Celebrating Commencement 2009

Alexander McCall Smith

Celebrating Commencement 2009

Commencement 2008 banner line-up

SMU observes its 94th Commencement May 15-16 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

Former First Lady and current SMU Trustee Laura Bush (’68) will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 16 in Moody Coliseum. The University expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

Some major events at a glance:

May 15-16 – Class of 1959 golden reunion
May 15 – Honorary Degree Symposia honoring Harold W. Attridge, Arthur Mitchell and Alexander McCall Smith
May 15 – Baccalaureate and Rotunda Recessional
May 16 – Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation
May 16 – All-University Commencement
May 16 – School diploma presentations

Find more information at the Registrar’s Commencement 2009 website.

Read more about Laura Bush
Find times and locations for the 2009 Honorary Degree Symposia
Get a preview of the University’s new academic regalia

May 12, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU community meets 2009 honorary degree recipients May 15

In keeping with University tradition, SMU will welcome its 2009 class of honorary degree recipients with a series of symposia in their honor. The symposia are scheduled for May 15, and all are free and open to the entire campus community.

“The honorary degree symposia are an opportunity for the campus and Dallas communities to see why these folks are being honored with an SMU degree,” says Fred Moss, associate professor in Dedman School of Law and symposium moderator. “Otherwise, they might simply be a name and a list of impressive credentials. They can be more fully appreciated as being outstanding in their fields though such events.”

The events and participants are as follows:

Harold W. Attridge• Panelists Mark Chancey of Dedman College‘s Religious Studies Department and Jaime Clark-Soles, Roy Heller and Susanne Scholz of Perkins School of Theology discuss “The Bible in American Public Life” in a symposium honoring Doctor of Divinity recipient honoris causa Harold W. Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School. The symposium takes place 10 a.m.-noon in Perkins Chapel, preceded by a 9:15 a.m. reception in Bridwell Library.

Arthur Mitchell• Co-founder and artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and honorary Doctor of Arts recipient Arthur Mitchell will discuss his life and work with Meadows School of the Arts professors Shelley Berg, Dance, and Maria Dixon, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, in “A Conversation with Arthur Mitchell,” followed by a Q & A with the audience. The event begins at 1 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall, 2130 Owen Arts Center.

Alexander McCall Smith• SMU faculty, staff and students are invited to meet acclaimed author and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipient Alexander McCall Smith and to take part in “A Conversation with Alexander McCall Smith,” moderated by Dedman School of Law Professor Fred Moss, from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Umphrey Lee Ballroom. The SMU Bookstore will sell McCall Smith’s books on site, and the author will autograph them after the program.

May 11, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News|

Calendar Highlights: Commencement Countdown, May 11, 2009

Etruscan exhibitLast days of the Etruscans: The landmark Meadows Museum exhibition “From the Temple and the Tomb: Etruscan Treasures From Tuscany” closes May 17. Make plans to visit now – visit the Meadows Museum website for hours and more information.

B.F.A. Qualifying Exhibition: SMU’s annual spring exhibition by the Division of Art’s newest Bachelor of Fine Arts graduates features works in a wide-ranging variety of styles and mediums. Check it out through May 16 in the Pollock Gallery on the Hughes-Trigg Student Center main level.

Honorary Degree Symposia: SMU honors its 2009 class of honorary degree recipients with the following special events, all scheduled for May 15:

• Panelists Mark Chancey of Dedman College’s Religious Studies Department and Jaime Clark-Soles, Roy Heller and Susanne Scholz of Perkins School of Theology discuss “The Bible in American Public Life,” a symposium honoring Doctor of Divinity recipient honoris causa Harold W. Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School. The symposium takes place 10 a.m.-noon in Perkins Chapel, preceded by a 9:15 a.m. reception in Bridwell Library.

• Co-founder and artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and honorary Doctor of Arts recipient Arthur Mitchell will discuss his life and work with Shelley Berg, Dance, and Maria Dixon, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, in “A Conversation with Arthur Mitchell,” followed by a Q & A with the audience. The event begins at 1 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall, 2130 Owen Arts Center.

• SMU faculty, staff and students are invited to meet acclaimed author and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipient Alexander McCall Smith and to take part in “A Conversation with Alexander McCall Smith,” moderated by Dedman School of Law Professor Fred Moss, from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Umphrey Lee Ballroom. The SMU Bookstore will sell McCall Smith’s books on site, and the author will autograph them after the program.

Commencement 2008 - Faculty Senate President Gary EvansRead more about the 2009 honorary degree recipients

Commencement Countdown 2009:

May 15-16: Class of 1959 Golden Reunion
May 15: Baccalaureate and Rotunda Recessional
May 16: Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation
May 16: All-University Commencement
May 16: School and departmental diploma ceremonies

Find more information at the Registrar’s Commencement 2009 website
Read more about former First Lady Laura Bush (’68), the 2009 Commencement speaker

May 11, 2009|Calendar Highlights|

Calendar Highlights: Commencement Countdown, May 4, 2009

Staff Appreciation Day 2008Save the date: Make plans now for the 2009 Staff Appreciation Day and President’s Picnic. The annual celebration takes place May 21. Watch the SMU Forum for time, location and more information.

Dinner with Friends: The Friends of the SMU Libraries will hold their Annual Dinner and Meeting at 6 p.m. May 4 at Popolo’s Café. Skip Hollandsworth, executive editor of Texas Monthly magazine, will share light-hearted Texas tales including the story of the Preston Hollow jewel thieves and the legend of Candy Barr. Reservations are required. For more information, contact Amy Carver, 214-768-3225.

Honorary Degree Symposia: SMU honors its 2009 class of honorary degree recipients with the following special events, all scheduled for May 15:

• Panelists Mark Chancey of Dedman College’s Religious Studies Department and Jaime Clark-Soles, Roy Heller and Susanne Scholz of Perkins School of Theology discuss “The Bible in American Public Life,” a symposium honoring Doctor of Divinity recipient honoris causa Harold W. Attridge, dean of Yale Divinity School. The symposium takes place 10 a.m.-noon in Perkins Chapel, preceded by a 9:15 a.m. reception in Bridwell Library.

• Co-founder and artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem and honorary Doctor of Arts recipient Arthur Mitchell will discuss his life and work with Shelley Berg, Dance, and Maria Dixon, Corporate Communications and Public Affairs, in “A Conversation with Arthur Mitchell,” followed by a Q & A with the audience. The event begins at 1 p.m. in O’Donnell Hall, 2130 Owen Arts Center.

• SMU faculty, staff and students are invited to meet acclaimed author and honorary Doctor of Humane Letters recipient Alexander McCall Smith and to take part in “A Conversation with Alexander McCall Smith,” moderated by Dedman School of Law Professor Fred Moss, from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Umphrey Lee Ballroom. The SMU Bookstore will sell McCall Smith’s books on site, and the author will autograph them after the program.

Read more about the 2009 honorary degree recipients

Baccalaureate 2008Commencement Countdown 2009:

May 15-16: Class of 1959 Golden Reunion
May 15: Baccalaureate and Rotunda Recessional
May 16: Faculty Breakfast and Distinguished University Citizen Awards presentation
May 16: All-University Commencement
May 16: School and departmental diploma ceremonies

Find more information at the Registrar’s Commencement 2009 website
Read more about former First Lady Laura Bush (’68), the 2009 Commencement speaker

May 4, 2009|Calendar Highlights|

Three to receive honorary degrees at Commencement 2009

Best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith, Yale Divinity School Dean Harold W. Attridge and Dance Theater of Harlem co-founder Arthur Mitchell will receive honorary degrees at SMU’s 94th Commencement ceremony at 9:30 a.m. May 16 in Moody Coliseum. Former First Lady Laura Bush (’68) will deliver the Commencement address.

Theologian and academic leader Harold W. Attridge will receive the honorary Doctor of Divinity degree. Law professor and best-selling author Alexander McCall Smith will receive the honorary Doctor or Humane Letters. Dancer, choreographer and educator Arthur Mitchell will receive the honorary Doctor of Arts degree.

“The conferring of honorary degrees is an important part of the Commencement tradition, and we are pleased to recognize three distinguished individuals who have made unique contributions to varied fields of endeavor,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “Their achievements help our young graduates to appreciate the breadth of opportunity possible for their own futures as a result of their education.”

Harold AttridgeHarold W. Attridge, an internationally respected scholar of early Christianity, currently serves at Yale Divinity School as dean and Lillian Claus Professor of New Testament. After receiving his A.B. degree from Boston College, he earned two degrees at Cambridge University and a Ph.D. from Harvard University. He served on the faculty of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology from 1977 to 1985. He then joined the University of Notre Dame, where he was professor of New Testament and later dean of the College of Arts and Letters. He joined the Yale faculty in 1997 and became dean of the Divinity School in 2002.

Attridge’s research has contributed significantly to understanding of the intellectual and religious environment in which Christianity arose. His books include a landmark commentary on the New Testament Epistle to the Hebrews.

Alexander McCall SmithAlexander McCall Smith has excelled in two diverse careers, as legal scholar and fiction writer. He earned a law degree and Ph.D. from the University of Edinburgh, where he has led a distinguished career as professor of medical law. He has been a visiting professor at law schools in Europe and the United States, including twice at SMU’s Dedman School of Law, in the late 1980s and in fall 1998. An international authority on biomedical ethics, he has served on the International Bioethics Commission of UNESCO.

Professor McCall Smith is most widely known, however, as a best-selling author. His mystery series on The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency has sold more than 20 million copies worldwide and been translated into more than 40 languages. The series has been adapted for radio, television and feature film.

Professor McCall Smith has strong connections with faculty in SMU’s Dedman School of Law. He co-authored a professional book with Professor Daniel W. Shuman and dedicated a book in the Isabel Dalhousie Sunday Philosophy Club series to Professor Shuman. Professor McCall Smith dedicated the first book in The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency series to Professor Joseph W. McKnight and his wife, Mimi, and featured the McKnights as characters in one of the Dalhousie books.

Arthur MitchellArthur Mitchell is a pivotal figure in the world of dance, as well as an agent for social change. He is co-founder and artistic director of the Dance Theatre of Harlem, a multicultural ballet company of international renown that has broken barriers around the world. After studying at the School of American Ballet, Mitchell became the first African-American male to be a permanent member and principal dancer with the New York City Ballet. Following the assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. in 1968, he resolved to provide opportunities for the children of Harlem and co-founded the Dance Theatre of Harlem.

Over the years, Mitchell and his dancers have served as cultural ambassadors and received worldwide acclaim. He also helped develop Dancing Through Barriers®, a national and international education and community outreach program that introduces young people to dance.

SMU expects to award nearly 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to students at the University-wide Commencement ceremony. The University’s schools and departments will hold individual diploma ceremonies throughout the day.

April 21, 2009|Calendar Highlights, News|
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