SMU to honor three global leaders with honorary degrees during its 100th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, 2015

academic ceremonies

SMU to honor three global leaders with honorary degrees during its 100th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, 2015

SMU has chosen three extraordinary women to receive honorary degrees at its 100th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 16, 2015.

The honorees are Meave Leakey, standard-bearer of a family of anthropologists whose research in Africa has revealed important clues to humans’ earliest ancestors; Irene Hirano Inouye, who helped build the Japanese American National Museum and is the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council; and Helen LaKelly Hunt, a donor-activist, author and SMU alumna whose life focus has been to empower women and educate people about the value of healthy, intimate relationships. All three will receive from SMU the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Information about symposia presented by the honorary degree recipients will be released at a later date.

“One of the great privileges for SMU is conferring honorary degrees upon recipients who have excelled in their fields and contributed to society in diverse ways,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “They show our students how to change the world through education, service and philanthropy – and also illustrate the value of lives well-lived.”

> The history of honorary degrees at SMU, including honorees by name, year and degree

Meave LeakeyMEAVE LEAKEY has established herself as one of the most visible and distinguished scientists in a highly competitive profession through her field and laboratory research in paleoanthropology. Her research interests focus on East African mammalian evolution over the past 30 million years, with emphasis on primate and human evolution. Together with colleagues, Leakey has described new species of early apes, monkeys and human ancestors, including Australopithecus anamensis, the earliest known australopithecine (an extinct genus of early African hominids), and Kenyanthropus platyops (also extinct, the species name means “flat-faced man of Kenya”). These findings provide evidence of diversity in the human fossil record 3.5 million years ago.

Having retired as head of the Department of Palaeontology at the National Museums of Kenya, Leakey is now a research associate in the museum’s Palaeontology Division. She also is a research professor in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Stony Brook, New York, and director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi. In 2002, she was named a National Geographic “Explorer-in-Residence” in honor of the 50-year relationship between the National Geographic Society and the Leakey family.

Leakey is author of numerous groundbreaking scientific publications in prestigious journals and the author of several monographs documenting her research in Turkana. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including two honorary degrees from Stony Brook University and the University College of London, and was a recipient of the Academy of Achievement Award in 2004. In 2011 she was elected an Honorary Fellow of the Geological Society of London. In 2013 she was inducted into the National Academy of Sciences in Washington, D.C., as a Foreign Associate, and the same year she became a Fellow of the African Academy of Sciences.

Leakey received a B.S. in zoology and marine zoology from the University of North Wales in 1965 and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of North Wales in 1968.

Irene Hirano Inouye IRENE HIRANO INOUYE became the executive director of T.H.E. (To Help Everyone) Clinic in Los Angeles at the age of 27. Founded by medical volunteers, T.H.E. aspired to bring affordable healthcare to poor and uninsured women. In 1988, she was appointed president and CEO of the Japanese-American National Museum (JANM), which opened in 1992. She would develop it as one of the preeminent resources in America on the immigrant experience. Its high-profile exhibitions, community connections, research projects and eventual affiliation with the Smithsonian have helped the museum build a reputation for excellence while encouraging young people to acknowledge and connect with their Japanese-American heritage. Inouye has played a foundational role in getting the World War II Japanese internment camp experience into history textbooks, and in gaining public attention for exceptional Japanese-Americans.

Inouye became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council (USJC) in 2008, the same year she married U.S. Sen. Daniel K. Inouye. The USJC builds upon her work at the Japanese American National Museum and seeks to create networks of Japanese-Americans at the top levels of business, government, education, and the non-profit sector. After the 2011 tsunami in Japan, she became the guiding force in the Tomodachi Initiative, which supports Japan’s recovery from the disaster as a joint project of the USJC and the American embassy in Tokyo.

Inouye currently serves as chair of the board of the Ford Foundation, and she previously chaired the board of the Kresge Foundation. She also serves on the executive boards of Independent Sector, the National Trust for Historic Preservation, the Smithsonian Institution, the American Association of Museums, and the President’s Committee.

Inouye earned two degrees in Public Administration from USC: her B.S. in 1970 and her M.P.A. in 1972.

Helen LaKelly Hunt HELEN LaKELLY HUNT is a donor-activist, author and SMU alumna who has been recognized for both her work for healthy marriages and family and her efforts in helping to build the global women’s funding movement. She is the founder of The Sister Fund, a private foundation that supports women’s social, political, economic and spiritual empowerment. Hunt has helped establish several other organizations, including Dallas Women’s Foundation, New York Women’s Foundation, Women’s Funding Network and Women Moving Millions.

Her books include Faith and Feminism: A Holy Alliance, as well as seven books on intimate relationships and parenting co-authored with her husband, Harville HendrixTheir joint publications have sold more than two million copies and have been translated into more than 50 languages. With Hendrix, Hunt helped to develop Imago Relationships International, a nonprofit organization formed as a guide for transforming relationships and building better marriages. Imago Therapy is practiced by more than 1,900 therapists in more than 20 countries. Over the last two years, they have been disseminating in South Dallas and West Dallas “Safe Conversations” skills through a program called Family Wellness Dallas!

In recognition of her leadership in the women’s funding movement, Hunt has received Gloria Steinem’s Women of Vision Award from the Ms. Foundation for Women, the Equity Leadership Award from Nontraditional Employment for Women (NEW), the National Creative Philanthropy Award from the National Network of Women’s Funds, and the Laura Parsons Pratt Award for Outstanding Achievement on Behalf of Women and Children from the Federation of Protestant Welfare Agencies. In addition, Hunt has been an Honoree of the Center for the Elimination of Violence in the Family and has been inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame.

Hunt received three degrees from SMU: a B.A. in Secondary Education in 1971, an M.L.A. in 1976 and an M.A in Counseling in 1979. Hunt earned a Ph.D. from Union Theological Seminary in 2004, her focus of study being the religious foundations of American Feminism.

> Learn more about SMU’s Commencement ceremonies, events and traditions at smu.edu/commencement

April 1, 2015|For the Record, News, Save the Date|

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

March 3, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Year of the Student|

Calendar Highlights, Feb. 4, 2015

Photograph taken at SMU Meadows Susannah recital

Photograph taken at SMU Meadows Opera Theatre rehearsal for upcoming production Susannah.

Meadows Opera Theatre: The award-winning Meadows Opera Theatre, directed by Hank Hammett, presents the two-act opera SusannahTickets are $7 for students, faculty and staff and are available for purchase online. The production will run from Thursday, Feb. 5 through Sunday, Feb. 8, in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. For more information, call 214-768-2787.

Clements Center Senior Fellow Lecture: Lead by Clements Center Research Senior Fellow Rachel St. John, the Annual Clements Center Senior Fellow Lecture will explore “Unmanifest America: The Unstable Borders of 19th-Century North America & the Strange Career of William Gwin.St. John will present her research on William Gwin, the once prominent speculator and politician who attempted to expand the boundaries of the Untied States during the 19th century. The lecture will begin at 6 p.m., Thursday, Feb. 5, in McCord Auditorium. Although this event is free and open to the public, seating is limited and guests are encouraged to register online. For more information, call 214-768-3684.

Faith Colloquium: The Bolin Family 2015 Public Life|Personal Faith Colloquium presents former While House Chief of Staff Andrew and his wife, the Rev. Kathleen Card. Sponsored by the SMU Perkins School of Theoogy, the event will take place on Friday, Feb. 6. The informal Q&A-style Colloquium, free and open to the public, will be from 10-11 a.m. in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall, 5901 Bishop Boulevard. For more information, visit Perkin’s Public Life|Personal Faith webpage. 

Meadows Museum Symposium: Co-organized by the Meadows Museum and Edith O’Donnell Institute of Art History, the Meadows Museum Symposium presents “Curating Goya,” Saturday, Feb. 7, 10 a.m., in the Bob Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum.  Curators of recent and upcoming shows on Francisco Goya will discuss how different approaches to exhibiting Goya’s work invite new paths for understanding his art. While this is a free event with no registration required, seating will be offered on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, call 214-768-4677.

Marine

“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Brass Quintet.

U.S. Marine Band Brass Quintet: Presented by the Meadows School of the Arts“The President’s Own” United States Marine Band Brass Quintet from Washington D.C., will give a free concert at 8 p.m., Tuesday, Feb. 10 in Caruth Auditorium. As America’s oldest continuously active professional musical organization, the quintet’s mission is to perform for the president of the United States and the commandant of the Marine Corps. For more information, call the Meadows School Division of Music at 214-768-1951.

February 4, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Calendar Highlights: Jan. 28, 2015

engaged-learning-logoBig iDeas Demo Day: SMU Engaged Learning concludes Engaged Learning Week with Big iDeas Demo Day on Friday, Jan. 30, 12-5 p.m., in The CUBE, 600 Expressway Tower, East Campus. A free buffet lunch and the Big iDeas Pitch Competition Winners Fair will begin at noon. Next, the Big iDeas Pitch Competition Winners will compete to receive up to $5,000 in project funding in the Business Plan Competition starting at 2 p.m.  For more information, visit the Engaged Learning webpage or email Susan Kress.

BP DEMO DAY TILECampus Kids’ Day: Following their match versus Sam Houston State at the SMU Tennis Complex, the SMU Women’s Tennis Team will host a free Campus Kids’ Day Clinic on Friday, Jan. 30. Started by the United States Tennis Association (USTA), Campus Kids’ Day Clinics expose current and aspiring junior players to college tennis. The match begins at 3 p.m. with the clinic following at approximately 5 p.m. The clinic will be open to kids of all ages. To register for the free clinic, email SMU Women’s Tennis Head Coach Kati Gyulai.

Meadows Community Series:  SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents six community concerts and events as part of its “Meadows Community Series.” Designed to bring Meadows performances into the community, the Meadows Wind Ensemble will start the spring series at 8 p.m. Friday, Jan. 30 in Dallas City Performance HallThe series also features concerts by the SYZYGY new music ensemble, Meadows choirs, Meadows Opera Theatre and Meadows Symphony Orchestra, as well as a dance performance and children’s creative movement class at Klyde Warren Park. For additional information and a full schedule of the series, visit the Meadows Community Series webpage.  

Faculty Piano Recital: As part of their faculty performance series, SMU Meadows School of the Arts presents Catharine Lysinger. Lysinger is a senior lecturer and artistic director of the Meadows Piano Preparatory Department. The performance is free, and will take place Saturday, Jan. 31, 8 p.m., in Caruth Auditorium. For more information, call 214.768.2787.

ignitelogofinalThe Crain All-University Leadership Conference: Seeking to “ignite” leadership within the SMU community, the 2015 Crain All-University Leadership Conference will take place Feb. 6-7, in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. This year’s conference will feature keynote speakers Chad Morris, SMU’s new Head Football Coach, and Shanterra McBride, SMU Alumna and founder of Preparing Leaders of Today. For additional information, visit the conference webpage.

January 28, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Calendar Highlights: The Spring 2015 term at a glance

Dallas Hall steps from a 3rd-story windowWelcome back! SMU’s 2015 Spring Term begins Friday, Jan. 16 – a few important dates at a glance:

  • Friday, Jan. 16: First day of classes for the 2015 Spring Term
  • Monday, Jan. 19: Martin Luther King Day (University closed). SMU celebrates MLK Day of Service 8 a.m.-1 p.m. – learn more at smu.edu/volunteer
  • Wednesday, Jan. 21: Spring 2015 General Faculty Meeting
  • Monday-Sunday, March 9-15: Spring Break
  • Friday, April 3: Good Friday (University closed)
  • Monday, April 13: Honors Convocation and Awards Extravaganza
  • Friday, April 17: Founders’ Day
  • Monday, May 4: Last day of classes for Spring 2015
  • Tuesday, May 5: Reading Day
  • Wednesday-Tuesday, May 6-12: Final examinations (no exams scheduled on Sunday)
  • Friday, May 15: Baccalaureate
  • Saturday, May 16: All-University Commencement and school/department diploma ceremonies
January 15, 2015|Calendar Highlights, Save the Date|
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