Former President George W. Bush will deliver address at SMU’s 2015 Commencement Saturday, May 16

George W BushGeorge W. Bush, the 43rd president of the United States, will deliver the address at SMU’s Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, in Moody Coliseum on the main campus.

“This Commencement is especially noteworthy because 2015 is the 100-year anniversary of SMU’s opening. So it is fitting that we should hear from a president who led our nation and the world during historic times and is a valued member of the campus community,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner.

SMU expects to award more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees in the University-wide ceremony.

This is the first time that an SMU Commencement speaker has returned for a second presentation. Mr. Bush’s first Commencement speech at SMU was in 1999, when he was governor of Texas.

George W. Bush has been a long-time member of the SMU family through his marriage to Laura, an SMU alumna, who is currently a member of the SMU Board of Trustees. However, since his 2007 decision to locate his Presidential Center at SMU, he has become an active member of the University community, attending events and visiting classes.

“The Presidential Center and SMU are enjoying numerous partnerships through joint programming and faculty research as well as internships for SMU students,” Turner said. “Through the Center, more than 700,000 people have visited SMU, most of whom never before would have come to our campus. We are grateful for the resources and benefits of the Presidential Center and President Bush’s participation as Commencement speaker during this special time.”

George W. Bush received his bachelor’s degree in history from Yale University and an M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School. After a successful career in business, including as an owner of the Texas Rangers, he was elected governor of Texas in 1994. When he was re-elected in November 1998, he became the first governor in Texas history to be elected to consecutive four-year terms. He is the author of two New York Times number one bestsellers, Decision Points and 41: A Portrait of my Father.

Following the University-wide Commencement, SMU’s schools and departments will hold individual ceremonies throughout the day to present degrees and honor graduates.

Written by Patricia Ann LaSalle

> Read more from SMU News

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Sports: Women’s track and field finishes 3rd at 2015 AAC Indoor Championship

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SMU‬ checks in at No. 22 in both the AP and USA Today Coaches polls after Uconn upset.

Men’s Basketball: The Mustangs’ five-game winning streak came to an end on Sunday, March 1, after UConn upset SMU 81-73. The Mustangs return to Moody Coliseum for their regular-season finale against Tulsa at 2 p.m. Sunday, March 8.

Women’s Basketball: The Mustangs play their final game of the regular season at Memphis Monday, March 2, at 7 p.m. SMU first-year Alicia Froling leads the team with 11.5 points per game, and junior Destynee Hives-McCray ranks in the top 10 in the league in rebounds. For live game stats, visit Gametracker powered by CBS Sports.

Equestrian: The Mustangs’ Sunday, March 1 meet against South Dakota was canceled due to inclement weather. The next meet for the Mustangs is on Sunday, March 8, against Oklahoma State.

Football: The Mustangs have finalized their 2015 schedule, announcing the addition of James Madison to the slate for the Centennial Celebration and Homecoming Weekend on Saturday, Sept. 26. The first season under new head coach Chad Morris features seven games on the SMU campus, including Ford Stadium match-ups with in-state rivals Baylor and UNT. To view the full schedule, visit the SMU Mustangs webpage.

Men’s Tennis: The Mustangs picked up another win on Sunday, March 1, defeating Incarnate Word 7-0 at the Ann and Brad Brookshire Family Pavilion in the SMU Tennis Complex. SMU returns to the court on Friday, March 6, as it hosts both Sacramento State at 2 p.m., and Texas-Pan American at 6 p.m., at the SMU Tennis Complex.

Women’s Track & Field: The Mustangs finished third at the American Athletic Conference Indoor Championship on Saturday, Feb. 28, at the New Balance Track & Field Center. Finishing with 83 points, the Mustangs were 3.5 points behind second-place UCF and 25 points behind champion Connecticut. Next, the Mustangs will travel to Arkansas on March 13-14 for the NCAA Indoor Championship.

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Students honor professors’ excellence with 2015 HOPE Awards

SMU’s Department of Residence Life and Student Housing honored 45 exceptional University educators at the 2015 HOPE Awards Banquet in February.

HOPE (Honoring Our Professors’ Excellence) Award recipients are named through student staff member nominations as professors who “have made a significant impact to our academic education both inside and outside of the classroom.”

Eric Larson, assistant professor in the Department of Computer Science and Engineering in the Lyle School of Engineering, was honored as 2015 Professor of the Year.

The complete list of 2015 HOPE Award honorees:

Cox School of Business

  • Judy Foxman, Marketing
  • Hyungshin Park, Accounting
  • Robert Puelz, Real Estate, Insurance and Business Law

Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences

  • Adriana Aceves, Mathematics
  • Paul Avey, Tower Center for Political Studies
  • Greg Brownderville, English
  • David Michael Crow, Psychology
  • LeeAnn Derdeyn, English/Discernment and Discourse
  • Melissa Dowling, History/Classical Studies
  • John Duca, Economics
  • James K. Hopkins, History
  • Vanessa Hopper, English
  • Matthew Keller, Sociology
  • Michael Lattman, Chemistry
  • David Lee, Anthropology
  • Judy Newell, Mathematics
  • Rachel Ney, World Languages and Literatures/French
  • Jennifer O’Brien, Chemistry
  • Wei Qu, World Languages and Literatures/Chinese
  • Stephen Robertson, Statistical Science
  • Bivin Sadler, Statistical Science
  • Martha Satz, English
  • Sam Ross Sloan, English
  • Tom Stone, English
  • Thierry Tirado, World Languages and Literatures/French
  • Nick Tsarevsky, Chemistry
  • John Wise, Biological Sciences
  • Patty Wisian-Neilson, Chemistry
  • Brian Zoltowski, Chemistry

Lyle School of Engineering

  • Mark Fontenot, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Eric Larson, Computer Science and Engineering
  • Peter Raad, Mechanical Engineering

Meadows School of the Arts

  • Hank Hammett, Music/Meadows Opera Theatre
  • Debora Hunter, Art
  • Mark Kerins, Film and Media Arts
  • Suzanne Larkin, Advertising
  • Melissa Murray, Music
  • Tom Tunks, Music
  • Ben Voth, Communication Studies

Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development

  • Yolette Garcia, Assistant Dean for External Affairs and Outreach
  • Lynn Jacobs, Applied Physiology and Wellness
  • Kelyn Rola, Applied Physiology and Wellness

Dedman School of Law

  • Martin Camp, Assistant Dean of Student Affairs
  • Meghan Ryan, Criminal Law and Procedure, Torts

Perkins School of Theology

  • Abraham Smith, New Testament
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SMU Women’s Symposium celebrates 50 years, looks to the future Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Lilly Ledbetter

Equal-pay activist Lilly Ledbetter will give the keynote speech at SMU’s 50th annual Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 4, 2015.

The SMU Women’s Symposium will examine women’s progress through the last 50 years as part of its own golden anniversary celebration on Wednesday, March 4, 2015,

More than 600 attendees are expected to gather at the Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary. Now the longest running event of its kind, the student-led symposium has challenged, changed and broadened women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009 and an advocate for gender wage equality, will present at noon a keynote address about her 10-year battle for pay equality at Goodyear Tire and Rubber.

“Lilly Ledbetter represents women using their voices to create change,” says Karen Click, director of SMU’s Women and LBGT Center. “We’ve been inspired by that for 50 years and hope that we continue, as women, to examine our voices and use them.”

Past speakers have included Hillary Clinton, Maya Angelou, Margaret Mead, Marlee Matlin, Patricia Ireland and Eleanor Clift.

Women's Symposium 2015“For me, Women’s Symposium was a unique opportunity for women to come together to discuss issues in a supportive environment,” says Meg Wuebbels Leal, a Phoenix attorney and government relations specialist who was involved with SMU Women’s Symposium as a student in the late 1980s. “It serves as a great example to young college-age women of how to network and support one another.”

The 2015 symposium will feature a community resource fair, book signing and community awards reception and dinner where Merriott Terry, executive director of IGNITE Texas, will receive the Gail Reese Ward Excellence in Mentoring Award.

The Profiles in Leadership Award will be presented to Roberta Berger, licensed professional counselor and psychologist; Ashley Elsey, founder and owner of Minerva Consulting; Pam Gerbber, executive director, Entrepreneurs for North Texas; Liz Cedillo-Pereira, attorney and founding partner of Cedillo-Pereira and Associates; and Nellie Tafalla, community activist.

The symposium is open to the public and will take place from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at SMU’s Hughes-Trigg Student Center.

Written by Nancy George

> Visit the SMU Women’s Symposium online: smu.edu/womsym
> Find a complete schedule at the SMU News website

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Award winners, 25-year employees to be honored at 2015 Staff Recognition Ceremony Thursday, March 5

2015 SMU Staff Recognition CeremonyThe SMU Staff Association honors outstanding employees with its 14th annual Staff Association Assembly and Recognition Ceremony. The event begins at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, March 5, 2015 in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. A reception precedes the ceremony at 10 a.m.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner will give his annual State of SMU speech, as well as the ceremony’s keynote address.

Winners of the 2015 Loretta O’Reilly Hawkins Award and Presidential Recognition Awards will be honored during the event. The event also honors staff members who are celebrating their 25th anniversary with the University.

Staff members to receive special recognition include:

  • Erich Heise, Parking and ID Card Services, Business and Finance
  • Amit Kumar, High-Performance Computing, Information Technology
  • Toni Nolen, IT Services, Fondren Library Center
  • Darrah Rippy, Academic Scheduling, Office of the Registrar
  • Julie Wiksten, Associate VP for Operational Excellence, OE2C

>  Learn more at the Staff Association homepage: smu.edu/smusa

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Simmons School creates scholarship fund honoring Peter Gifford

Peter Gifford portraitSMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human Development has established the Peter B. Gifford Memorial Scholarship Fund in memory of their colleague and friend.

During his 41-year SMU career, Gifford served as assistant professor of physical education (1973-80) and then as associate professor and chair of the Department of Health and Physical Education (1980-92) within Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences.

In 1990, he became director of the SMU Wellness program within the Office of Student Affairs and served in that position for 17 years. From 2007 to 2012 he served as chair of the Applied Physiology and Wellness Department within the Simmons School. He passed away Nov. 5, 2014 at the age of 69.

Gifford was instrumental in creating both the Wellness and the Applied Physiology and Sports Management programs at SMU. He received a Rotunda Outstanding Professor Award in 2013.

To make a gift in memory of Peter Gifford, visit the SMU Giving site and choose the Peter B. Gifford Memorial Fund from the drop-down menu.

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Star students show their work on SMU Research Day, Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015

Stock photo of lab workersSMU graduate students, and select undergraduates, from a wide variety of disciplines will share their work as part of the University’s 2015 Research Day. All SMU faculty, staff members and students are invited to visit the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballrooms from 2-5 p.m Wednesday, Feb. 25, to meet the student researchers and discuss their results.

Awards will be presented at the event’s end, and refreshments will be served throughout.

> See a list of participating student researchers and their projects from SMU News
Visit SMU Graduate Studies online

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Best-selling author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin delivers Tate Lecture, Feb. 24, 2015

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Pulitzer Prize-winning biographer, best-selling author and presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin will visit SMU on Tuesday, Feb. 24 to deliver the Willis M. Tate Distinguished Lecture. Continuing the 33rd season of Tate Lectures, Goodwin will offer her insight and opinion on current events.

GoodwinDorisKearns_credit Eric LevinAfter earning a Ph.D. in government from Harvard University, Goodwin began her career as an assistant to President Lyndon Johnson in his last year in the White House. She later assisted President Johnson in preparation of his memoirs. As a Pulitzer-Prize wining writer of historical biographies, Goodwin has won wide praise for her meticulous, in-depth research and ability to chronicle both the public and private lives of her subjects.

In addition to her six critically acclaimed and New York Times best-selling books, Goodwin’s work has also been featured on the big screen. Based in part on her award-winning Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln, Goodwin paired with Steven Spielberg at DreamWorks Studio to create the film Lincoln. The film grossed $275 million at the box office and eared 12 Academy Award nominations, including an Academy Award for actor Daniel Day-Lewis for his portrayal of President Abraham Lincoln.

All SMU students, faculty and staff are invited to the Turner Construction/Wells Fargo Student Forum segment at 4:30 p.m. in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center Ballroom. Doors open at 4 p.m., and seats may be reserved online. 

Tickets to The Anita and Truman Arnold Lecture are sold out. However, SMU students can go to the basement of McFarlin Auditorium at 7 p.m. with their SMU IDs for possible seating on a first-come, first-serve basis. 

> Learn more about the 33rd SMU Tate Distinguished Lecture Series

> For additional information, contact the SMU Tate Series

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Weather: SMU, SMU-in-Plano open at noon Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015

Due to inclement weather, SMU and SMU-in-Plano will open at noon Tuesday, Feb. 24, 2015.

The University will continue to post updates and information at smu.edu and on Twitter and Facebook.

> Learn more about SMU’s Inclement Weather Policy at smu.edu/weather

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Weather: SMU and SMU-in-Plano closed Monday, Feb. 23, 2015

SMU and SMU-in-Plano are closed Monday, Feb. 23, 2015, due to inclement weather.

The University continues to monitor the weather and will post updates at smu.edu and on Twitter and Facebook.

Dining services will be available even when the University closes because of inclement weather. For information about hours of operation for SMU Dining Services, please visit smudining.com or facebook.com/smudining.

In addition, Fondren Library expects to be open from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. when the University closes for inclement weather. Please check for any schedule changes on the Central University Libraries homepage at smu.edu/cul.

> Learn more about SMU’s Inclement Weather Policy at smu.edu/weather

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