SMU Guildhall hosts 2015 Spring Exhibition Friday, May 15

Commencement

SMU Guildhall hosts 2015 Spring Exhibition Friday, May 15

Paul Bettner

Paul Bettner, co-creator of Words with Friends and founder of Playful Corp, will speak at a graduation reception for The Guildhall at SMU’s Cohort 21.

The Guildhall at SMU hosts its bi-annual graduate exhibition showcasing video games developed by graduating students on Friday, May 15, 2015. The 2015 Spring Exhibition will honor Cohort 21: 26 master’s degree candidates who specialize in art creation, level design and programming.

The Exhibition will take place in Building 2 of the SMU-in-Plano campus at 5232 Tennyson Parkway. All of the following events are open to the public:

  • 2:30-4 p.m. – Open play session of 2D and 3D games developed by Guildhall students
  • 4-5 p.m. – Cohort 21 Honors presentations and awards
  • 5-6 p.m. – Cohort 21 Capstone team games presentations

An invitation-only reception for Cohort 21 and their friends and family will conclude the day’s events.

> Find more SMU Guildhall events on Facebook

Paul Bettner, CEO and founder of the McKinney, Texas-based game development studio Playful Corp, will be the honorary keynote speaker at the Cohort 21 graduate reception.

Bettner has been creating interactive entertainment for 20 years. In 2008, he co-founded Newtoy, Inc. with his brother David to create the hit social game Words with Friends. Before that, he worked with Microsoft Game Studios, where he helped create blockbuster hits Halo Wars and Age of Empires.

In 2012, Bettner founded Playful Corp. Their first announced title, Lucky’s Tale, is a platforming adventure game designed exclusively for virtual reality. Bettner and his team are also in active development on Creativerse, currently gaining fans through early access on the Steam gaming site.

> Visit The Guildhall at SMU online: guildhall.smu.edu

May 5, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU hosts 2015 Honorary Degree Symposia Friday, May 15

Three international leaders who will receive honorary degrees at SMU’s 100th May Commencement will participate in symposia on the main campus Friday, May 15. All symposia are free and open to the public.

The symposia will feature 2015 honorees Meave Leakey, a renowned anthropologist 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 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 the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, during the Commencement ceremony on Saturday, May 16.

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

Meave Leakey

“Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley:
A Symposium Honoring Meave Leakey”
Friday, May 15, 2-4 p.m.
McCord Auditorium, 306 Dallas Hall

Leakey, one of the world’s most distinguished paleoanthropologists, is a research associate at the National Museums of Kenya, director of Plio-Pleistocene research at the Turkana Basin Institute, Nairobi, and research professor in anthropology at Stony Brook University, New York. In 2002 she was named a National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence. Leakey is a foreign associate of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and an honorary fellow of the Geological Society of London.

David Pilbeam, curator of paleontology at Harvard’s Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, will moderate the symposium.

Leakey will speak on “Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley.” Also presenting will be Frank Brown, dean and distinguished professor of geology and geophysics at the University of Utah, who will speak on “Time and the Physical Framework in the Turkana Basin, Kenya;” and Kay Behrensmeyer, curator of Vertebrate Paleontology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution, who will speak on “Faunal Context of Human Evolution in the East African Rift Valley.” Thure Cerling, Distinguished Professor of Geology and Geophysics and Biology at the University of Utah, will speak on “Floral Context of Human Evolution – as Represented by Geochemical Signatures;” and Bonnie Jacobs, professor of earth sciences in SMU’s Huffington Department of Earth Sciences, will speak on “Floral Context of Human Evolution – as Represented by Plant Fossils.”

Irene Hirano Inouye

“Celebrating the American Experience and U.S.-Japan Relations:
Irene Hirano Inouye, Her Life, Works and Achievements”
Friday, May 15
Reception, 3-3:30 p.m.
Panel Discussion and Remarks, 3:30-5 p.m.
Hillcrest Appellate Courtroom and Classroom, Underwood Law Library 

Inouye is a leader in international relations who, while still in her 20s, began tailoring her career toward service as director of a Los Angeles medical clinic providing affordable care for poor and uninsured women. She helped build the Japanese American National Museum, which opened in 1992, and became the founding president of the U.S.-Japan Council in 2008.

Panel participants are Admiral Patrick M. Walsh, U.S. Navy (ret.), Tower Center senior fellow and former commander of the Pacific Fleet; Anny Wong, research fellow in the Tower Center and a member of the board of the Japan-America Society of Dallas-Fort Worth; and moderator Hiroki Takeuchi, associate professor and director of the Tower Center’s Sun & Star Program on Japan and East Asia. Inouye will deliver closing remarks and will be available for questions.

The symposium is free, but registration is required; email the Tower Center to RSVP. More information is available at the Tower Center website.

Helen LaKelly Hunt

“A Revolutionary Approach to Conflict Resolution:
A Symposium Honoring Helen LaKelly Hunt”
Friday, May 15
Panel presentation 10:30 a.m.-noon, Smith Auditorium, Meadows Museum
Lunch and remarks, noon-1:30 p.m., Jones Room, Meadows Museum 

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 Hendrix.

Hunt and Hendrix will discuss the new science of relationships with panelists David Chard, dean of SMU’s Annette Caldwell Simmons School of Education and Human DevelopmentRita Kirk, director of SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public ResponsibilityLorelei Simpson Rowe, associate professor and graduate program co-director in SMU’s Department of Psychology and an expert in couples relationships; and Michelle Kinder, executive director of the Momentous Institute.

Please RSVP for the lunch to Family Wellness Dallas.

Written by Kimberly Cobb

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

May 1, 2015|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

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: 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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