alumni news

SMU honors 2015 DAA, Emerging Leader Award winners on the Hilltop’s 100th birthday, Thursday, Sept. 24

The Rev. Dr. Michael Waters

The Rev. Dr. Michael Waters ’02, ’06, ’12 will receive the 2015 Emerging Leader Award at SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award ceremony during its Centennial Homecoming celebration.

SMU will honor four leaders in philanthropy, business and civic life with the highest honor the University can bestow upon its graduates. The 2015 Distinguished Alumni Awards dinner and ceremony begin at 7 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 24 on the Main Quad.

The 2015 Distinguished Alumni are Bess Fraser Enloe ’60, teacher, arts leader and volunteer; Donald F. Jackson ’63, financial counselor and former professor in SMU’s Cox School of Business; and Billie Ida Williamson ’74, one of the first woman partners in Ernst & Young LLP and Dallas civic leader.

The Rev. Dr. Michael Waters ’02, ’06, ’12, founder and senior pastor of Dallas’ Joy Tabernacle African Methodist Episcopal Church, will receive the University’s Emerging Leader Award. The honor recognizes the outstanding achievements of an alumnus or alumna who has graduated in the last 15 years.

> Read more about SMU’s 2015 Distinguished Alumni and Emerging Leader

For more information, visit SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Awards homepage or call 214-768-4468.

Find a list of past DAA recipients at the SMU Alumni site

Wading Home opera marks an SMU Meadows-guided community collaboration between Dallas and New Orleans

'Wading Home' photoTo observe the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina, SMU is participating in a community collaboration that commemorates the event in music. Wading Home, an opera set against the backdrop of the historic storm, opens for a one-night-only free performance at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015 in Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora Street. The show was performed in New Orleans on Sept. 12-13 at Loyola University’s Roussel Hall.

The story of a young musician’s struggle to find his missing father in the chaotic aftermath of the hurricane, Wading Home is based on the novel of the same name by Dallas author and violinist Rosalyn Story. The opera, composed by Dallas musician Mary Alice Rich, is produced in collaboration with several Meadows School of the Arts faculty members and students, as well as community members from Dallas and New Orleans.

The opera is a dream project for Meadows Professor of Voice Barbara Hill Moore, who is serving as producer and music director. The stage director is Meadows Director of Opera Hank Hammett, and the conductor is Constantina Tsolainou, former head of choral activities at the Meadows School.

“I am intensely proud of the amazing gifts of time, talent, and love of the human family and spirit, shared without compensation by SMU faculty, staff, students and alumni in this collaborative project with Loyola University and the people of New Orleans,” says Hill Moore. “The three performances of Wading Home are a community collaboration shared by Texans, Louisianans, New Yorkers, South Africans and a host of people from around the globe with the people of New Orleans and of Dallas.”

Baritone and Meadows alumnus Donnie Ray Albert (M.M. ’75) sings the role of the lost father, Simon. Other leading roles in the Dallas performance include established opera singers and Meadows alumni Leon Turner (M.M. ’92) as Julian, Simon’s musician son, and Bronwen Forbay (Artist Diploma ’04) as Velmyra, Julian’s former love who helps him reconnect with his Louisiana roots and his lost father. Also sharing the stage is Quintin Coleman (M.M. ’15, Performer’s Diploma ’17) as Julian’s trumpeter friend Grady, with whom Julian has lost touch during the years he has been performing around the globe as a famous jazz musician. Dance alumnus Jamal Story (B.F.A. Dance Performance and B.A. Corporate Communications ’99) will also perform.

The SMU Meadows new music ensemble SYZYGY, led by Meadows Director of Chamber Music and three-time Grammy winner Matt Albert, will play live. Also onstage for the Dallas performance will be the Children’s Chorus of Greater Dallas.

The performances have been produced with support from the Dallas-based organization The Black Academy of Arts and Letters (TBAAL), with funding from the Meadows School of the Arts and the Bruce R. Foote Memorial Scholarship Foundation.

> Read the full story from the SMU Meadows homepage

Ellen K. Solender, SMU alumna and professor emerita, endows new chair in women and the law

Ellen K. Solender, SMU Professor Emerita of Law

Ellen K. Solender, SMU Professor Emerita of Law

Ellen Karelsen Solender, SMU law alumna and professor emerita, is giving $2 million to the Dedman School of Law to fund the Ellen K. Solender Endowed Chair in Women and the Law.

The Solender Chair will support a Dedman Law faculty member to encourage research, teaching and advocacy in legal education and the legal profession, aimed at advancing equality for all women.

The gift provides $1.5 million for endowment and $500,000 for operational support until the endowment matures.

“Professor Solender’s decision to endow a chair in women and the law could not come at a better time,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This faculty position underscores Dedman Law’s commitment to empowering women to assume positions of influence in their professions. Hers is a gift that will have continuing impact.”

“As only the second woman to receive tenure at the law school, Professor Solender has been a trailblazer in legal education, said Jennifer Collins, Dedman Law’s Judge James Noel Dean and professor of law. “She has dedicated her career to promoting equity and mentored countless women along the way.  This gift will allow the law school to continue Professor Solender’s important work on issues that will advance the rights of women, ensure gender equality, and train lawyers to pursue these goals.”

Solender points to a number of significant events over the last 100 years that raised hopes for gender equality, citing the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote in 1920, the right of women to serve on Texas juries in 1954, and the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009.

“My mother worked for the passage of the 19th Amendment and thought she would see equality in her lifetime. I thought I would see it in mine,” Solender said. “Now I worry whether my granddaughter and my great-great nieces will see equality in their lifetimes. I now realize these were only milestones on a longer journey to equality. These issues are so important to me, it is my hope that this endowed chair could be a catalyst and hopefully speed up the journey to equality for women.”

Solender entered what was then known as SMU School of Law in 1968 at the age of 44. She had earned a bachelor’s degree at Oberlin College and worked for AT&T’s Bell Labs before joining The Wall Street Journal after she and her husband, the late Robert L. Solender, moved to Dallas. Active with the League of Women Voters, Solender believed government officials were not taking her questions seriously, and she entered law school to improve her credentials.

She earned her J.D. in 1971 and joined the law school’s staff shortly after graduation. In 1973 she joined the law faculty, and in 1977 she became the second woman in the history of the law school to receive tenure. She also co-authored the Research Methods/Legal Writing Manual with the late Alan R. Bromberg, University Distinguished Professor of Law. Solender retired in 1994 as professor emerita of law.

> Read the full story from SMU News

Tune In: Peruna Paint Project promotes the value of college

SMU students and alumni took time for their community as part of the Peruna Paint Project at Dallas’ Lee A. McShan Elementary School on Saturday, April 11, 2015.

The ongoing project – in which University community members paint colorful murals using SMU themes – was created to encourage local elementary- and secondary-school students to think about college and to inspire them toward future opportunities.

Click the YouTube screen to watch the Mustang Minute video by Myles Taylor of SMU News, or visit this link to watch the Peruna Paint Project in a new windowvideo

> Check out more videos at the Mustang Minute blog

Calendar Highlights: April 29, 2015

Meet-up flyer - no borderEngaged Learning Meet-Up: Engaged Learning invites SMU community members to their Engaged Learning Meet-Up event on Thursday, April 30, at 6 p.m., in the Hughes-Trigg Commons. Held each April, the event is designed to introduce new Engaged Learning projects. To learn more about the event and new projects, visit the Engaged Learning webpage.

Dedman College Research Colloquium: SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities and Sciences invites SMU community members to the second “Dedman Faculty Research Colloquium” on Thursday, April 30, in McCord Auditorium, Dallas Hall. The event will begin with a brief welcoming reception from 4:45-5 p.m., followed by a presentation from three senior faculty sharing aspects of their research. The three professors include: Rajani Sudan, Associate Professor of English, Pamela Corley, Associate Professor of Political Science, and Pia Vogel, Professor of Biological Sciences.

Meadows Museum Panel Discussion: Celebrating the Meadows Museum 50-year history, a Meadows Museum Panel Discussion will take place Saturday, May 2, from 2-4 p.m., in the Bob and Jean Smith Auditorium. Lee Cullum, host of KERA’s CEO, will moderate a conversation about the history of the Meadows Museum with important figures instrumental to the formation and growth of the institution. This event is free and open to the public. While no registration is required, space is limited and seating is on a first-come, first-serve basis. For more information, call 214-768-4677.

Dancing in the Park: As part of the Meadows Community Series, Meadows dance students present “Dancing in the Park” on Sunday, May 3, 12 p.m., at Klyde Warren Park. The event includes Meadows dance students hosting a creative movement class for children in grades K-6, followed by excerpts of their original works created for the Meadows School’s Sharp Show senior showcase. For more information, call 214-768-2718.

Tate Lecture Series: For the final Tate Lecture of the 2014-15 season, Nate Silver will visit SMU on Tuesday, May 5. Silver is an American statistician and writer who analyzes both baseball and elections. For more information, visit the Tate Lecture Series webpage. 

SMU arts and business students present fourth annual SMU Fashion Week, April 22-24, 2015

11103014_820595004645142_6019420339180860341_oSMU Fashion Week 2015 kicks off Wednesday, April 22 and will run through Friday, April 24. Focusing on the “Business of Fashion,” the three-day event will take an inside look at what it means to be a designer and entrepreneur, as well as how one of Dallas’ most prestigious shopping destinations, Stanley Korshak, stays competitive in the luxury fashion market.

Founded in 2011, SMU Fashion Week aims to provide students with information on a variety of careers within the trillion-dollar international fashion industry. From Style Editor of FDLuxe Bradley Gather Means and blogger Tina Craig of Bag Snob to rewardStyle founders Baxter and Amber Box, past speakers have offered valuable insight into their areas of focus. In collaboration with SMU’s Fashion Media program, Meadows School of the Arts and the SMU Retail Club, this year’s events feature a lineup of prestigious and insightful presenters.

Wednesday, April 22: A talk with Levi Palmer

  • SMU Fashion Week 2015 opens with London designer Levi Palmer of palmer//harding. During a live interview, Palmer will talk about his entrepreneurial journey as the designer of what the press has described as “the world’s most perfect shirts.”
  • 1 p.m. in Room 241, Umphrey Lee Center.

Thursday, April 23: Fashion Week keynote address by Crawford Brock

  • Crawford Brock of Stanley Korshak will present the SMU Fashion Week 2015 keynote address. During company owner Brock’s keynote address, guests will get an inside look at the man behind one of Dallas’ most prestigious shopping destinations, as well as what it takes to stay competitive in the luxury fashion business. Brock will meet students and talk with them one on one during a reception following the keynote address.
  • Keynote begins at 5 p.m. in Room 241, Umphrey Lee Center. Reception with Crawford Brock to follow from 6-6:30 p.m. in the Division of Journalism complex near Room 280, Umphrey Lee Center.
Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Friday, April 24: Spring Fashion Show

  • SMU Fashion Week 2015 wraps up with the annual Spring Fashion Show presented by The Retail Club at Cox School. This year’s show will feature looks from Stanley Korshak and the Haute Wheels mobile boutique. The Haute Wheels mobile boutique will be on-site for shopping, and Stanley Korshak will provide exclusive goodie bags for the first 30 fashion show attendees.
  • 2 p.m. outdoors on the north end of Bishop Boulevard at the Main Quad flagpole.

All SMU Fashion Week 2015 events are free and open to the public. For more information, contact Chelsea Bell, director of the Fashion Media Program in the Meadows School Division of Journalism, via email or phone at 214-768-4913.

SMU continues its Centennial celebration during 2015 Founders’ Day Weekend April 16-18

R. Gerald Turner, President's Briefing, SMU Founders' Day 2012

R. Gerald Turner gives the President’s Briefing at SMU Founders’ Day 2012. The University celebrates the 2015 event from April 16-18.

The SMU community celebrates its fifth Founders’ Day Weekend with football, faculty talks, a President’s briefing, and a tribute to Meadows Museum’s 50th anniversary. The festivities take place April 16-18, 2015 around the main campus.

The weekend begins Thursday, April 16 with the annual Golden Mustang reunion as the University welcomes back alumni who graduated more than 50 years ago. It continues on Friday, April 17, with the extremely popular Inside SMU Powered by TEDxSMU, featuring thought-provoking presentations by faculty, alumni and students.

Also on Friday, SMU President R. Gerald Turner offers perspective on the University’s progress during the President’s Briefing at 7 p.m. in the Bob Hope Theatre, Owen Arts Center. In addition, the SMU Program Council presents the newest edition of a beloved tradition, Sing Song: EARTH, at 8 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium.

Saturday, April 18 is SMU Community Day. This year features exhibitions and family activities at the Meadows Museum’s “Passport to Spain” plus spring football and opportunities to meet Head Coach Chad Morris and current and former SMU players at the Mustang Fan Fair.

The Meadows Museum 50th anniversary celebration includes programs and exhibitions documenting the history of the Museum and a special preview of the Abelló Collection, one of the world’s most renowned private collections that will be seen for the first time in the United States at the Meadows.

This year’s event  marks the final Founders’ Day Weekend of The Second Century Celebration. Designated as the third Friday in April each year, Founders’ Day recognizes “the visionary institutions, organizations and individuals that founded the University on April 17, 1911,” according to the SMU 100 website.

> Find a complete schedule at the SMU Founders’ Day website: smu.edu/foundersday

Calendar Highlights: April 15, 2015

Award-winning author Edwin Black visits SMU on

Award-winning author Edwin Black visits SMU on April 15.

“International Law & Israel:” Sponsored by SMU’s Embrey Human Rights, award-winning author Edwin Black will visit SMU to discuss “International Law & Israel” on Wednesday, April 15, at 7 p.m., in the Ballroom of Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Black will be discussing the current situation in Israel in light of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s recent visit to the U.S. and the U.S. negotiations with Iran. This event is free and open to the public.

Gilbert Lecture Series: Sponsored by SMU’s Gilbert Lecture Series, award-winning author and game designer Ian Bogost will visit SMU to discuss “The Mistrust of Things” on Thursday, April 16, at 6:30 p.m., in Room 131 of the Dedman Life Science Building. Bogost will answer society’s obsession with “things” in a world overburdened with stuff. This event is free and open to the public.

Founders’ Day Weekend: Offering a wide range of activities on the Hilltop, SMU Founders’ Day Weekend will take place April 16-18. Founders’ Day Weekend will celebrate The Second Century Campaign and the 50th anniversary of the Meadows Museum, as well as serve as an opportunity to reconnect with professors, classmates and current students. For additional information and a full schedule, visit the Founders’ Day Weekend event webpage.

11156338_10152780279721981_739504618190428881_nSMU Spring Football Game: The SMU Mustangs football team returns to Ford Stadium on Saturday, April 18, at 1 p.m., for the Spring Game. With the Chad Morris era underway on the Hilltop, the game seeks to give fans a glimpse into #PonyUpTempo football. For more information, visit the Spring Football Game event webpage. 

Barefoot on the Boulevard: SMU’s annual student-sponsored celebration of green living, Barefoot on the Boulevard will take place Saturday, April 18, from 12-5 p.m., on SMU’s Bishop Boulevard. As an early Earth Day celebration, the event will feature food, music and fun with performances by individual singers and guitarists. This event is free and open to the public.

Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Photograph taken at SMU Fashion Week 2014.

Brown Bag Lunch: The John G. Tower Center for Political Studies hosts a Brown Bag Lunch exploring “Wars and the Shifting Middle East Playing Field” on Tuesday, April 21, 12:30-2 p.m., in the Tower Center Board Room, Room 227 of Carr Collins Hall. This lecture will feature Martin P. Adams, as he discusses his 38 years of diplomatic experience in Washington, D.C. and overseas, most recently in the Arabian Gulf. While this event is free and open to the public, guests are asked to RSVP via email to the Tower Center.

SMU Fashion Week 2015: The fourth annual SMU Fashion Week 2015 kicks off on Wednesday, April 22 and will run through Friday, April 24. Focusing on the “Business of Fashion,” the three-day event features leading professionals in the fashion industry, as well as a fashion show. For more information, visit the SMU Fashion Week 2015 event webpage. 

SMU Relay For Life 2015 exceeds fund-raising goal

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SMU Relay for Life 2015, April 10-11, raises approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society.

SMU held its 12th annual Relay for Life on Saturday, April 10-11, from 6:30 p.m.-11:30 a.m. During the overnight fundraising walk, tables and tents filled the Boulevard as more than 1,500 students and community members came out to raise awareness and funds in the fight against cancer.

The event raised approximately $176,400 benefitting the American Cancer Society, well exceeding the goal of $158,000. Two standouts in the fundraising efforts were the SMU Kappa Alpha Theta team and SMU senior Katie Schaible.

The Thetas topped the leader board for team fundraising this year, collecting more than $38,761. After a junior in the SMU Theta pledge class was diagnosed with cancer during the Fall 2014 term, the Relay for Life movement became the perfect platform for the sorority to make a difference in the fight against cancer. The entire chapter actively came together to support her, raise funds and bring awareness to the fight.

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years

SMU senior Katie Schaible raised more than $100,000 for the American Cancer Society during her four years at SMU.

For her fourth consecutive year, Katie Schaible made the individual fundraiser leader board. Schaible truly embodies the spirit of Relay for Life. After losing her father to melanoma at the age of 14, Schaible joined Relay for Life during her freshmen year and has raised over $100,000 for the American Cancer Society since.

Prior to the on-campus event, SMU Relay For Life won the title of number one college Relay in an online event on February 23-25, 2015. Competing against the top 25 American Cancer Society college Relays for Life, SMU Relay for Life took the top spot raising $45,534. Collectively the online event raised $315,654 benefiting the American Cancer Society.

“The SMU community rose to new heights with the unbelievable success they had during the Number One Relay Challenge,” said Rebecca Wood, staff partner for the Relay. “I am so proud of the student-led committee and the community as a whole.”

For more information or to donate to the cause, visit the SMU Relay For Life webpage or the SMU Relay For Life Facebook page.

Calendar Highlights: April 8, 2015

 “For My People: A New Musical Work” featuring Randy Klein (piano) and Aurelia Williams

“For My People: A New Musical Work” featuring Randy Klein (piano) and Aurelia Williams

Margaret Walker Alexander Tribute: Celebrating the centennial of the birth of acclaimed African American poet-scholar-activist Margaret Walker Alexander (1915-1998), SMU sponsors a free performance of “For My People: A New Musical Work”  on Wednesday, April 8. Featuring the opus’ author, Randy Klein, joined by Aurelia Williams and the Heart and Soul Singers, the performance marks SMU’s first sponsorship of the annual College Language Association (CLA) convention (April 8-11 in Dallas).The musical tribute will take place at 7 p.m., at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters, Clarence Muse Café Theater, 1309 Canton Street. 

Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons’ Place in a Changing Religious Landscape: Sponsored by the “Religious and American Public Life” Fellows Seminar, SMU’s Dedman College of Humanities & Science hosts David E. Campbell as he leads the lecture on “Seeking the Promised Land: Mormons’ Place in a Changing Religious Landscape.” A Professor of Political Science from University of Notre Dame, Campbell will discuss Mormons’ place in a changing religious landscape. The lecture will take place on Wednesday, April 8, at 6 p.m. in 147 Caruth Hall.

Relay for Life: The 2015 Relay For Life of SMU will take place Friday-Saturday, April 10-11, from 6:30 p.m.-11:30 a.m. Students, teachers and faculty are encouraged to participate in the event to make progress toward a world without cancer. For more information, visit the SMU 2015 Relay for Life event webpage. 

Honors Day Convocation: SMU’s 18th Annual Honors Convocation will take place Monday, April 13, at 5:30 p.m. in McFarlin Auditorium. SMU community members are invited to celebrate the academic excellence achieved by SMU students. For questions regarding Honors Day Convocation, email the SMU Ceremonies department. 

SAS@SMU “The New Middle East Cold War:” The Security and Strategy Program at the SMU Tower Center hosts F. Gregory Gause, III and Ambassador Robert Jordan as they present a lecture on “The New Middle East Cold War” on Tuesday, April 14, at noon in the Great Hall, Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. While this event is free and open to the public, guests are asked to please RSVP via email to the Tower Center. 

Tower Center Monthly Seminar: Continuing their monthly seminar series, the SMU Tower Center presents Kate Carté Engel in a lecture entitled “The Geopolitics of Religion: Mapping Early Modern Protestant Networks in the Digital Age” on Wednesday, April 15, 1 p.m. in the Tower Center Board Room, Room 227, Carr Collins Hall. Engel is an associate professor of religious studies specializing in early American and Atlantic religion. While this event is free and open to the public, guests are asked to please RSVP via email to the Tower Center.

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