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. 

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