SMU celebrates 99th Commencement May 17, 2014

Commencement

SMU celebrates 99th Commencement May 17, 2014

commencement-procession-faculty-mace-howard-lantern

SMU will celebrate the academic accomplishments of more than 2,100 students at its 99th annual Commencement ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 17, in Moody Coliseum.

This year’s Commencement speaker, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, is noted for his work to improve the quality of life in the city. He has created new strategies for growing the arts through the Mayor’s Business Arts Initiative, has used his visibility as mayor to organize a campaign against domestic violence and has put Dallas in the spotlight by taking a leading role with the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

Read more on Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings

Guests are urged to arrive early as seating in the coliseum is limited to four guests per student. Additional seating will be available for a simulcast of the event at Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports. The ceremony also will be broadcast outside Moody Coliseum on Mustang Plaza, and there will be a webcast of the ceremony online at smu.edu/live.

The University’s 2014 honorary degree recipients are Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson, Methodist historian Richard P. Heitzenrater and SMU law professor Joseph W. McKnight. Each will be included in a symposium in his or her honor, all of which are free and open to the public.

> Learn more about the honorary degree recipients and symposia

The Baccalaureate Service will be at 8 p.m. Friday, May 16, in McFarlin Auditorium. Like the Commencement ceremony, it will be webcast live.

The traditional Faculty Breakfast begins at 7:45 a.m. in the Miller Event Center’s Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. If you are serving as a faculty marshal, you are encouraged to report to your assigned location by 7:50 a.m.

> RSVP for the Faculty Breakfast and Commencement procession

Retired and current faculty will assemble in academic dress no later than 8:40 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club. The procession begins moving at 8:50 a.m.

Compiled by Gary Shultz, SMU News

Visit the SMU Registrar’s May Commencement homepage: smu.edu/commencement

May 7, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will deliver address at SMU’s 99th Commencement May 17, 2014

Mike-Rawlings-02Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings will deliver the address at SMU’s 99th all-University Commencement. The ceremonies begin at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 17, in Moody Coliseum.

The ceremony, including Rawlings’ address, will be broadcast live at smu.edu/live.

Elected mayor in June 2011, Rawlings immediately took on a broad agenda of citywide improvements. He has created new strategies for growing the arts through the Mayor’s Business Arts Initiative, has used his visibility as mayor to organize a campaign against domestic violence and has put Dallas in the spotlight by taking a leading role with the U.S. Conference of Mayors, which will meet in Dallas June 20-23, 2014.

With the launch of GrowSouth, Rawlings outlined a comprehensive strategy designed to boost the economic impact of southern Dallas. GrowSouth already has been a catalyst for new economic investment, job creation and public-private partnerships. In 2012, The Dallas Morning News praised Rawlings, saying, “After only six months, Rawlings has accomplished more for southern Dallas than many of his predecessors managed in their entire terms.”

Rawlings has adopted four DISD schools in southern Dallas in areas primed for growth and also is working closely with Commit!, an education collaborative for Dallas-area schools. SMU partners with Rawlings on the Mayor’s Summer Reading Club, which provides incentives to keep children reading over the summer months, as well as the Mayor’s Intern Fellows Program, an eight-week, paid summer internship program for students from public and charter high schools in Dallas.

“Mike Rawlings has a passion for improving the quality of life in Dallas,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “He is using his platform as mayor to work for more livable neighborhoods, increased economic opportunity throughout the city and strong public education for Dallas children. We prepare our graduates to become world changers, and I can’t think of a better example for them than Mayor Rawlings.”

> Read the full story from SMU News

April 29, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU names three honorary degree recipients for 2014

Three outstanding individuals, including a current and a former SMU professor, will receive honorary degrees at the University’s 99th Commencement ceremony Saturday, May 17, in Moody Coliseum.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Isabel Wilkerson and Methodist historian Richard P. Heitzenrater will receive honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degrees. SMU law professor Joseph W. McKnight will receive the honorary Doctor of Laws degree.

Each of the honorary degree recipients will be featured in symposia scheduled for Thursday, May 15 and Friday, May 16. All are free and open to the public.

SMU expects to award more than 2,000 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees to students at May Commencement.

“Conferring honorary degrees is an important and time-honored Commencement tradition,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This year’s recipients’ achievements are outstanding examples of what we hope our students will strive to accomplish when pursuing their professional endeavors.”

Journalist and author Isabel WilkersonWhile writing for The New York Times, Wilkerson became the first African-American woman to win a Pulitzer Prize in journalism and the first African-American, male or female, to win the Pulitzer for individual reporting. Her award-winning book, The Warmth of Other Suns, is a definitive history of the Great Migration of African-Americans from the rural South to urban centers in the North and West. For her achievements as a journalist and contributions to understanding of the African-American experience, SMU will confer upon Wilkerson the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

Methodist historian and theologian Richard P. HeitzenraterHeitzenrater is recognized as the world’s leading authority on John Wesley and early Methodism. His book,Wesley and the People Called Methodists, has been translated into seven languages. He served on the faculty of SMU’s Perkins School of Theology for 16 years and in 2010 retired from the faculty of Duke University Divinity School. He is best known for breaking the secret code of Wesley’s personal diaries, making them available to the world. For his scholarly achievements and his service to SMU, the University will confer upon Heitzenrater the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa.

SMU Law Professor Joseph W. McKnightMcKnight has made historic contributions to scholarship in legal history and to law reform in Texas. He retires this year from SMU’s law faculty after serving for six decades. The author of six books, he directed the Texas Family Code project, which achieved important reforms, and was principal drafter of the Texas Matrimonial Property Act, recognizing property rights of married women. For his dedicated service to SMU, his distinguished scholarship and his leadership in the legal community, the University will confer upon McKnight the degree of Doctor of Laws, honoris causa.

The honorary degree symposia

• McKnight will be featured in a symposium from 3-5 p.m. Thursday, May 15, in the Underwood Law Library. “A Celebration of Joseph Webb McKnight, his Contributions to Texas Law, to Legal History, and to the SMU Dedman School of Law” will include speakers Texas Supreme Court Chief Justice Nathan Hecht; Chief Justice for the Fifth District Court of Appeals Linda B. ThomasJosiah M. Daniel, III, Esq., of the law firm of Vinson & Elkins; Professor Joshua C. Tate of the SMU Dedman School of Law; and Peter Winship, the James Cleo Thompson, Sr. Professor of Law in the Dedman School of Law. Dedman Law Interim Dean Julie Forrester will serve as emcee for the event.

• Wilkerson will participate in a symposium from 9:30 a.m.-1 p.m., Friday, May 16, in the Pavilion of Annette Caldwell Simmons Hall. The symposium, “Literature for Real: Journalism, the American Canon, and the Evolving American South,” will include keynote speaker Farah Jasmine Griffin, professor of English/Comparative Literature/African American Studies, Columbia University, and author of Who Set You Flowin’? and Harlem Nocturne. A discussion will include remarks from Wilkerson and feature panelists Ta-Nehisi Coates, senior editor of The Atlantic Monthly and author of The Beautiful StruggleBrittney Cooper, assistant professor of women’s and gender and Africana studies, Rutgers University, and columnist for Salon.com; Daina Ramey Berry, associate professor of history, University of Texas at Austin, and author of Swing the Sickle for the Harvest is RipeWalton Muyumba, associate professor of English at the University of North Texas and author of The Shadow and the Act: Black Intellectual Practice, Jazz Improvisation, and Philosophical Pragmatism; and moderator Karen Thomas, SMU professor of practice in journalism and Dallas Morning News writer.

• Heitzenrater will be featured in a symposium at 3 p.m., Friday, May 16, in the Great Hall of Elizabeth Perkins Prothro Hall. The symposium, “Grace Works: Reflections on Divine Grace, Human Works, and John Wesley – Celebrating the Scholarly Contributions of Richard P. Heitzenrater,” will include remarks by SMU Perkins School of Theology Dean William B. Lawrence and will feature panelists Ted A. Campbell, associate professor of Church History, Perkins School of Theology, and an ordained United Methodist minister and clergy member of the Texas Annual Conference; Sharon Grant, adjunct faculty in the Religion and Philosophy Department at University of the Incarnate Word, San Antonio, and an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church; Tamara Lewis, instructor in Church History, Perkins School of Theology, and an ordained United Methodist minister and clergy member of the Tennessee Annual Conference; and Andrew C. Thompson, assistant professor of Historical Theology & Wesleyan Studies at Memphis Theological Seminary and an ordained United Methodist minister and clergy member of the Arkansas Annual Conference. Heitzenrater will bring a response to the panel. In addition, an exhibition honoring Heitzenrater will be featured in the Entry Hall of Bridwell Library.

> Read the full story from SMU News

April 28, 2014|Calendar Highlights, News|

SMU prepares for 2013 Commencement May 17-18

Baccalaureate 2012 photo by Guy Rogers III

SMU observes its 98th Commencement May 17-18 with events for students, faculty, alumni and the entire community.

Former U.S. Senator from Texas Kay Bailey Hutchison will speak at the all-University ceremony at 9 a.m. Saturday, May 18, to be held on the University’s historic Main Quad. She will also receive an honorary Doctor of Engineering degree from the University in recognition of her distinguished career in public service and support of higher education, especially in the areas of science and engineering. SMU expects to award approximately 1,500 undergraduate, graduate and professional degrees.

The ceremony will be simulcast live at smu.edu/livevideo

Follow SMU’s 98th Commencement weekend on Twitter at #SMUgrad2013

In 1993, Hutchison became the first woman to represent Texas in the U.S. Senate. She was re-elected three times. She also joined Margaret Chase Smith as one of only two women in Senate history to be elected to Republican leadership. As Chairman of the Republican Policy Committee, she was the fourth-highest ranking Republican senator.

Hutchison served as the Ranking Member on the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science and Transportation and the Appropriations Subcommittee for Commerce, Justice and Science. She also chaired the Military Construction Appropriations Subcommittee and served on Defense Appropriations for 16 years.

Throughout her career in the U.S. Senate, Hutchison worked to improve and expand higher education opportunities for students. She has championed advancements in science, technology, engineering and math education and helped thousands of Texans earn college degrees who could not have otherwise gained access to higher education. Through her efforts, research at Texas universities has grown to make the state among the top three for university research in the nation.

Hutchison’s efforts also helped bring more than $20 million in federal funds for research projects to SMU. Some of the projects that have been funded through her efforts include the Infinity Project, a math- and science-based engineering and technology education initiative; various NASA and national defense projects; high-tech visual equipment development; and biotechnology projects. In addition to science, technology, engineering and math projects, Hutchison has established the Ray and Kay Bailey Hutchison Scholarship at SMU’s Dedman School of Law and the Hutchison Legal Resource Learning Center.

Read more about Kay Bailey Hutchison from SMU News

The University will also confer honorary degrees upon four other individuals in recognition of distinguished contributions in their fields:

  • James Robert (Bob) Biard will receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for his outstanding contributions in the field of optoelectronics. Biard received the world’s first patent for the light-emitting diode (LED) during his career with Texas Instruments.
  • Swanee Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her efforts toward world peace and gender parity. Hunt, former U.S. ambassador to Austria, is founder and president of the Institute for Inclusive Security, which trains women peace builders around the globe.
  • Francis Christopher Oakley will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his distinguished contributions to higher education as a scholar and administrator. Oakley is the Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas and president emeritus of Williams College, where he led establishment of the tutorial form of instruction.
  • Bryan A. Stevenson will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his efforts to achieve social equity through criminal justice reform. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment in the legal system.

Read more about the 2013 honorary degree recipients

In addition, nine retiring faculty members will be recognized during Saturday’s Commencement Convocation:

  • William Beauchamp, associate professor of French, Dedman College
  • David Blackwell, William B. Hamilton Chair in Earth Sciences, Dedman College
  • Robert C. Davis, associate professor of mathematics, Dedman College
  • Margaret (Maggie) H. Dunham, professor of computer science and engineering, Lyle School of Engineering
  • Charles (Charley) Helfert, associate professor of theatre, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Robin W. Lovin, Cary M. Maguire University Professor of Ethics and former dean of Perkins School of Theology
  • Bijan Mohraz, professor of civil and environmental engineering, Lyle School of Engineering.
  • Laurence (Larry) Scholder, professor of art, Meadows School of the Arts
  • Linda Brewster Stearns, professor of sociology, Dedman College

The weekend’s activities include the Baccalaureate service Friday, May 17, in McFarlin Auditorium. The service will be followed by Rotunda Recessional, a tradition in which seniors march through the Rotunda of Dallas Hall, marking the end of their undergraduate years and the beginning of their lifelong association with SMU as alumni.

More information at the SMU Registrar’s Commencement homepage

Some major events at a glance:

(Above, photo from Baccalaureate 2012 by Guy Rogers III.)

May 14, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News, Save the Date|

2013 honorary degree recipients take part in symposia May 17

Two of SMU’s five 2013 honorary degree recipients will participate in public symposia in their honor during Commencement week. Both events are scheduled for Friday, May 17, and both are free and open to the entire community.

The five individuals who will receive honorary SMU degrees on Saturday each have made distinguished contributions in their fields:

  • James R. BiardJames Robert (Bob) Biard will receive the degree of Doctor of Science, honoris causa, for his outstanding contributions in the field of optoelectronics. Biard received the world’s first patent for the light-emitting diode (LED), now ubiquitous in devices ranging from digital clocks and remote controls to television screens and traffic lights. He holds more than 75 patents for his inventions. Biard is an adjunct professor of electrical engineering at Texas A&M.
  • Swanee HuntSwanee Hunt will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for her efforts toward world peace and gender parity. Hunt was ambassador to Austria during the Balkan War and helped host programs aimed at stabilizing the neighboring Balkan states. She is founder and president of the Institute for Inclusive Security, which trains women peace builders around the globe. She also is a lecturer in public policy at Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government.
  • Kay Bailey HutchisonKay Bailey Hutchison will receive the degree of Doctor of Engineering, honoris causa, for her distinguished career in public service and support of higher education. Hutchison is the first woman to represent Texas in the United States Senate, serving from 1993 to 2012. During her years in the Senate, she expanded higher education opportunities for thousands of Texans and championed advancements in science, technology, engineering and math education. Hutchison helped bring to SMU more than $20 million in federal research funds.
  • Francis Christopher OakleyFrancis Christopher Oakley will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his distinguished contributions to higher education as a scholar and administrator. Oakley is the Edward Dorr Griffin Professor of the History of Ideas and president emeritus of Williams College, where he led establishment of the tutorial form of instruction. He has written 13 books and served as president of the American Council of Learned Societies.
  • Bryan A. StevensonBryan A. Stevenson will receive the degree of Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, for his efforts to achieve social equity through criminal justice reform. Stevenson is the founder and executive director of the Equal Justice Initiative, which provides legal representation to indigent defendants and prisoners who have been denied fair treatment in the legal system. Stevenson also is a professor of clinical law at New York University School of Law.

Bob Biard will participate in an 11 a.m. symposium in his honor Friday, May 17, in the Huit-Zollars Seminar Room, Embrey Engineering Building. The public seminar will describe the events leading up to the invention of the first LED by Biard and Gary Pittman at Texas Instruments in 1962. (Pittman received a B.S. degree in chemistry with honors from SMU in 1953.) Also included will be a discussion of continuing developments in semiconductor light-emitting devices leading to the Vertical-Cavity Surface-Emitting Laser (VCSEL).

Francis Oakley will participate in a symposium in his honor at 1:30 p.m. on Friday in the Texana Room, DeGolyer Library. The symposium is open to the public, and Oakley will respond to remarks made by Charles Curran, SMU’s Elizabeth Scurlock University Professor of Human Values; Texas A&M Professor Cary Nederman, an expert in medieval political thought; Bruce Basington, Regents Professor at West Texas A&M; and Willard Spiegelman, SMU’s Dwaine E. Hughes, Jr., Distinguished Professor of English, who was one of Oakley’s undergraduate students. A reception will follow at the home of Jeremy Adams, Altshuler Distinguished Teaching Professor in the William P. Clements Department of History.

Swanee Hunt will be featured at an invitation-only luncheon and symposium in her honor from noon to 3 p.m. Friday in the Dedman School of Law’s Karcher Auditorium, Storey Hall. The symposium is titled “Demand Abolition” and will address the topics of sex trafficking and prostitution.

> More about SMU’s 2013 Commencement from SMU News
Visit the Registrar’s May Commencement homepage

May 14, 2013|Calendar Highlights, News|
Load More Posts