community involvement

SMU Student Senate raises funds for hurricane recovery

Help 4 Houston disaster relief, Student Senate graphicThe SMU Student Senate has raised more than $15,000 to help the Texas Gulf Coast recover from Hurricane Harvey. Students created the SMU Help For Houston campaign as a way to provide a significant donation from the SMU community for disaster relief.

You can still help – visit smu.edu/helpforhouston to learn more.

Make a donation for disaster relief

> SMU Parents blog: Disaster relief guidance from SMU’s CEL Center

 

Summer means fun: 2017 SMU camp sign-ups now open

Stock art of 'summer camp' spelled out in chalk surrounded by kids' handsSummer break is here, and SMU has a full slate of 2017 camps for kids and teens. Campers will have the opportunity to participate in athletics, learn with LEGO® and explore interests in everything from art and engineering to sports, languages and game design. Many programs offer discounts for SMU faculty and staff members.

Camps are held on SMU’s main campus as well as at SMU-in-Plano through the SMU Summer Youth Program. Start dates range from early June to early August, and many camps fill up fast. Check the camp websites for full information, including availability, requirements and deadlines.

> Find SMU camps for 2017 at the SMU News homepage

SMU trustee David B. Miller ’72, ’73 to receive Methodist Health System Foundation’s 2017 Folsom Leadership Award

David B. MillerThe Dallas-based Methodist Health System Foundation has named business and community leader and SMU trustee David B. Miller ’72, ’73 as the 2017 Robert S. Folsom Leadership Award recipient.

The award will be presented at a dinner on Wednesday, October 25 from 6:30 to 9 p.m. at the Hilton Anatole Hotel’s Grand Ballroom. Established in 2005, the honor recognizes individuals whose demonstrated commitment and excellence in community leadership emulate the achievements of the late Dallas Mayor Robert S. Folsom.

Methodist Health System Foundation President James M. Johnston said, “David Miller clearly exemplifies Bob Folsom’s legacy as a revered community leader, serving Dallas with integrity, humility and respect. Like Mr. Folsom, David’s dedication and involvement with SMU, his dynamic leadership as a successful entrepreneur/business leader, as well as his care, concern and generosity toward others who are less fortunate, have made a lasting impact on Dallas and beyond. This year is particularly poignant because of the passing of Mr. Folsom in January. We hope to make this a special celebration as we pay tribute to Mr. Folsom as well.”

Miller, co-founder and managing partner of EnCap Investments, L.P., said, “I am humbled and honored to receive this significant award as Bob Folsom was a role model for many of us, and he was a true servant leader.”

A two-time SMU graduate, Miller earned his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in business administration from Edwin L. Cox School of Business. He has served on the SMU Board of Trustees since 2008 and also serves as chairman of the Cox Executive Board. He is a recipient of Distinguished Alumni Awards from both the University and the Cox School. In 2009, Miller was honored with the Silver Anniversary Mustang Award by the SMU Lettermen’s Association.

In 2016, Methodist Health System provided more than $149 million in unreimbursed charity care, a growing portion of total care provided in North Texas. The Folsom dinner, recognized as one of Dallas’s largest fundraising events, has raised more than $15 million net to benefit Methodist Health System’s programs and services.

Co-chairs for the event include Nancy Ann and Ray Hunt, Lottye and Bobby B. Lyle, The Honorable Jeanne L. Phillips and Gail and R. Gerald Turner.

Past Folsom Leadership Award recipients include Robert S. Folsom (2005), Nancy Ann Hunt (2006), Troy Aikman (2007), Laura Bush (2008), the late Norman Brinker (2009), Pat and Emmitt Smith (2010), Trevor Rees-Jones (2011), Mike Boone (2012), Rev. Mark Craig (2013), Bobby B. Lyle (2014), Jack Lowe, Jr. (2015), and R. Gerald Turner (2016).

> Read the full story from SMU News

Dallas Fed, SMU and consortium to establish new Federal Statistical Research Data Center

Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, Dallas FedSMU is part of a consortium of institutions, led by the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas and the University of Texas-Dallas, who will partner with the U.S. Census Bureau to establish the Dallas-Fort Worth Federal Statistical Research Data Center.

The new center is the result of an extensive grant application process involving contributions from each consortium member and a review by the National Science Foundation and the U.S. Census Bureau. One of several planned Federal Statistical Research Data Center locations across the country, the center will be housed at the Dallas Fed and will provide approved researchers with secure access to restricted micro-level data.

“The establishment of this center is the culmination of two years’ worth of effort on the part of the Bank and consortium to bring this important new research facility to North Texas,” said Dallas Fed President Rob Kaplan. “Our role in this project aligns well with the Bank’s strategic priorities of serving as a thought leader in policy-related research and being a leading citizen in the communities we serve.”

The center will advance scientific knowledge, improve data quality and inform policy in fields spanning the social, behavioral and economic sciences and the health professions, and extending to urban planning, and engineering. The cutting-edge research opportunities afforded by the center will raise the profile of participating institutions and assist in attracting and retaining top research talent to the region.

“This is a very positive demonstration of how the major universities and institutions in the DFW area, along with West Texas, can work together to both increase quality research as well as strengthen the ties between consortium members,” said Kurt Beron, professor of economics at UT-Dallas, who played a leading role in the grant application process and will help coordinate the consortium.

In addition to the Dallas Fed, UT-Dallas and SMU, the consortium includes UT-Arlington, UT-Southwestern Medical Center, Texas Tech University, University of North Texas, Texas Christian University and the Dallas-Fort Worth Hospital Council Foundation.

The DFW center is expected to open in early 2018. Wenhua Di, senior research economist at the Dallas Fed, will serve as executive director of the center.

> Read the full story at the SMU Research blog

Dallas Police Chief David Brown receives SMU’s 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award

“I’m [here] because of J. Erik Jonsson”: Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown shared a personal story of how the iconic Dallas mayor impacted his family’s lives as he accepted the Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility March 21, 2017.

A version of this story was originally posted Wednesday, Sept. 28, 2016, and updated Monday, March 20, 2017.

Retired Dallas Chief of Police David O. Brown, who in July 2016 helped lead the city through the anguished days following the ambush shooting deaths of five police officers, received the 2017 J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Cary M. Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility at a luncheon on March 21, 2017, at the Belo Mansion.

“Chief David Brown has demonstrated by his words and his actions all of the leadership qualities we had in mind when the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award was created,” said Bobby Lyle, SMU trustee and Maguire Ethics Center board member. “He has led our community with courage and integrity during our brightest days and our darkest hours. He has set standards for public and community service that we would all do well to emulate. I can think of no one more deserving of this prestigious award that bears the name of one of Dallas’ most admired leaders.”

Brown, a Dallas native who was born and raised in South Oak Cliff, is a 33-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department and the department’s longest-serving chief in modern times. He was sworn in as Dallas’ 28th police chief in May 2010, commanding a department with more than 4,000 employees and an annual operating budget of $426 million dollars. Brown has announced he will retire Oct. 4, 2016.

Building and maintaining strong, transparent relationships with the community has been Brown’s focus since he took the top position. During his tenure, Brown transitioned the department to a community-policing focused organization and implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety. He also expanded several community outreach programs and youth centered programs.

Brown implemented policies and training to ensure citizen and officer safety during interactions, and emphasized the importance of de-escalation training for his officers. Under Brown’s leadership, the Dallas Police Department reduced the use of deadly force by more than 40 percent and reduced excessive force complaints by more than 80 percent.

“This award recognizes those who face hard decisions and whose mettle is tested,” said Rita Kirk, Maguire Center director. “Chief Brown personifies the struggle of leaders trying to do the right thing during periods of intense pressure. Our community is stronger because of his leadership, particularly in the wake of recent events. His actions during those days not only reflected the character of our community to other cities around the world who watched, but also left us united, stronger, and more hopeful that we will overcome any obstacle to make this a better city for all our citizens.”

Brown is the 20th recipient of the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award. Past honorees include Terry J. Flowers, Lyda Hill, Gail Griffin Thomas, Nancy Ann & Ray Hunt, Walter J. Humann, Ruth S. Altshuler, Bob Buford, Ronald G. Steinhart, Michael M. Boone, Zan W. Holmes Jr., Roger Staubach, Caren Prothro, Tom Luce, Ron Anderson, Jack Lowe Jr., William T. Solomon, Stanley H. Marcus, Charles C. Sprague and Curtis W. Meadows Jr.

— Kenny Ryan

Tune In: 15 unforgettable photos from The Tempest by SMU Meadows / Ignite Arts Dallas

 

The Tempest, Public Works Dallas

SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts has chosen the best photos from William Shakespeare’s The Tempest as reimagined by a Meadows Prize winner.

Dallas Theater Center and SMU Meadows / Ignite Arts Dallas, in association with the AT&T Performing Arts Center, presented the musical adaptation as a community participation project conceived by 2015 Meadows Prize winner Lear deBessonet during her residency in the Meadows School. The show was directed by Kevin Moriarty, with book, music and lyrics by Todd Almond.

The production showcased 200 Dallasites from all over the city, who shared the stage with professional actors. The unique staging vividly retold the Bard’s well-loved story of the marooned Prospero, who commands spirits, creates apparitions and manipulates the elements to take revenge on his enemies – and in the process awakens in Miranda, his teenage daughter, her first experience of love.

> See the full slideshow courtesy of SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts camera

SMU law students to spend Spring Break 2017 representing detained immigrant women, children in Karnes, Texas

Karnes City Family Detention Center

Detained immigrant children line up in the cafeteria at the Karnes County Residential Center (Photo by Eric Gay of The Associated Press courtesy of National Public Radio)

About an hour outside of San Antonio, hundreds of undocumented immigrant and refugee women and children who fled violence in their home countries are detained at the Karnes City Family Detention Center, faced with the threat of deportation from an administration that wants them gone.

Starting Sunday, March 12, 2017, a team of eight SMU Dedman School of Law students (led by professor and immigration law expert Natalie Nanasi) will spend their spring break providing pro bono legal services to these undocumented immigrants, hoping to win them asylum in the United States.

The Karnes City center, operated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, has been open since 2014, housing women and children who have crossed the border into the South Texas.

“A majority of the Karnes City detainees are coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala and fleeing gang violence, family violence or some combination thereof,” Nanasi said. “Their trip is supremely dangerous. Many don’t make it, and that’s something important to remember; these people flee because they know that if their daughters stay there, it’s certain they’ll be raped, and if their sons stay there, it’s certain they’ll be kidnapped by gangs.”

— Kenny Ryan

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU Meadows joins ‘A Concert for Kindness’ to benefit rescue pets, Sunday, March 12, 2017

A Concert for Kindness benefit concert for Operation Kindness posterSMU artists will participate an evening of fine art to benefit shelter animals during the 2017 Concert for Kindness in Dallas City Performance Hall, 2520 Flora St., at 6 p.m. Sunday, March 12.

The annual fundraiser is organized by Artists for Animals co-founders Erin Hannigan (a faculty member in SMU’s Meadows School of the Arts and principal oboist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra) and photographer Teresa Berg. The evening will include performances by members of the DSO, Avant Chamber Ballet and the Meadows School.

The event also features a silent art auction with works by area artists and students of Dallas’ Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. A wine and dessert reception is included in the ticket price.

All proceeds benefit Operation Kindness, North Texas’ oldest and largest no-kill shelter.

> Buy tickets online at artistsforanimals.com/buy-tickets

Wendy Davis to deliver Emmie V. Baine Lecture at 2017 SMU Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8

Wendy Davis, 2017 SMU Women's Symposium speakerWendy Davis, former Texas state senator and 2014 candidate for Texas governor, will deliver the keynote address in SMU’s 2017 Women’s Symposium Wednesday, March 8.

“We invited Wendy Davis to be our keynote speaker because she was a major advocate for women during her time in the Texas Senate and during her gubernatorial campaign,” said Aurora Havens, Women’s Symposium co-chair and a senior engineering major. “We believe she is an inspiration to all women, especially in Texas.”

The theme of the student-planned 2017 symposium, “My Body, Not Their Politics,” will focus on the politics surrounding issues such as sexual violence, reproductive justice, and women and politics.

“The theme addresses issues women face as well as the current political climate,” Havens says. Sachi Sarwal, a junior electrical engineering major, is also co-chair.

An attorney and long-time public servant, Davis served on the Fort Worth City Council from 1999 to 2008. She represented District 10 in the Texas Senate from 2009 to 2015, but made her mark nationally with an impassioned 11-hour filibuster in June 2013 that delayed passage of a bill restricting abortion regulations in Texas.  She ran for governor on the Democratic ticket in 2014, losing to Republican Greg Abbott.

In 2016, Davis launched a new initiative, Deeds Not Words, designed to train and equip young women to make changes in their communities.

More than 500 attendees are expected to attend SMU Women’s Symposium, created in 1966 as part of the University’s commemoration of its 50th anniversary. One of the longest running events of its kind, the symposium has challenged, changed and broadened women’s perspectives on campus and in the community.

The symposium is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. at Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Discounted registration is offered to SMU faculty, staff and students. Visit www.smu.edu/womsym for registration. Registration is requested by Wednesday, March 1, 2017.

— Nancy George

> Find more information and a complete schedule at the SMU Women’s Symposium homepage: smu.edu/womsym

Black History Month at SMU: February 2017

Black History Month collageSMU is celebrating Black History Month 2017 with a variety of programs and presentations.

Events include film screenings, panel discussions, professional networking and many other activities, including the traditional Black Excellence Ball on Saturday, Feb. 25, sponsored by the Black Alumni of SMU and the Association of Black Students.

The observance is coordinated by the Association of Black Students and SMU’s Office of Multicultural Student Affairs.

Visit SMU News for a complete calendar of events

> Contact SMU Multicultural Student Affairs for more information

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