December Commencement

Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown dubs SMU’s class of 2016 ‘the next Greatest Generation’ at December Commencement


Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown told SMU’s more than 530 December graduates that “[y]ou all may be the next greatest generation of heroes in this country.” The University celebrated its 2016 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 17.

SMU President R. Gerald Turner praised keynote speaker Brown for helping reduce both crime in Dallas and the DPD’s use of deadly force. Turner also commended him for his actions following the July 7 attack “when Chief Brown’s strength and leadership were tested on one of the darkest days in the history of Dallas.” That day, a lone gunman ambushed DPD and DART officers who had been protecting participants in a peaceful late-afternoon protest march downtown. Five officers were killed and 12 were wounded during the assault.

“Chief Brown took charge that night with the professionalism and calm demeanor of a true leader,” President Turner said, noting that the 33-year DPD veteran “helped maintain equilibrium in a wounded city.”

Brown’s address focused on his long-held fascination with heroes, especially Superman. Watching re-runs of “The Adventures of Superman” was a regular after-school pastime for the third-generation Dallasite. As a young man, Brown said, “I wanted so much to join modern-day heroes of our society that I rushed to sign up for the Dallas Police Department” in 1983.

Brown then told the graduates, “You all may be the next greatest generation of heroes in this country. You all are global citizens much more than my generation.”

His closing statement rallied the crowd even further.

“Faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, able to leap tall buildings in a single bound. Look! It’s a plane, it’s a train – no, it’s the 2016 graduating class of Southern Methodist University: My heroes. Now, go save the world!”

Also speaking at Commencement was SMU Engaged Learning Fellow José Manuel Santoyo, who earned bachelor of arts degrees in human rights and Spanish. The Mexican national and American citizen-hopeful, raised in Corsicana, spent much of his life as an undocumented immigrant before qualifying in 2012 to study and work legally in the U.S. thanks to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program initiated by the Department of Homeland Security.

> Watch José Santoyo’s Commencement speech at FOX 4 News

Santoyo thanked SMU’s “amazing faculty and staff,” including Embrey Human Rights Program Associate Director Bradley Klein, his Engaged Learning mentor. As part of his project, Santoyo voluntarily tested his DACA status via a study-abroad trip – risking not being able to return to his education and family in the U.S. – in order to document the experience and give courage to others wanting to follow in his footsteps.

Santoyo also recognized the Consul General of Mexico who was in attendance.

“This country continues to be built by immigrants,” Santoyo said, adding, “an educated populace benefits us all.”

> Full coverage of 2016 December Commencement from SMU News

SMU celebrates 2016 December Commencement Saturday, Dec. 17

December Commencement 2013, blue mortarboards

The SMU community will celebrate 2016 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 17. Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown will give the address.

> Read more about Chief Brown from SMU News

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student and faculty procession. Doors to the staging area in Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports will open at 8 a.m. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.; doors close at 9:40 a.m.

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a faculty breakfast at 8:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. The faculty should assemble in academic dress no later than 9:45 a.m. in the Champions Club.

> Watch the December Commencement livestream at smu.edu/live

The December Commencement Convocation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. No honor ribbons or other decorations or adornments may be worn to this ceremony, including messages or images on mortarboards.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Limited concession service will be available in Moody Coliseum beginning at 8 a.m.

Commencement participants and guests should not bring the following prohibited items to the Coliseum, including but not limited to animals (except licensed service animals), backpacks, binocular cases, briefcases, camera bags, cans, cinch bags, computer bags, coolers, diaper bags, fanny packs, firearms, glass bottles, guns, inflated balloons, knives of any size and type, laser pointers, luggage, noisemakers, purses larger than a small clutch, radios, seat cushions with zippers, pockets or compartments, selfie sticks, signs, stun guns, throwing objects, umbrellas (unless threat of rain or raining), and weapons.

All bags must be clear plastic, vinyl or PVC and may not exceed 12 x 6 x 12 inches. Bags may be one-gallon clear plastic resealable storage bags. Small clutch purses with or without straps, no larger than 8.5 x 5.5 inches, are permitted. The clutch does not have to be clear and may be carried separately or within an approved plastic bag. Items that are medically necessary are evaluated individually.

> More information for students and guests at SMU’s December Commencement homepage

Calendar Highlights: End-of-term Fall 2016 at a glance

December Commencement postcard 2016

 

The days grow shorter, and SMU’s Fall Term 2016 is drawing to a close. Here are some important end-of-term dates to keep in mind:

  • Dec. 5: Last day of instruction
  • Dec. 6-7: Reading days
  • Dec. 8-14: Examinations (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • Dec. 15: Residence halls close at 10 a.m. for Winter Break (December graduates and residential students who need winter-break or Jan Term housing should contact Residence Life and Student Housing)
  • Dec. 23, 2016-Jan. 2, 2017: University closed for Winter Break

December Commencement

  • The Rotunda Recessional for December undergraduate candidates will be held at 5:30 p.m. Friday, Dec. 16, with its starting point in the Main Quad. Hot cider will be served. No RSVP is required.
  • The 2016 December Commencement Convocation begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17. Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown will deliver the Commencement address.
  • Faculty: The traditional Faculty Breakfast will begin at 8:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. The faculty should assemble in the Champions Club in academic dress by 9:40 a.m.
  • Guests: Tickets are not needed to attend December Commencement; all seating is available on a first-come, first-served basis. The doors to Moody Coliseum open at 8 a.m.; guests are encouraged to find their seats by 9:45 a.m.
  • If you are unable to attend December Commencement, you can watch the ceremony via livestream. Tune in to smu.edu/live beginning at 9:45 a.m.

A quick look at the start of 2017

  • Jan. 9-19: SMU Jan Term (main campus and SMU-in-Taos)
  • Jan. 15: Residence halls open at 9 a.m.
  • Jan. 16: Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (University closed)
  • Jan. 23: First day of Spring 2017 classes

Retired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown to give address at SMU’s 2016 December Commencement Saturday, Dec. 17

Dallas Police Chief David O. BrownRetired Dallas Police Chief David O. Brown, who earned national acclaim for his leadership in a citywide crisis, will present the address during SMU’s December Commencement at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 17, 2016 in Moody Coliseum.

A Dallas native and a 33-year veteran of the Dallas Police Department, Chief Brown gained national attention for his handling of a gunman’s July ambush of five police officers who died working to protect participants in a downtown Dallas protest march.

Brown, who retired Oct. 4, 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.

Building and maintaining strong, transparent relationships with the community was Brown’s focus since becoming chief. 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.

Chief Brown holds a Bachelor’s degree and Master’s degree in business administration and is a graduate of the Federal Bureau of Investigation National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, Senior Management Institute for Police, the National Counter-Terrorism Seminar in Tel Aviv, Israel, and the United States Secret Service Dignitary Protection Seminar in Washington, D.C. He also holds Master Peace Officer and Police Instructor certifications from the State of Texas.

In March 2017, Chief Brown will receive the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award from SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility.

> Read the full story from SMU News

SMU kicks off the 2014 holiday season with Celebration of Lights Monday, Dec. 1

celebration-of-lights-01-135x100ratioWith Christmas coming soon, SMU kicks off the holiday season with a number of campus events. From annual traditions to commencement ceremonies, the University offers many opportunities to celebrate the spirit of the season.

  • Celebration of Lights: Following Thanksgiving Break, SMU kicks off the winter holiday season with the 2014 Celebration of Lights Monday, Dec. 1, 7 p.m., on the Main Quad. Lighting the University Christmas Tree and the Main Quad, the University community will gather together to sing seasonal songs, enjoy live performers and hear the Christmas story ready by SMU President R. Gerald Turner.
  • Christmas Worship Service: SMU’s Perkins School of Theology celebrates its Christmas Worship Service Thursday, Dec. 4, at 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. in Perkins Chapel. Under the theme “…waiting…hoping…”, Diva Dolce from Meadows School of the Arts and the Chancel Choir from Advent Lutheran Church directed by Peyton Strouth ’08 join Stefan Engels, professor of organ and Meadows’ Leah Fullinwider Centennial Chair in Music Performance, and the 40-voice Seminary Singers for a special performance. Next, Perkins Dean William Lawrence will preside with narration prepared by Professor of Christian Worship Mark Stamm. This service will honor composer and former instructor Jane M. Marshall on the occasion of her 90th birthday. For more information, email Professor C. Michael Hawn.

Gerald J. Ford to speak at SMU’s 2014 December Commencement on Dec. 20

Blue mortarboards at SMU December Commencement 2013. Photo by Guy RogersThe SMU community will celebrate the graduation of more than 600 students at its 2014 December Commencement Convocation on Saturday, Dec. 20. Entrepreneur and SMU Trustee Gerald J. Ford ’66, ’69 will give the address.

Ceremonies will begin at 10 a.m. in Moody Coliseum with a student and faculty procession. Doors to the staging area in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports open at 8:30 a.m., when formal portrait sessions will begin. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m.; doors close at 9:40 a.m.

Prior to the ceremony, there will be a faculty breakfast at 8:45 a.m. in the Miller Champions Club, Moody Coliseum. The Champions Club is located inside the new wing of Moody on Binkley Avenue. The faculty should assemble in academic dress no later than 9:45 a.m. in the Champions Club. RSVP for the Faculty Breakfast online or call 214-768-3417.

> Complete information for December Commencement candidates, guests and faculty from the SMU Registrar

The December Commencement Convocation is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. No honor ribbons or other decorations or adornments may be worn to this ceremony, including messages or images on mortarboards.

Find complete rules for regalia at the University Registrar’s homepage

Gerald J. Ford

Gerald J. Ford

Gerald J. Ford is chairman of the board and principal shareholder of both the Diamond A Ford Corporation and Hilltop Holdings Inc., a Texas-based diversified financial holding company. He also is the co-managing member and principal investor in Ford Financial Fund II LP, a private equity firm.

Ford also is an owner of thoroughbred horse breeding and racing operations in Kentucky and California, and a working ranch in New Mexico. He is the former chairman of the board, CEO, and a principal shareholder of Golden State Bancorp Inc., and its wholly owned subsidiary, California Federal Bank FSB, a Federal Savings Bank that merged with Citigroup in 2002.

In October 2013, Ford and his wife, Kelli O. Ford, and The Gerald J. Ford Family Foundation committed $15 million as the lead gift to construct an SMU research center. The new state-of-the-art building will support research facilitated by SMU’s high-performance computing capabilities, among other projects. Previously, Ford has provided gifts for Gerald J. Ford Stadium, the Circle of Champions Centennial Challenge, and the Gerald J. Ford Research Fellows Program, which annually honors outstanding faculty members with funding to support their research and creative endeavors.

He is a member of the SMU Board of Trustees and a former Board chair, a member of the Executive Board of Dedman School of Law, a member of the Campaign Leadership Council and currently is the convening co-chair of SMU’s Second Century Campaign.

Ford earned a B.A. degree in economics from Dedman College in 1966 and a J.D. degree from what is now the Dedman School of Law in 1969. He was honored with SMU’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 1995 and the Mustang Award in 1997 recognizing significant philanthropic contributions to the University. He received the Dedman School of Law’s Distinguished Alumni Award in 2002.

> Learn more about Gerald J. Ford

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus. Find more information for students and guests at SMU’s December Commencement homepage: smu.edu/DecemberCommencement.

Faculty participation information
Complete instructions for candidates
Information for guests, including maps, travel discounts and more
Information for guests with disabilities
December Commencement simulcast and photo information

Calendar Highlights: Back to school in brief, Aug. 22, 2014

Dallas Hall stepsWelcome to the 2014-15 academic year, SMU community! Here are some Fall 2014 dates to remember:

  • Opening Convocation and Common Reading discussion: Sunday, Aug. 24
  • First day of classes: Monday, Aug. 25
  • General Faculty Meeting: 3:45 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 27
  • Labor Day: Monday, Sept. 1 (University offices closed)
  • First Faculty Senate Meeting of 2014-15: 3-5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 3
  • Fall Break: Monday-Tuesday, Oct. 13-14
  • Family Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Oct. 24-25
  • Homecoming Weekend: Friday-Saturday, Nov. 14-15
  • Thanksgiving: Thursday-Friday, Nov. 27-28 (University offices closed)
  • Last day of classes: Monday, Dec. 8
  • Final exams: Thursday-Wednesday, Dec. 11-17 (no exams scheduled for Sunday)
  • December Commencement Convocation: Saturday, Dec. 20 (official close of term and date for conferral of degrees)
  • Christmas/Winter Break: Wednesday, Dec. 24, 2014-Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 (University offices closed)

Visit the SMU calendar to keep an eye on upcoming events. Learn how to submit your own events at this link.

SMU celebrates 2013 December Commencement in renovated Moody Coliseum Dec. 21

Artist's rendering of SMU's renovated Moody Coliseum

Artist’s rendering of SMU’s renovated Moody Coliseum. The new Miller Event Center entrance can be seen on the north side (left in illustration).

The SMU community will celebrate the graduation of more than 600 students and mark the debut of the newly renovated Moody Coliseum at its 2013 December Commencement Convocation.

The ceremony, featuring an official dedication of the new facility, begins at 10 a.m. Saturday, Dec. 21. SMU trustee and business Ray L. Hunt will deliver the commencement address.

“One of the greatest joys of University life is Commencement, when we celebrate the achievement and potential of our new graduates,” said SMU President R. Gerald Turner. “This year represents another milestone in that our December graduates are the first to receive their degrees in the newly renovated and expanded Moody Coliseum. We are honored to share this special memory with them, as we wish them the best in the next phase of their journey.”

Complete information for candidates, guests and faculty from the SMU Registrar

Doors to the staging area in the Dedman Center for Lifetime Sports open at 8:30 a.m. Processional groups begin forming at 9:15 a.m. The commencement ceremony will be livestreamed at the SMU Registrar’s December Commencement homepage beginning at 9:50 a.m.

December Commencement is a formal ceremony open to degree candidates from all of SMU’s schools and professional programs. All participants must wear academic regalia; however, honor ribbons, medals, flowers, decorated mortarboards or other adornments may not be worn during the ceremony. Students without regalia will be directed to the SMU Bookstore to rent a cap and gown. Decorated and ruined mortarboards must be replaced at the student’s expense.

Find complete rules for regalia at the Registrar’s homepage

Ray L. Hunt

Ray L. Hunt

Hunt, the commencement speaker, is the CEO of Hunt Consolidated Inc. and chair of Hunt Consolidated Energy and Hunt Investments. He graduated from SMU in 1965 with a B.A. in economics; he was a University Scholar and received the Outstanding Business Student Award. A member of the SMU Board of Trustees since 1976, he was board chair from 1987 to 1992. He currently serves as a co-chair of SMU’s Second Century Campaign and sits on the Advisory Board of the Maguire Energy Institute. His support for SMU includes establishing in 1993 the Hunt Leadership Scholars program with his wife, Nancy Ann Hunt, a 1965 SMU graduate.

Ray Hunt was a member of the steering committee that directed SMU’s successful bid for the George W. Bush Presidential Center. He currently serves on the Board of Advisors of the Bush Institute and as a member of the Bush Presidential Foundation. His civic leadership has included service as chair of the Dallas Citizens Council, chair of the North Texas Commission and chair of the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas.

SMU has honored Hunt with its Distinguished Alumni Award and the Cox School of Business Distinguished Alumni Award. Ray and Nancy Ann Hunt, together, received SMU’s Foundation for the Future Award and the J. Erik Jonsson Ethics Award, which is presented annually by SMU’s Maguire Ethics Center. Hunt has been inducted into the Dallas and Texas Business Halls of Fame and has received the Distinguished Business Leader Award from the Texas Association of Business. Among his civic awards are the Linz Award from The Dallas Morning News, the H. Neil Mallon Award from the Dallas Council on World Affairs, and the Sprague Community Service Award from the Southwestern Medical Foundation.

Learn more about Ray L. Hunt

The ceremony lasts about two hours. No guest tickets are required, and free parking will be available throughout the campus.

Faculty participation information
Complete instructions for candidates
Information for guests, including maps, parking and more