SMU Guildhall, eGency Global announce OP Live Dallas, a major esports event scheduled for Sept. 22-23, 2018

ESL Pro League CSGO tournament

Crowds gather for an ESL Pro League tournament. A December 2017 event in Odense, Denmark, drew more than 5,000 in-person attendees and 388,000 concurrent online viewers.

SMU Guildhall, the top ranked graduate school for video game design in the world, has entered a collaboration with an industry leader in esports to launch a major new event. OP Live Dallas will feature high-level professional competition, a 16-team collegiate tournament, a hackathon for high-schoolers, and a showcase for the work of Guildhall master’s degree candidates in interactive technology.

The Guildhall is collaborating with eGency Global, one of North America’s most experienced esports production, marketing and talent management firms, to produce OP Live Dallas.

OP Live Dallas logo“We are excited to be part of this collaborative effort with eGency Global,” said Mark Nausha, deputy director of GameLab at SMU Guildhall. “OP Live will be interactive, immersive, and unique from typical esports events. We look forward to bringing this awesome fan experience to the Dallas area.”

OP Live Dallas will run September 22-23, 2018 on the 50,000-sq.-ft. main floor of the Irving Convention Center at Las Colinas.

> Cheryl Hall, The Dallas Morning News: Two companies bridge the esports marketing gap

Through their collaboration, eGency Global and SMU Guildhall will offer esports fans a unique and more robust experience than traditional esports events, the collaborators say. Beyond the interactive and engaging experience, OP Live Dallas will also showcase the multitude of career opportunities available to video game and esports devotees. SMU Guildhall alumni work for the biggest names in the video gaming industry, as well as in gamification sectors in a multitude of other industries like tech, education, business and medical.

“The session for parents will shine a light on career and education opportunities for youth in the video gaming, cybersecurity and other STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) fields, as well as the many upsides of the gaming community. The community is known for its supportive nature and lasting friendships,” says Chris Stone, CEO of eGency Global.

The two-day OP Live Dallas schedule will include non-stop competition and activities, opportunities to meet popular pro players, cosplayers, and more. Highlights include:

  • Competitions for 16 collegiate teams and 4 pro esports teams, with prizes to be awarded.
  • Showcases featuring never-before-seen games created by SMU students and alumni.
  • Mini TED-like talks with industry experts.
  • Interactive and personalized experiences.
  • Cosplay and game art gallery.
  • High School Hackathon, where students compete to identify, defend and terminate cybersecurity threats in a fictional small business.
  • Fundraising to benefit Children’s Medical Center Dallas through Extra Life, a division of Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals.

The entire event was designed with esports and gaming fans in mind. “In the past year, we’ve spoken with dozens of fans who regularly attend esports and gaming events. We wanted to find out what they love most about the events and where improvements could be made. This insight was invaluable when we were planning OP Live Dallas,” said Stephanie Chavez, eGency Global director of marketing.

The collaborators estimate attendance of approximately 7,000 for the two-day event. Numerous sponsorship and exhibiting opportunities are available to organizations looking to reach fans in the burgeoning esports space.

> Visit the OP Live Dallas homepage at oplivedallas.com

Continuing the Ascent: New report details 14 recommendations to boost SMU’s global impact

Dallas Hall at SMU

SMU President R. Gerald Turner and Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs Steven C. Currall have released a new report presenting 14 recommendations to further raise SMU’s standing relative to other universities.

The recommendations in Continuing The Ascent: Recommendations for Enhancing the Academic Quality and Stature of Southern Methodist University were discussed and vetted for more than a year among the SMU community via task force work, fora and town halls. They address four categories:

  • Enhancing the Quality of Undergraduates and Their Educational Experience
  • Strengthening Faculty, Research and Creative Impact at SMU
  • Enhancing the Quality of Graduate Students and Their Educational Experience
  • Deepening Innovative Community Partnerships and Engagement

Each recommendation briefly compares SMU with its peers and aspirants, and includes estimated costs.

“This is our time to rise even higher,” Turner said. “There’s more to do to strengthen our already fine academic quality, and to bolster our local, national and global impact.”

“The SMU community contributed extensively to, and informed the development of our recommendations,” Currall said. “This report represents our collective vision of SMU’s future and how to further elevate SMU’s excellence in scholarship, creative activity, teaching, and societal impact.”

> Read Continuing the Ascent here

Save the date, celebrate: 2018 SMU President’s Picnic takes place Tuesday, May 22

SMU Staff Association President's Picnic 2018It’s that time of year again – the SMU Staff Association (SMUSA) and President R. Gerald Turner will host all University staff members at the 2018 SMU President’s Picnic.

In addition to food and popcorn, the festivities include lawn games, a photo booth, and staff recognition throughout the event.

The post-Commencement celebration takes place 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Tuesday, May 22 on the Clements Hall South Lawn. Share your images and impressions on social media with the hashtag #SMUstafflove.

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

May Commencement 2018: Events at a glance

SMU May Commencement Convocation 2017, Francis Collins at the podium, 2018 events illustration

SMU celebrates its 103rd May Commencement Convocation May 18-19, 2018, with events for the entire University community. Mark this post for major Commencement Week events at a glance:

Reminder: Moody Coliseum clear-bag policy in effect

Watch the Baccalaureate and Commencement ceremonies live at smu.edu/live video

SMU names new members, officers of Board of Trustees

Three new officers and three new trustees were named to SMU’s Board of Trustees during the board’s spring meeting May 4, 2018. The Board also passed a resolution to honor two former members as trustees emeriti.

Robert H. Dedman, Jr. ’80, ’84 has been elected as chair, David B. Miller ’72, ’73 was elected as vice-chair, and Kelly Hoglund Compton ’79 was elected as secretary. Officers are elected for one-year terms and are eligible for re-election up to four consecutive terms in any respective office.

The new officers will begin their one-year terms on June 1, 2018, and preside over the Sept. 14, 2018 meeting of the Board of Trustees.

“It’s a great honor to serve as chair of the SMU Board of Trustees,” Dedman said. “As both SMU and Dallas grow in stature and importance, the board is ready to guide the continued quest of the University to become one of the nation’s finest comprehensive research universities and a home of world-changing research, student development and community impact. ”

New trustee Bradley W. Brookshire ’76 will fill the vacancy left by the death of longtime SMU trustee Ruth Collins Sharp Altshuler ’48. The Board’s new ex officio faculty representative is Faculty Senate President Dayna Oscherwitz, French area chair in the Department of World Languages and Literatures, Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences. Ben Manthey ’09, ’19 will serve as ex officio student trustee.

Concluding their board service are Paul Krueger, past-president of the SMU Faculty Senate and professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, Lyle School of Engineering; and student trustee Andrew B. Udofa ’18.

The SMU Board of Trustees also passed a resolution naming Linda Pitts Custard ’60, ’99 and Alan D. Feld ’57, ’60 as trustees emeriti. They are the first former University trustees to receive that designation since Milledge A. Hart, III, became SMU’s ninth trustee emeritus in 2013. For extraordinary service and leadership, former members of the SMU Board may be named emeritus members. With the addition of these two former trustees, only 11 individuals have been named trustees emeriti in the history of the University.

“I am grateful to our new trustees emeriti and new Board of Trustees officers for the important wisdom and insight they bring to the University,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “I am also grateful to the new and current board members whose enterprising spirit will lead the charge as this vibrant community enters an exciting new era.”

The 42-member board sets policies governing the operation of SMU.

$2 million gift from Andrew and Elaine Chen will establish endowed SMU Cox chair in finance

Fincher Building, Cox School of Business, SMURetired SMU faculty member Andrew H. Chen and his wife, Elaine T. Chen, have made a $2 million gift to the Edwin L. Cox School of Business to establish The Andrew H. Chen Endowed Chair in Financial Investments Fund. Andrew, who retired as professor emeritus of finance in 2012, said he and his wife wanted to ensure that the Cox School will continue to attract outstanding finance faculty.

The gift will include $1.5 million for the endowment of the faculty chair and $500,000 for operational support, which will enable immediate use of the position while the endowment vests.

“As a faculty member in the Finance Department, I focused much of my research and teaching in the areas of option pricing and options-related investment strategies, ” Andrew said. “After retiring from my faculty position, I decided to put into practice what I had taught in the classroom and was fortunate enough to meet with some success. Elaine and I now find ourselves in the position of being able to make a useful contribution to the Cox School by setting up an endowed chair in financial investment. We hope that this new finance chair will further enhance the Cox Finance Department’s reputation and enable its holder to enjoy an excellent career at SMU, just as I did when I was a member of the Finance Department.”

Elaine Chen said her husband’s experience as a chairholder at Cox played a large role in their decision.

“Since our days as graduate students at a leading U.S. business school (University of California, Berkeley), both Andy and I have always placed great value on finance education and research,” Elaine said. “Andy’s finance chair at SMU was invaluable in facilitating his teaching and research activities for nearly 30 years, and we are always grateful for the positive impact that the chair had on Andy’s career. Therefore, we decided to contribute in kind by helping to establish a new finance chair in the Cox School. It’s our hope that the contribution for this new chair will attract a talented finance scholar who will further develop his or her own research career at the Cox School while providing a top-notch learning experience to many students.”

A member of the Cox faculty from 1983-2012, Andrew Chen is a renowned researcher, educator, prolific author, business consultant and respected colleague in the field of finance. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the National Taiwan University and both M.A. and Ph.D. degrees from the University of California, Berkeley. He has also been a visiting scholar at universities in Hong Kong, Singapore, Taiwan and Australia.

“The Chens’ thoughtful gift will allow the Cox School of Business to continue building one of the best programs in the country,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “It’s especially meaningful that a retired faculty member and his wife would feel compelled to make such a gift.”

The editor or co-author of several books, Andrew Chen has written more than 125 articles in leading academic and professional journals. He served as editor of Research in Finance and a managing editor of the International Journal of Theoretical and Applied Finance. He has held leadership positions with financial institutions and corporations and has been a consultant to several companies and government agencies. He served as president of the Financial Management Association International and as a director of the Asia-Pacific Finance Association.

At Cox, Andrew Chen was known for his passion for both research and teaching, frequently working with independent-study students on investment strategies. SMU Provost Steven C. Currall said the new endowed chair will help the University secure a similarly minded scholar.

“Endowed chairs support SMU’s mission to strengthen its academic foundation for the future by recruiting and retaining distinguished faculty,” Currall  said. “Dr. Chen understands this better than most thanks to his own experience at Cox. This gift will make a difference for our students for years to come and help to raise SMU’s national and international profile as an outstanding university.”

Finance is the most popular major for Cox undergraduates, with almost half of the BBA students declared as finance majors. More than half of Cox MBA students choose a finance degree program. The finance department offers students unique immersive experiences such as the EnCap Investments and LCM Group Alternative Asset Management Center, the Kitt Investing and Trading Center, the Don Jackson Center for Financial Studies and the Practicum in Portfolio Management.

SMU Cox School of Business Dean Matthew Myers said the Chens’ largesse will extend this legacy.

“I had known about Dr. Chen long before my arrival at SMU,” Myers said. “He has always had a reputation for keeping students challenged and excited about finance. This position will enable us to always remember Andy’s invaluable contributions to SMU and will help us attract other talented scholars to the Cox School. We are so appreciative of Andy and Elaine’s generosity, and hope they will come back often to Cox to see the impact of their gift.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU remembers Dallas philanthropist Margaret McDermott

Dallas philanthropist Margaret McDermottMargaret Milam McDermott, philanthropist and ardent supporter of Dallas education and arts institutions, died May 3, 2018, at the age of 106.

“Margaret McDermott epitomized the best of humanity,” says R. Gerald Turner, SMU president. “She was smart, curious, caring and devoted to helping others through her philanthropy in education and the arts. She will forever hold a special place at SMU for her support and gifts to the University, but most importantly as a remarkable example of how one person can benefit so many.”

In 1976, McDermott received an honorary Doctor of Arts degree from SMU, honoring her steadfast community leadership and generosity. In 2000, she was among the first to receive the Profiles in Leadership Award given at the SMU Women’s Symposium. During her long association with SMU, she provided leadership and guidance to a number of areas across campus, including service on the SMU Fine Arts Council, Central University Libraries Advisory Board and Friends of the SMU Libraries. Most recently, McDermott developed a keen interest in the Meadows Museum, supporting art acquisitions, facility enhancements and Museum fundraising galas.

The Dallas Morning News: Margaret McDermott’s giving spirit and kind heart left all of Dallas better

McDermott’s husband, Eugene, who died in 1973, was a member of the SMU Board of Governors in 1961-73 and the SMU Board of Trustees in 1965-73. He was co-founder of Geophysical Service, Inc., the predecessor of Texas Instruments, Inc. In 2009, McDermott named the sweeping entry for the Meadows Museum, the Eugene McDermott Grand Terrace in the Meadows Museum Sculpture Plaza, in honor of her late husband.

The McDermotts’ gifts to SMU included support for the Central University Libraries, the Foundation for Science and Engineering, the Margo Jones Theatre in Meadows School of the Arts, and several annual funds. After her husband’s death, Mrs. McDermott continued her personal support with gifts to the Meadows School and to Meadows Museum. And through the Eugene McDermott Foundation, she contributed to the Hamon Arts Library Building, the Luís Martín Fellowship in Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences, and a variety of Meadows School and Meadows Museum programs.

By | 2018-05-10T10:04:18+00:00 May 10, 2018|Categories: News|Tags: , , |

Moody Coliseum clear-bag policy for SMU May Commencement: A guide for guests

Clear handbag conforming to Moody Coliseum clear-bag policy

An example of the type of bag allowed into Moody Coliseum under game-day safety rules. The clear-bag policy is in effect for May Commencement as well.

As SMU gears up for the 103rd May Commencement Convocation, don’t forget that the Moody Coliseum clear-bag policy is in effect for the ceremony. The policy’s safety rules restrict items that may be carried into the venue.

The only bags permitted in Moody will fit these specifications:

  • those made of clear plastic, vinyl or PVC that do not exceed 12-by-6-by-12 inches,
  • one-gallon clear plastic freezer bags (Ziploc or similar), or
  • small clutch bags (about the size of a hand) with or without a strap. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag.

The Office of the Registrar has distributed reminders about the policy to graduating seniors and their families. Items that are medically necessary and do not fit the clear-bag policy will be evaluated individually.

Things that visitors normally carry in pockets can still come into the coliseum in pockets – such as keys and cell phones.

The following items are prohibited from entering Moody Coliseum:

  • 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)
  • Weapons

No outside food or drink is permitted in Moody Coliseum.

Note: Graduation candidates are not allowed to bring clear bags, food or drinks into Moody Coliseum, Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports, or the Crum Executive Education Center. A small clutch is permissible.

> Find more information on guest security, prohibited items and May Commencement

Get a preview of the 2018 Common Reading, Lab Girl, at an SMU Reads live launch Friday, May 4

LAB GIRL by Hope Jahren, book cover, SMU common reading 2018Join Central University Libraries for the return of an annual tradition as SMU Reads launches the University’s 2018 Common Reading. Learn more about Lab Girl at festivities on Friday, May 4, 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Starbucks at Fondren Library Center. The event is supported by Friends of the SMU Libraries.

Free flowers will be available for all students who come to the event, as well as free copies of the book for discussion leaders and free plants for the first 10 staff and faculty members who sign up to be discussion leaders at the preview. Barnes and Noble will also have copies of Lab Girl available for sale.

> Sign up to be a 2018 SMU Reads discussion leader

Lab Girl is the autobiography of scientist Hope Jahren, who has pursued independent research in paleobiology since 1996. She takes the reader back to her Minnesota childhood, where she spent hours playing in her father’s college physics laboratory, and tells how she found a sanctuary in science. Jahren also explores the intricacies and complications of academic life as she learns to perform lab work “with both the heart and the hands.” The memoir won the National Book Critics Circle Award for Autobiography and was named a New York Times Notable Book.

The book recounts a life spent studying the natural world, “but it is also a celebration of the lifelong curiosity, humility, and passion that inspires every scientist,” wrote Peter K. Moore, SMU associate provost for curricular innovation and policy, in a letter to the SMU community. “Jahren invites her audience to revel in the science of everyday life, to share her love of science, observations of the plant world, and hopes for protecting our environment. Lab Girl is an engaging, lyrical, and luminous read and reminds us that we can achieve great things when passions and work come together.”

The University intends to use the book as a launching point “toward a larger campus-wide discussion on science, sustainability, and mental health issues at SMU through panels, programs, and events,” Moore added. A visiting lecture by the book’s author will be part of the First Five Initiative for first-year students in Fall 2018.

The SMU Common Reading discussion for the incoming class of 2022 will take place Sunday, Aug. 19, 2018 at 2 p.m. Locations are to be determined; keep up with the latest news at the SMU Common Reading homepage.

> Watch for more about Lab Girl panels, programs and events at smu.edu/smureads

SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Series announces 2018-19 season

SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Series 2018-19 logoAn Oscar-winning SMU alumna, three Pulitzer Prize-winners, and a political discussion with two former White House Chiefs of Staff will be highlights of SMU’s 37th season of the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series.

The lineup was announced during the Jeff Bridges lecture and season finale on Tuesday, May 1, 2018. All Tate Lectures take place at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

The upcoming season at a glance:

For more information, visit the Tate Distinguished Lecture Series website.

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