, SMU Founders’ Day Weekend was packed with activities for the entire community. Take a look back with these photos by Kim Leeson and Guy Rogers III.
Faculty members from SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development celebrated March 14 – otherwise known as Pi Day – sharing the joys of math with Dallas-area children, parents and teachers.
The families experienced math in action through talkSTEM walkSTEM, a program launched in Dallas to show how math appears in nature, art, architecture, sidewalks, playgrounds and the buildings around us. Professors Dara Rossi and Candace Walkington joined the group on a stroll through the downtown Dallas Arts District and Klyde Warren Park. Future walks will continue on Saturdays.
Myles Taylor of SMU News captured the action in a new video. Click the YouTube screen to watch, or click here to open the Pi Day #STEMWalk video in a new window.
“I’m [here] because of J. Erik Jonsson”: Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown shared a personal story of how the iconic Dallas mayor impacted his family’s lives as he accepted the Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility March 21, 2017.
A version of this story was originally posted Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, and updated Monday, March 20, 2017.
Retired Dallas Chief of Police David O. Brown, who in July 2016 helped lead the city through the anguished days following the ambush shooting deaths of five police officers, received the 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at a luncheon on March 21, 2017, at the Belo Mansion.
“Chief David Brown has demonstrated by his words and his actions all of the leadership qualities we had in mind when the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award was created,” said Bobby Lyle, SMU trustee and Maguire Ethics Center board member. “He has led our community with courage and integrity during our brightest days and our darkest hours. He has set standards for public and community service that we would all do well to emulate. I can think of no one more deserving of this prestigious award that bears the name of one of Dallas’ most admired leaders.”
Brown, a Dallas native who was born and raised in South Oak Cliff, is a 33-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department and the department’s longest-serving chief in modern times. He was sworn in as Dallas’ 28th police chief in May 2010, commanding a department with more than 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $426 million dollars. Brown has announced he will retire Oct. 4, 2016.
Building and maintaining strong, transparent relationships with the community has been Brown’s focus since he took the top position. During his tenure, Brown transitioned the department to a community-policing focused organization and implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety. He also expanded several community outreach programs and youth centered programs.
Brown implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety during interactions, and emphasized the importance of de-escalation training for his officers. Under Brown’s leadership, the Dallas Police Department reduced the use of deadly force by more than 40 percent and reduced excessive force complaints by more than 80 percent.
“This award recognizes those who face hard decisions and whose mettle is tested,” said Rita Kirk, Maguire Center director. “Chief Brown personifies the struggle of leaders trying to do the right thing during periods of intense pressure. Our community is stronger because of his leadership, particularly in the wake of recent events. His actions during those days not only reflected the character of our community to other cities around the world who watched, but also left us united, stronger, and more hopeful that we will overcome any obstacle to make this a better city for all our citizens.”
Brown is the 20th recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award. Past honorees include Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.
— Kenny Ryan
Dallas Theater Center and SMU Meadows / Ignite Arts Dallas, in association with the AT&T Performing Arts Center, presented the musical adaptation as a community participation project conceived by 2015 Meadows Prize winner Lear deBessonet during her residency in the Meadows School. The show was directed by Kevin Moriarty, with book, music and lyrics by Todd Almond.
The production showcased 200 Dallasites from all over the city, who shared the stage with professional actors. The unique staging vividly retold the Bard’s well-loved story of the marooned Prospero, who commands spirits, creates apparitions and manipulates the elements to take revenge on his enemies – and in the process awakens in Miranda, his teenage daughter, her first experience of love.
The No. 14 SMU men’s basketball team locked up at least a share of the 2016-17 American Athletic Conference regular-season championship with a decisive 93-70 victory over Tulsa on Thursday, March 2 in Moody Coliseum.
Redshirt junior psychology major Semi Ojeleye, who earlier in the day had been named to the CoSIDA 2016-17 Academic All-America second team, was perfect from the field. Yet he was more impressed with a play from a sitting position by sophomore Shake Milton that set up a Mustang goal and made highlight reels throughout sports media. (See a video profile of Ojeleye by SMU News’ Myles Taylor in the video link above.)
— SMU Basketball (@SMUBasketball) March 3, 2017
Milton maintained control of the ball after tripping just past midcourt, even dribbling between his legs, before passing to senior sport management major Sterling Brown, who delivered the alley-oop to Ojeleye. Milton racked up his first career double-double with 15 points and 10 assists, even without getting any stats for the highlight play.
Ojeleye made all nine of his field goal attempts, including three 3-pointers, and all five starters scored in double figures for the Mustangs (26-4, 16-1). Sophomore Jarrey Foster added 18 points on 9-of-11 shooting, while Brown scored 19 points and senior English major Ben Moore netted 12 .
The Mustangs have a 12-game winning streak and a one-game lead in the AAC standings over No. 18 Cincinnati (26-4, 15-2), which won its home finale 65-47 over Houston earlier Thursday night. They can take sole possession of the league title with a win at home Saturday over Memphis.
SMU students, faculty and staff celebrated the legacy of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. on Thursday, Jan. 26, with the 2017 Unity Walk. The annual procession is part of Dream Week at SMU, which also included participation in Dallas’ annual MLK Day Parade on Jan. 16 and the University’s yearly MLK Day of Service on Jan. 28.
Myles Taylor of SMU News has created a video to commemorate the occasion. Click the YouTube screen to watch, or watch the 2017 Unity Walk in a new window.
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The more than 2,000 students, faculty and staff members in SMU’s Residential Commons are using the power of community to celebrate the winter holidays and to prepare for a successful finals season.
A new video by SMU News’ Myles Taylor show how each residential college is celebrating its bonds, from a Ware Commons gourmet treat-tasting to a rooftop dinner sponsored by Loyd Commons donors Paul and Penny Loyd. [Watch in a new window]
The University is sharing its holiday spirit on social media, too. Follow the #HilltopHolidays hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the SMU website – and use it share your own media and memories from campus celebrations.
— SMU (@SMU) December 10, 2016
SMU honors fallen 9/11 first responders with honor guard, bell ceremony at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016
The SMU Police Department and first responders from the surrounding community will commemorate the 15th anniversary of 9/11 with a solemn ceremony honoring the police officers and firefighters who lost their lives in the line of duty during the terror attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.
University police officers, along with members of the Highland Park and University Park Police and Fire Departments, will participate in a combined honor guard and bell ceremony for the fallen. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, 2016, at the flagpole on the Main Quad. The event is free and open to the public.
To symbolize the first responders’ devotion to duty, the bell ceremony includes a special signal of three rings, three times each, representing the end of duty and a return to quarters. The signals ring out that “those who have selflessly given their lives for the good of their fellow man, their tasks completed, their duties well done … are going home.”
The remembrance will also feature remarks from SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Police Chief Rick Shafer and a benediction by University Chaplain Stephen Rankin, as well as bagpipe performances of “Amazing Grace” and “America the Beautiful.”
“We welcome the community to come and help us remember those who gave their lives while protecting those they served,” said Chief Shafer.
The remembrance ceremony is one of several opportunities for campus community members, both in-person and virtual, to reflect on and remember the events of Sept. 11, 2001:
- The George W. Bush Presidential Center houses the permanent exhibit A Nation Under Attack, with artifacts including steel from the World Trade Center, the bullhorn President Bush used to address the crowd at Ground Zero, and letters he received in the days following the attacks.
- Scroll through entries from SMU’s remembrance journals created on Sept. 11, 2001.
- See a video featuring SMU alumna (then a student) Christina Rancke ’14, whose father died on 9/11.
SMU welcomed new students to the Hilltop in August with five days of learning, bonding and exploring their new home. Throughout the week, University reporters and photographers captured the Class of 2020 at Mustang Corral and in the Discover Dallas program.
Now their photos, social media posts, and a new video by SMU News’ Myles Taylor are gathered at one link. Visit SMU News for many more dispatches from Move-in Day, Camp Corral, the 2016 Opening Convocation, the making of the class photo and more.
— Denise Gee SMU (@SMUdenisegee) August 19, 2016
Rita Kirk, SMU communications professor and director of the Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility, recently took three students to New Hampshire to visit presidential headquarters and organize focus groups for CNN during the Iowa Caucus. As a CNN analyst herself, Kirk has the opportunity to bring students as part of her research staff and throw them into a high-paced, challenging, exciting and demanding atmosphere.
Students put together a focus group of 60 independent voters, gathered poll data, and analyzed the data in real-time. They had to be in control of every piece of data that came across them. They visited different campaign field offices and ended the trip by helping Dr. Kirk run her focus group on live international television.